Deep in the heart of Dripping Springs lies a hidden gem known as Wanderin’ Star Farms. Nestled on 32 acres of picturesque Hill Country property off Fitzhugh Road, this charming farmstead is not just a place to stay but also an experience that promises a unique blend of family values, rustic luxury and immersion in nature. At the helm of this one-of-a-kind venture is the owner and operator Marla Barnard.
Marla and her husband Justin moved to Dripping Springs from Lubbock, where they ran a successful coffee and gourmet pizza shop. The bustling restaurant industry was their life, but as their family expanded, so did their aspirations. They longed for a business where they could work together as a family. When Justin’s brother offered to sell them a property he used as a resting place between his travels, the seed for Wanderin’ Star Farms was planted. Eight years ago, the Barnard family embarked on a journey that would transform a simple piece of land into a thriving business and a testament to their unwavering dedication.
The journey began with just a little barn, but Justin’s visionary spirit knew no bounds. They cleared roads, constructed their first structure—a pavilion—and started hosting events. Even though Dripping Springs is the wedding capital of Texas, they found that there weren’t many accommodations available in the area, so they created short-term rentals, offering unique tiny houses and yurts. Justin’s enthusiasm was infectious, and their five children, who range in age from 6 to 18, learned the value of hard work, dedication and hospitality from their father.
When Justin passed away suddenly in May, the Barnard family immediately felt the community support carrying them through this tragedy. “The outpouring of love, assistance and solidarity during this incredibly difficult time for our family has reinforced our belief in the strength of community,” says Marla. “One day Justin was taking our kids fishing, and the next day he was gone. The suddenness of it was so difficult—we didn’t have anything prepared to keep things going. Our connections and history here have carried us through.”
Marla’s brother, Josh, worked closely with Justin over the years and is now the farm manager. “Josh has been a godsend in keeping the farm going,” she attests. Justin’s brother Shane and his wife, Bethany, are also business partners. The Barnard family’s involvement extends beyond running the business; Marla and her children live on the property and are directly involved in the day-to-day operations. When you book a stay at Wanderin’ Star Farms, you’re not just getting a tiny house; you’re becoming a part of their warm, welcoming family.
Wanderin’ Star Farms offers a range of accommodation options that can cater to a variety of needs. From cozy cabins for couples to spacious units for families and groups, they can host up to 35 people. The property has five tiny homes, two yurts and a barn-dominium, all of which are designed with simplicity and nature in mind.
What truly sets Wanderin’ Star Farms apart is the family’s hands-on approach. They’re quick to respond to guests’ needs and take pride in ensuring a memorable stay. Their property is surrounded by numerous restaurants, distilleries and breweries, making it a perfect base for exploring the area.
Guests can enjoy locally roasted coffee to start their day and then explore the farm’s 32 acres, which feature hiking and biking trails, a play area for kids, a meditation deck, and yoga mats for those seeking serenity.
Looking ahead, Wanderin’ Star Farms plans to open a farm store in the spring, offering locally sourced items. They also envision hosting more retreats and events, building on the success of past gatherings. They plan to continue expanding their offerings, ensuring that the farm remains a place of warmth, unity and rejuvenation for their community.
Marla and her family have felt the unwavering support all over Dripping Springs. “We cherish this close-knit community of locally-owned businesses that we are a part of, and are so thankful for the outpouring of support.”
Wanderin’ Star Farms is more than a place to rest your head; it’s a place to connect, relax and create lasting memories. Your visit won’t just be a vacation; it will be an opportunity to experience the Barnard family’s heartfelt dedication to hospitality, nature and community. For direct booking, visit Wanderin’ Star Farms’ website.
WanderinStarFarms.com | @wanderinstarfarms