Luling is a community rich in history. Once known as “the toughest town in Texas”, Luling was established in 1874 with the westward progression of the railroad. Throughout the last century Luling has been a significant center of all that is Texas: starting with the railroad, leading to cattle, cotton, and oil. Preserving its history, Luling continues these traditions in the 21st century. Our natural resources have become an integral part of who we are today.
BBQ and the Paddling Trail
Well known for its BBQ, Paddling Trail, Watermelons and Oil, Luling has it all. As one of the proud stops along the world famous Texas BBQ Trail, our mouthwatering BBQ, will leave you wanting more. That is why so many Texans and visitors alike know Luling first for the BBQ. The experience alone is well worth the trip.
Home of the first inland paddling trail, Luling is proud of this 6 mile stretch of the San Marcos River. Located just south of town you will find this a refreshing escape from the hustle and bustle. Grab your canoe or kayak and start your journey just West of Luling at River Trail Park. This stretch of the river is great for experienced kayakers and canoers or novice enthusiasts. Canoe rental and shuttle service is available from Zedler Mill.
The Foundation Farm
The Luling Foundation Farm is along the East side of the paddling trail. This 1,122 acre demonstration farm was donated to Luling by Edgar B. Davis to foster innovation and diversity in agriculture.
At the end of this 6 mile trek the historic Zedler Mill awaits you. Picnic, relax and enjoy the soothing sound of water flowing over the dam. A self-guided telephone tour and descriptive panels throughout the park provide insight into the uses of each structure and the important functions of this early 20th century center of commerce and industry.
The Watermelon Thump
During the last full weekend in June join Luling in a festival of “Texas sized” proportions. This community of 5600 grows to 50,000+ during the 4 day festival. At this event you will find unique foods, carnival, outstanding music and performers (under the Thump Pavilion and throughout the festival grounds), a parade, & Arts & Crafts vendors. Don’t forget the contests unlike any you will find in Texas: Seed spitting and team seed spitting, watermelon eating contest, champion melon growing contest and the crowning of the Luling Watermelon Thump Queen.
Luling’s Oil Legacy
Many tourists that travel to or through Luling notice that the community greets you with the “smell of money” before you ever reach the City limits signs. A proud community with a history rich in oil, Luling’s first discovery of Oil was made on August 9, 1922 by Edgar B. Davis. The Raphael Rios well struck oil on that date and began the oil boom for Luling. The town became a “tent city” overnight with rough necks and oil producers actively drilling for “Texas Tea.” The Oil wells and pump jacks are so much a part of our everyday life that years ago the Luling Chamber of Commerce commissioned an artist to decorate characters that spend their days and nights entertaining tourists and the community with their perpetual motion.
Luling has an Oil Museum dedicated to preserving the history of Oil in our community.
Truly a microcosm of Texas, you will find Luling an inviting place to visit and a wonderful place to live.