Find serenity just up the river
Cabins and cottages dot the Colorado near Bastrop
Nearly 180 years ago, pioneers came to Bastrop in search of a promising future. Today, the city continues to hold plenty of promise for visitors who want to experience an abundance of rich Texas history, hospitality and recreation.
Hundreds of historic homes are proudly perched along flower-lined streets in this city that’s settled along the Colorado River. The delicious smell of succulent barbecue wafts on a warm breeze past antique shops. Live music adorns antique architecture. Big smiles and friendly waves entice passersby to rest on the back porch of a candy shop and enjoy chocolate-covered strawberries and easy conversation.
Visitors are treated like welcomed neighbors. Many property owners have opened their homes to extend a southern hospitality that adds a homey feeling that can’t be found in a hotel.
“We have a whole lot of stuff a hotel wouldn’t have,” said Jo Anne Tuck, who has been opening her home to visitors for six years. “People who stay here have a full kitchen, outdoor patio, a fishing dock, and they’re right on the river.”
Tuck owns and operates Riverwood Retreat, a vacation rental property located at 315 Riverwood Drive. Originally purchased to be her own weekend getaway, Tuck soon decided to live on the property full time. She eventually put out the welcome mat and now enjoys hosting people from near and far.
“This is an eclectic street,” she said. “This area is like a little fishing village. It’s not far from Austin, but you feel like you’ve really gone away somewhere because it’s so serene.”
Riverwood Retreat has a 1,000-square-foot cowboy-themed cabin called the Casa del Colorado that accommodates up to six people. There’s a front entrance to the master suite, and a sun and sleeping porch along the back where four people can sleep. The cabin’s bright colors and terra-cotta colored tile floors convey a cheerful western aesthetic. A large covered patio provides a comfortable respite for guests after a busy day of kayaking.
The Casita del Colorado is a smaller space, offering a cozy getaway for two. There is one double bed, galley kitchen, tables, TV, and a beautiful lawn seating area that provides a picture-perfect river view.
Guests and their pets are greeted by the retreat’s mascot, Friar Tuck – a friendly brown-and-white corgi that wears a red bandanna.
“Friar is a real ‘people dog.’ He loves to hang out with guests and guide or herd them around,” Tuck said.
With advance notice, housebroken pets that weigh 50 pounds or less are also welcome at Riverwood Retreat. A $25 pet deposit is required.
Visitors who don’t want a full kitchen or all the comforts of home may find the mini-cabins at South Shore Park to be all they need.
The cabins and park are managed by the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA). Eighteen mini-cabins are available and sleep up to five people in two sets of bunk beds. The cabins have electricity, heat and air conditioning, a ceiling fan, front porch, picnic table and grill.
Six cabins are at Osprey Point, and 12 cabins are along the waterfront. Restrooms and showers are available for park guests.
Drew Pickle, superintendent of parks for the LCRA, said only a couple weeks of advance notice are needed to reserve a cabin during the week.
“For weekends, people need to secure their reservation 90 to 180 days in advance,” he said.
Reservations for the mini-cabins can be made online at www.reserveamerica.com or by calling 855-392-7638.
More information on Riverwood Retreat, including rates, availability and reservation options can be found online at coloradoriverretreat.com.
A variety of overnight accommodation options including hotels, RV parks, cabins, resorts, and bed & breakfasts can be found on at www.visitbastroptx.com.