Generally Charming

One of America's most historic stores is just a short drive from Austin

One of America's most historic stores is a short drive from Austin

Luckenbach Texas
Let's go to Luckenbach. Luckenbach Texas/Facebook

Amid a sea of big-box stores, there still exists a handful of vintage general stores, and one of the best is only an hour-and-a-half drive from Austin.

The iconic Luckenbach General Store in the Texas Hill Country recently was trumpeted by Country Living on its list of America's 20 most charming general stores, along with the Jefferson General Store in East Texas.

Luckenbach General Store shares a yard with the town's famous dance hall and bar. Originally opened as a trading post in 1849 that also sold everything needed "from the cradle to the grave," the store now offers mainly souvenirs. Its post office closed down in 1971, but there is still plenty of historic memorabilia covering every square inch of the shop. 

Located in Jefferson, right by the Louisiana border, the Jefferson General Store has been supplying sundries since the 1870s. The business remained in the original family for more than 100 years; it was sold in 1977.

It opened as the town's first hardware store, and today it still stocks home improvement necessities along with gifts, homemade pecan pralines, and a working soda fountain and nickel jukebox. Now isn't that worthy of a road trip?