Castell extends a warm welcome to visitors

Get away to Castell on the Llano River for a secluded reset and a new perspective. The tiny town offers kayaking and canoeing, hiking and biking, access to supplies, and delicious mealtime fare, all in Llano County.

First stop, the Castell General Store, which has everything you need for a weekend getaway, including ice, beer, and bait. Cooked food includes what many claim is the best burger in Texas, a three-quarter-pounder with all of the trimmings. You’ll also find pizza and sandwiches.

Germans emigrated to the area in 1847, and in 1964, Castell was designated a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark. The charming town once thrived with the general store serving as a blacksmith shop, a cotton gin, a two-story hotel, and a full-time doctor’s office.

Now, the Llano River calls most people to Castell, where weekend visitors enjoy fly fishing for plentiful trout, bird-watching, and climbing on outcroppings of granite boulders. The river is mostly shallow — wading in the cool water on a hot summer day is a welcome treat!

Bikers and cyclists gather here for rallies and races and enjoy cruising the twisting roads that meander through the hills. It’s also a great place for car clubs to stop for a break. Hunters drive in from their deer blinds on all-terrain vehicles for supplies, and others just want to see what it’s all about.

In September, crowds come for the annual Cockaroo Music Festival, a free event that features live music, tasty food, a cornhole tournament for cash prizes, and fireworks to close out the night. Castell is also home to the annual Testicle Festival, which is held in May.

Deep in the heart of Texas, Castell is less than 20 miles west of the thriving community of Llano and under 20 miles east of Mason. It’s also within two hours of Austin and San Antonio.