If future generations are to remember us more with gratitude than sorrow, we must achieve more than just the miracles of technology. We must also leave them a glimpse of the world as it was created, not just as it looked when we got through with it.-Lyndon B. Johnson
The Lyndon B Johnson State Park & Historic site is unique because the state park and the national park are linked. While the national park headquarters focuses more on the life of LBJ by showcasing his hometown where he grew up, the state park focuses on more of the history of Texas in the area.
The national historic site & ranch sits on the other side of the Pedernales river and features his active ranch, ‘white house’ and airport hangar.
One of the most interesting things that I enjoyed at the state park was the Saur-Beckmann farm. There are different segments that reflect various decades of LBJ’s life, and it showcases what life would be like before the internet, mobile phones, etc.
Here you can see animals, which is nothing spectacular in itself, but you’ll notice that the farm equipment is different. You’ll notice some of the familiarities of a modern ranch are missing. You’ll see the barn cat, you’ll see that cement water troughs, you’ll hear the chickens behind the house. You can even ‘help out’ and grab some fresh eggs to bring inside. My daughter was super excited to find one egg seemingly laid for her to find.
Inside the rooms you’ll find people going about their business either preparing cotton, making supper, or just tending to the daily chores. You can engage with them, they’re not robots after all, but people dedicating their lives to the preservation of simpler times.
This is no museum. Be prepared for warm temps in the summer and cold air during the fall/winter. It’s a good opportunity to slow down, and reflect on what technology has done to the pace of our daily lives.
The farm is open from 10 am-4pm September through May, and 9am-3pm from June-August.
The visitors center has a ton of memorabilia about LBJ’s life, and also the lives of prominent Texas members throughout history. There’s also a gift shop that has a handful of fun Texas nick-nacks for purchase.
Just down the sidewalk from there is a bit more history of the surrounding areas, and even some video you can watch to learn more about LBJ and the people that influenced his life.
While this is technically a state park it’s more historic site than anything else. That being said the nature trail is a fun walk that takes you from the headquarters to the Saur-Beckmann farm, and along the way there is also some fun animal watching!
To the east of the visitor’s center you can find the official Texas Longhorn herd, and right after the farm you can find an American Bison herd. If you want to see even more cattle, you can hop over the Pedernales river and check out the LBJ ranch that’s part of the national park.
Overall the Lyndon B Johnson state park is a fun state park to soak in some great Texas history. I highly recommend that you just lump in the national park as well and visit his boyhood home in town, the ranch, and the airport hangar.