One of the top vacation destinations in the country is my hometown of Austin, Texas. And while Austin is for sure a great city, with all of its non-stop festivals, and the high-priced hotels, expensive restaurants and hipsters in pedicabs, it’s not exactly “Texas” anymore. At least that’s the thought I had when I was downtown last week and saw valet parking for $30 at a sushi restaurant. I remember when we didn’t even have valet parking in Austin. Or sushi.
For that reason, I was excited to visit the town of Bastrop, Texas, population 7,554 and counting. Bastrop is just 25 miles from the Austin airport, but it’s a thousand miles away from Austin’s traffic, crowds and 2 million people. The town was founded in 1804, and it’s been a hub of the timber industry ever since due to its location near the Lost Pines Forest. That’s right: forest. Not something you’d expect to find in Central Texas, but there are thirteen miles of scenic loblolly pines to explore and enjoy near Bastrop. (After a devastating fire in 2011, volunteers hand-planted 3 million new loblolly pines, which tells you a lot about this community.)
During my two night stay in Bastrop, I noticed that things definitely move a little slower there. But people are also friendlier, prices are cheaper, and Texas, well, Texas felt a lot more like Texas. Here’s a glimpse of what I did in Bastrop, and why you should discover its charms for yourself.
Read the full article at The Huffington Post.