A Day Away with LBJ

March 2, 2018 - A Day Away with LBJ

Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park

199 Park Road 52, Stonewall, TX 78671

Austin, Texas is Hill Country and Hill Country is Lyndon Baines Johnson land! Taking a day off from our Texas To Do List, we drove two blocks to Shipley Do-Nuts for a sausage and cheese kolache for Vic and a chocolate donut for Gennie. What a great way to begin a road trip!

We drove almost directly west of Austin on Highway 290 to the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park. The drive was relatively easy, there was a little construction but the traffic was light and the cloud cover kept us cool. The temperature was 73 degrees with a light breeze.

We drove through Dripping Springs and the rolling Texas Hills, along the Pedernales River just north of Luckenbach, made famous by Willie and the Boys. The giant live oak trees brought shade to the cattle grazing in the pastures of the small ranches. Huge housing developments are being built, as the family owned ranches are being bought out and parceled for luxury homes.

This is limestone country, with many quarries mining the yellow stone used for construction since the time that German settlers founded this area. The porous limestone is also perfect soil for grape vines that need good drainage. Thousands of acres of vineyards have evolved the agriculture of the area into small wineries.

As we entered Johnson City, we stopped for a photo of the welcome sign declaring this town the boyhood home of Lyndon B. Johnson. Driving just a few miles further on Hwy 290, we reached the Lyndon B. Johnson State Park and Historic Center.

We were greeted by a large sign stating "All the World is Welcome Here", Lyndon Baines Johnson. The visitor’s center provided maps, an interpretive movie, and friendly park employees that helped us plan our visit.

On the State Park side of the Pedernales River, our trek to the Sauer-Beckmann Ranch was a leisurely walk through the spreading oak trees to a living history farm. Actually this is a working farm just as it would have been in the 1900’s.

After an hour exploring the farm and talking to a few of the re-enactors, we walked back to the Visitors Center and then drove the loop on the other side of the river and the actual Johnson Ranch.

Our first stop was the birthplace and boyhood home of LBJ and just across the road was the Johnson Family Cemetery. The President was born in 1908 in a very humble home and was buried in an unpretentious setting, beside Lady Bird, his wife.

We continued on the loop that took us through cattle pastures and to the Texas White House, the home that Johnson found so comforting in his presidential years and for the four years after he left office in 1969. Johnson died in 1973.

Highlights of the Texas White House were seeing the Jet Star, his presidential airplane, his many Lincoln Continental cars, (all white with tan leather interiors), and the many other memorabilia of his life on the ranch and during the presidential years.

There is no charge for the entrance into the State or National Historical Parks but there is a minimal $3 fee for the Ranger guided tour of the inside of the house.

We left the park at 2:15 and drove back east to Austin. Thinking we would avoid the Friday afternoon traffic, we had no problems after our delightful day reliving a bit of our country’s history.


We have wanted to visit the presidential homes and libraries. Looks like we need to head down to Texas, interesting.

Lindy   March 4, 2018 - 11:29pm

We visited here several years while in the Austin area too!

Cheryl Vieira   March 4, 2018 - 3:02am
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Lady Bird & Lyndon B. Johnson

Lady Bird & Lyndon B. Johnson

Sauer-Beckmann Living History Ranch

Sauer-Beckmann Living History Ranch

Texas White House, LBJ Ranch

Texas White House, LBJ Ranch

Air Force One - Jet Star

Air Force One - Jet Star

Johnson Family Cemetery

Johnson Family Cemetery

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