Less than 30 minutes from Austin Bergstrom International Airport is a quaint, historic town – Lockhart, Texas. Located in Caldwell County, Lockhart is known for BBQ, live music and local shops – basically an “authentic” version of what Austin used to be. It’s also the filming location of many movies and shows, such as HBO’s The Leftovers (so I’m told, since I watch little TV).
Any easy drive from anywhere on the Austin-San Antonio corridor off SH-130, it’s not hard for Lockhart to win hearts. Following are some of my favorite spots which create an easy, relaxing weekend.
BBQ Capital of the World
A Saturday of Indulgence
Late afternoon pop in The Pearl. There’s a Texas twist on every cocktail made by the bartender, Ruben – such as jalapenos and beef broth, resulting in a Texas Mule and Bloody Bull, respectively. Make yourself comfortable in a corner that could be your friend’s living room, or post up at the bar to watch your favorite game.
Then, for dinner.
To keep Saturday night low-key, head across the street to Loop & Lil’s Pizza for some comfort pies in a welcoming setting.
If you’re up to splurge, check out Restaurant Jezebel for a customize tasting menu and wine pairing. Specially made by Chef Parind Vora – who has lived in India, New York, Charleston, Europe, the Caribbean, and more, you’re in for a culinary treat. Be sure to book early as the exclusive restaurant only takes reservations upon request.
R&R in Style
For plenty of Insta-inspo and #showergoals, look no further than The Ellison House. This guest house, built in the 1960’s, is completely restored and located right in a local neighborhood close to downtown. With four spacious bedrooms sleeping (we cozied three people in a king bed), you can have a romantic night for two, or rent the entire house with a large friend group – hanging out in the tastefully-decorated common area and top-notch kitchen.
If the weather is nice (which let’s be honest, it is most of the time in Texas), wake up to a refreshing shower – outside. Even if the weather doesn’t cooperate you’ll definitely be opting for the giant, chic showers inside over your dry shampoo and Febreeze (let’s be honest).
If you’re the first to awake, enjoy a cup of coffee while hanging in a hammock on the house’s deck.
Brunch so Hard
When you manage to roll out of bed, head to Lockhart Bistro around noon for Sunday brunch. While I have a self-declared refined brunch palate from dining in New York City, I was pleasantly delighted to find such a delicious brunch menu in small town-Texas. With items like chicken & waffles, smoked salmon migas, Jezebel French toast, and gourmet grilled cheese (literally the best I’ve ever had), Lockhart Bistro could’ve very well been “Lower East Side Bistro” in Manhattan. P.S. Within the restaurant is the aforementioned Restaurant Jezebel.
Walk around the square a bit more to work off the brunch before stopping in Chapparal Coffee, a hip coffee shop that’s been in Lockhart since last year.
When I was exploring with colleagues, we even stumbled upon free Segway rides from an Austin-based company, whose employee is also a small business owner in downtown Lockhart.
It’s only fitting that you end a trip to the BBQ Capital of the World the same way it began, with more BBQ. Before hitting the road be sure to stop by rival pit master, Black’s BBQ – “open eight days a week.” Or, do a comparison with Smitty’s Market, which became a spin-off after a family feud and is located in the former location of Kreuz.
If you’re interested in visiting Lockhart, Texas, check out the Greater San Marcos Partnership’s website or reach out to me for more information. Disclaimer: GSMP is one of my clients at DCI; all opinions above are my own. Thanks to Rebecca + Ashley for being the best travel buddies!