Bastrop citizens are proud of their town’s heritage and the historic role of their still prominent central business district. While other contemporary retail centers serve this central Texas town of 7,000 residents about 30 miles east of Austin, but the real energy and action seem to center around ‘Old Town.”
Old Town Bastrop is filled with unique local boutiques, restaurants and shops with collectibles in the carefully restored Gothic Revival and Victorian era. Brick facades, grand arches, intricate cornices, and ornate trim distinguish this historic district that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Square is flush with all kinds of stores – from stylish women’s shops such as Liza Jane or Gun Powder and Lace to the galleries of local jewelers and artisans. There are even candle makers pouring wax and essential oils to make custom candles to suit any shopper. Shoppers enjoy a wide array of antiques, artwork, fine wine, and numerous craft galleries, sometimes recharge with a Coke float from the soda fountain at the counter of the Lock Drug Store, Texas’ oldest apothecary.
A Full Menu from Casual Comfort Food to Fine Dining
Locals have more quality dining options than in some cities twice Bastrop’s size. For fine dining, both Baxter’s on Main and Hasler Brothers offer differing takes. Baxter’s is fine dining in a casual, playful atmosphere. Baxter’s invites patrons to step back to the jazz age in a vintage building with handsome raw brick walls, soaring beaded ceilings, and 1920’s decor. Specialties at Baxter’s include certified Angus steaks, fresh seafood, house-made desserts and an extensive wine list. Hasler Brothers Steakhouse offers a chic, cosmopolitan atmosphere along with a chic bar and – of course – top-flight steaks, homemade sides, and delicious desserts.
Fitties Barbeque keeps its large crowd of regulars coming back for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Though they may be best known for their masterful BBQ, their breakfast tacos also have a sterling reputation. Ramos Mexican Restaurant, Maxine’s Café and The Roadhouse restaurants are among the area’s favorite casual places. Maxine’s and the Roadhouse have both ranked in the state’s top 50 according to Best of Texas Awards in Texas Monthly Magazine – Maxine’s winning for having a great breakfast, and the Roadhouse for it’s fantastic hamburgers. And that’s just a few of the more than 50 restaurants and styles of cuisine available in Bastrop!
Wild and Exotic Local Entertainment Includes Golf, Live Music and the Capital of Texas Zoo
Family entertainment and nightlife options are plentiful. Families from all over the region enjoy the small, intimate Capital of Texas Zoo with about 500 wild and exotic animals. The Zoo has two missions – educating the public about wildlife issues and aiding in the conservation of endangered species.
The area also boasts a number of golf courses, driving ranges, and other golf facilities. The Wolfdancer Golf Club at the nearby Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa is a public course that traverses three distinct terrains over its 7,205-yards sprawling over 150 acres. Ben Crenshaw has praised the public Lost Pines course in Bastrop State Park, saying, “Over the years there has been a great interest in golf for all ages and backgrounds. Because of the beauty of the Lost Pines Golf Course and Park, many visit there for their golfing pleasure as well as participating in tournaments at affordable rates.”
Families also enjoy exploring the area’s rich history at the Bastrop County Historical Society Museum, or watch artisans at their craft in multiple media at the Guild. For a movie or to bowl a few frames there’s the Lost Pines 8 Family Entertainment Center.
As the sun sets, several restaurants add live music to their line-ups. Popular nightspots for live music and dancing include the Lumberyard Music Hall, the VFW hall, Papa Woody’s Icehouse, and Bubba’s. For a more highbrow evening out, the Bastrop Opera House stages live plays, musicals, and dances that appeal to a wide range of audiences. The local troupe has been recognized in competition in the Texas Non-Profit Theater Festival as one of the finest small town troupes in Texas.
Bastrop offers its residents and tourists a memorable experience in a charming yesteryear setting. In addition to one-of-a-kind shopping, diverse dining and an abundance of recreational and entertainment options, several festivals and events are held annually to both celebrate the past and spotlight the city’s bright future.