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By Destination Diva, Debbie Labicki | Photos coutesy of Los Pines Resort, Bastrop Vistors Center and Ophelia Simon.
Separated from the Piney Woods of East Texasby over 80 miles, traveling on the same roads as Native Americans, Spanish explorers and early pioneers, my recent road trip led me to the Loblolly Pine Forest in Bastrop.
Bastrop is a beautiful historic community at the gateway of the Lost Pines Region of Central Texas. As the second oldest city in Texas officially founded in 1832, is recognized as a Texas Main Street City. Bastrop also recently earned the title of Most Historic Small Town in Texas because of the number of buildings listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
In 2010, the city was named a Distinctive Destination by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Main Street is lined with century-old structures housing antique shops, specialty stores and great restaurants.
Arriving at the Pecan Street Inn B&B, an elegant turn of the century Victorian was like being in an old movie. The front porch swing beckoned for a sit before we entered the charming inn. Shawn Pletsch greeted us in southern style with iced tea on the wrap-around porch under the native pecan trees. Inside a romantic fireplace, elaborate millwork, longleaf heart of pine floors, old glass windows and transoms indicative of the Victorian period abounded. Upstairs, the bedroom suites have private baths, new fixtures with antique furnishings and all the amenities a vacationer of business traveler needs.
TripAdvisor consistently votes it as the No. 1 Bed & Breakfast in Bastrop. All we had to do was stroll 1-1/2 blocks to the historic district and experience this quaint town.
Antique shops, boutiques, galleries, specialty shops and restaurants were plenty to explore. Of course I had to check out the Way2Diva shop—I also loved Cripple Creek&Co., which hosts Texas-made and produced products. Owner Dee Dee Peddy features Texas wine tasting paired with unique cheese bites, along with local art. Liberty Glenn shop had a surprising collection of linens and décor; I loved her equestrian art selection. Bastrop Brewhouse just up the hill from the Colorado River had live music, local cuisine and handcrafted ales. We enjoyed a break from shopping and sat on one of the multi-level decks enjoying the view of the river and beer garden. In just a few steps we were on the half-mile June Hill Pape Riverwalk Trail, enjoying nature on the river. Baxters on Main was our choice for casual fine dining under soaring beaded ceiling, raw brick walls and 1920’s décor. The locals have voted Baxters on Main as the best overall restaurant for nine years.
We had a short walk back to the Inn where the oversized king bedroom suite with sumptuous bedding awaited us. Innkeeper Bill Pletsch was in the country kitchen the next morning preparing a signature breakfast: Pecan waffles, fruit, little sausages and fresh orange juice. He shared lively stories of the history of this region, an directed us to the Visitor Center to get a guide with histories behind the bronze-cast medallions along Chestnut Street.
It was a walk through time marking each medallion. Shawn gave us a map to take a short drive to tour some of the vintage 19th Century homes along the tree canopied streets in the Historic District. Many movies have been made in the area, taking advantage of this nostalgic setting.
To satisfy my Wanderlust, I was now heading to the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa, just a stone’s throw up the road toward Austin. The resort is a luxury wilderness adventure getaway on 400 acres with hiking trails. The tranquil Colorado River winds through the landscape with pecan, pine and oak trees. An 18-hole Wolfdancer golf course, tennis courts, world-class Spa Django and eight dining options are available at the resort. Recreational amenities include kayaking, hiking archery, trap shooting and horseback riding.
We had a luxurious room situated close to the Spa.
The spa was named after Django Reinhart, a guitar player with a gypsy soul who was very influential to Willie Nelson and a host of other Texan musicians.
Django literally means to awake, which is what a visit to this spa, can do. After all my walking, I choose the Texas Two Step Massage, a real treat for the feet beginning with a cooling cucumber-mint sugar scrub, followed by a hot-stone placement on the feet to work specific reflexology points and a soothing hand and foot massage. My feet were thoroughly soothed and I simply relaxed, and got lost with the melodic music. It was like walking on air to my room in the spa robe—I made the most of every moment.
Throughout the resort are photos and art reminiscent of famous Texas musicians and historic homes in the region. An outdoor oasis includes an adult pool, hot tubs, active pool, a separate children’s pool, a poolside beach and a 1,000 foot Crooked River. Music filtered through the oasis and I just kept losing myself. To top off the evening, several fire pits were flickering and guests enjoyed relaxing and roasting a personal smore’s kit.