Day Trips: Goldthwaite's Texas Botanical Garden

Re-creating a slice of the Texas Hill Country

Day Trips: Goldthwaite's Texas Botanical Garden
Photos by Gerald E. Mcleod

Texas Botanical Gardens re-creates a slice of the Texas Hill Country in downtown Goldthwaite. The converted block on the highway provides locals and visitors a peek into the region's native landscape in a restful environment.

The park is accessed by a shaded pathway that meanders through the park to a small amphitheater shielded from the road noise by a man-made hill of red stones and native plants. On a rise above the stream, an early Native American hut towers over an earthen cooking pit. "We're trying to show the Native American connection to our area," says Tab Ledbetter, a supervisor with Looking Out Design, the contractor who built the park that opened on Oct. 11 with former First Lady Laura Bush in attendance.

Day Trips: Goldthwaite's Texas Botanical Garden

Goldthwaite, the county seat of Mills County, is a town of a little less than 2,000 that has seen busier days. The community holds on with a homegrown mixture of industry and agriculture.

What is most amazing is the active volunteers who have spent nearly a decade planning and building Legacy Plaza, a multi-facet education facility. The gardens are one part that also includes a museum annex housed in a Sears Craftsman Kit House. A visitor and interpretive center next to the gardens is set to open soon. Still to come is a Native American Interpretive Center.

The Texas Botanical Gardens is at the corner of U.S. 183 and Third Street in Goldthwaite. To learn more about Legacy Plaza, go to

1,213th in a series. Collect them all. Day Trips, Vol. 2, a book of "Day Trips," is available for $8.95, plus $3.05 for shipping, handling, and tax. Mail to: Day Trips, PO Box 33284, South Austin, TX 78704.

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Texas Botanical Gardens, Goldthwaite, Mills County, Native American Interpretive Center

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