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“Very interesting trip”

Lyndon B. Johnson State Park & Historic Site
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$109.00*
and up
Texas Hill Country and LBJ Tour From San Antonio
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$109.00*
and up
Texas Hill Country and LBJ Ranch Tour with Wine Tasting Options
Ranked #1 of 10 things to do in Stonewall
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Visitors to this day use park can enjoy historical sites, picnicking, fishing, swimming, nature and wildlife viewing. As of May 2014, the park is home to part of the Official Texas State Longhorn Herd. If you plan to swim at the park, read through our swimming safety tips before you come. Be sure to visit the Sauer-Beckmann Farmstead, a living history farm, presented as it was in 1918. Interpreters wear period clothing, do the farm and household chores as they were done at that time, and conduct tours for the visitors. Located east of the visitor center, off the nature trail. The abundant wildlife of the Hill Country is highlighted by enclosures containing buffalo, longhorn and white-tailed deer. These animals have played a part in the park's history, and the local wildlife continues to be an important attraction for visitors. The park is famous for its spring wildflower display. The Visitor Center is the focal point of Lyndon B. Johnson State Park. It contains memorabilia from President Johnson's presidency and interactive displays about the land and people that shaped a president. Attached to the Visitor Center is the Behrens Cabin, a two-room dogtrot cabin built by German immigrant H. C. Behrens during the 1870s. The furnishings are typical of such homes in that period. Visitors can further explore the history of these immigrants by viewing the 1860s Danz family log cabin located just west of the Visitor Center. An auditorium in the visitor center complex will accommodate 234 persons for state performances or films. An outdoor amphitheater is used for a variety of programs. A nature trail, including a Hill Country botanical exhibit, winds past wildlife enclosures stocked with bison, white-tailed deer, wild turkey, other native wildlife, and longhorn cattle. Directly across the Pedernales River from the LBJ State Park is the LBJ Ranch, part of LBJ National Historical Park. The Annual LBJ Tree Lighting takes place in mid-December. Educational & Interpretive Programs Tours of the complex, including the Sauer-Beckmann farm with its smokehouse, Victorian style house, garden, and log house lasts approximately an hour; group reservations are accepted. No entrance fee is required, but donation boxes are available. Individuals and families can take the tour on a first-come, first-serve basis.Directly across the Pedernales River from the LBJ State Park is the LBJ Ranch, part of LBJ National Historical Park. Self-guided tours of the Ranch begin at the LBJ State Park Visitor Center. Among the sites on the Ranch are the one-room Junction School first attended by the four-year-old Lyndon B. Johnson in 1912, reconstructed birthplace and nearby Johnson family cemetery where the former President is buried, and the Texas White House. The drive also takes visitors through the pasturelands where Hereford cattle, descended from those owned by President Johnson, can be viewed. Self-guided tours of the LBJ Ranch begin at the LBJ State Park Visitor Center and are available daily, except Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, when the national park is closed. For more information & hours of operation, visit the LBJ National Historical Park web site. Check the calendar for upcoming events and programs. Natural Features The abundant wildlife of the Hill Country is highlighted by enclosures containing buffalo (American bison), longhorn and white-tailed deer. These animals have played a part in the park's history, and the local wildlife continues to be an important attraction for visitors. The park is famous for its spring wildflower display.
Reviewed March 22, 2012

We enjoyed our audio tour of the LBJ ranch. I learned a lot and found it a very interesting part of Texas and national history

Thank Barbara465
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed February 29, 2012

If you're visiting Austin, you'll be missing out if you don't include a drive through the beautiful Hill Country and out to the Lyndon B. Johnson Historic Site in Stonewall!

We nearly left this off our list. This review is to encourage other visitors to put it on theirs. A visit to the LBJ Ranch here, known as The Texas White House during his Presidency, was one of the highlights of our almost three weeks in Texas.

There is something special in coming here to better understand the man who was our 36th President, who was pivotal in having passed the 1964 Civil Rights Act and who established, for good or for ill, many of the social policy programs used in the US today.

If you have time for only the Library in Austin or this location, after visiting them both, we recommend opting for the Ranch in Stonewall!

HOW IT CAME TO BE PUBLIC: In 1972, the year before his death, LBJ donated about 700 acres of the couple of thousand acres that was the LBJ ranch to the National Park Service. He did this on the condition that it would continue to be used as a working cattle ranch in perpetuity (which it remains today and as you drive through you'll need to stop to give cattle the right of way).

He also placed the restriction that the ranch house was to remain as a Johnson family homestead, which means he and LadyBird could continue to live there during their lifetimes. Lady Bird used the ranch house as home up to the time she had her stroke, and then even when she was in assisted care her family sometimes brought her back to the house to spend a couple of days.

THE RANCH HOUSE: The ranch house is a National Park Historic site as well as a State Park. A really great tour is provided by NPS rangers of the first floor of the Ranch house, including the LBJ and LadyBird bedrooms which were opened to the public beginning in December 2011. The Ranch house is largely as it was when LBJ and LadyBird called it home. Time stands still here and history resonates. Take the tour and enjoy how much the NPS rangers are vested in the subject matter. After the tour, you can wander outside the front of the Ranch house on the path to watch the lazy Perdenales.

OTHER THINGS TO SEE AT THE RANCH HOUSE LOCATION: Take some time to look at Air Force One Half, as LBJ called the smaller jet that took him from Austin to the air strip on the ranch, and some of the cars LBJ owned, including the famous amphibious vehicle he used to like to trick visitors with by driving them into the Perdenales River.

Here's HOW IT WORKS FOR PROCESS to visit the ranch:

1) The Ranch location in Stonewall is bout an hour and twenty minutes drive from Austin. You might want to stop first at the National Park Visitor Center in Johnson City for the excellent exhibits there and also for a ranger led tour of the home where LBJ lived from about age five through his childhood.

2) Continue on to Stonewall where you'll need to stop at the LBJ State Park and Historic Site Visitor Center to obtain a driving pass to get into the Ranch. (Tip: The Visitor Center itself is worth spending some time in, they also offer a video. There is also a dog-trot cabin built in 1870. East of the Visitor Center there is a living history farm of the same time period.)

3) You'll be loaned a CD that hypothetically will narrate your drive into the ranch. Our experience is that it does not keep time with the driving speeds required and pausing it puts it back at the start point each time. Our advice - listen to this CD in the parking lot. Then drive though with the CD information in mind.

4) On your drive to the Ranch House enjoy this beautiful piece of land, be sure to: a) Stop at the birthplace for LBJ, a house that he and LadyBird had recreated and turned into a guest house. Walk up to the house where you can peek in the windows and see the view from the front. b) Stop at the Johnson family burial site where LBJ and LadyBird's bodies rest.

NOTES: No photos allowed inside the Ranch House.

ACCESSIBILITY: Ranch House tour and all visitors centers are nicely accessible. Surfacing up to birthplace may be dicey for some using wheelchairs or pushing strollers.

TIP: When you're in the Hill Country you're also in Texas Wine Country. Yes, y'all, there are wineries in Texas! Two we'd recommend that are on the path between Texas and Stonewall are 1) Texas Hill Vineyard in Johnson City and 2) Duchman Winery in Driftwood. (One in Stonewall that was not so good for wine, but good for setting is Becker. If you're on a tight schedule, omit that one.) Ending the day with wine tasting is fun and if you end up in Driftwood you can finish off with a decent dinner at Trattoria Lisina (owned by the Mandola family that owns the Austin located Italian delis and restaurant) which is conveniently next door to Duchman or, if you must, barbeque at The Salt Lick.

Thank piacere
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 25, 2012

Took my parents and they loved it! I learned a lot, too, and actually enjoyed the outing far more than I expected to. If you are in the area and looking to kill a few hours, this is an excellent attraction to check out.

Thank Frog4aday
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 9, 2012

The park is huge, if you are ready to have a big walk, put on your tennis shoes and pack a bottle of water. Great place to see live animals, the actual Johnson car, his home and even his plane.

Thank YmlMiranda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 8, 2012

This was a good stop. The farm is nice. In January there isn't as much to see, but it was interesting. The CD tour is good. Maybe I missed it, but t just seemed there wasn't much about his life.

Thank Cindy__31589
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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