Drive along Highway 71 between Austin and Houston, and you’ll pass right by the delightful town of La Grange. Located close to the Colorado River, the best things to do in La Grange, TX include visiting 2 state historic sites, tasting some of the best kolaches in Texas, and plenty in between.
Passing through La Grange soon, or want to plan a trip?
Here’s what to do in La Grange, Texas!
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The Best Things to Do in La Grange
Explore the Monument Hill State Historic Site.
Erected in honor of the sacrifice of those who died in the Dawson Massacre and the Miers Expedition, both in 1842, this monument stands overlooking the town of La Grange and the Colorado River below.
This historic site is also connected to a second Texas state historic site–more on that below.
… and Kreishe Brewery State Historic Site.
Just across from Monument Hill, you’ll find a beautiful, 3-story home dating to the 19th century: welcome to the Kreische Brewery State Historic Site.
In 1849, German immigrant Heinrich Ludwig Kreische bought the land that both of La Grange’s state historic sites now call home.
In addition to the home, which you can view from the outside, visitors can also visit the remains of the brewery he built on-site, which was one of the very first commercial breweries in the Lone Star State, a tradition that Texans have vigorously upheld ever since.
Both historic sites are definitely among the best things to see in La Grange!
Check out the Texas Quilt Museum.
Interested in quilting?
If so, be sure to plan your activities in La Grange around visiting the charming Texas Quilt Museum, which is open Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.
Home to one of the best quilt collections in the world, the Texas Quilt Museum is located just steps from Courthouse Square.
Regardless of whether you choose to tour the museum, be sure to check out the beautiful mural on the side of the building!
Pay a visit to the Czech Heritage and Cultural Center.
Texas’ German heritage is somewhat widely known these days, but Czech immigrants also played an important role in Texas in the mid-19th century and beyond.
The Czech Heritage and Cultural Center in La Grange is dedicated to preserving the story of Texas immigrants from today’s Czech Republic, as well as several other places in the former Austro-Hungarian Empire.
During your visit, you can view artifacts ranging from clothing to furniture to entire relocated buildings.
Grab a kolache at Weikel’s Bakery.
If you’re not from Texas, you may be surprised to learn just how much delicious food lurks behind unassuming gas station doors here in the Lone Star State–and Weikel’s Bakery is no exception.
Dating to 1929 (though it was called the Bon Ton Cafe back then), Weikel’s Bakery serves up some of my favorite kolaches in the state. The klobasneks are excellent, but the real standout is the cheese and cherry kolache, which has become my favorite snack to pick up when driving along Highway 71.
Stop by the Fayette County Courthouse.
Built in the late 19th century, the Fayette County Courthouse is a classic Texas limestone courthouse–but having seen many of them, I do have to say it’s a remarkably striking one!
Be sure to check out the beautiful courtyard and fountain while you’re there.
… and Old Fayette County Jail.
Many small towns in Texas have a historic jail open for tours, but La Grange’s is particularly memorable as it houses the town’s Texas Heroes Museum, which is dedicated to honoring those who have defended Texas in conflicts ranging from the Texas Revolution to present-day first responders to the sheriffs who worked in the jail, and beyond.
And, since this is indeed a historic jail that was in operation for a little over a century, the history of the jail is also covered, including the opportunity to tour a cell.
The jail is open most Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, and is free to visit.
Tour the Faison House.
Believed to be built in the 1840s, the Faison House is believed to be one of the oldest still-standing homes in Fayette County.
It is well preserved inside and out, making an ideal house museum, and also bears the distinction of being (briefly) owned solely by a Black woman, Louisiana Brown, for about 2 years in the early 1870s, one of the only buildings in Fayette County to be owned by a Black woman at that time.
With the exception of the time that Louisiana Brown owned the home, the Faison family owned and lived in the home from the time of its construction until the early 1960s.
Enjoy a quick stop at Founders Park.
Dedicated to the people who initially founded Fayette County as we know it today, this small pocket park includes plaques explaining the history of the county, and is a fun addition to a trip to La Grange.
Stop for a glass of wine at Rosemary’s Vineyard.
This small Texas winery is open daily for tastings!
Visit vintage train cars at the La Grange Railroad Museum.
Housed in a restored 19th-century railroad depot, the small railroad museum is only open for limited hours on the second and fourth weekends of the month–but even if you don’t happen to be in town then, it’s worth taking a peek at the historic railroad cars parked right by the depot!
Visit a working dairy farm.
The Jersey Barnyard is a family-owned dairy farm that welcomes visitors year-round to tour the farm, visit the animals, and shop in their on-site farm store.
This is a must-see when visiting La Grange with kids, but the Jersey Barnyard also makes a fun stop for adults.
Admire the beauty of St. James’ Episcopal Church.
Built in the 1850s in an American adaptation of the Queen Anne style, it’s impossible to pass this beautiful church without stopping to notice it!
You can find St. James’ Episcopal Church at 205 S. Franklin Street in La Grange.
What about the Chicken Ranch?
While it certainly doesn’t qualify as one of the things to do in La Grange these days, it’s impossible to write a blog post about the town without mentioning the Chicken Ranch!
Openly run for over a century as the most famous brothel in the state, its famous and controversial closure in 1973 inspired the Broadway show The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, bringing La Grange international recognition (the town was loosely concealed in the plot by changing its name to Gilbert).
A few years later, the musical was adapted into a movie starring Dolly Parton and Burt Reynolds.
Not much remains in La Grange of the Chicken Ranch today.
A large part of the building was carted off the Dallas shortly after the business was closed in order to transform it into a restaurant, which quickly failed. The portions of the building used for the restaurant were then sold off.
What’s left of the original Chicken Ranch in La Grange today is a crumbling ruin that is not open for tours.
Where is La Grange, Texas?
La Grange, TX is located along Highway 71, almost halfway between Austin and Houston.
It’s about 1.5 hours (65 miles) southeast of Austin, and an hour and 40 minutes (100 miles) west of Houston.
You can easily combine time exploring the best things to do in La Grange with a visit to Smithville, Schulenburg, or Round Top.
The Best Time to Visit La Grange
Since most of La Grange’s small museums prioritize weekend hours, we recommend visiting on a Friday or Saturday if possible.
However, the state historic sites are open daily, as is Weikel’s Bakery.