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.
A train thunders along the track
Well known for its BBQ, paddling trail, watermelons, and oil, Luling has it all.
BBQ Trail
As one of the proud stops along the world famous Texas BBQ Trail, our mouth watering 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.
Map displaying the BBQ Trail
Inland Paddling Trail
Home of the 1st 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.
Kayakers navigate along the Paddling Trail
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 and is still in operation and is 1 of a kind.
Cows grazing on Foundation Farm
Zedler Mill
At the end of this 6 mile trek the historic Zedler Mill awaits you. This 100+ year old mill once supplied power to the City of Luling. A cotton gin, saw mill, grist mill, and source of water supply this historical site is a diamond in the rough and a wonderful place to picnic, relax and enjoy the living history around you. The Zedler Mill is in the beginning stages of renovation, come watch the progress.
Water dam of the Zedler Mill
Watermelon Thump!
Join Luling during the last full weekend in June for the Watermelon Thump, a festival of “Texas sized” proportions. This community of 5,600 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 as well and throughout the festival grounds), a parade, and Arts and 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.
Pump Jack
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” over night with rough necks and oil producers actively drilling for “Texas Tea.”
A Pump Jack operating in a field
The oil wells and pump jacks are so much apart 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.
Oil Museum
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.
Oil Museum