"MUST!! Drive the LBJ Ranch Tour Route" Johnson City Things to Do Tip by Bunsch

Johnson City Things to Do: 13 reviews and 22 photos

  Some of the ranch cattle resting in the shade
by Bunsch
 
  • Some of the ranch cattle resting in the shade - Johnson City
      Some of the ranch cattle resting in the shade
    by Bunsch
  • The ranch entrance - Johnson City
      The ranch entrance
    by Bunsch
  • Lady Bird loved wildflowers - Johnson City
      Lady Bird loved wildflowers
    by Bunsch
  • LBJ's presidential plane ("Air Force 1/2") - Johnson City
      LBJ's presidential plane ("Air Force 1/2")
    by Bunsch
  • The buffalo herd - Johnson City
      The buffalo herd
    by Bunsch
 

I'll admit I was a little dubious when the ranger at the Lyndon B. Johnson National Park handed me a CD and told me to simply play it and follow the directions. But this was a wonderful way to learn about and see the ranch which encompasses not only the "Texas White House" (a separate ticket, walking tour is available there) but also the Sauer-Beckmann Living History Farm, the Junction School attended by the President when he was only four years old, a reconstructed LBJ birthplace, the Johnson family cemetery, the Sam Ealy Johnson, Sr. farmhouse (he was LBJ's grand-daddy), the Show Barn, and the hangar.

As I began my tour, the first surprising thing to me was: it is really beautiful. You can see why LBJ loved this country. The second surprise was how much he enjoyed humor. The original entrance to the ranch was on a low-water crossing directly under a dam and spillover on the Pedernales River, so guests would have to drive into the water to reach the ranch! (Now that entrance is closed, and you drive about a mile downstream to cross a bridge.) The third was that the ranch maintained a lot of the gift animals presented during his presidency, which explained some kudus frolicking next to the Hereford cattle, a single elk grazing in one of the fields, and the funniest sight of all -- a group of deer being chased by a couple of ostriches!

All of the pastures are open (though there are cattle guards) and the animals wander around freely, so you have to drive pretty slowly. But you want to, anyway, because each turn of the road unfolds another lovely vista.

Address: Highway 290 East at Park Road 52, Stonewall, TX 78
Directions: The LBJ Ranch is about fourteen miles west of Johnson City in the town of Stonewall, TX
Phone: (830) 644-2252
Website: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated May 28, 2011
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Bunsch

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