Places to Stay

Restored Gem of Kingsland: The Antlers Hotel

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Kingsland, Texas boomed as a result of the building of the Austin and Northwestern Railroad in 1892. As the railroad was built, workers, travelers and people on business needed a place to stay. Like many towns where commerce was brought via railroad, The Antlers Hotel was established and is one of the few relics remaining from the railroad era.

Railroad showers bring railroad flowers

Photo: Flickr/Peh8553

The building of the hotel was begun in 1900, and it was officially opened in May of 1901. It was dubbed “The Antlers Hotel” to pay homage to the monster whitetail bucks known to roam the area. The name also was a bit of a marketing trick as another popular hotel in Colorado Springs had the same name, the owners thought travelers would recognize the title and be more likely to stop in and stay.

The high times and peak hours for the hotel occurred mostly on the weekends. The railroad ran what were called “excursion trains” in and out of Austin. Families often sought out the hotel as a weekend getaway from the big city, Kingsland’s proximity to Lake LBJ added extra recreational fun.

Why not bunk down in a cozy caboose?

Photo: Flickr/

In the 1920s, the hotel began to see a decline as automobiles became more popular. Not being able to turn a profit, the property was bought by The Barrow family and was used as a private retreat and family vacation spot until 1993.

In 1993, The Antlers was purchased by another investor who sought to renovate the property. After more than two years of renovations and restorations, the hotel was re-opened to guests in 1996.

The Historic Antlers Hotel

Photo: Flickr/Matthew Metcalf

Some of the main attractions currently include walking paths that lead directly to the banks of the Colorado River, secluded waterfront cabins on hotel property, old train-cars that have been made into bunkhouses, and private gardens for guests to take their leisure.

The Antlers Hotel is open seven days a week and only a short drive from Austin and many other tantalizing Hill Country attractions.