Friday, November 16, 2012

LBJ Ranch in Texas Hill Country

Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park, in the middle of Texas Hill Country, is a favorite destination of many RV snowbirds making their way to their winter homes. Managed by the National Park Service, the park is open year round except for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day.

Lyndon Baines Johnson, the 36th President of the United States, ushered in landmark legislation such as Medicare, Head Start and the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The tall Texan "had a deep attachment for place and heritage." The LBJ Ranch was where he was born, lived, died, and was buried. It is said that President Johnson "flew home to his Texas ranch 74 times during his five years in office, living and working for 490 days—or about one-fourth of his presidency—at the Texas White House."

After the President's death in 1973, Mrs. Johnson continued to live at the Ranch part time until her death in 2007.

LBJ Texas White House. (Courtesy of National Park Service)
Self-Guided Ranch Tours

Visitors are now able to tour the Ranch at their own pace in their private vehicle with the ability to stop at sites along the way such as the President's birthplace, Johnson family cemetery, and the Johnson's ranch house known as the Texas White House.

Obtain a free driving permit at the LBJ State Park and Historic Site Visitor Center in Stonewall, Texas. You will also receive a map indicating the tour route and a CD containing narrative audio for the route. Driving permits are good only for the day of issue.

Hours of Operation

Seven days a week. Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day.
Driving Permits are given out starting at 9 a.m. No Permits are given out after 4:15 p.m.
Ranch Entrance Gate: open 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Ranch Exit Gate: Closes at 5:30 p.m.

Texas White House Tours

Following the death of Mrs. Johnson in 2007, individual rooms were opened to the public as they become ready.

The first room to open was President Johnson's office (the west room) on the 100th anniversary of his birth, August 27, 2008. The living room and dining room were opened in June 2009. As part of the self-guided Ranch Tour, visitors may stop for a ranger-guided tour.

Cost for tours of the ground floor of the Texas White House:
Ages 18 and older: $2.
Ages 17 and younger: free

Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park is located in the heart of the Texas Hill Country.

The park has two visitor areas separated by about 14 miles: the Johnson Settlement/Visitor Center/Boyhood Home/Park Headquarters in Johnson City and the LBJ Ranch near Stonewall.

The Park Visitor Center in Johnson City is 50 miles west of Austin and 60 miles north of San Antonio. The State of Texas manages a Visitor Center near Stonewall where the visitor can obtain a free driving permit to the LBJ Ranch.

RV camping opportunities are in Fredericksburg, 18 miles west of the LBJ Ranch. One is the Lady Bird Johnson Municipal RV Park located 3 miles south of Fredericksburg, TX, on State Highway 16.

Contact Texas Parks and Wildlife Department for other camping locations in the area or call 1-800-792-1112.

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1 comment:

  1. We took this tour last year and really enjoyed it. One of the best parts was listening to both Lyndon and Lady Bird talk about life at the ranch on the CD as you drive around.