Let’s Go to Luckenbach, Texas: 5 Things to do There

The Luckenbach post office and general store

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Music, beers, and souvenirs – that’s pretty much what you’ll find in Luckenbach, Texas!

When we set out for Luckenbach, I was expecting a small town. The Texas version of Mayberry, if you will.

But I was wrong. Luckenbach – population: 3 – was once a tiny town that revolved around a strange bar/post office combo building and a general store. Now, it’s a small music venue and dance hall.

My husband and I are both country music fans and couldn’t miss the opportunity to see the town made famous by Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson. They released ‘Luckenbach, Texas: Back to the Basics of Love’ in 1977 and it’s a country classic today.

Even though, it’s a tiny place. We still found some things to do there to make the trip worthwhile. (You should also check out 8 Things to Do in Fredericksburg, TX…Besides Drink Wine.)

Here are 5 things to do in Luckenbach, Texas:

The Luckenbach post office and general store
(Fun Fact: If Wikipedia is to be believed, Waylon Jennings had never even been to Luckenbach and didn’t particularly like the song.)

Learn the History

In the 1840s, Minna Engel opened a combination general store/saloon in the South Grape Creek community. Establishing this area as a trading post.

Trading was good amongst not only other settlers in the area, most of whom were German, but also amongst the surrounding Indian tribes and pioneers heading west.

In the 1850s, a post office, school, and community center/dance hall were opened in Luckenbach as the little town continued to grow.

The name of the community was changed to Luckenbach (Minna’s husband’s last name) and a post office opened up in the General Store.

Line painted on the ground in the Luckenbach General Store to mark where you couldn't drink in the post office on federal property.
(This painted line separated the post office from the general store. There was no drinking allowed on federal property, so you couldn’t bring your drink over the line.)

Fun fact: In the 1860s, Jacob Brodbeck was said to have flown the world’s very first airplane well above the treetops in the Luckenbach/Fredericksburg area. However, he couldn’t keep the plane in the air long. Thankfully, he survived the crash. This was 38 years before the Wright Brother’s made their first flight in North Carolina!

Luckenbach reached it’s peak in 1904 with a population of 492. However, by the 1960s, it was almost a ghost town.

In the 1970s, a newspaper advertised the sale of a “town – pop.3 – for sale”. And for $30,000 John Russell ‘Hondo’ Crouch bought Luckenbach and promoted its rustic atmosphere.

Since then, it has been used as a music venue and host to some unique festivals, including Willie Nelson’s Fourth of July Picnics in the 90s.

Historical marker in Luckenbach, Texas.

Take Pictures

One thing that I was sure to take advantage of in this weird little town was to take pictures. Make sure you get a shot of the post office/general store/saloon combo.

When you first walk into the building you are technically in the post office. It is separated from the store and saloon by a painted white line on the floor. It marks the boundary where alcohol cannot be consumed on government property.

And you can’t miss a photo opportunity in the kissing booth! #luckenbachlove

There are plenty of other photo ops throughout the property: the saloon, the dance hall, and the pretty little trails across the creek.

(We had to get a selfie in front of the post office & sign.)
Inside the bar in Luckenbach, Texas
(In the saloon.)

Buy a Souvenir

We definitely couldn’t leave Luckenbach without some souvenirs. There are plenty to choose from as there are now two different stores to browse through.

The girls picked out some guitar pick jewelry. My husband got a new t-shirt and I came away with a hat and a Willie Nelson Christmas ornament! I know that it will make me smile every year when I hang it on the tree.

(Hats for sale at the Luckenbach.)

Listen to Live Music

The most popular pastime in Luckenbach is relaxing and listening to live music under the trees.

We grabbed some nachos and a drink from one of the food trucks and ate at a picnic table while listening to ‘Almost Patsy Cline’ sing all of our favorite country classics.

The group we saw was performing in the Biergarten, but there are other places for performers, such as Pickers Circle and the Dancehall.

The group Almost Patsy Cline performing live at Luckenbach, Texas.

Dancing

The Dancehall wasn’t open when we were in Luckenbach, since the performance was scheduled for the Biergarten. However, if we had returned later that night we would have been able to boot, scoot, and boogie all over the Dancehall.

If you are bringing kids, I recommend going during the daytime. I haven’t been to a nighttime show, but we’ve heard it can get pretty rowdy.

Luckenbach, Texas is definitely one of the stranger ‘towns’ we’ve visited, but one of the best!

If you’re ever in Central Texas, you have to stop in! And if you’re stationed at Fort Cavazos, add it to your Texas Bucket List!

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