Another post about a tiny Texas Hill Country town that you might want to visit someday – Utopia, Texas
By Judy Peacock
The Texas Hill Country is filled with dozens of towns and cities where the residents think that their hometown is the best place to live. Utopia is no different. Merriam Webster’s definition of the word “utopia” is “a place of ideal perfection,” and the people who call Utopia home tend to agree.
It is not that there are tons of things to do in Utopia. It is that the surroundings are breathtaking and the place is peaceful and serene. This tiny town is a good place to come to get out of the rat-race of big city life. Some people say that the first postmaster, back in the 1800s, had tuberculosis, and that swimming in the Sabinal River here healed him of that disease. Others say that living in Utopia today has a healing effect, too – with its slower paced life – it’s like living in a paradise, a sanctuary. People choose to stay here and raise their families here because it is less stressful than larger cities, and they feel safe here.
- Things to Do
The principal businesses in Utopia are tourism, hunting, and ranching. This small town has a few unique shops and places to eat, as well as many great places to stay – cabins, vacation homes, bed & breakfasts, and lodges. There are two State Parks nearby – Garner State Park and Lost Maples State Natural Area. Lost Maples is famous for the brilliant fall colors that most people think you need to travel to New England to see. Utopia is an excellent wildlife viewing and birdwatching location. In addition to beautiful scenery, there are great fishing, swimming, and picnic areas.
The 2011 Robert Duvall movie named “Seven Days in Utopia” was based on the book, Golf’s Sacred Journey, 7 Days at the Links of Utopia, and was filmed in and around Utopia, including the Utopia Golf Course. Come see where a large portion of this movie about a young golfer’s life was filmed. In the movie, the young man happens upon the small town of Utopia, where he meets a former golf pro who has retired to a quiet country life. The former pro builds a golf course in a field in the middle of nowhere, takes the young golfer under his wing, and spends a week completely re-shaping the way the young man thinks about the game of golf and about life. The peace and quiet of Utopia made the perfect backdrop for the book and for the movie.
Even though day-to-day life here can be slow, there are some exciting events that bring in lots of people throughout each year. October brings Utopiafest, a unique two-day music festival. In November, there is the Utopia Fall Art Fair, with over 50 booths of artists’ work. Earlier each year, there are Utopia Ranch Rodeo & Dance on Memorial Day Weekend; Utopia Rodeo, BBQ & Dance in June; and a fireworks display that is said to rival any big city fireworks, on the 4th of July.
- General Information
Utopia is unincorporated, which means there is not a government authority keeping up with an exact population number, but it is said that the number of people who live there is right around 300. The 2010 census lists it as 227. Population has consistently been up and down around that 300 person mark for the past 40 years or so. The graduating class of the Utopia school district generally runs around 12 students, and has for decades.
Visit www.UtopiaTexas.com to get more detailed information about the inception and history of Utopia, as well as valuable addresses and telephone numbers. Also, watch for follow-up articles here, so that you can get more details on places to stay and things to do, to help you plan a trip to visit The Texas Hill Country’s Heaven on Earth – Utopia.