Lockhart is pretty much in the heart of Texas. It is considered the barbeque capital of Texas and the birthplace of the smoky meats. This small city sits between Austin and San Antonio. Because of its quintessential Texas appearance, it has been the location set for many Hollywood films and television shows, such as What’s Eating Gilbert Grape? When visiting Lockhart, be sure to check out all that the city and its friendly residents offer.
1.Dr. Eugene Clark Library
Dr. Eugene Clark was a New Orleans native but spent at least 13 years practicing medicine in Lockhart. During this time, his love for the city grew, and in his will, he left a stipend for the building and maintenance of the library in Lockhart. Today’s patrons can check out digital magazines, e-books, hard copy books, and research books. Dr. Eugene Clark Library is currently the oldest running library in the state of Texas, and today’s visitors can spend time checking out reading material, joining in library-sponsored programs, or just finding a quiet spot to relax and enjoy the history.
217 S. Main Street, Lockhart, TX 78644, Phone: 512-398-3223
© Gaslight-Baker Theatre
The history of the Gaslight-Baker Theatre goes back into the booming 1920s when pleasure and luxury were at its peak. Though ownership has changed over the decades, the theater is still a magnificent piece of history. At first, it showed films, but today, guests are treated to live performances. Shows still harken back to the early 20th century, with some performances like a USO tribute show and a vaudeville show. Each year, the Vaudeville show changes to provide a unique experience for visitors. While a cry room used to stand in the lobby, a concession stand is now in its place.
216 S. Main Street, Lockhart, TX 78644, Phone: 512-376-5653
3.Emmanuel Episcopal Church
© Emmanuel Episcopal Church
Another staple in the history of Lockhart is the Emmanuel Episcopal Church that opened in 1856. The church was founded in 1853, but the building that currently houses services was not completed until 1856. In 1974, it was officially added to the National Register of Historic Places. Visitors are not just welcomed but encouraged. A program is printed for every Sunday service for those who are not familiar with the Episcopal services to follow along. Also, Sunday school and a nursery encourage entire families to visit. Each Sunday, two (or three) services are offered to promote worship no matter your schedule.
118 N. Church Street, Lockhart, TX 78644, Phone: 512-398-3342
4.Lockhart State Park
© Hundley Photography/stock.adobe.com
Typically, state parks do not bring to mind a beautifully manicured golf course, by at Lockhart State Park, there is a 9-hole course. This golf course is great for beginners and long-time players, offering affordable fees and equipment rental. There’s much more to this state park, with picnic areas, hiking, and camping areas open. If camping is on your mind, there are both full-hookup campsites and more rustic ones. Fishing is also available, with fishing gear available for loan. Also, visitors do not need a fishing license. After a warm day of activity, check out the on-site swimming pool to cool and relax you.
2012 State Park Road, Lockhart, TX 78644, Phone: 512-398-3479
5.Manny Gammage’s Texas Hatters
© Manny Gammage’s Texas Hatters
No visit to Lockhart would be complete without a trip to Manny Gammage’s Texas Hatters. As the name implies, this is a hat shop highly sought out by celebrities, politicians, and tourists. Though the hat store opened many years ago, and the original Gammage has passed, his apprentice still makes the personalized hats with lifetime warranties. With famous customers, like President Ronald Regan and Willie Nelson, in your company, why wouldn’t you be interested in one of the felt or straw hats made just for you? Trying to keep up with the times, Gammage’s now takes online orders with specific instructions for measurements, but nothing beats going in to be measured by a pro.
911 S. Commerce Street, Lockhart, TX 78644, Phone: 512-398-4287
© Kreuz Market
Just as important to the Texas culture as cowboy hats is authentic Texas barbeque. Kreuz Market has been serving up smoked meats and authentic BBQ since 1900. Thought the generations have passed, and the business has moved buildings, the same family still owns and run the market/restaurant. Originally, Kreuz Market was a grocery store with a butcher, whose mission was to use animals nose to tail. Roy Perez has been the pitmaster for over 30 years and insists that BBQ not be pretty or dressed up. Though sides are offered on the menu, don’t bother looking for forks or sauce, as these are not meant to be used on Kreuz’s meats.
619 N. Colorado Street, Lockhart, TX 78644, Phone: 512-398-2361
7.The Southwest Museum of Clocks and Watches
© The Southwest Museum of Clocks and Watches
Today’s students can often be complaining that it is difficult to read the clocks in grandparents’ homes. Digital is the wave of the future and what the younger generation know. The Southwest Museum of Clocks and Watches is dedicated to preserving the beauty of the horological arts. Not only does the museum contain some beautiful clock and watch masterpieces, but there is also a hands-on restoration center to visit. Some timepieces are over 300 years old from around the world. An education center teaches the younger generations about horological appreciation, while the Tower Clock Initiative has members restoring and maintaining clock towers around Texas.
109 E. San Antonio Street, Lockhart, TX 78644, Phone: 512-658-3853
7 Best Things to Do in Lockhart, TX