All Around Austin

Top Things to do in Taylor Texas

Dan Moody House, What to do in Taylor Texas
The Moody House Museum is the childhood home to the youngest Texas governor. Photo Credit: Catherine Parker

As a top BBQ destination, day trippers line up for legendary brisket at Louie Mueller’s BBQ in Taylor. However, there’s more to Taylor than BBQ. Taylor is located east of Austin and features a quaint downtown district with many original buildings from the Victorian era, many rumored to be haunted. Along the way, people pass public art as they browse the unique and independently owned boutiques. In the area flanking the downtown core, streets are lined with historic homes. Here are the Top Things to do in Taylor Texas.

Top Things to Do in Taylor Texas

As the first Amtrak stop east of Austin, Taylor is at the intersection of two train lines trains. From Taylor, visitors can ride the rails from Dallas, Chicago or even Los Angeles.

A former Texas Governor, Dan Moody, lived in Taylor and his house is open for tours. Bill Pickett also called Taylor home, and he was a cowboy legend. A statue of Bill Pickett stands at Main and Second Streets downtown. Finally Tex Avery, the creator of Bugs Bunny, also lived in Taylor.

Top Restaurants in Taylor

Louie Mueller's BBQ. What to do in Taylor Texas
The beef brisket, with its crust of black pepper and salt, is a must. Photo Credit: Louis Mueller BBQ

Louie Mueller’s BBQ

As the winner of the James Beard Foundation American Classics this BBQ joint is a must. The diner will find the atmosphere as good as the brisket. Inside, the walls are tinted a rich umber brown from years of pecan wood fires. It is one of the top things to do in Taylor.

A multi-generational establishment, it all began with Louie Mueller in 1949. Then his son Bobbie took over and finally Wayne, the grandson, took the helm as the pitmaster. Find the accolades covering the dining room’s walls. It’s been on Texas Monthly’s Best BBQ Joints list for decades. That’s like the Academy Awards for BBQ.

Located at 206 West Second St. Open Wednesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Salado Weekend Getaway 


With a menu of smoked meats and Texas favorite flavors mixed with inventive bar specials, Mixtape is a modern take on a neighborhood joint. Diners can get a tender BBQ sandwich, a Friday night hamburger or a cup of Green Chili Pork Stew.

Located at 108 East Second St. Open Thursday to Saturday from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.

La Scala 

Enjoy an upscale Italian restaurant that boasts a seasonal menu with Italian and Mediterranean flavors.  The intimate space caters to date nights and foodies. Be sure and peruse the wine list.

It is also home to the best pizza in town. Then, cap off your experience with something from the dessert case.

Located at 203 N. Main. St. Open from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. from Tuesday to Saturday, reservations are recommended for Friday and Saturday.

Plowman’s Kitchen

Dine in a vintage high school band hall, delightfully updated with mid-century modern booths and banks of windows that let in bounties of natural light. With a menu packed with American classics, diners will find staples like Caesar Salad along with Chicken Fried Steak. Step out of the ordinary and sample the Beet Salad or a Pear Gorgonzola Salad.

Anglophiles will delight with daily afternoon tea from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Kids can enjoy milk and freshly baked cookies any time, thanks to the on-site baker. Reservations required.

Located at 305 W. 9th St. Open Monday to Saturday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Monarca’s Mexican Restaurant

For a classic Tex-Mex restaurant, Monarca’s Mexican Restaurant offers an extensive menu with enchiladas, fajitas and tacos. Monarca’s Mexican Restaurant has two locations in Taylor.

Located at 121 W. 3rd St. and 202 W. Lake Dr. Open daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., 10 p.m. on weekends.

Second Street Station 

Second Street Station offers an American menu with weekend brunch, lunch and dinner options along with a wall of taps and inventive cocktails. With several TVs going, it’s the place to see the game.

Located at 201 N. Main St. Open from 11 a.m. to midnight Monday to Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m.,  and Sunday from 11 a.m. to midnight.

El Cantoncito Salvadoran Restaurant

For those craving pupusas, filled and grilled flat breads, El Cantoncito Salvadoran Restaurant is the place to find them. It also serves a menu of Salvadoran favorites.

Located at 105 E 3rd St,. Open Tuesday to Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 8 p.m.

coffee art. Things to do in Taylor Texas
. Photo Credit: Catherine Parker

Good Strangers

Along 2nd Street, fill up your favorite cuppa. Find locally roasted coffee along with in-house baked sweet and savory treats along with breakfast pastries and light lunch items.

Located at 114 W. 2nd Street. Open Monday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Farmers Market on Main Street

Stroll the covered pavilion in Heritage Square Park for fresh meats, local eggs and farm-fresh vegetables and flowers.

Located at 400 Main St. Held every Saturday morning from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Best Wildflower Drives in Texas

A Dose of Culture

Taylor is home to a vibrant community of artists and creators. Enjoying the arts is one of the top things to do in Taylor, Texas.

Moody House Museum

Learn about the youngest Texas governor while walking through his boyhood home. As a district attorney for Williamson County, he successfully prosecuted the Ku Klux Klan in 1924, ending with four members serving time.

He went on to become the Texas Attorney General then announced he was running for governor in 1926. Beating out incompetent “Ma” Ferguson in 1927, he was a two-term governor.

Located at 114 W. 9th St. Open Saturdays from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Free

Art Off Center

Learn to throw a pot in an artistic way at Art Off Center. Wander down Potter’s Alley behind the McCrory-Timmerman Building to turn a ball of clay into a vessel. The class schedule includes everything from date night projects to mommy and me classes.

Located at 116 W. 2nd Street, find Art Off Center through the double doors off Potter’s Alley and head to the basement. Reservations required.

Curio Mrvosa–Books and More 

An independently owned bookshop in downtown Taylor. It stocks an eclectic selection of fiction and non-fiction in both new and gently used options. So readers can find vintage romances, cookbooks from around the world and the latest middle-grade must-reads. It also stocks stationery and gifts.

Located at 114 N Main St. Open Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.

Music On Main

During the Spring and Fall, downtown Heritage Square is transformed by live music. On the third Thursday of the month, the stage lights go on at 7 p.m., and the music follows.

Located at 400 Main St. Free

Austin Weekend Itinerary 
Bill Pickett Bronze
See the bull-dogging cowboy legend Bill Pickett in bronze. Photo Credit: Catherine Parker

Taylor’s Art Scene

Dotted across the historic downtown find art indoors and out. The McCrory-Timmerman building on the corner of Second and Main offers the largest concentration of art in Taylor. It is one of the top things to do in Taylor.

Chevy Showroom–A mural depicting a vintage car showroom on the curve of a Streamline Moderne building.

Painted Pianos Project–A public art exhibit, find four painted pianos across Taylor’s historic district. Each was artist created in plein air style.

Bill Pickett Statue—Find the bronze of the bull-dogging cowboy legend in front of the McCrory Timmerman Building.

Olympian Fred Kerley Mural–Originally from Taylor, Kerley won the Silver in the  100-meter at the 2021 Toyko Olympic Games  Located at 1602 North Main Street.

Stomp-n-Holler Mural—Find it on the Talbot Street side of the McCrory-Timmerman building.

Potter’s Alley—Find street art from several local artists along with the popular wings.

Texas Flag—Painted on the side of Louie Mueller’s Barbeque.

Gateway Mural—Welcoming all to town, find the mural with Taylor legends, Tex Avery and Bill Pickett, on the Taylor’d Flowers For You building on West Second Street.

Welcome to 4th and Main Mural—Located on the side of the Trouvaille Antiques building.

Gathering Places in Taylor

Old Taylor High

In a renovated old high school, Old Taylor High features a collection of retail and dining. Most are independently owned and range from a coffee shop to the arcade to boutique shopping.

Located at 410 W 7th St. Open daily, and each shop hosts its own hours.

The Loose Screw Craft Beer House and Garden

Enjoy any of the 42 beers on tap, and find a new favorite with a menu that’s always changing. The outdoor beer garden hosts live music on weekends. Find kids and dogs running about the grounds too.

Located at 410 W. 7th St. Open Monday to Thursday from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 2 p.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 8 p.m.

Red Cap Cigar Lounge

Sit back in a tufted leather chair and savor a cigar in The Study. Or grab a friend and watch the game while sampling a new brand in The Loft. Find it all and more at The Red Cap Cigar Lounge.

Located at 215 N. Main St. Open Tuesday to Thursday from noon to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m.

Parks in Downtown Taylor

Pierce Park Skate Park

Kids of all ages flock to Pierce Park for an Evergreen Skate Park built flow park. Named in honor of Lt. Commander Thomas Floyd Pierce, it’s BMX and skateboard-friendly.

Located at 200 E 4th St. Open daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.Free

Heritage Square Park and Splash Pad

Heritage Park anchors downtown Taylor and is located at the intersection of 4th and Main St. It offers a covered pavilion, an amphitheater, and a small play area. the weather is warm out, head to the splash pad at Heritage Square.

Located at 400 N. Main St. Free

Where to Stay in Taylor Texas


Catherine Parker has a passion for travel and seen all 50 U.S. States. As a former flight attendant with one of the largest airlines, there isn't a North American airport that she hasn't landed in at least once. Since clipping her professional wings after 9/11, she combines her love of the open road with visiting architectural and cultural icons. She is based out of Central Texas dividing her time between writing and restoring a pair of 100-year-old houses. She shares her life with her three kids and her husband.

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