Things to Do

Bertram, Texas: Gateway to the Hill Country

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At first glance, this seemingly sleepy town has little to offer; but looks can be deceiving. Established in 1882 by a group of settlers near San Gabriel, Bertram has earned the moniker “Gateway to the Hill Country.” While traveling through Bertram on Highway 29 will most certainly take you to wonderful places in and around the Hill Country, don’t miss what this small town has to offer.

The original settlers moved to what is now Bertram after hearing the railroad would be expanded there. Understanding this was their chance for a better life, they dismantled some, and moved in whole 13 homes and two stores and headed out; stopping along the way to cook meals and conduct business in the homes. It took them 13 teams of oxen for each building and two days to make the two mile move.

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That spirit of resilience is still alive and well in Bertram. While no longer the number one cotton and mercantile town on the railroad line, the town and its inhabitants do boast of some fun things to stop and enjoy while driving through the beautiful Hill Country!

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Host to the annual Oatmeal Festival every Labor Day Weekend, the town of Bertram draws thousands from all over Central Texas to join in the festivities. There is a 5k Fun Run, parade, Miss Oatmeal Contest, and many other things to do to celebrate the festival that was created in 1978 to spoof the many Chili Cook-Offs that were taking place in surrounding areas.

Texas is thriving with wineries and vineyards, and Bertram is not to be excluded. Pilot Knob Vineyard has won many awards for their wines and features a beautiful tasting room. Wine lovers come from all around to enjoy their selections.

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A great day trip to Bertram includes a ride on the “Bertram Flyer”; a restored steam train that makes its way from Cedar Park, near Austin into Bertram via the beautiful fields of bluebonnets during their season. At other times of the year, the train provides entertaining activities like murder mystery dinners and special events. It also makes frequent stops in Bertram so that passengers may explore the 1912 train depot and some of the existing original buildings that were so meticulously transported by the original settlers and their teams of oxen.

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There are many other things to do throughout the year as well, such as the city-wide Easter Egg Hunt and Santa’s Workshop. Bertram is just one more fabulous stop on your winding way through some of the most beautiful countryside in Texas.

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