At the crossroads of history and the highway — and a whole lot of nature — Bastrop is only about 35 miles east of Austin and three hours from Dallas, but going there feels like being worlds away.
This immersive destination radiates with the historic charm of downtown’s local artisan shops and restaurants, serving up Southern comfort like chicken-fried-steak and catfish. But it's also a nature-lover’s dream.
Embrace the great outdoors
Bastrop offers epic outdoor adventures, thanks to its location on the banks of the Colorado River. Bastrop State Park is a good place to start, as it’s home to the famous loblolly pine trees — unique to the Texas Lost Pines Forest — and offers opportunities for canoeing, biking, swimming, kayaking, bird-watching, and more.
The park even hosts interpretive hikes guided by naturalists, for a different way to explore the surrounding rolling box canyons, wildflower meadows, lazy river bends, and diverse wildlife.
On the slow-moving El Camino Real Paddling Trail, fish for Guadalupe bass and flathead catfish or sit back and enjoy the view, which might just include great blue herons, red-shouldered hawks, and kingfishers perched between the pecan and elm trees.
You can also get in on ziplining and rock climbing, or sign up for outdoor events like survival skills classes and challenge courses.
Find your home away from home
Stay a few days in Bastrop State Park and set up camp at one of the park’s various campsites. No tent? No problem! There are historic cabins built by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the 1930s. You can also park your RV for an extended visit.
For a luxe option in the woods, Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort & Spa is the place. It embraces the outdoors with exterior “living rooms” along with private balconies and patios.
The resort’s Spa Django is 18,000 square feet of pure bliss, with more than 50 treatments that combine the dynamic energy of music, the sensation of healing touch, the restorative qualities of nature, and the spirit of movement.
It also overlooks the scenic Wolfdancer Golf Course, which includes rolling prairies, heavily wooded ridgelines, and river valleys lined with pecan trees.
Discover a must-attend event
No matter when you head to Bastrop, there’s probably a FOMO-worthy fest in the works, from the medieval-themed Sherwood Forest Faire early in the year to the Bastrop Patriotic Festival in July that includes a 5K, street dance, live music, water wonderland, and fireworks.
The Bastrop Homecoming & Rodeo in August originated in 1947 as a way of welcoming back 90,000 soldiers who had been based at Camp Swift during WWII. Now, the event welcomes visitors from all over for live music, a rodeo, carnival rides, tournaments, a parade, and more.
Also taking center stage, the Bastrop Music Festival in September brings in all the best, from blues to country, Tex-Mex, soul, folk, Latin, and more.
Barton Hill Farms Fall Festival and Pumpkin Patch also kicks off in September and is held on a scenic Texas farmstead on the banks of the Colorado River.
The holidays are Historic Downtown Bastrop’s time to shine with special events all season long, including a lighted Christmas parade where decked-out floats stream Main Street and marching bands play Christmas classics.
See a full list of events and things to do — and plan your great escape — at Visit Bastrop.