If you are looking for a fun Texas small town to visit, consider the Hill Country town of Johnson City. Located about an hour west of Austin, Johnson City, TX, is steeped in history and big on personality.
Home to the 36th President, Lyndon B. Johnson, and some great attractions like charming Christmas lights and a winery castle, you have the makings for a great Texas Hill Country weekend getaway.
Johnson City is located right off Highway 290, so it is an easy stop if traveling from Austin to Fredericksburg and a great addition to any Texas road trip!
Let’s dive into everything to do in Johnson City, TX!
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Things To Do In Johnson City, TX
1. Visit the Johnson Settlement
Just outside of Johnson City, TX, is the Johnson Settlement. This site is the original homestead of President Johnson’s grandparents, which originated in the late 1800s.
The settlement is part of the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park and is an easy site to visit.
The best part is that this piece of history is completely free to visit, so it should definitely be on your list of things to do in Johnson City.
2. Explore Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park
Another area that focuses on the life of President Johnson is the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park.
The Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park consists of the Johnson ranch and the famous Texas White House, which was donated to the National Park Service in 1972.
During your visit to the park, you can take a self-guided driving tour to see the ranch, Johnson’s boyhood home, and the Texas White House.
The National Park Service does a great job of preserving the heritage of the ranch and President Johnson, making this one of the top state parks near San Antonio.
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3. Tour the LBJ State Park and Historic Site
The LBJ State Park and Historic Site in Blanco County are another of the historic sites in Johnson City, Texas, associated with President Lyndon Johnson.
The park also includes the Sauer-Beckmann Farm, a living history farm where park rangers don period dress and put on live demonstrations for visitors to get an authentic glimpse of what life was like in Johnson City in the late 1800s.
Guests can also explore the park’s hill country trails and enjoy river access, a pool, and more.
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4. Enjoy the Town Square
Johnson City, Texas, is home to a cute little town square like many other small Texas towns.
Of course, the centerpiece of the square and the Main Street area is the 19th-century courthouse. Surrounding the square are several fun boutique shops, art galleries, and restaurants, some of which we discuss below.
While strolling the square, don’t miss the opportunity to check out the town’s historic jail.
Also in town is LBJ’s boyhood home. This small home is a cool place to learn more history about Johnson City, Texas.
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5. Enjoy a Drink at Pecan Street Brewing
We love visiting Pecan Street Brewing anytime we are in Johnson City. They offer craft beer and delicious comfort food in a laid-back environment.
If the weather is nice during your visit, head out back and enjoy their fun Biergarten.
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6. Have Fun at the Science Mill
One of the top family-friendly attractions in Johnson City, Texas, is the Science Mill. Located in the old field mill in the heart of Johnson City, the Science Mill is a fabulous place for kids.
The interactive exhibits here help to promote a love of science by allowing kids to explore the world around them.
Popular exhibits at this unique Blanco County attraction include augmented reality, fossil digs, giant robots, and more!
This fantastic museum in Johnson City, Texas, would make President Lyndon Johnson proud!
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7. Visit the Local Wineries
Located on Highway 290, also known as Wine Road 290, near Fredericksburg, means that it is easy to find a winery near Johnson City, Texas.
Since Johnson City is located so close to the wineries, there are numerous wine tastings you can try out.
Nearby you will find Westcave Cellars, which uses only Texas grapes for its wines. Or you can check out nearby Crowson, which has “zero-zero wine,” meaning nothing is added or taken away from their wine.
One of the unique wineries just west of Johnson City is the 290 Wine Castle. Here you can enjoy a fun wine experience set inside their medieval-style castle. You can even stay overnight in the hotel on the property!
Visit the many wineries in and near Johnson City and even the Fredericksburg wineries for a great Texas wine-country tour!
8. Explore Pedernales Falls State Park
Pedernales Falls is another excellent addition to your Johnson City, Texas, itinerary.
Set on the beautiful Pedernales River, this park offers visitors the opportunity to get up close and personal with nature.
View the gorgeous falls as they make their way over the limestone rocks before hiking through the park or camping in the park’s campground.
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9. Exotic Resort Zoo
The Exotic Resort Zoo is great for taking a family while in town.
The zoo offers a guided or drive-through safari adventure to see the many animals that call the property home.
They also offer safari cabins you can rent if you prefer to stay overnight!
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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.
Sunday 19th of February 2023
Thank you for sharing. I had no idea it was Lyndon B. Johnson’s hometown but it makes sense now. Would love to visit Texas some day.
Sunday 19th of February 2023
Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment, Nicola! I hope you get to visit Texas one day also!
Catherine - Savvy Family Travel
Saturday 18th of February 2023
I love how an unassuming city can pack a serious punch in terms of being a destination all its own! We'd be all over the Science Mill and State Park for our boys.
Sunday 19th of February 2023
I agree with you, Catherine. It's little gems like these that we love!
Sunday 12th of February 2023
Johnson City looks like a delightful town. I love the blend of rural charm!