LBJ President, Austin
This is the other part of the National Park, located 14 miles from Johnson City in the direction of Fredericksburg. This is in fact the ranch where the president retreated after his official career. Entrance is free but to see the ranch itself, there is an organised bus tour (3$). Due to timing issue, I’ve missed it…
However it is not the only thing to do there, you can walk along the Paseo Del Arroyo Nature trail to discover the wildlife. Different signs explain part of it.
You can also see the Sauer-Beckman Farm where costumed interpreters carry out the day-to-day activity of a turn-of-the-century Texas-German farm family. You can freely walk trough the different building of the farm, a real dive in the past!
Nearby you can also see some of these really impressive longhorn cows.
Finally some “historical buildings” are also visible: The Junction School where Lyndon learned to read, his reconstructed birthplace, the Johnson family cemetery and the Grandparent’s farmhouse.
Johnson City has been created in the 19th century by one of the president’s ancestor; the original ranch has been restored to show us how life could have been at that time.
In the Johnson settlement itself, an exhibit shows what the life of a cowboy was.
You can then walk through different building: the Dog-trot cabin where Samuel Ealy Johnson, the president’s grandfather brought his bride in 1867, the Bruckner barn, constructed in 1884 by a German immigrant who purchased a portion of the ranch, the James Polk Johnson Ban, built by the nephew of the president’s grandfather. You can also see a windmill being used to pump water into a water tank.
You can also have the opportunity to see a couple of longhorn cows in the nearby pasture. These cows are now a symbol of Texas!
It is definitely a must-see (and it’s free!) if you want to have a better idea how was life in Texas in the past.