Things to Do

6 Awesome Reasons to Visit Lampasas

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The town of Lampasas just 70 miles north of Austin, grew into a health resort destination when news of the healing properties of its hot springs spread. Hotels opened to cater to the infirm and health-conscious vacationer. The railroad arrived in 1882 and as its westernmost stop, Lampasas served as an important trading hub for West Texas. Eventually, the extension of the railroad farther West in the mid-1880s brought the town’s heyday to an end. Today, ranchers, small business, and its proximity to Fort Hood in Killeen keep the town chugging along.

Spend some time in Lampasas to learn more about its character-defining history and soak in a little Hill Country charm.

Walk the Historic Downtown Square

courthouse

Photo: Flickr/chrisvreeland

Built for $40,000 in 1884, the county courthouse oozes a history all its own. Notable as the third oldest continuous use courthouse in Texas, the building has survived many natural disasters including the Mother’s Day flood of 1957 when four feet of water surged into the building. Check out relics of years gone by like the old courthouse safe and tower clock ordered from the Seth Thomas Tower Clock Company of Connecticut.

Across from the courthouse, a colorful assortment of modern women’s clothing with western flair and plenty of blingy accessories awaits fashionistas at Sassy Trash ladies’ boutique. Those looking to put some pep into their wardrobe will find plenty to stuff into their shopping bags.

For antique aficionados, a trip into The Trading Post brings the past into the present. Poke around in a multitude of booths displaying household goods, collectibles, and art. It’s like an antique amusement park.

A couple blocks down South Western Avenue from the town square lies the Lampasas Hardware and Sulphur Creek Emporium. From paint to potpourri spray, this one of a kind store offers a wide variety of hardware, household goods, and consignment items in one shop. Pick up a shovel and purchase a tea towel. Grab a handful of nails to bring home with a rooster painting. Need a used microwave, a vintage cash register or pair of earrings? This place has it all.

Tour the Town Murals

bootup

Photo: Marcy Stellfox

Vision Lampasas Art Committee has thoughtfully created nine larger than life paintings that celebrate the town’s local history. Put together as giant paint by number, volunteers were encouraged to come on down and get their paint on participating in the creation of each of the murals.

The very first mural, “Boot Roundup” recognizes Ray Jones a long-time resident and custom boot maker for many years.

Another mural entitled “Patriot” presents a giant eagle whose wings display both the American and Texas flags. The bird grips a golden ribbon in its talons which depicts emblems of the military branches, law enforcement, and emergency response agencies and pays homage to those who protect and serve the community.

The ninth and most recent mural, “Small Town…Big Sound” honors musicians of the area and includes a musical bench which invites visitors to bring their own instruments and sit down to play awhile.

Dine Around the World in a Day

alfredos
Photo: Marcy Stellfox

For a town of just 7,000 residents, these folks sure know how to eat. Here’s a breakdown of a few restaurants in Lampasas to ease the hunger pangs.

For breakfast, consider a hearty breakfast taco from El Rodeo or give the coffee and pastries a try at Sips Coffee Shop.

At lunchtime, nothing beats a great plate of Tex-Mex. Dine al fresco on the banks of Sulphur Creek at Alfredo’s Mexican Restaurant. Or try Eve’s Café on the Square for some authentic German schnitzel, fresh salads, and real German beer on tap. Don’t leave without a piece of the flaky melt in your mouth strudel or a slice of pie that stands a mile high. Visitors craving mouth-watering burgers and crispy fries have to look no further than Storm’s Drive-In. Elvis Presley once stopped in for a bite while stationed at nearby Fort Hood. If it’s good enough eats for Elvis, then….

Finally, for dinner, grab some Italian favorites at Giovanni’s or let the good times roll down at Toupsie’s for some down home Cajun and Creole fare. Stay after dinner to dance through the night to musical acts performing at the summer music series.

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