When you drive through the Texas Hill Country, you will find yourself passing by gorgeous terrain. We are talking lakes, rivers, and, of course, through Texas small towns. While we love all Texas small towns, there is one in particular that is a hidden gem in the Texas Hill Country. This award goes to Kingsland, Texas!
With a population of just over 7,000 (according to the United States Census Bureau), Kingsland, Texas definitely meets the definition of a small Texas town.
Don’t let the population or size of Kingsland deter you from visiting.
Kingsland, Texas is big on charm, full of nice people, has a fabulous lake, and several fun restaurants for you to enjoy. Now, that sounds like a great small town to us!
Kingsland started out with a few businesses and a cotton gin in the 1880s. The location in the Hill Country was then “put on the map” in 1892 when the Austin and Northwestern Railroad connected to Llano through Kingsland, Texas.
The railroad brought about a population increase that turned Kingsland into the tourism destination that is is today.
Located on the banks of Lake LBJ between the Llano and Colorado Rivers, Kingsland is one of the Texas escapes that it all about lake life! Here you can enjoy all that the Highland Lakes area of Central Texas has to offer.
While visiting Kingsland, TX, you can enjoy boating or fishing on the beautiful Lake LBJ, exploring some of the history of Llano County, visiting the many businesses around town, or just kicking back in a local café or restaurant while getting to know the locals!
Really, it’s easy to see why tourism is growing so quickly in Kingsland, TX. It is such a great place that you might just find yourself staying put where the rivers flow and the bluebonnets grow in Central Texas!
Let’s get busy exploring all of the things to do in Kingsland, Texas so that you can start planning your Texas Hill Country adventure.
I mean, Kingsland, TX is a city that will make you feel like a king!
Disclaimer- We were invited and compensated by the Kingsland Chamber of Commerce to feature Kingsland, TX. As always, the opinions expressed are unbiased and honest based upon our experience during our time in Kingsland. We want to extend a special thank you to the Kingsland Chamber of Commerce for inviting us to visit their great city.
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Go Boating on Lake LBJ In Kingsland
One of the lakes in the Highland Lakes area of Texas, Lake LBJ is about 45 minutes northwest of Austin.
One of the great things about Lake LBJ is that it is a constant level lake thanks to the Llano and Colorado Rivers that join here.
The convenient location on Lake LBJ combined with the fact that it is a constant level lake draws visitors not only from Austin, but from all over Texas.
To get a true feel for Kingsland, TX, you have to get off of the banks and hit the waters of Lake LBJ. Trust us when we tell you that there is no better way to do that than by taking a boat ride on Lake LBJ, the Colorado River, and the Llano River.
We were fortunate that our host, Tara, from McAlister Realty, treated us to a day on the water on her boat. I quickly realized the skimming along the waters in Kingsland, TX is truly the way to go!
Once you have your boat and you’re ready to gas it up, then be sure to stop in at Buddies. Conveniently located right in town, Buddies felt a little like a marina/gas station combo to me.
They had everything you would need for a day on the water including fishing supplies, sunscreen, and snacks. In addition to all of this, you can also grab some Krispy Krunchy Chicken during your visit.
When you are ready to launch your boat, you can head over to Kingsland Community Park and use their new public boat launch!
In addition to the new boat launch, Kingsland Community Park also contains a community rental building and an outdoor pavilion that are both available to rent. These seem like the perfect place to host fun events!
Of course, the park also has boat docks, a fishing pier, picnic tables, and washer and horseshoe pits. All of this in a park surrounded by gorgeous oak trees!
The location in town makes this TX park convenient and easy to get to.
You truly have not experienced Kingsland, Texas (or the Hill Country) if you haven’t spent time on swimming, boating, and enjoying the water!
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Play a Round of Golf in Kingsland, TX
The beautiful Texas Hill Country is the perfect place to tee off for a round of golf, and Kingsland, Texas offers visitors two courses to choose from.
Legends on Lake LBJ is located in a beautiful lake-side community on Lake LBJ. Guest at Legends can enjoy playing on a course designed by Tom Kite, Roy Bechtol, and Randy Russell.
Another great thing about Legends is that you can stay on the property as well thanks to The Legends Villas. These villas come with everything you need to enjoy a peaceful retreat in Kingsland, Texas.
Golfers will also want to consider Lighthouse Country Club during their visit to Kingsland, TX. Nestled away in the beautiful Texas Hill Country, Lighthouse Country Club features an 18-hole course on the shores of Lake LBJ.
A highlight of this course in Kingsland, Texas is the view of Packsaddle Mountain, a Texas state landmark that commemorates the last major Native American battle in the area.
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Do Some Texas Fishing
One of the most popular things to do in the Texas Hill County, and in Kingsland, Texas is to spend the day fishing.
The fact that Kingsland gives you easy access to Lake LBJ, the Llano River, and the Colorado River means that visitors have several bodies of water to choose from.
Anglers love casting under the many boat docks located on this Texas lake. Just be sure to watch out for people swimming!
Check Out The Fun Murals In Kingsland
There are several fun murals in Kingsland, Texas that are definitely worth a few minutes of your time.
On the side of the Kingsland, TX Chamber of Commerce office, you will find the perfect mural for this Hill Country community.
Here you will find a ‘lake life’ mural highlighting Lake LBJ and the Kingsland, Texas community that was created by artist Crystal Nobles. We loved the addition of the little surf board off to the side of the mural that made you feel like you were a part of the scene!
This is truly such a fun little site to visit while in Kingsland, TX, so don’t miss it!
Another noteworthy mural in Kingsland, TX is the map mural located at Prosperity Bank.
This mural is a map of the Highland Lakes area of the Texas Hill Country. I love how the map illustrates the relationship between the Highland Lakes and shows you how Lake LBJ and the Llano County rivers connect to the other lakes and to the city of Kingsland, TX.
When visiting the mural at the Prosperity Bank, note that this mural is a mosaic made completely out of small tiles. This map is truly a work of art that the city and county will continue to preserve. I mean, it is a piece of Kingsland, TX history.
There is also a great mural at Boat Town Burger Bar that is a tribute to the “Hill Country Riviera” (aka Lake LBJ and the Llano River).
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Try Wake Surfing
If you haven’t tried wake surfing, then you are missing out! Trust me when I tell you that Kingsland, TX is the perfect place to give this one a go. I mean, boating on the lake is fun, but there is nothing like cruising on a wave behind the boat.
I tried wake surfing for the first time during our trip to Kingsland and couldn’t believe that I got up and was able to do it! Thanks to Greg and Daphanie for being such patient teachers! LOL!
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Do Some Stand Up Paddle Boarding
Another fun lake activity to enjoy during your trip to Kingsland, TX is stand up paddle boarding.
If you are new to stand up paddle boarding, then I recommend that you find a site on the lake that is out of the way of the main body of water. The lack of waves in these areas will help give you confidence to stand up and enjoy being on the board.
If you don’t have a board of your own, you can check at the local marina and boat rentals to see about renting one during your trip to Kingsland, TX.
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Where To Eat In Kingsland, Texas
Grand Central Cafe Restaurant
Movie buff from all over flock to Grand Central Cafe in Kingsland, Texas. If you’re wondering why, then let me fill you in.
Grand Central Cafe is housed in the original house where the 1970s movie The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was filmed!
Visitors can tour the house turned restaurant to see the original staircase and the infamous door from which Leatherface (the guy with the chainsaw) emerged.
Of course, you will find memorabilia, including signed photographs from the actors, throughout the site as well.
During your visit, be sure to grab a meal and a cocktail in this piece of Texas history during your visit to Kingsland, TX.
We had brunch in the café and it was delicious. If you are a Bloody Mary fan, then don’t miss the opportunity to try their homemade Bloody Mary mix.
This is also a great place to grab a drink. The Club Car Bar is an addition to the original house and serves up delicious cocktails.
Boat Town Burger Bar
If you want to enjoy a meal while looking out over Lake LBJ during your time in Kingsland, Texas, then you should head straight to Boat Town Burger Bar.
This Kingsland, TX hot spot serves up delicious pub style food accompanied by yummy craft cocktails, all with a view of Lake LBJ!
Locals and visitors flock to Boat Town on the weekends to enjoy the lively atmosphere accompanied by live music under the Texas stars.
They also host events throughout the year. During our visit, they were having a Texas crawfish boil, and boy, did it look and smell delicious!
This is truly a hidden gem in the Texas Hill Country.
You will find Patio 2900 located right next to Boat Town Burger Bar. While both boast great lake views, Patio 2900 serves up delicious pizza instead of burgers and pub food.
After ordering up your favorite pizza (we went for the Texawaiian and it was amazing), then head outside to enjoy their fabulous location on Lake LBJ.
The great thing about this location is that you get to check out the events taking place at Boat Town at the same time!
That makes for a great night out in the Hill Country!
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The Place Downtown
Right in the heart of Kingsland, TX visitors will find The Place Downtown. What started out as a little coffee shop for their church quickly grew into a thriving business.
We were told that The Place Downtown is a great place for breakfast, so we tried it out during our visit to Kingsland, TX, and it didn’t disappoint!
Marty enjoyed a grilled breakfast burrito and I went for one of their delicious handmade fried pies. Both were amazing, especially that pie!
The Place Downtown also serves as a church, so they do hold services and host events here, so keep that in mind when planning your visit. Of course, visitors are always welcome to attend the services!
Lazy Heron Coffee Shop
You cannot visit Kingsland, Texas without making a trip to Lazy Heron Coffee Shop. This fun Highland Lakes coffee shop serves up delicious coffee in a laid-back, cozy atmosphere.
We loved all of the fun coffee combinations on the menu. I went for the Cinn-A-Bomb and it was incredible!
If you visit later in the day, you can even try out their wine selection!
Coffee and wine! You know that puts this at the top of my Texas escapes list.
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Where To Stay In Kingsland, Texas
One of the great things about the lakeside location of Kingsland, TX means that there are several properties located right on Lake LBJ that offer lodging.
You can easily rent a lakeside home to enjoy during your time in Kingsland, TX.
Many of the rental homes here include boat docks as well. This makes them one of the perfect Texas escapes for you and your family.
This 4 bedroom, 3 bath home had everything you need for the perfect weekend in the Texas Hill Country. Of course, the best part was the view from the home of Lake LBJ. Marty said he felt like a king for sure staying in this home.
Another lodging option in Kingsland, TX is Antlers Inn. The Antlers Hotel is a listed on the National Registry of Historic Places and is a Texas Historic Landmark Hotel. History just seems to radiates from the hotel the moment you approach it.
The Antlers Hotel was originally built to provide passengers of the Northwestern Railroad an elegant place to stay on the river. The gorgeous porches surrounding the hotel welcome guest and invite them inside to enjoy a piece of Texas history.
Offering three different types of accommodations for visitors to choose from means that there is the perfect lodging option for all visitors here. You can choose to live out history in the traditional hotel rooms, enjoy some serenity in one of their cottages, or spend the night in their on site train cars!
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About The Author
Michelle Snell is a travel writer, history buff, wine lover, and enthusiast of different cultures. Michelle enjoys bringing places to life through her informative writing style on her blogs, That Texas Couple and Totally Texas Travel. Her practical tips and suggestions help make travel dreams a reality while immersing her readers in the history, culture, and food of a region. She is happiest sipping wine in Italy or chilling on a beach with her husband, Marty.