HISTORIC BASTROP, TEXAS
Established in 1832 by Stephen Austin, Bastrop is the second-oldest incorporated town in Texas, and was the alternate for the new republic’s capital. This rich history is evident in the more than 130 historic buildings in and around the town center that boasts historic markers and medallions.
For nearly three centuries – longer than anyone can remember – Bastrop has been a good reason for Texas travelers to pull off the beaten path and relax with some of the territory’s best hospitality and scenery. The first to pause here were the Spanish, following the Camino Real between San Antonio and eastern Texas (1691). Then came American settlers (later joined by Europeans) with Stephen F. Austin’s “Little Colony”, hand hewing the origins of a township that still fits beautifully in the valley between a serene Texas river and the evergreen hills of Bastrop’s Lost Pines region.
Early on, profit tallies from successful plantations, lumber mills, and steamboat and frontier trades allowed Bastrop residents many luxuries that were rare for the times. These luxuries included gracious homes of excellent craftsmanship and ornamentation, beautiful churches with imported stained glass, distinguished schools, and last but not least, stagecoach inns that furnished the best beds and cuisine west of the Mississippi.
No wonder Sam Houston, Davey Crockett, and a roster of other early Texas notables came here and stayed awhile. More than 130 renovated, historic homes and sites in Bastrop were nominated to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978 by the Texas Historical Commission (first area nomination in the United States). Because of this, Bastrop is known as the Most Historic Small Town in Texas. Bastrop is honored to be named a 2010 Distinctive Destination by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Bastrop is the sixth Texas City to receive this honor in the 12 years that the awards have been given.
A historic walking tour brochure is available from the Bastrop Old Town Visitor Center located in the original 1889 First National Bank building at 1016 Main St.
The Bastrop Chamber of Commerce is a great source for tourist and relocation information. 927 Main St. / (512) 303-0558 / www.bastropchamber.com
Bastrop’s history is further celebrated at the Bastrop County Historical Society Museum where an extensive collection of photographs, documents and other historical artifacts are housed. 702 Main St. / (512) 303-0057
One mile east of Bastrop on Highway 21, Bastrop State Park is home to the famous Lost Pines, an isolated stand of loblolly pines. (512) 321-2101 / www.tpwd.state.tx.us/park/bastrop
Bastrop enjoys three incredibly scenic 18-hole golf courses, a dozen welcoming bed and breakfasts, 11 comfortable hotels, and a luxurious resort.
Visitors enjoy the historic Bastrop Opera House at 711 Spring St. / (512) 321-6283 / www.bastropoperahouse.com
Come look through the windows to see history unfold before your eyes.
Shopping and Dining
The historic district near the Colorado River offers a number of quaint shops featuring unusual gifts, custom candles, crafts, home and garden decor, clothing and antiques. Adding to the pleasure and convenience, we have unique restaurants, bakeries and coffee bars, each with its own comfortable, friendly atmosphere.
A variety of lodging choices offer visitors a range of overnight options. You will find charming bed and breakfast inns located within the historic district and in country settings. Comfortable motels offer modern conveniences and meeting facilities. The luxurious Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort & Spa offers a complete “Destination Vacation.” For more rustic accommodations, thousands of visitors annually camp and lodge in Bastrop State Park.
Three beautiful 18-hole golf courses challenge golfing enthusiasts. Lake Bastrop and the Colorado River offer fishing, boating and other water activities. Hiking and bicycling are popular among the Lost Pines of Bastrop State Park, and canoe, kayak and bicycle rentals are available near the Bastrop State Park entrance. The LCRA’s McKinney Roughs Nature Park features miles of walking and equestrian trails. The one-half mile Riverwalk nature trail offers a serene stroll along the banks of the Colorado River.
Bastrop is home to the Bastrop County Historical Society Museum on Main Street, which includes a large collection of historical photographs, documents and other memorabilia. The Bastrop Opera House, built in 1889, was renovated in 1984 and restored to its original purpose. Currently celebrating its 28th year, it features comedy, dramatic and musical productions year-round. The local entertainment center offers contemporary entertainment in a four-screen movie theater, 16-lane bowling alley, high-tech video arcade, miniature golf, sports bar and a food court.
- 927 Main St
Bastrop, TX 78602
- (512) 303-0558