Day Trips: Container City, Burnet

Shipping containers become cabins for a scenic mountain getaway

Photos by Gerald E. McLeod

Container City outside of Burnet is built of … you guessed it … shipping containers. It turns out that those big metal boxes used to transport goods around the world also make great cabins in the woods.

There are six of the cottages and each one is configured differently. The sizes range from just right for a couple to room enough for two small families. Made out of 20- and 40-foot-long boxes stacked like Lego blocks, each custom-built cabin comes with a full kitchen, tiled bathrooms, and a couple of decks.

It is the decks that are the centerpiece of the cabins. You'll want to spend your time there perched at treetop level, enjoying the songbirds or watching the sun sink into Lake Buchanan.

"In Austin it just gets dark," says Brad Beneski, a graduate of Westlake High School. "Out here we have sunsets."

It took Brad and his partner, Matt Ball, 18 months to cut Container City out of the rocky back side of Spider Mountain. The front is occupied by the downhill bicycle park with its own ski lift, and a trail connects the two parks and the lake.

Self-contained campers will want to take advantage of the nine RV slips a little farther up the mountain from the cabins. Each slot comes with full hookups.

Spider Mountain makes a great base camp to explore the Burnet area, but Container City has its own neighborhood bar. Templeton's Tavern attracts locals and guests to an evening of local music, a full bar, and pub-style pizza that's not half bad.

Container City is about an hour northwest of Austin and 15 minutes out of Burnet. For more information, give them a call at 512/939-6006 or visit

1,637th in a series. Everywhere is a day trip from somewhere: Follow “Day Trips & Beyond,” a travel blog, at

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Container City, Burnet, Brad Beneski, Matt Ball, Lake Buchanan, Templeton's Tavern, Spider Mountain

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