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Let’s Go to Luckenbach, Texas

Let’s Go to Luckenbach, Texas!

Most Texans can sing right along with Willie Nelson’s famous song that put this tiny Texas spot on the map. But a whole bunch of us really have no idea where it is, much less what we’ll find once we get there.

When we lived in Austin, one of the long-time locals asked if we wanted to see this Texas hole in the road for ourselves, and what did we say?

You’d better believe it.

Is the Pope Catholic?

Do fish swim?

Is Willie Nelson the king of country music?

We were all in.

You bet.

Let’s go to Luckenbach, Texas!

Let's Go to Luckenbach, Texas
First, we paid a visit to Wildseed Farms in Fredericksburg, Texas.

Where is Luckenbach?

Have you ever stopped belting out the words to this song long enough to wonder, where IS Luckenbach, Texas, anyway?

Me, too.

I’ll tell you in just a second, but first, let me remind all of us Over Fifty that when Willie Nelson cut this famous record back in 1977, there was no Google.

We might have asked our high school or junior high friends if they knew where in the world is Luckenbach, but unless they were from the Texas Hill Country, they likely didn’t have a walleyed clue.

Nobody’s parents were steering the station wagon around trying to find Luckenbach on vacation, either, because whatever Waylon and Willie were doing down there might not be appropriate for children. Getting back to the basics of love and all, you know.

Well, I was a grown up gal by the time we moved to Austin, and it was time.

Whatever we would discover on a Sunday afternoon in Luckenbach, Texas, was probably something we were now old enough to process. After all, we are among the mature here at Texas Over Fifty, are we not?

So, off we went.

Friends in normal cars, nobody smokin’ anything funky, just heading west on a little day trip adventure west of Austin.

Let's Go to Luckenbach, Texas
Luckenbach is located 10 miles southeast of Fredericksburg, the heart of the Texas Hill Country.

What is it?

Luckenbach, Texas is exactly what you think of when someone describes a town as a little ol’ hole in the road.

Technically, it’s not even a town.

Luckenbach, Texas is an unincorporated community, a “spot” on about nine acres of beautiful Texas land in southeastern Gillespie County, near Fredericksburg.

Unincorporated – that just means Luckenbach is a settlement which is not governed by any municipality.

So, basically, they make their own rules in Luckenbach.

They being 3.

That’s right.

The population of this famous Texas landmark can literally be counted with the fingers on one hand.

Let's Go to Luckenbach, Texas
Bring your cards and letters to mail from Luckenbach!

A Hangout for Musicians

On the day we were there, Mike Blakely and his band strummed and sang for two hours like it was no time at all.

For a couple of those songs, a guy with a harmonica appeared out of the trees and played with them.

Then off he went, perhaps to a second gig.

(Local musicians around Austin might be part of three or four bands at a time.)

Let me just say I know how difficult it is for these guys to get this good at what they do on stage.

My mom and stepdad once thought it would be fun to create a musical version of The Brady Bunch out of our blended family, so they gave me piano lessons while my brother and stepbrother learned to (barely) play guitar and banjo.

Of all things, my mom found an offbeat musician who agreed to teach all three instruments in one long Wednesday afternoon session every week.

He offered her a budget-friendly reduced rate since there were three of us, and he even agreed to make life more convenient for my mom by instructing us at our own home.

Bless his musician’s heart, however.

The poor guy didn’t have any idea what he had really signed up for.

We drove the teacher to drink.

I’m not sure how he behaved himself at the lessons of any other family, but Mr. One-Man-Band began bringing a shiny little flask when he came to our house.

Let's Go to Luckenbach, Texas
Local performers and occasional celebrities perform on stage at Luckenbach.

A Store With Western Hats

These two friends left the guys under the trees and tried on hats for a while.

There’s also a General Store with lots of vintage goodies and t-shirts, as well as local handmade wares.

Let's Go to Luckenbach, Texas

It’s a Scenic Spot

The massive oak trees surrounding Luckenbach create the perfect backdrop for memorable photos.

Can you believe the size of this huge tree?

There was room for our whole group to stand at the trunk.

I’m not certain how old a tree has to be in order for the trunk to spread this wide, but I’m pretty sure it’s twice as old as any of us in the photo. 🙂

Let's Go to Luckenbach, Texas

 

The Perfect Day Trip

In 1904, the population of this small spot had increased to almost 500 people, but 60 years later, it was down to only three.

In 1970, Luckenbach was purchased for $30,000 and later became a scenic location to enjoy music under leafy oak trees or do a bit of boot-scootin’ in the dance hall.

As one-day excursions go in the great state of Texas, I believe this to be one of the iconic best.

What was once a trading post for pioneer farmers is now described as a “Texas state of mind.”

The state of my mind drastically improved while we were there.

Let's Go to Luckenbach, Texas
I bought my first adventure hat in Luckenbach.

The Song Says it All

After our day trip to Luckenbach, Texas, it was easy to see for ourselves how the words to this song fit the feel of the place.

Truly … there ain’t nothin’ that’s not laid back and relaxed at Luckenbach.

So, baby, let’s sell your diamond ring,

Buy some boots and faded jeans and go away.

This coat and tie is choking me,

In your high society you cry all day.

We’ve been so busy keepin’ up with the Jones,

Four car garage and we’re still building on.

Maybe it’s time we got back to the basics of love.

– Willie Nelson


Have you been to Luckenbach, Texas?


Encouraging a life filled with everyday intentional adventure and a Texas state of mind,

Texas Over Fifty
 

PS: The true story about the music teacher was one of my mom’s favorites. She told it often and well. 🙂


Here are a few other posts you might enjoy:

Fredericksburg is Home to Orchards and Vineyards

A Sweet Stop at Collin Street Bakery in Waco

3 Restaurant Chains Worth the Money

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