Set on the banks of the Colorado River, Bastrop has long charmed visitors with its natural beauty and picturesque down-town. Recently, the National Trust for Historic Preservation named the Central Texas town as one of America’s 2010 Dozen Distinctive Destinations. Richard Moe, president of the NTHP, cited Bastrop’s “vibrant, walkable downtown, distinguished architecture, celebrated cultural diversity, and a population devoted to protecting its character” as among the reasons for the selection. Go, Bastrop! (Other Texas cities that have made the NTHP list in previous years include Galveston, Fort Worth, New Braunfels, Fredericksburg, and Fort Davis.) Bastrop’s dynamic downtown highlights the economic value of historic preservation.
City leaders expect the new honor to bring national exposure, and with it, increased tourism. If you haven’t been to Bastrop lately, now’s a good time to visit. A number of businesses and restaurants have recently opened downtown, including Cripple Creek & Company (Texas wines, specialty foods, works by local artists); Spoiled Sisters (jewelry, handbags, bedazzled T-shirts); Loblolly General Store (lamps and light fixtures, antiques, jewelry, works by regional artists); The Book Basket (new and used books, titles by local artists); Tanalee’s Tea Room & Patisserie (sandwiches, scones, tea, coffee, desserts); Hasler Brothers Steakhouse (fine dining, extraordinary hors d’oeuvres); and Tommy Gunn’s (“well-dressed sandwiches,” organic fare). Call 512/303-0904; www.visitbastrop.org.