As the most historic small town in Texas, Bastrop offers a quaint downtown area flanked with walkable streets brimming with historic structures. Along with history, Bastrop is an outdoor enthusiast's dream with four state and regional park areas to explore.

For your next small-town Texas getaway less than an hour from Austin, get all the details in this ultimate guide to 48 hours in Bastrop. 

Cultural Sights in Bastrop Texas

Bastrop supports a lively arts scene with public art and murals scattered along with historic downtown. During your 48 hours in Bastrop, you'll have time to explore the little shops and pick up a few finds to take home. And keep a look-out for the painted utility boxes showcasing everything from longhorns to chickens. 

48 hours in Bastrop

Historic buildings with restaurants and shops line Main Street in Bastrop, Texas. Photo by Ashton LaFuente via Creative Commons

Bastrop supports a resident art community so you can find several art galleries in town. You can check out the Lost Pines Arts Center at 1204 Chestnut St. For something really unique, arrange a tour of Deep in the Heart Art Foundry to see how bronze sculptures are fabricated. 

For lovers of live entertainment, check out the schedule at the Bastrop Opera House for a community-led theater. And if it’s the weekend, downtown visitors can enjoy an assortment of local acts, all within a stroll of each other. 

48 hours in Bastrop

The Colorado River runs through Bastrop, Texas. Pedestrians and cars can cross over the river. Photo by Toniklemm via Creative Commons

Historical Sights in Bastrop Texas

Bastrop has a rich history and you can discover that history and the local culture when you spend 48 hours in Bastrop.

Bastrop County Museum and Visitor Center

You can learn about the history of Bastrop from Native American artifacts recovered in the area to recent times when you visit the Bastrop County Museum and Visitor Center. You can walk through displays explaining the importance of cotton and coal mining to the area. 

The museum, located at 904 Main St., is open Thursdays to Saturdays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Adult admission to the museum is $5 and kids 12 and under are free. 

Outdoor Activities in Bastrop Texas

With all of its open spaces, lakes, and Colorado River, Bastrop is an ideal place to enjoy outdoor activities all year round. Here are some of our favorite places to enjoy outdoor activities when you spend 48 hours in Bastrop.

Bastrop State Park

Bastrop State Park protects part of the westernmost strand of the southern pines. Swaying loblolly pines form the Lost Pines Forest. Though nearly destroyed, the forest recovers.

Two Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) companies started work in 1933 to develop the park. The Depression-era workgroup cleared the underbrush, and then reseeded areas over-cut by lumber operations until 1939.

The CCC also built infrastructure in the park according to the design principles of the National Park Service’s parkitecture. Using local materials, the CCC buildings appear to grow out of their surroundings.

The centerpiece of Bastrop State Park is the Refectory. Centrally located, the CCC finished the building using local walnut, oak, and pine. The CCC even built furniture for this building along with other parks like Indian Lodge out in West Texas. The Refectory earned the park a designation as a National Historic Landmark for its enduring CCC craftsmanship.

48 hours in Bastrop

The Refectory in Bastrop State Park. Photo by Catherine Parker

Recovering from the Fires in Bastrop State Park

In 2011, a wildfire ravaged Bastrop State Park for over a month. After one of the hottest summers on record, several fires converged into the most destructive wildfire in Texas history.

Fueled by tropical storms winds along with drought-dried underbrush, 96% of Bastrop State Park burned that summer. The firefighters saved the historic CCC buildings and the area around the cabins missed the damaging fires.

In 2012, the forest recovery started by replanting some of 4 million lost pines. Presently, Bastrop State Park’s loblolly pines are growing tall and covering the last remaining scars of the wildfire.

Activities in Bastrop State Park

Bastrop State Park offers hiking with 8.5 miles of trails. And some of the trails can be used for biking as well.

48 hours in Bastrop

The entrance to Bastrop State Park is off Texas State Highway 21. Photo by Billy Hathorn via Wikipedia and Creative Commons

The pool at Bastrop State Park is an original element and located close to the Refectory. For the 2020 season, reservations are required along with an additional fee.

State parks in Texas don’t require fishing licenses to fish and even loan out equipment. Head to the ½-acre Lake Mina to fish.

Bastrop State Park is connected by park roads to its sister park, Buescher State Park. Drive down Park Road 1C for a scenic drive. Be sure and stop at the historic scenic overlook for views in every direction.

The historic CCC cabins offer air conditioning and heating along with an outfitted kitchen, full bathroom, and fireplace. The smallest cabin offers accommodations for two people for $110 a night. The largest cabin offers accommodations for six people for $150 a night.

Bastrop State Park is at 100 Park Road 1A, in Bastrop. Day-use adult admission (12+) is $5.

Lake Bastrop LCRA Parks

Along the shores of Lake Bastrop, the Lower Colorado River Authority owns two parks about three miles from downtown Bastrop. The 900-acre lake offers lots of boating and swimming opportunities. You will find a park on each side of the lake, each outfitted with a campground and picnic facilities.

Lake Bastrop North Shore Park features a dock, a boat ramp, a fishing pier, and trailer parking. The big draw for the North Shore Park, however, is the Airstream campers. This is an ideal place to stay when you have 48 hours in Bastrop.

There are five campers available for nightly rental, each providing all the joys of glamping in an Airstream without towing one ($225 a night). Each Airstream sleeps up to four people and has heat, air conditioning, shower, restroom, kitchen, and grill.

Ultimate Guide to 48 Hours in Bastrop Airstream

Glamping in an Airstream Trailer in North Sore LCRA Park. Photo by Catherine Parker

The Lake Bastrop South Shore Park offers cabins ($65+ a night) in its campground. You can also find a mini-golf course, a playground, and a fishing pier.

Lake Bastrop North Shore Park is located at 603 FM 1441. Lake Bastrop South Shore Park is located at 375 South Shore Road. Day-use adult admission (12+) is $5. Both parks are open from dawn to dusk daily.

McKinney Roughs Nature Park

Another Lower Colorado River Authority park, McKinney Roughs Nature Park offers more than 1,100 acres to explore. With more than 18 miles of trails, you can hike through wildflower meadows and catch a glimpse of a deer. Start your visit in the park at the nature center to learn about the native plants and animals.

In addition to hiking and biking, McKinney Roughs Nature Park offers ziplining. In fact, McKinney Roughs is home to the only dual-line canopy tour in Texas. 

McKinney Roughs is at 1884 Highway 71 West, in Cedar Creek. Day use adult (12+) admission is $5. Open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Paddling Trails in Bastrop

Explore Bastrop on the water of the Colorado River. With two different water trails, you can paddle past groves of cottonwood trees and under bridges.

Ultimate Guide to 48 Hours in Bastrop, Bridge

The bridge over the Colorado River. Photo by Catherine Parker

Wilbarger Paddling Trail is an all-day trip covering 14.3 miles. You enter at Utley Bridge on FM 969 and float or paddle until Fisherman’s Park.

El Camino Real Paddling Trail is a half-day option at 6.4 miles. For this option, you enter at Fisherman’s Park and continue until Lost Pines Recreational Trails.

For those looking for an outfitter, Bastrop River Company at Fisherman’s Park rents single kayaks, double kayaks, canoes, and SUPs by the hour. It also arranges half-day or full-day trips on both paddling trails. Trips include a one-way ride to or from Fisherman’s Park. Trips start at $40, including the equipment.

Reservations recommended for weekends and holidays. The season runs from March until the end of October.

Ultimate Guide to 48 Hours in Bastrop Colorado River

Paddling along the Colorado River in Bastrop. Photo by Catherine Parker

Where to Eat in Bastrop Texas

There are some great options for eating during your 48 hours in Bastrop. Here are some of our favorites for each meal of the day.

Breakfast in Bastrop

For a hearty breakfast, head to Maxine’s Cafe and Bakery. A Main Street mainstay, Maxine's dishes up standards such as pancakes. It also serves some regional flavors, like Migas—a spicy blend of jalapeños, onion, tomato, and corn tortilla strips scrambled up with eggs.

Maxine's is at 905 Main Street and is open daily from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., serving breakfast, lunch, and desserts.

Lunch in Bastrop

Base Camp Deli serves up salads and sandwiches with outdoor tables under the trees. It is open Tuesday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. It serves classics, such as chicken pesto, turkey Reuben, egg or chicken salad, or a grilled-cheese sandwich with homemade tomato soup.

If you're looking for a baked good or treat, Tough Cookie Bakery is a charming stop in town. Step inside this locally owned café, bakery, and coffee shop for a daily assortment of cookies, bread, and bars. You can grab a sweet to-go at 601 Chestnut St. Suite D, next to Neighbor’s. Tough Cookie is open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Dinner in Bastrop

For dinner with a view, head to a table on the back deck at Neighbor’s Kitchen and Yard overlooking the Colorado River. Find a menu with salads, sandwiches, and stand-out pizzas. The unique cocktail menu makes Neighbor’s the place for happy hour.

Neighbor's is at 601 Chestnut St. Suite C, behind the Bastrop County Museum and Visitor Center. It is open daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Ultimate Guide to 48 Hours in Bastrop salad

Dinner at Neighbor's overlooking the Colorado River. Photo by Catherine Parker

Comfort food tops the menu at The Grace Miller at 706 Pine Street. “Gracie's” as it's known to the locals, offers great homestyle cooking and its signature Chicken Fried Steak. Also find options like Rosemary Peach Chicken along with burgers and pasta. Gracie's is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. most days and 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

If you're looking for a great spot to hang out and sip a few local brews, check out Bastrop Beer Company. Bastrop Beer is a brewpub with a selection of brews from sours to blondes to ales. Also find a menu of small bites, burgers, and salads. Bastrop Beer Co is at 919 Main St. Open Tuesday through Sunday from 11 a.m., it closes at 9 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 4 p.m. on Sunday.

Where to Stay in Bastrop Texas

Located along the shores of the Colorado River, the four-star Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa offers over 400 acres of rolling landscape to explore. This resort is such a great place to call home during your 48 hours in Bastrop.

The beautiful resort offers native landscaping with hike and bike trails, including free loaner bikes, horseback riding, a butterfly garden, and kayaking on the river.

Lost Pines Resort & Spa also offers a 1000-foot crooked river and water slide. Additionally, there's a swim-up bar and an adults-only pool for a quiet escape. The pool area is surrounded by loungers.

The resort includes several restaurants and lounges to accommodate your tastes. And don’t miss the nightly s’mores. Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort & Spa is at 575 Hyatt Lost Pines in Cedar Creek, 15 miles west of Bastrop.

If You Go to Bastrop

Bastrop, Texas is about 30 miles east of Austin Bergstrom International Airport. It's definitely a place where you're going to want to rent a car or drive, making this an ideal road trip destination. Save 10% off the base rate of your next Hertz car rental.

Bastrop is a year-round outdoor destination. It offers seasonable weather from March to the first of November. The summer season is busy with families and May and September offer a warm getaway with fewer crowds.

Be sure to check out more great spots to explore when you only have 48 hours in our Ultimate Guide to 48 Hours series. We also have more great suggestions on what to do when you visit Texas.

As the most historic small town in Texas, Bastrop offers a quaint downtown area flanked with walkable streets brimming with historic structures. Along with history, Bastrop is an outdoor enthusiast's dream with four state and regional park areas to explore. For your next small-town Texas getaway less than an hour from Austin, get all the details in this ultimate guide to 48 hours in Bastrop. 

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