Just 30 miles southeast of Austin lies the quintessential small town of Bastrop. With 131 buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Bastrop has earned the title of 'Most Historic Small Town in Texas,' but it's the redevelopment of the cute historic center that makes it a fun place to spend a day or two.
In 1999 the Texas Legislature adopted a resolution naming Lockhart the Barbecue Capital of Texas. Of course, that means it's the barbecue capital of the world. You can eat very well for around $10 or less at any of these places, all of which have been named as one of the top 10 barbecue restaurants in the state by Texas Monthly magazine.
Northwest of Austin, a series of dams along the Colorado River has blessed the area with the Highland Lakes, six lakes with a handsome network of lakeside greenbelts and parks to help you enjoy them. Though recent years have seen serious droughts, one of the most popular lakes for recreation – when there's water – is the 19,000-sq-acre Lake Travis.