Fun Things To Do Around the Cabin
Playing in the Llano River - We have 3 kids and this is by far their favorite thing to do. The river in front of the cabin has large granite rocks and gentle rapids for the kids (and adults) to play in. Whether its catching minnows, tubing in the rapids, building sand castles or searching for interesting rocks, the kids always are finding something to do.
Critter Watching in the Evening - After a long day of playing in the river, we load the kids up in the Suburban and drive along one of the many dirt roads around Castell. This area has an abundance of wildlife to view - especially deer. But also look for jackrabbits, snakes, tarantulas, armadillos, quail, bobcats, turkeys, hawks, raccoons, possums, and skunks (just a few of the animals that we have seen). Our favorite road to drive is the one directly across the river from the cabin that goes west along the river.
Fishing - Please refer to this page.
Kayaking - There is a 5 mile section of the river from Castell that is a fun half day trip. You can rent kayaks at the Castell Store.
Biking - There are dirt roads that go along the river that are great for biking.
Bird Watching - The cabin has a great deck overlooking the terrain which is great for bird watching.
Favorite Places to Go
Enchanted Rock - A 425' granite rock you can climb with spectacular views on top. If you are really adventuresome, there is a cave on top that goes about 100' down and comes out on the side. There are no markings other than a faded painted arrow pointing to a small hole. Its fairly well known, so you can probably ask around if you have trouble finding it. You can also give me a call if you want more info.
Odeon Theater - Take a step back in time and see a movie at the Odeon Theater in Mason. Built in 1928, it is the oldest operating theater in west Texas. For only $4 a ticket and $2 popcorn, it is a great value. Note that movies are only shown on Friday (7:30) and Saturday-Monday (7:00).
James River Bat Cave - Watch millions of bats come out of cave while you sit close enough to feel the wind generated from their wings. Also, it's a very scenic drive down a dirt road (10 miles) and across a river (no bridge) to get there. The cave is about an hour from Castell and you will want to call beforehand to find out what time the bats are coming out (usually between 6 and dusk). Open Thursday through Sunday from mid-May through mid-October
Shopping in Llano and Mason - If you don't want to fight the crowds at Fredericksburg, then consider going to Llano or Mason. Both of these towns have unique boutiques, art galleries and antique shops within easy walking distance located around a historic square.
National Museum of the Pacific War - Also known as the Admiral Nimitz museum in Fredericksburg. The complex contains 3 different museums dedicated to WWII and covers 6 acres.
Longhorn Cavern State Park - Another great place to take the kids. The tours are very good and the caverns are always cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
Fall Creek Vineyards - Located east of Llano back towards lake Buchanan.
Sandstone Cellars Winery in Mason - A boutique winery located just off the square in Mason.
Fort Mason - Take a free walking tour around historical Fort Mason that overlooks the city of Mason.
Favorite Places to Eat
Cooper's BBQ in Llano - Consistently rated as one the top three BBQ joints in Texas. Our personal favorite is the brisket, but the ribs and pork chops are a close second. You get to pick your choice of meats right from the pit and don't be shy about asking them to bring in more choices if you are looking for leaner cuts. Also, be prepared for long waits in line around noon and dinner time on the weekends.
Cooper's BBQ in Mason - This was the number 1 rated BBQ place in the state by Texas Monthly in 2003. Not near as touristy as the one in Llano.
Castell Store - Eat BBQ outside at the Castell Store underneath the Oak tree.
Willow Creek Cafe in Mason - Located on the square in one of the original buildings. Great homestyle food.
Santos Taqueria in Mason - Authentic Mexican food recognized by Texas Monthly as one of the top 25 places to visit in the Hill Country.