Bastrop, Texas is a small town in Central Texas that’s very close to Austin. While it may not be as flashy as some other nearby cities, it’s still worth checking out if you’re looking for an affordable getaway.
Bastrop was founded by European settlers in 1832 and became the first county seat of Bastrop County in 1834. These days, the town is known for its outdoor recreation opportunities such as hiking trails and camping spots near McKinney Roughs Nature Park.
There are also several cultural attractions including local festivals held throughout the year like the Bastrop State Fair & Rodeo or Bastrop Opera Festival which takes place in September every year since 1948! If you’d like to learn more about what makes this small town so special then keep reading below.
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Fun & Best Things to Do in Bastrop, Texas
Let’s get into our favorite things to do in Bastrop, Texas.
1. Bastrop State Park
Bastrop State Park is a must-visit destination for anyone who loves the great outdoors. With over 25 miles of hiking trails, scenic views, and plentiful wildlife, this 1,890-acre park has something for everyone. If you are looking for an even more immersive experience, take advantage of Bastrop’s many campgrounds and cabins.
Whether you’re looking to pitch a tent, park at the Bastrop RV park, or just enjoy the solitude of your own cabin, Bastrop provides the perfect setting for reconnecting with nature. And if you want to get even closer to nature, Bastrop State Park also offers canoe rentals on Lake Bastrop. Whether you’re interested in fishing or just floating on the water, this is one experience that you won’t want to miss.
But Bastrop State Park isn’t just known for its various outdoor activities; it is also home to some incredible natural wonders. The Longhorn Caverns are perhaps the most stunning example of Bastrop’s unique geology.
Founded in 1882 and open to visitors since 1939, these magnificent caverns have long been admired for their beauty and geologic significance. No matter what your interests or abilities may be, Bastrop State Park has something that will make your visit unforgettable.
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2. McKinney Roughs Nature Park
McKinney Roughs Nature Park is a great place to take a walk, see wildlife and enjoy nature. The park has trails and several different areas where you can hike or mountain bike.
It is located on the Colorado River just outside of Bastrop, Texas. You can also see other activities such as canoeing down the river or simply kayaking through it!
There are several trails in this park but I recommend starting at Bee Creek trailhead which is just off FM 774 on Old Bastrop Road (by McDonald’s). The signs are easy to follow once you get there and there will be plenty of parking available for you if needed.
Once inside McKinney Roughs Nature Park head right towards where those “No Hunting” signs are posted – those should lead directly onto Bee Creek Trail heading westbound before turning northward again after some distance away from them (about 500 feet).
This will take you through some beautiful fields filled with wildflowers while making sure not to step too close by any tall grasses anymore than necessary since they’re home sweet home for many types of insects including chiggers.
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3. Colorado River
The Colorado River is one of the main tributaries of the Brazos River, and it runs through Bastrop. The Colorado River offers an array of activities for visitors to enjoy: swimming, fishing, tubing, and kayaking are just a few options available to those who love being outdoors.
There are a number of parks along this river where you can enjoy these activities with friends or family. If you’re looking for something more adventurous than just sitting on a tube in the water all day long then try your hand at tubing down this river!
If you would like to get away from it all but still have access to power then camping at one of these parks might be right up your alley! The campsites come equipped with electricity so if you need somewhere that has both natural beauty as well as comfort then consider staying here overnight—you won’t regret it.
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4. Hill Country Arts Foundation
The Hill Country Arts Foundation is a nonprofit organization that was founded in 1975 to provide support to artists and arts communities. Their mission is “to foster a vibrant, sustainable and diverse cultural community by promoting the arts through advocacy, education, and programming.”
There are several galleries located at Hill Country Arts Foundation that all have different styles of art. One thing you can do here is to check out an exhibition of local artists’ work, which changes often. If you like art but don’t want to buy any (this could be because you’re on a low budget or just don’t want anything), there’s no need for concern; they also host events such as live music performances and film screenings throughout the year so that visitors can enjoy their time while not spending money on buying anything.
It’s located right off I-35 between Bastrop and Smithville so it won’t take long for anyone driving down this highway who wants another attraction after visiting other places like Smithville State Park or Bastrop State Park.
5. Bastrop Opera House
The Bastrop Opera House is a historic building that has been restored to its original grandeur. From the architecture to the interior design, you’ll be amazed by this theater’s elegance and charm. The performances are always entertaining, whether it’s a musical performance or a comedy show.
This venue is also good for dates with your significant other because of its cozy atmosphere and great food options like pizza from The Old Village Bakery & Cafe! Or bring the family along on Sunday nights when they provide free entertainment on the stage—your kids will love it!
6. Lost Pines Art Center
The Lost Pines Art Center is a multi-use arts facility that features classes, workshops, and events. It offers gallery space and studio space for artists to live work and create their art. The center also has exhibits for local artists to show their work in an effort to inspire people with the creative process of making art.
The Lost Pines Art Center offers many different types of classes such as painting classes, ceramics classes, and more! These are great ways for you to learn new skills while having fun at the same time!
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7. Bastrop Historic District
For history buffs, Bastrop is one of the best places to visit. The town has a rich history and has been home to many famous people.
There are plenty of places to see that highlight different aspects of this rich past. The Bastrop Historic District is the most obvious place to start; it’s listed on both the National Register of Historic Places and the Texas State Historical Association’s list of sites related to significant events in Texas history.
Located along Main Street, this area has been designated as a National Historic District by the U.S. Department of Interior since 1976 because it features an assortment of well-preserved 19th-century buildings built-in styles such as Greek Revival, Italianate Victorian architecture and Federalist/Georgian Revival architecture which were popular during that time period for residences (especially homes) here in Texas—and especially here in Bastrop County where many people came from other Southern states due to lower costs than other parts such as Galveston County (which includes Houston), so there was always someone who could afford to build their dream house here back then!
8. Bastrop Farmers Market
The Bastrop Farmers Market is a great place to visit, especially if you’re looking to spend time with your family or friends. The market is open year-round and located in the heart of downtown Bastrop. Every Saturday morning from 7 am until noon, there are over 20 vendors selling produce and flowers as well as homemade goods like soap, candles, and even jams!
The market has a festive atmosphere with live music every week during the spring and summer seasons. There are also food trucks available on-site with different options for breakfast or lunch so you can enjoy the fresh air while eating something delicious at the same time!
9. Bastrop County Museum and Heritage Center
The Bastrop County Museum and Heritage Center is the perfect place to learn about the history of Bastrop county. The museum inside houses exhibits on local history and culture including Native American artifacts found near Bastrop State Park.
And if you’re looking for something more hands-on, visit their adjacent Heritage Center where you can learn how to cook Indigenous foods or make crafts that have been passed down over time—or even participate yourself.
10. Bastrop County Courthouse
The courthouse is certainly one of the most beautiful buildings in Texas. It was built in 1878, making it the oldest courthouse in Texas and one of the first brick structures in the county. The courthouse has been added to the National Register of Historic Places, which means that not only does it look incredible but also that it’s historically significant.
If you’re interested in seeing more than just a building, there are plenty of other things to do here as well!
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11. Bastrop Museum & Visitor Center
The Bastrop Museum & Visitor Center is a great place to learn about the history of the area. They have many interactive exhibits for kids, like a Touch Tank, a Discovery Room, and 3D Printing activities.
You can also see artifacts from the past, like clothing and tools that were used by people in Bastrop County. There’s even a gift shop with souvenirs and gifts perfect for bringing home!
The museum shows educational films in its theater every day at 2 pm from April through October (check their website for more information). The entrance fee is $7 per person; children 12 years old and younger get in free with an adult admission purchase.
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12. Bastrop River Company
If you’re looking for a place to kayak, canoe, or tube the Comal Creek and its tributaries, the Bastrop River Company is your best bet. Established in 2003 by local residents who wanted to bring their love of water sports to others, this organization has become a great resource for both experienced paddlers and beginners alike.
BRC offers rentals of two-person canoes or kayaks (and optional equipment like life jackets) at reasonable rates; they also provide lessons and guided tours along designated routes on the Comal Creek through downtown Bastrop. If you’re not yet ready to take a solo tour downriver but would like some guidance from someone who knows it well, consider their group tours that leave daily at 10:00 AM (except Saturday), 1:00 PM (except Sunday), and 2:30 PM (except Friday).
No matter what time of year you visit BRC—they’re open from March until December—you’ll find plenty of things to do here once you’ve picked up your rental gear: swimming holes along the creek offer great opportunities for cooling off after sweating under Texas sun; several miles’ worth of trails around town make for excellent hiking jaunts; nearby parks host festivals throughout the summer months; there’s even access point near downtown where those who are newbies can learn how to operate their boats with professional instructors on hand!
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13. Barton Hill Farms
Barton Hill Farms is a small, family-owned and operated farm located in Bastrop. They grow a variety of produce, including corn, tomatoes, peppers, squash, and cantaloupe. The farm also has an extensive selection of fresh produce year-round thanks to its greenhouse and greenhouses.
Barton Hills Farms offers CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) programs that allow members to receive regular deliveries of fresh vegetables throughout the growing season at over 20 different pickup locations across Central Texas. They also have a store located onsite where you can purchase your favorite local products as well as tour the grounds if you’re feeling hungry for some pick-your-own fun.
14. Grab a drink at Copper Shot Distillery
At Copper Shot Distillery, you will find a wide variety of spirits that are perfect for satisfying your thirst. Whether you are drawn to the bold flavors of whiskey or prefer the refreshing notes of vodka, Copper Shot is sure to have something that excites your taste buds.
In addition to its delicious drink options, Copper Shot also prides itself on its state-of-the-art distillery equipment and high-quality ingredients. Each batch starts with locally sourced ingredients, like rainwater collected from Copper Shot’s own roof, which helps to ensure that each spirit is as authentically crafted as possible.
Whether you want to come for a tasting and learn more about Copper Shot’s craft process or enjoy some live music on the weekends, this local distillery is sure to delight anyone looking for a unique and memorable drinking experience. If you’re looking for some creative spirit drinks that will really make your taste buds tingle, head on over to Copper Shot Distillery today and discover why there’s truly magic in every drop.
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15. Colorado River Winery
The Colorado River Winery is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to enjoy world-class wine in a beautiful and historic setting. Named after the Colorado Rivers that flow through the town of Bastrop, this winery offers tasting experiences like no other, with tastings of Tuscan-style wines that are rich and complex. And with its commitment to small batch production, you can be sure to taste only the finest quality wines.
Additionally, the winery invites visitors to explore the world of wine further through its exclusive Wine Club program, which offers exciting opportunities to learn about new varieties and discover your own personal preferences for fine wine. Whether you’re an experienced connoisseur or just starting your journey into the world of wine, a trip to the Colorado River Winery is sure to delight and inspire you.
So what are you waiting for? Head on down today and experience all that this exceptional winery has to offer.
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16. Swim in Lake Bastrop
Lake Bastrop is a stunning 800-acre reservoir located at the Colorado River Basin, offering a variety of activities for visitors to enjoy. Whether you’re hoping to swim, snorkel, or go fishing for largemouth bass, this lake has something for everyone. For those who would rather stay on dry land, Lake Bastrop also boasts a mini golf course and numerous hiking and walking trails that offer amazing views of the surrounding lake and area.
Additionally, Lake Bastrop is a haven for bird lovers, with many rare and endemic species to be discovered throughout the area. And if you’re looking for more outdoor activities to enjoy, Lake Bastrop also offers bike trails and volleyball fields.
17. Have a Blast at Pine Forest Golf Club
At Pine Forest Golf Club, you will enjoy a relaxing, scenic golf experience unlike any other. Nestled in the midst of a vast pine-covered forest, this golf course offers sweeping elevation changes and numerous sand bunkers, creating an ideal setting for every golf lover.
Whether you are looking for a destination for your next golf getaway or simply want to take a trip to this course to enjoy a great game of golf, this premier golfing club is sure to impress. After an intense round of golf, you can head over to the Bar and Grill to treat yourself to some delicious tacos, hot dogs, or burgers.
And if that’s not enough incentive to visit Pine Forest Golf Club, keep in mind that this legendary course was recognized as one of the top 25 municipal golf courses in Dallas by the Daily News.
With so much to see and do in this Texas town, it’s hard to decide what to do first! If you’re looking for a laid-back weekend getaway or just want some peace and quiet on the river, Bastrop is definitely the place for you. Luckily, we’ve done all the research so all you have to do is choose which one of these best things in Bastrop sounds most appealing.
What is Bastrop, Texas Known For?
Bastrop is known for its beautiful scenery and rich history. Bastrop is also famous for its famous residents, festivals, and music.
Bastrop is located in the heart of Texas Hill Country which makes it the perfect place to enjoy outdoor recreation year-round. There are several local businesses that will help you plan your trip so that you can make the most of your time in Bastrop.
Is Bastrop Worth Visiting?
Whether you’re looking for a place to take your family or just want to go for a weekend getaway, Bastrop, Texas is the perfect spot.
With its wide variety of scenic trails and activities, you’ll never be bored when visiting this charming town.
What are the best things to do in Bastrop, Texas?
There are plenty of things to do in Bastrop, Texas. Some fun activities include tubing down the river, biking or hiking the trails or swimming at one of the many nearby lakes. In addition, there are a few great restaurants and plenty of shopping options.