Jeff Johnston in Austin, TX and Surround Areas. Lots for RVers to do!
This time we’re wandering around the hill country outside of Austin, Texas. We’re going to find a great spot to park your RV while you’re here, look for some good food, good music, maybe a little bit of history along the way. So let’s get going and take a look around.
Of all the places RVers can visit, Texas abounds with a huge variety of scenic and historic locations and opportunities for fun. We always have a great time when traveling in Texas. The most difficult part is deciding how are we going to spend our limited time?
During your stay here in the Austin area, you’ll need a place to park your RV, and La Hacienda may be just the right place for you. Norma Perez: Welcome to La Hacienda. This is an RV resort 26 miles from Austin. It takes about 46 minutes traveling wise just because of traffic. La Hacienda has been here 12 years, it’s owned by Sun communities, and it has really taken off with the RV industry within the last 5 years. It’s just an amazing, amazing location.
Austin is a fun place. You know, it’s just it has a variety of things to do year-round. There’s always a party downtown. And then we’re so conveniently located to downtown that it’s an easy drive in easy drive out. You can still go and enjoy downtown and then just get away from the hustle and bustle and come and enjoy the quietness ’cause we’re tucked away in a little area down Hudson Bend where it just seems like you’re just in the middle of nowhere, but we’re just northwest of Austin. We have 243 sites. Sixty-three are cottages and the hundred and eighty are RV sites. We have full hookup, electricity included. We have a facility– laundry facility on site, camp store, family pool, adult pool, hot tub. We have a little pet area, playground, very family-oriented. It’s a beautiful park, a beautiful location. There’s a lot of boat and water activities. There’s just for fun that’s in the same area where you can rent jet skis, boats. We have storage for boats. So that’s not a problem here on site. So come on down with your boats and your RV. It’s a great recreational place, and it’s open year-round. We have the daily sites available, weekly sites available throughout the year.
If you happen to come in and need RV maintenance service, we actually have certified RV maintenance service people that will come out to your site, and we allow that. We have cards and information for you. They’ve come out for years. They’re certified, their insured, bonded, and they will come out and provide service for you here on site.
Jeff: Austin is known for great music, and sometimes the best tunes can be found a little bit out of town away from the downtown hubbub, and you can’t get much more authentic than a place like Poodie’s Hilltop Roadhouse.
This is Poodie’s Roadhouse. It’s an authentic roadhouse out in the hill country of outside Austin. We’re about 25, 30 miles outside of Austin. We’re known for the music. You know, the namesake Poodie was Willie Nelson’s stage manager for about 35 years, and he was known for bringing in a lot of really well-known acts, very well–very involved in the Willie Nelson world in the music and the music industry of Austin, Texas. Poodie passed away in 2009, but we’ve kept the memory and the essence of the music alive here.
One of the reasons we call it a roadhouse because a road–technical term of a roadhouse is food and music. Usually, when you know there’s a roadhouse you know you can grab a bite to eat, but I would say this is primarily a music venue. We are known for our burgers. We are known for having one of the best burgers in the hill country. We have our specialty as the Poodie burger with hatch green chilies and pepper jack cheese.
We play a lot of blues. We do a little bit of rock and roll. We have some soul bands, a lot of the Austin bands which is kind of a– it’s got a lot of soul to it, genre, and we do a lot of swing bands, a lot of Texas dance bands, a lot of two-stepping, a little bit of everything. You know, the more that Austin has become is keeps growing the way that it is. A lot of the places like Poodie’s that are the more iconic places which is really dedicated towards the music, the musician, and the artist, and the songwriter who’s starting out, and the person that needs that stage to start on, those places–we’re losing a lot of those places. And that’s the more iconic Poodie’s becomes, I think. I try very hard to keep the essence of Texas and the music alive here.
There are some really fun things to see when you pay a visit to this area. After a wild evening of music and nightlife, you might want to slow things down a little bit. So wander on down someplace like this, beautiful Bastrop, Texas, a small town with interesting history and a variety of fun things to see and do.
Sarah O’Brien: Bastrop was formed by the Baron de Bastrop in 1832. It is one of the most historic towns in the state of Texas. We have over 130 homes on the national register district, a very rich, cultural, and art scenes with fantastic galleries, live entertainment, and we’re also a designated culinary district. So you get to try a little bit of all of Texas’s favorite foods right here in Bastrop. Absolutely no trip to Bastrop is complete without a visit to our historic main street area. Our museum and visitor center always has a fantastic display of history, and we’ve also got to get you guys shopping and enjoying some of our art galleries, as well dining in some of our favorite restaurants.
Jeff: The Bastrop History Museum is not what you expect in a small Texas town. It’s a world class assemblage of local history and artifacts in a magnificent display setting. It’s absolutely worth a visit.
Sarah: We also have a lot of great nature activities. We have Buescher State Park, Bastrop State Park, the beautiful Colorado River, which you can see behind me. So definitely make sure you bring your outdoor gear with you as well. The Colorado River is fantastic. You do not even need to bring your own equipment. If you’re feeling a little lazy, you can come down and rent a tube or for those more adventurous, you can actually rent canoes or kayaks. And we have both guided and self-guided tours available. As I said, Bastrop is one of the most historic small towns in Texas. We definitely recommend picking up one of our guided home tours brochures that will show you all of the beautiful Victorian era homes as well as a visit to Camp Swift which was a military base during World War One. And so it’s definitely worth a visit for anyone who’s interested in history. We have a fantastic First Friday Art Walk that happens the first Friday of every month where we typically have between 16 to 20 participants, live entertainment, visiting artists, demonstrations, and a lot of food and drink for everyone to enjoy. Bastrop is just about 35 miles east of Austin Bergstrom International Airport, off a Highway 71. We’re also at the intersection of Highway 21 which hits right in the heart of the Lost Pine. So come pay us a visit.
Jeff: While you’re wandering the Austin area, you want to make sure and stop in and eat at one of the authentic Texas style steak houses. And you don’t get much more authentic than this: Murphy’s in beautiful Winchester Texas, population 50, more or less. Where’s Winchester? Well, it’s right here on Highway 153 southeast of Austin. It’s worth finding it and it’s certainly worth the trek to come here to eat.
Paula Schimank: Murphy’s Steakhouse is a steakhouse in the middle of nowhere. We opened about 12 years ago.
This building used to be a general store. We heard it was also a feed store. We have the world’s– probably the world’s largest– smallest, excuse me, post office here. We have about maybe 30 boxes in the post office. We are your classic steakhouse in Texas. We have hand-cut steaks that are bigger than normal. We also have our fresh battered seafood. We have a variety of other entrees, pasta. We have an awesome salad bar and beans that come with every meal, but most of all, we’re known for our hand-cut fresh steaks that we serve. Our steaks are not true to size. Our 6-ounce rib-eye is our–an actually a 16 ounce rib-eye. So we hand-cut our steaks larger than what they really appear or say they are. And our prices are very reasonable. We are open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. We do take reservations. Reservations are recommended by calling us or going online. Check us out at eatatmurphy’s.com
This bar is actually out of an old saloon that was next door to the restaurant. That saloon is now our ice-cream shop. The bar is pre-1900s or early 1900s. Back in the day, saloons were segregated and they had a black section and a white section. And, of course, this bar comes out of the back section which was the black section of the saloon.
Jeff: Well, we hope you’ve enjoyed this all-together-too-brief visit to the hill country outside of Austin, Texas.