Follow these recommendations for fun things to do in Bastrop, TX, with kids.
I think everybody knows that when taking a road trip in Texas, there’s a lot to cover before you get out of the state. We decided these things to do in Bastrop, TX, with kids, were worth a shot. Because Texas is known as the “friendly state,” it’s one of the reasons we find Texas so attractive. We can always find nice people wherever we go, and it’s fun to discover new places in the Lone Star State that fit our budget and plan.
Depending on your origin, you can easily explore Bastrop on a day trip. For example, hiking in Bastrop State Park, grabbing lunch, and doing a little shopping in town can all be done in a day. This might be your next place to explore as day-trippers coming from the San Antonio or Austin areas.
However, if you plan to stay a night or two, there are some choices. In addition to the campsites, Airstreams available at Lake Bastrop, and great glamping adventures, there are some options if you want something a little more luxurious.
Things To Do In Bastrop, TX With Kids
I don’t know why it’s taken us so long to put Bastrop on our radar. We’ve searched for fun destinations within a two-hour drive from our home near San Antonio, and Bastrop has never come up as an option. We love a good weekend trip destination, and Bastrop does not have more than enough fun for a weekend plus some more. I’m excited to share what I found in Bastrop, Texas, and I hope it inspires you to plan your trip this summer.
No matter what your family enjoys doing when you travel with kids to Bastrop, Texas, none of you will get bored!
Where Is Bastrop, Texas?
The city of Bastrop is along the Colorado River, about 30 miles southeast of Austin. Its population is approximately 8,000, and it is part of the Austin metro area, although it doesn’t have an “Austin vibe” whatsoever.
How Far Is Bastrop From San Antonio?
Bastrop is about an hour and a half from San Antonio, about two hours from Houston, and three hours and change from Dallas.
Bastrop Visitors Center
I firmly believe that every traveler who lands in a new city, big or small, must make their first stop at the visitor’s center, even if it’s just for a few minutes. There’s valuable information available there.
In every visitor’s center, you’ll find someone who knows and loves the city, amenities such as restrooms and a gift shop, and more. The Bastrop Visitor’s Center has a wall of brochures with information on things to do around the area and a gift shop selling local souvenirs and other merchandise.
What’s cool and unique about this visitor’s center is that it also houses a small museum. Included are the history of Bastrop and the surrounding area and an exhibit solely dedicated to the fires of 2011. Visiting this small but respectable museum gives you a sense of where you are.
Admission is $5 for adults. Going through and reading all the plaques takes less than an hour, and your ticket is good for re-reentry if you want to return that same day.
Free Things to Do in Bastrop, TX
- The visitor’s center has a free kids’ scavenger hunt activity. They prepared a kid’s scavenger hunt where kids find all the frogs and record their locations. After your kid is done, you’ll want to turn in their completed scavenger hunt for a prize.
- The whole family will enjoy seeing a lot of street art in Bastrop.
- Lost Pines Art Center has free admission seven days a week.
- Fishermen’s Park and Bob Bryant Park are free to wonder.
- And, of course, Lake Bastrop is a great place to take the kids for free.
Shopping In Bastrop Historic District
Bastrop has many cute and quaint shops in its historic district, which is very walkable. It’s easy to get lost in selecting antiques, jewelry, and unique gifts, and it’s easy to get lost in the shops. Whether you’re looking for something for your home to remember your time in Bastrop or a “just because” splurge of jewelry or clothing, I’m confident you’ll find it in Bastrop. And if you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for, that’s OK. It will probably find you.
Be aware that many shops and other businesses are closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. Early in the week is an excellent, un-busy time to visit and explore, but if you’re a hardcore shopper or window shopper, you’ll probably want to go Wednesday through Saturday.
Bastrop River Company
The River Company is not a “mariachi and margarita” kind of riverwalk, as you’ll find in San Antonio; it’s more of a hike/bike/walk/stroll/jog kind of trail you can enjoy with your family or all alone. The river scenery is lush and beautiful. You’ll have a great view of the historic suspension bridge, and if you want to take the adventure up a notch, you can rent a paddleboard, canoe, or kayak and explore via water. Check out the Bastrop River Company’s website for more info on rentals.
Visit Bastrop State Park
Bastrop State Park has over seven miles of hiking trails, campsites, and cabins if you want to overnight it. I remember visiting Bastrop State Park when I was a girl, and the two paths I hiked during my recent visit brought back some great memories.
The trails at Bastrop State Park are generally pretty easy to navigate. If you’re visiting from out of state, know that Texas is warm and sunny most of the year, so make sure you take water with you and have that sunscreen.
Bastrop State Park is a great place to hike and unplug. Even though the park is very near “civilization,” it’s still very refreshing to get out and walk the trails and appreciate nature and resilience in the case of this terrain. For more info about Bastrop State Park, visit their website.
Zip Lost Pines In Bastrop
If ziplining over the top of the pines sounds like your thing, make sure you reserve a tour at Zip Lost Pines. They offer three different tours – a six-line, a three-line, and a night zip tour. It’s a pricey activity, but a six-line tour lasts two-and-a-half to three hours, so half the day’s activities are knocked out. We’re on the thrill-seeking side, so we’d pay that and call it our extensive activity for the trip. However, one of our kids is still under the minimum weight requirement for participating.
Zip Lost Pines overlooks McKinney Roughs Nature Park, which offers such activities as hiking and equestrian trails, UTV tours, picnicking spots, and more.
Things To Do In Bastrop Includes A Visit To Lake Bastrop
If you’ve read this far, you know Bastrop isn’t short on outdoor fun. If you like camping, fishing, and nature, not and not necessarily in that order, you’ll want to check out Lake Bastrop. Lake Bastrop North Shore Park is a great place to fish. It has bass, crappie, perch, and catfish. You can fish from the pier or a boat, and on-site boat rentals are available.
If fishing and boating aren’t your thing, Lake Bastrop North also has a day-use area where you can swim, play volleyball, or have a picnic. They offer various campsites if you want to stay overnight, including five Airstream campers available to rent for the night. These are so adorable that I might decide I like camping to stay in one of these.
Lake Bastrop South Shore Park offers similar amenities. There’s fishing and camping available, but if you want the Airstream like me, you’ll have to go to North Shore Park. South Shore Park offers camping sites and cabins and includes a mini-golf course.
Where To Stay In Bastrop, TX
I recommend staying at The Pecan Street Inn or the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa. These places don’t have much in common, so your choice will depend on your family’s budget and the trip experience you seek.
The Pecan Street Inn
The Pecan Street Inn is a family and pet-friendly bed and breakfast just a few blocks from Bastrop’s historic downtown area. The downtown shops, restaurants, and the Riverwalk are walkable from the Pecan Street Inn. Bastrop State Park is also just a short drive away.
When I was here last, I spent most of my time exploring downtown, eating, and hiking in Bastrop State Park. I could easily leave my car parked at The Pecan Street Inn and walk downtown. The park was a short 5-minute drive.
If you like the charm of a Victorian House with turn-of-the-century antiques, The Pecan Street Inn might be for you.
The Pecan Street Inn offers a gourmet breakfast served in their dining room. You can also request a continental breakfast served in your room.
Must Try: You have to try the pecan waffle. Completely worth the splurge. The waffles were perfect and crisp and nutty with warm, flavored syrup. It was the best breakfast I’d had in a long time, and the owner/chef was a delight to chat with.
Austin Hill Country Resort – Lost Pines Resort And Spa
Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa is nestled deep in the woods and feels very secluded. The property has an almost rustic and unpretentious vibe while offering every luxury imaginable. There’s an onsite spa, a golf course, kid’s activities, walking trails, lawn games, two pools (one of them is adults only), and a great slide with a seriously legit lazy river. There are many little places to sit and relax on the property and seven (7) different restaurants to enjoy.
Places To Eat In Bastrop, Texas
For a small town, Bastrop has many choices to dine.
Pro Tip: Many restaurants are closed on Mondays.
Neighbor’s Kitchen And Yard
I usually let Trip Advisor pick my restaurants for me, but I ate lunch at Neighbor’s Kitchen based on the recommendation of my new friends at The Pecan Street Inn. This one was way down the list on Trip Advisor, and I can’t figure out why. My server recommended the chicken salad—she did not steer me wrong. It was the best!
The Grace Miller (formerly Gracie’s)
The Grace Miller in Bastrop is top-notch. The atmosphere is casual/cafe style, and they have an attached patio bar with live music on the weekends.
Must-Try: Gracie’s Chicken Fried Steak
Tough Cookie Bakery
Tough Cookie Bakery is a locally-owned bakery that is primarily vegan and serves a variety of breakfast and lunch items, including vegan biscuits and gravy. I had a gluten-free Snickerdoodle, which was pretty darn tasty. The bakery is a short walk from Neighbor’s, so I recommend you skip dessert there and grab something here.
Piney Creek Chop House
Piney Creek Chop House is upscale dining. The sommelier at Colorado River Winery recommends it, but I opted for something a little more casual. If you’re a foodie, they have a great menu.
Maxine’s Cafe and Bakery
I regret not trying Maxine’s. There is so much to eat – so little time.
They’re open for breakfast and lunch. Their breakfast menu is so mouthwatering that I’m planning on convincing my husband that we need to drive an hour and a half to eat brunch there. And they have fried green tomatoes that I didn’t get to try, and I pretty much consider myself a connoisseur of those.
Paw Paw’s Catfish House
If you like catfish, this is a must-try. They have a few other menu items at Paw Paw’s, but it’s mostly a catfish and burger place. They have banana pudding on their dessert menu, making it a must-try in my book.
I hope these things To Do In Bastrop, TX, with kids convinced you to make plans to visit.