No matter the time of year, there’s always something fun and fascinating to do in Bastrop. From family-friendly festivals and cultural events, to historic tours and adventurous outdoor activities, Bastrop is a beautiful place to stay for a day or a week … or longer.
Coming up with just a few things to do in Bastrop wasn’t easy – we could definitely come up with dozens, even hundreds, more. When you start planning to spend time in our charming town, make sure to check out these wonderful attractions, which are listed in no particular order.
Bastrop’s location right along the Colorado River makes it an ideal place to discover breathtaking natural wonders. No matter what time of the year you’re visiting, there are plenty of places to wander and recharge in nature.
Just minutes from 900-acre Lake Bastrop, where visitors can enjoy swimming and water sports, Bastrop State Park was established in 1933 and has been open to the public for more than 70 years.
New trees and plants have brought new life to the area, and it is once again a popular destination for locals and travelers who wish to be one with nature or simply relax. Hikers can enjoy the scenery as they stroll along the park’s 7-mile hiking trail, and bikers can travel along the hilly 12-mile Park Road 1C for a similar view.
Cast a line and catch some fish at Lake Mina, or bring your binoculars and see how many of the 277 species of birds that call the park home you can spot. In fact, the park is on the route millions of birds take on their way to South America and back each year. Bastrop is a Bird City Texas-certified community, meaning that the local community takes active steps to preserve and celebrate the town’s thriving population of birds. Check out our handy Ultimate Birdwatching Guide and see how many you can spot!
Weather permitting, there’s no better way to spend an afternoon than enjoying Bastrop’s scenery as you make your way through a round of golf. Whether you’re a pro-level driver or more suited to driving the golf cart, Bastrop has several course options sure to make your afternoon memorable. Head to the award-winning Lost Pines Golf Club at the Hyatt, spend an afternoon out at ColoVista Golf Club or unwind at the Pine Forest Golf Club.
From shopping to dining, you can easily spend a day in Downtown Bastrop. The Bastrop Museum & Visitor Center is the perfect place to begin, then take a stroll among the many boutique shops and stores that showcase a variety of works from local artisans and artists, as well as imported goods, clothing and so much more.
Take a break for lunch – American, Chinese, Greek, Mexican and many other restaurants ensure you’ll satisfy any craving; don’t forget the variety of desserts, coffees and treats available. Enjoy a taste of classic Southern comfort with a Cajun twist at 602 Brewing Company, a thoroughly Texas dining spot located right on Historic Main Street. Or, head to a favorite congregation spot of the locals, Old Town Restaurant and Bar. But don’t let us limit your choices – check out the full list of dining available to you in Downtown Bastrop.
Pop into Coffee Dog Roastery or Sunshine Sister Coffee Company for a quick caffeine boost to make sure you stay energized before you continue on your shopping extravaganza. If you’re a bookworm, it’s an absolute necessity to check out The Painted Porch Book Store, a carefully curated bookstore owned and operated by bestselling author Ryan Holiday, whom you might recognize from titles such as The Daily Stoic. Once you’ve picked up a new read, consider grabbing a new album to pair with it at Astro Record Store, a chic record shop selling new and used vinyl records, CDs, music memorabilia and more.
If you’re going to visit Texas, you’ve got to look the part. Luckily, we’ve got you covered with locally owned shops selling everything you need for a fabulous, new, Bastrop-sourced outfit (or a few). Cowboy boots are, of course, quintessential to the true Texas look, so head to Texas Boot Company to find the pair of boots meant for you. Cap it all off with a trip to a stylish boutique, such as In The Sticks, to pick up some locally-made clothes and jewelry, and you’re good to go.
Before your shopping spree is done, check out Downtown Bastrop’s numerous art galleries, including the Lost Pines Art Center. The center is home to several art galleries, shops, studios and even a bakery. Even better, admission is free.
ARTS & CULTURE
We’re a creative bunch here in Bastrop. A thriving community of artists with a rich cultural history, you’ll find a wide variety of arts and culture to peruse on your visit.
Located in the heart of Downtown Bastrop, the Bastrop Opera House has been home to a large number of events throughout its 130-plus-year history. Its first public event in 1889 was a military ball and dinner. Around 1910, it was transformed into a movie theater and stayed that way until World War II ended.
In the 1950s and ’60s, teens were the primary attendees as the building hosted parties, dances and other get-togethers. Finally, in the late 1970s, a nonprofit corporation took possession and began its transformation into the current high-quality venue, which includes dinner theatres, musicals and plays. Even if there aren’t any shows being performed when you visit, come see this amazing, historical building.
The Bastrop County Historical Society was formed in 1952 by 30 women who wanted to “awaken an interest in the early history and legends of Bastrop.” Through the years, the Society has preserved and promoted the history of Bastrop and Bastrop County, and their efforts have resulted in the Bastrop Museum & Visitor Center, located in Downtown Bastrop.
The museum features materials, artifacts and documents that tell the story of Bastrop’s early days, from the time Native Americans inhabited the area more than 200 years ago and Stephen F. Austin’s involvement to the museum’s first exhibit about the Colorado River just a decade ago.
The visitor center’s primary focus is the historic aspects of Bastrop, and docents are available at various times throughout the week to help guide you through the information. With the center’s popularity, however, staff can provide details about the entire city as well as surrounding areas. While you’re there, make sure to ask about the “Toads in Town,” the Society of Bridge Spitters and how the Lost Pines Forest got its name. You’ll be glad you did.
Browse (and buy!) the incredible work of some pretty incredible artists at Found Fine Art. This newly opened art gallery is located in the heart of our historic district. They frequently host live demos with artists of various mediums including painters, sculptors, stone carvers, and custom jewelers.
Photo by: Found Fine Art
No trip is complete without picking up some souvenirs to remember us by. Stop by R.A. Green Mercantile, a gallery and shopping center showcasing the work of eight talented local artisans. They have a little bit of everything here, from handmade jewelry to pet products, so you’ll be able to find something for everyone. It’s a great place to find gifts for your loved ones, or to pick up a little something special for yourself!
There’s nowhere that does live music quite like Texas, and Bastrop is proof of that. Whether you’re a classic country fan, a blues and bluegrass diehard, an indie rocker or anything in between, you’re sure to find a performance that will have you dancing and singing along all night. Ahead of your visit, check out what live music events we have coming up here in town – no matter when you’re traveling, talented performers will be putting on a show somewhere, whether it’s tucked inside a cozy coffee shop or outside in the summer air.
Bastrop is home to one of the state’s biggest music festivals, the annual Bastrop Music Festival. This exciting multi-day event features performances by over forty artists of all genres, showcasing some of central Texas’s most skilled musicians. Party all day and night along the lower Colorado River and experience a true musical melting pot. Who knows? Your next favorite artist might be on this year’s lineup.
STAY & UNWIND
Bastrop may be a small town, but it has a large number of cozy lodging choices, including inns, bed-and-breakfasts, RV camps, cabins and vacation rentals.
The four-diamond Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort & Spa – surrounded by acres of beautiful Texas wilderness – is a place where you can’t help but relax, unless you choose not to. Elegant rooms and suites, concierge service and a full-service spa are special touches sure to please practically anyone. However, if you can’t sit still, there are a tremendous number of activities and amenities to keep you busy all day long. Water parks, kayaking, rafting and airboat rides will keep aquaphiles very happy. Those who prefer staying on solid ground will enjoy archery and trap shooting, tennis, bicycling, scavenger hunts, night hiking and a hummingbird garden. And for those who don’t mind being a few feet above ground, there’s horseback riding, tractor hayrides, wall climbing and ziplining.
The town’s proximity to the stunning Colorado River makes for some excellent camping spots, but sometimes, you just aren’t up for totally roughing it. Luckily, you can experience the best of both worlds with Bastrop’s wide array of glamping options. Check out The Reserve at Greenleaf for a nomadic, eco-friendly experience tucked into the natural environment of Bastrop’s wilderness. These luxury yurts are a great way to unwind surrounded by natural wonders, without sacrificing comfort or adventure. Enjoy hiking, swimming, kayaking and more, all with a soft place to land at the end of the day. You can also find several glamping tent-style accommodations along the shores of Lake Bastrop, courtesy of GLAT Austin. These blissfully luxurious tents will provide for your every need, so you can enjoy the great outdoors with the added convenience and coziness of fluffy beds, indoor bathrooms and more.
COME SEE FOR YOURSELF
Whether you’re planning a getaway for a holiday vacation or just want to visit somewhere new, you can’t go wrong in Bastrop. We hope to see you soon!