Lockhart is known for its mouth-watering barbecue that leaves out-of-towners yearning for more, yet it’s much more than just the ultimate carnivorous fix.
Located just 30 minutes south of Austin in Caldwell County, this tiny Texas town has made a name for itself in the Lone Star State, and has come a long way since its cow-town days. Austin is so fast-paced, while Lockhart is the complete opposite. It’s the perfect place to relax and enjoy a small town vibe, where your biggest worry is deciding where to eat.
Now when it comes to where to stay, the Brock House is a two-bedroom loft apartment located right on the town square, above a bike shop and directly across the street from the Caldwell County Courthouse. Placed between two shops, the wooden door is easy to miss when walking from either side of the square (which I found to be a great thing). The exterior doesn’t look welcoming, but the inside is a completely different story. You know what they say, don’t judge The Brock House by its cover.
As soon as you walk up the stairs, you’ll discover a lovely luxury hideaway. Wooden floors, neutral tones with occasional accent colors like mustard yellow and turquoise, intricate patterns on rugs, as well as handmade art pieces fill the space with personality. The interior is a chic boho style, giving the Brock House a warm and inviting feeling.
You’ll find a spacious living room area with a beautiful piano and record player stacked with plenty of records to choose from. Put on a record by Marvin Gaye and dance like no one’s watching! If you want peace and quiet, there’s a bookshelf loaded with options to get your reading on. Each book is handpicked with love by the hosts.
The space functions part of the time as an artist residency for musicians, writers, and visual artists who are guests of the Commerce Gallery. There are unique works of art throughout, like “The Grass is Always Greener,” a cowboy piece by Lubbock native B Shawn Cox. Colorful, picturesque art pieces are also found in Nightbirds’ other guest houses.
To top it off, there’s a scenic view of the Courthouse and downtown life directly from the bed. One of the best parts about staying at the Brock House is how close it is to the town square. It’s a very short walking distance from all the historic shops, restaurants, bars and galleries.
The Carlisle is great for an extravagant girls weekend getaway or family trip. Guests can sprawl over three lavish king bedrooms with private baths. Some of the things I love about the renovated home are the unique rooms and wallpapers (like the Rose Room). Have a drink in the Whiskey Lounge, or enjoy brunch on the sun porch.
Looking for a weekend escape from the big city? The Caroline accommodates up to eight overnight guests spread out over three floors, four bedrooms and baths. It was recently renovated with all new furnishings, including an industrial catering kitchen complete with Viking appliances, and an expansive screened-in porch. The decor is Southern hospitality with a twist of luxury, and each room is unique, just like the curated goods and art pieces featured in the mansion. Enjoy a morning read from one of the carefully chosen selections of books, or take a dip in the backyard in-ground salt pool. The large space is also perfect for events. The bride and groom will love it here!
Small Town Charm
To best experience Lockhart’s small town charm, rent a bike to get around more easily, or take a stroll through the downtown square passed numerous antique and upscale vintage shops. Every first Friday of the month participating local merchants are open from 5-8 p.m. for your shopping pleasure.
Take a hike at the Lockhart State Park for some well-needed nature time. But beware of snakes on the trails. (I happened to see a coral snake while hiking.) Cool off from your nature-high by floating the San Marcos River, only a 25-minute drive.
For the art lovers, the aforementioned Commerce Gallery showcases contemporary visual art. It’s a creative space that brings the community together to connect and inspire. You can even meet the artists behind the art.
Delectable Dining & Drinks
Order a beer or crafted cocktail at the oldest bar in Lockhart, The Pearl, located in a 122-year-old building. And of course when you’re here, you should totally check out all of the go-to barbecue spots like Smitty’s, Blacks, and Kreuz Market. It would be a crime not to! But if you’re looking to branch out, Loop & Lil’s Pizza has some delectable pies, whole or by the slice. It’s the oldest best friend-owned pizzeria in Lockhart. You can’t go wrong with ordering the margarita pizza! Best part of it all is that it’s right there on the town square, only a 2-minute walk from the Brock House. Little Trouble is an even shorter walk, as it’s located in the same building. (We talk more about Little Trouble in this #FoodieFriday article.)
Lockhart is more than just a BBQ hotspot, it’s a place that emphasizes community togetherness, a place to get away from the big city and sky-rocket prices. People have been running these businesses for decades. Everyone in this tiny town knows each other. You can feel the authenticity and genuineness in the air that’s so welcoming and friendly. It’s a small Texas town that’s soon to be your next home-away-from-home.
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Cover photo courtesy the Brock House
Leean Vargas is an Editorial Assistant at Texas Lifestyle Magazine and an honors graduate of
Texas State University with a bachelor’s degree in Public Relations. She is a concert enthusiast who loves traveling, photography, good food, and discovering new hangout spots in her beloved city, Austin, Texas.