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Mansfield Magazine

Cat Spring: Pastoral Setting That is Still off the Map

Jan 19, 2016 12:36PM ● Published by Kevin

Photo credit: Skeeter Hagler Photography

Turns out there still are a few small-town secrets left in Texas. About 60 miles west of Houston and north of I-10, on a rural FM highway you’ll discover tiny Cat Spring, Texas. The pastoral setting of the area has been attracting people since the early 1800s. It’s still small today (population less than 800) and filled with all the things you love about country escapes. There’s picturesque pastures and natural beauty, traces of Texas history, exquisite antique shopping and genial Southern hospitality.  

There are several things to do in town but you’ll want to check out the 112-year-old community dance hall. They sure don’t make them like this anymore. Elsewhere, you’ll find shops like Mustang Alley Antiques. It’s in a turn-of-the-century general store building that retains much of its historic character, including hardwood floors and a front porch. Here, and in a few other nearby shops, you’ll discover antiques, collectibles and an assortment of other arts and crafts to suit just about any taste.

Photo credit: Skeeter Hagler Photography

There are two wonderful overnight options in Cat Spring. First is the Blisswood Bed and Breakfast. It offers 11 antique homes, ranging from the one-bedroom Writer’s Cabin to the two-suite Dog Trot House and the four-bedroom Lehmann House. Or you can try the Oasis Retreat. It’s a collection of nine Asian-inspired cottages, suites and rooms sprinkled among tall pines and thick stands of bamboo and greenhouses. Both places are a part of the sweeping 600-acre Lehmann Legacy Ranch.

The ranch itself is worth exploring. There’s a Victorian greenhouse with an indoor swimming pool and tropical foliage, and wide open pastures filled with horses, cattle, alpaca, miniature donkeys, bison and even blackbuck antelope.

When you’re hungry, try the Cross Road Tavern, it’s a convenience store (yes, you can still buy a few grocery essentials here) and restaurant inside a former gas station. Step in to have a seat on a vintage bar stool and sip a beverage of your choice. There’s a fish fry here every Friday night if you’re so inclined. While in town, you might also try Carol’s at Cat Spring Restaurant. This Western-style lodge features rustic cedar walls and cowboy furnishings. The steaks here are great, as are their desserts – how can you go wrong with something called Alice’s triple chocolate cake? And you don’t want to miss the sweet potato cake.

A visit to Cat Spring will provide a much needed and enjoyable respite from the holiday season just past. Just make sure you call it ‘Cat Spring’ and not ‘Cat Springs,’ or the locals will have to correct you. But they’ll do it in a hospitable Southern way.

Visit www.catspringtexas.net for more details and information.

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