Giddings, TX 78942
Things to Do in Giddings
Experience a little-known side of Texas culture, tour three historic train depots, browse fascinating antique shops, and relax in an easygoing small town when you visit Giddings. Located among verdant rolling hills halfway between Austin and Houston, Giddings boasts plenty of small-town allure with a one-of-a-kind heritage. Although small in size, if you spend any time here you’ll discover there are many things to do in Giddings. Whether you’re on a road trip to see the Painted Churches of Texas or to check more Texas State Parks off your list, Giddings is a great place to visit. Continue reading to discover what this town has to offer.
Discover Why Giddings is The Depot Capital of Texas
So many towns in Texas got their start with the development of the railroad, and Giddings certainly is no exception. At its peak, the town had three depots in operation. In 2009, these three historic depots in downtown Giddings were restored, prompting Governor Rick Perry and the State of Texas to name Giddings the “Depot Capital of Texas.”
Visit the Depot Complex downtown where you will find the Giddings Chamber of Commerce (inside the 1920s red-brick passenger depot), Giddings Visitor’s Center, the Sterling Theatre, and the Union Station Transportation Museum and The Rural Texas Tourism Center.
From the three viewing areas in the Depot Complex, you can watch the trains pass by, see the 1876 First Presbyterian Church, and view the Lee County Courthouse. This courthouse was built in 1899 with all the grandiosity of the Richardsonian Romanesque style of architecture. It was a filming location for Gone to Texas with Sam Elliott starring as Sam Houston. Along with these two structures is the Sterling Theatre, built in 1918 as a silent movie theater, making it one of the oldest of its kind in the United States. It is currently under renovation, but you can schedule a tour by calling the Giddings Chamber of Commerce.
Learn About the Wendish Culture
Texas Wendish Heritage Museum in Serbin is a must. See relics like folk dresses from Lusatia, letters, and the colorful painted Wendish Easter eggs. Just down the street stands St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, one of the treasured Painted Churches of Texas. Built in 1870, this church is a beautiful depiction of the Wendish culture and the Slavic immigrants’ experiences coming to this country.Giddings, and the surrounding area, was the final destination of many Slavic immigrants (known as Wends) from Lusatia, an area in eastern Germany. If you’re curious about the Texas Wends, a visit to the
Wendish culture is also celebrated by the Annual Wendish Fest, held the fourth Sunday in September. Listen to traditional German and Sorbian folk music, watch performances of traditional dances, and see egg decorators demonstrate their craft. Plenty of food, including homemade baked goods, will be on hand when your appetite kicks in.
Go Antique Shopping
A Blast From the Past. They have an amazing collection of hats, dresses, and shoes, as well as furniture, home décor, and some of the best fudge around. Step into Whistle-Stop Antiques and you may not leave for a few hours as there are so many booths with just about everything you can think of. Antique tractor seats, butter churns, dishes, art, saddles … the list goes on and on, but the discovery process is half the fun. The Whistle-Stop even gives free popcorn to patrons. What’s not to love about that?There are a number of antique stores in Giddings that are well worth the drive, so be sure to leave room in your suitcase for your new finds. If you love vintage clothing, check out
Roadhouse Antiques is another great stop for antiquers. Here you’ll find old bed frames, jewelry, books, windows, doors, vintage tins, and so much more. Another antiquing hotspot in and near Giddings is the Stuermer Store. Grab a grilled cheese and a malt at their saloon while you’re shopping. If you’re planning on doing some antique shopping in Giddings, make sure to leave some extra space in your car. After all, you might find something you just can’t leave behind.
Enjoy Outdoor Recreation in Giddings
Giddings is nestled in a beautiful region of Texas and there are plenty of options to enjoy the great outdoors here. Explore the numerous Texas State Parks within an hour’s drive of Giddings. Lake Somerville State Park & Trailway, which includes the Nails Creek and Birch Creek units, has more than 20 miles of trails where you can hike, bike, and ride horses (you’ll have to bring your own). On Lake Somerville, you can go boating, water skiing, kayaking, and fishing (the lake is a great place to catch bass and catfish).
Bastrop State Park sits southwest of Giddings and provides hiking and biking trails of its own, as well as a wealth of scenic campgrounds and a lake to swim in. Nearby Buescher State Park provides fishing, nature studies, and geocaching, to name a few of the many things to do. For more outdoor recreation within Giddings itself, play some tennis or baseball or go swimming at Giddings Veteran’s Park, or play a game of soccer or baseball or have a picnic at Giddings’ Simmang Park.
Giddings, TX 78942