Breakfast is the most important meal of the day!

Isn’t that what mom always said?  We have locally owned restaurants who proudly specialize in creating ‘love on a plate.’  Imagine steamy, fluffy biscuits the size of your fist slathered in creamy sausage gravy; buttermilk pancakes piled high, dripping with real melted butter and syrup; farm fresh eggs, thick slabs of bacon with a side of hot coffee.  The list of morning eateries is extensive and we all have our ‘go-to’ places that help us push the reset button to face the day with a smile and albeit, tight pants!

Here’s a list of places in Washington County to get your day started off on the right foot!

  1. Andrea’s Taco Shop – open 24-hours (Friday & Saturday only) – authentic mom & pop taqueria
  2. Blue Willow Café (Burton) – Tweaked Eggs Benedict are a favorite, but so are the Banana Pancakes Banana pancakes with bacon
  3. Brenham Grill (located inside Ant Street Inn, serves breakfast only on weekends) everything from granola to eggs Florentine
  4. Canion Kountry Bakery, home of a HUGE bacon, egg, & cheese biscuit (lovingly referred to by some staff members as a “baby head biscuit” because that’s how big it is)bacon egg & cheese biscuit
  5. Chappell Hill Bakery & Deli - Sausage & Fruit kolaches and traditional breakfast
  6. Chappell Hill Sausage Company (closed Sundays) – can’t get more fresh than where the sausage is made
  7. Daisy’s Mexican Food – authentic Mexican breakfast including menudo and migas migas and breakfast taco
  8. Las Americas Latin Cuisine (Downtown Brenham)– weekend brunch specials like Fried eggs & chorizo with mimosasFried egg & chorizo sandwich
  9. Manuel’s Mexican Restaurant – breakfast only available Saturdays
  10. Ninety-Six West (Downtown Brenham) – another weekend brunch favorite like smoked salmon eggs benedict along with mimosas & bloody mary's Bloody Mary and Mimosa
  11. Santa Fe Café – only open weekdays in Downtown Brenham, but a local favorite
  12. Smitty’s Café & Bakery – where everything is homemade & made from scratch chicken and waffles

And who doesn’t need a JOLT of caffeine??  Try our locally-owned coffee shops!

  1. Independence Coffee Roastery – that’s right, roasted right here in Brenham
  2. Mescalito Coffee (inside Ballad of the Bird Dog)
  3. Wired & Inspired Coffee Shop (inside The Pomegrante)

In a hurry?  Try these places for a quick & easy bite.

  1. Weikel’s Bakery – kolaches, just like homemade
  2. Max’s Donuts - donuts, kolaches and breakfast tacos

Sometimes the best things in life are FREE … or pretty close …

TOP TEN FREE THINGS

to do and see in Washington County!

 

The ‘dog days’ of summer are here and you are dreaming of having fun—something beyond the blow up pool in the backyard. You NEED to get out of the house, experience a complete change of scenery, make some memories, feed your spirit … without breaking the bank! No worries. Head to the Brenham and Washington County area! It’s an easy drive away—halfway between Houston and Austin—and a world away from the hustle and bustle of big city life.

 

  1. Window Shop in Historic Downtown Brenham and Chappell Hill

You’ll feel the stress melting away as you stroll our peaceful historic streets and experience small town friendliness and charm. Take a moment to sit in the shade of huge oak trees surrounding the Courthouse in Brenham or the historic buildings in Chappell Hill and don’t be surprised if you get a friendly wave or two. FREE!

Downtown Chappell Hill stores

  1. New Splash Pad near Fireman’s Park

Take a seat at a nearby picnic table and watch the kids laugh and play in the cool, clean water. You might just want to join them! Good, clean fun for all. FREE!

Splash Pad at Fireman's Park

  1. Peeka Ranch Alpacas

Get up close and pet these beautiful animals. You’ll fall in love as soon as you gaze into their sweet eyes, complete with enviable long eyelashes! FREE for those under 17, $5 for adults! Appointments required.

Alpacas

  1. Texas Cotton Gin Museum in Burton

History comes alive with this one-of-a-kind experience. Built in 1914, the Burton Farmer’s Cotton Gin is the oldest operating gin in the U.S. The museum is full of cotton memorabilia and the store offers fun, cotton-inspired shopping.  Open Tuesday – Saturday from 10-3. The Museum is FREE for everyone.  Tours at 10 am and 2pm are FREE for children 5 and under; Students $4; Adults $6.

Model T's in front of Cotton Gin

  1. Let Giant Murals Inspire Your Creativity

Drop by the Visitor Center in Downtown Brenham and pick up a passport or download a map  here, that will direct you to all the breathtaking murals that have been painted by famed muralists from around the country. Truly inspiring—and great backdrops for selfies! FREE!

Sam Houston Mural

  1. Pleasant Hill Winery

Call and make an appointment to harvest juicy grapes that are ready for the perfect homemade jellies and jams … or your own wine making. The winery is not open on the inside for tasting, but on weekends you can always buy a bottle and enjoy a glass from the safety of the great outdoors. Grape picking is FREE while supplies last, typically through the second week of August. 

Grapes at Pleasant Hill Winery

  1. Chappell Hill Lavender Farm

Ahhhh, the sweet smell of lavender! Take a scenic drive to the Chappell Hill area and walk among the rows and rows of gorgeous lavender plants. The shop offers a variety of lavender-inspired soaps, food, gifts and more. Fresh air and lavender are FREE !  Open Thursday – Sunday, see website for hours.

Lavender fresh cut in basket

  1. Antique Rose Emporium

This 8-acre complex features nature in all its glory and is a definite “must see.” Photographers love the endless vignettes (charges apply for professional photo shoots). Gardeners are inspired by the creative uses of plants and found objects that dot the gardens. Nature lovers get their ‘fix’ of all things beautiful in these display gardens. FREE! Open Thursday – Sunday, see website for hours.

Antique Rose Emporium gardens

  1. Old Baylor Park

Sprawling old oak trees shade this historic site, where stone ruins remain from Baylor University’s earliest days. Picnic tables and a playground make this a favorite stop for traveling families. An easy two-mile round-trip walk (or drive) takes you to Independence Cemetery, one of the most soulful historic cemeteries in the area. FREE!

Ruins of Old Baylor

  1. Blue Bell Creameries

No trip to our area is complete without visiting the creamery. Browse the Blue Bell Visitor Center for all kinds of history, pictures, and videos. Savor a generous scoop of your favorite Blue Bell ice cream from the Parlor (only $1 per scoop) and a trip to the Country Store for a unique gift. Important Note: Observation Deck is not currently open, but the Parlor, Visitor Center and Gift Shop are FREE and open Monday – Friday 8am-5pm.

Blue Bell ice cream in a cup with spoon.

Plan a weekend stay to do it all!  There’s plenty to do and see in the fresh open spaces of our area—without breaking the bank. You are FREE to roam our area. See you soon!

Summer Fun

So, you want to run away from home?

THREE HUGE reasons why you should head to Brenham and Washington County this summer!

Reason #1  -  Amazing, Delicious, BBQ from Texas’ best Pit Masters featured on Brenham’s BBQ Trail

Reason #2 - FAMILY FRIENDLY GRAPE-STOMPING FUN AT LOCAL WINERIES

Pleasant Hill Winery  - Experience “Crush for Fun”, offered four consecutive weekends in July and  August. You get to pick the grapes and stomp “Lucy-style” and put your footprints on a T-shirt.

Windy Winery - the Harvest Grape Stomp offered weekends in July and August is summer classic fun with picking and squishing grapes … and of course, making purple feet T-shirts!

More wine tasting and micro brews

Saddlehorn Winery - Escape to the picturesque countryside of Burton, TX to sip and savor award-winning wines. Open daily.

Texas Star Winery  - Nestled in beautiful Chappell Hill, enjoy award-winning wines in a charming tasting room or out under the trees.

Brazos Valley Brewing Company - Located a block from historic Downtown Brenham, this independent craft brewery is a ‘must do’ while here.

#3  FESTIVAL FUN FOR EVERYONE

 

July 4th Picnic at Barrington Plantation  - Experience an 1850s style Independence Day celebration! Musket firing, toasts and a reading of the Declaration of Independence will commemorate the day. Bring your own picnic basket, and enjoy al-fresco dining.

 

Hot Nights, Cool Tunes  - Saturday evenings July 11, 18 and August 1st; Bring your lawn chair and gather around the historic downtown square to listen to the sounds of live music and walk through the classic car show. Admission and parking is FREE!

 

 

Summer Sip  - August 8th; stroll through unique shops in historic Downtown Brenham while tasting signature drinks offered by local merchants.

 

Chappell Hill Lavender and Wine Fest - August 8th; fields of lavender provide a beautiful backdrop for this annual event that features tastings, crafts, music, demonstrations and a place to unwind.

When you’re ready to run, make Brenham your finish line!

Hot Nights, Cool Tunes 2020

RESCHEDULED FOR OCTOBER 2020 - See the Hot Nights Facebook page for more information, no car shows to be held

 

Hot Nights, Cool Tunes is one of the highlights of the summer in Washington County! And lucky for us, it is not just a one-time event. Bring your lawn chair and your friends, and join us each Saturday evening in July for live music on our historic downtown square. Admission and parking are free. Food and drinks are available for purchase to support the community and help keep the concerts free. The west end of Alamo Street features a car show by Stray Katz Car Club, which is always a family favorite.

The music starts at 7pm and ends around 9pm. Come early for shopping, food and the car show!

July 11th – Austin Party Band

The concert series kicks off with Austin Party Band and their sounds from Motown to modern.

Sponsored by: Woodson Lumber, Baylor Scott & White, Citizens State Bank and South Texas Tack

July 18th – Texas Unlimited Band

Texas Unlimited Band (TUB) returns to the stage playing everything from country to 80’s hits and always gets the crowd up and dancing!

Sponsored by: Siedel Schroeder, Mike Hopkins Distributing, Brenham National Bank and Dahmann & Associates insurance

July 25th – Escape

ESCAPE is a Houston based group committed to taking you back through the years of Journey.

Sponsored by: Tippit Dental Group, Brannon Industrial Group, Bluebonnet Electric and Brazos Valley Schools Credit Union

August 1st – The Damn Torpedoes

The Damn Torpedoes have it: attitude, mojo, chemistry, skill, and determination…and use those qualities to pay tribute to an American band who for 4 decades were the pure embodiment of the same, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.

Sponsored by: Associated Credit Union of Texas, Ant Street Inn, Independence Coffee and Strand Associates

 

Hot Nights, Cool Tunes concert series is brought to you by

 The City of Brenham and KTEX 106.1

Make a weekend out of it, and stay in Brenham and Washington County! Click here for lodging.

Burton Cotton Gin Festival

Did you know that the oldest operating cotton gin in the United States is located in Burton, Texas?

Every year, this historical treasure is celebrated at the Burton Cotton Gin Festival. A day filled with fun for the whole family kicks off with a parade followed by a classic car show, demonstrations, antique tractors, live music, shopping, and all the food and refreshments you would expect from a small town of German heritage!

Experience the sights and sounds of the old cotton gin in action as festival goers witness the baling process. And don't miss out on a tour of the Texas Cotton Gin Museum, where you can learn about the foundation of the gin and the story of how it was saved from becoming the site of a convenience store.

 

Burton Cotton Gin Festival - Burton, Texas

June 13, 2020  |  10:00am - 6:00pm

Free Admission

Visit the Texas Cotton Gin Museum for more information.

The Temporary Normal

Who would ever guess that now when someone refers to ‘The Good Old Days,’ they are indicating a time in our history that began just eight short weeks ago. They are reminiscing about a time before an invisible, scary virus turned lives upside down ... when life as we knew it suddenly changed.

Lucky that in Brenham we know a thing or two about combining the past with the present so that we can enjoy ‘The Good Old Days’ again without too much fear or anxiety. In fact, we are pretty proud of offering friends, family and visitors a way to experience the past while enjoying modern and clean conveniences.

Just take a stroll through Downtown Brenham and you’ll see beautiful examples of combining old and new. Exterior walls of well-preserved historic buildings are adorned with beautiful contemporary murals created by renowned artists from around the country.

And, while you are out walking in the fresh air (on our uncrowded small town streets), feel free to pop into one of our friendly shops. You’ll find convenient hand sanitizing stations, not only to keep your hands clean but to give you peace of mind in knowing that we take your well being seriously. Our merchants look forward to seeing you again, but know it’s important to maintain small numbers in their shops for the health of everyone. You won’t get any hugs (not that they won’t want to) but, you’ll feel a genuine Texas friendliness and see a lot of warm smiles ... albeit some behind masks ... and that’s okay!

Throughout our area, dozens of restaurants have worked diligently to provide an environment that respects social distancing while serving some of the best food you’ll put in your mouth. Mexican, Barbecue, American or Gourmet ... doesn’t some good comfort food sound perfect right now? Whether you opt to dine in or order take out, we think you’re going to love biting into something that’s not another one of your own home cooked meals! Seriously!

We want you to fill your days in Brenham with fun and laughter and a feeling of safety. You can be secure in staying overnight knowing our lodging has been scrubbed to the max. Our hotels, including our downtown boutique hotel, Ant Street Inn, have established extreme cleaning protocols to sanitize and prepare rooms to ensure your stay is pristine so both your mind and body can relax during your stay in our area.

So, when you feel ready to take a break from home ... head our way ... we are ready for you.

We miss you and can’t wait to show just how much!

Bluebonnets and Beyond

It seems that we barely finish ringing in the New Year before people begin to ask us ‘How’s the bluebonnet crop this year?’

It’s a true obsession. A rite of passage. A Texas tradition carried on throughout countless generations. Almost a primal need to find the perfect spot to plunk down your babies, both human and fur, to ensure the bluebonnet season (and said family members) have been preserved in history. No other wildflower will do, it must be bluebonnets for a true Texas bluebonnet baptism ... no disrespect meant ... but sometimes it does feel almost as important.

Let’s be honest, finding a giant field of bluebonnets is like walking into a picture painted by the hand of God. There really is nothing like it, especially if we are lucky enough to experience a ‘Super Bloom’... oceans of bluebonnets as far as the eye can see ... cascading wave after wave, adorning our fields and hillsides.

However ... what if the Spring doesn’t give us a Super Bloom, or perhaps you miss the blooming peak by a week ... but you still NEED that bluebonnet fix.

No worries ... all is not lost!wildflowers under large trees at sunset

Take a moment and look around. It’s beautiful here, regardless of Super Blooms. Really beautiful, with so much to take in and enjoy ... beyond the bluebonnets.

Wildflowers are everywhere, in every color and are ever changing depending the time of spring or summer you visit our area. Multi-colored phlox carpet the earth, then bluebonnets, Indian paintbrushes and wine cups reach for the warm spring sun and Indian blankets and coreopsis let us know that summer is in full swing.

Wildflowers can be amazing tour guides in Washington County. They can lead you to places and experiences both expected and unexpected.

old baylor ruins and bluebonnetsA favorite stop for bluebonnet hunters is Old Baylor Park in Independence. Centuries old, graceful oak trees gently shade the area where old Baylor Female College once stood. Situated just off Highway 390, it’s a perfect location for travelers who have driven the scenic highway to relax and take photos.

While there, take a look around and you’ll discover hidden sites. The Independence cemetery is nearby where you’ll gaze on a treasure of old graves that lie beneath mounds of wildflowers that seem to understand they are gracing our ancestors who are at rest beneath. Truly a beautiful and historical place.

Texas Baptist Historical Museum welcomes visitors to discover the area’s past. This is where Sam Houston attended church ... you can even see where he carved his initials in the pew!

monument and bluebonnets

classic cars at old fuel station

 

 

 

 

 

Plan your visit around the lunch hour and come hungry! The Independence General Store (circa 1900) serves the best hamburgers around. Grab your sodas and longnecks from the coolers and order at the counter. Then, head out back and enjoy the breeze on the raised deck while waiting for your burger. No doubt you’ll be visited by the resident goat who will meander up the wooden stairs and peer through the gate to check for any leftovers ... and he’s usually not disappointed ... there’s always a bite or two left to share. Forgot to mention this is a casual affair, no tie needed. Ha!

garden and windmillTime to walk off lunch. Luckily, just five minutes up the road you’ll find the Antique Rose Emporium. This eight-acre botanical garden center offers views from every angle and antique rose varieties of all types ... not to mention a ton of native plants. It’s the perfect place to take a walk and breathe in the fresh air while surrounded by nature.

There’s so much to do and see, you’ll want to plan a weekend ... or a few days to take it all in!

Chappell Hill’s Official Bluebonnet Festival of Texas, Burton’s Cotton Gin Festival, and Brenham’s Cool Nights, Hot Tunes all land on the same date this year, April 18th. Enjoy the festivals by day and head to downtown Brenham that evening for a free outdoor concert under the stars, around the courthouse square. It doesn’t get more fun or more Texan than this ... it’s great fun for the whole family.crowd of people around cotton gin museum

Super Bloom? Only time will tell. Super Fun? Definitely … come exploring all the sites and sounds our area has to offer. There’s no better way to unwind, relax and enjoy the beauty that surrounds us in Brenham and beyond.

See you soon!band performing in downtown brenham people dancing in the street

Riding the Salt Grass Trail

It’s rodeo time in Houston.  Every March, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo™ gears up for a month of BBQ, rodeos, world-famous performers, livestock shows, auctions, and much, much more.  Kicking off this month-long celebration are the 12 trail rides that begin in February and come in from all over Texas.  But it’s the Salt Grass Trail Ride that is the “Granddaddy of Them All” which got its start back in 1952 in Brenham.

Reese Lockett was a Brenham boy who had made it big.

His rodeo abilities got him movie roles where he became friends with Gene Autry and Will Rogers. He traveled to England to perform in a wild west act for the King and also staged annual rodeos at Madison Square Garden.  He eventually returned to Brenham to work in the banking industry and own a men’s store downtown.  In 1934, he was elected mayor and held that position for the next 28 years (minus a 6-year hiatus).  While mayor, he “maintained” his cowboy status by living on a large ranch and helping organize both the Texas Prison Rodeo in Huntsville and the Houston Fat Stock Show.  But it was a trip to the Orange Bowl game in Florida resulting in cancelled flights home that evolved into the Salt Grass Trail Ride.

After he finally made it home from Florida, a few friends were talking, and Lockett vowed to “never make another trip where I can’t ride home on my horse.”  One of Lockett’s friends asked him to be an Arena Director of the Houston Fat Stock show and he was reminded of his vow.  Yet another friend thought it would be great publicity for the rodeo if Lockett rode his horse to Houston all the way from Brenham.

On January 30, 1952, Reese Lockett, Pat Flaherty, E.H. Marks, and John Warnasch left Brenham with a chuck wagon and followed the pioneer cattle drive trail, known as the Salt Grass Trail, to Houston.  Along the way, 13 other people joined the journey and drew more publicity than those four men ever expected.  In a few short years, the ride grew to over 2,000 riders. It continues every February; the 103-mile journey still marks the start of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo with over 20 wagons from the Salt Grass Trail riding in the parade in Downtown Houston.  Lockett was the trail boss of the Saltgrass Trail Ride from 1952-1969.  This year, the ride will begin on February 21st in Cat Spring and arrive at the parade in Downtown Houston on February 29th.  The Salt Grass Trail Ride has become a family tradition for many.  Today there are grandchildren and great-grandchildren riding alongside their parents and grandparents on the week-long journey.

Lockett had a huge impact not only on the formation of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo™ but in Brenham and Washington County as well.  He was an active member of the Chamber of Commerce, served on the board of Blinn College, and as a former Maifest King (wife Hester was a Maifest Queen) he was always a part of the annual Maifest Association Celebration.

In honor of all his contributions to Brenham and Washington County, a statue by Edd Hayes, titled “Ready to Ride,” was installed near City Hall in Lockett Plaza on September 11, 2001.  I took a personal interest in Mr. Lockett’s story since I started riding Salt Grass back in 2005 when my step-sister got me involved.  I ride with wagon 21, The Rounders (who formed in 1973), and look forward to it every year.  Due to volunteering at the BBQ Contest with the Houston Rodeo, I only get to go for the weekend.  It’s always terrible weather.  It’s a lot of work, with late nights and early mornings moving rigs to the next camp. Riding all day wears you out pretty quickly but, MAN! is it ever fun.  The late nights by the campfire created a bond with people who started out as strangers but grew to be some of the best friends I have.  The kind of people who would give you the shirt off their back if you needed it, no matter the situation.  With today’s modern conveniences, camp looks a lot different than when Mr. Lockett rode.  I have to say, although I really wish I could’ve ridden once back in the early days, I greatly appreciate the campers and trailers of today instead of the bed rolls and tents of yesteryear.  I moved to Brenham in 2012 and Mr. Lockett’s statue is not too far from my house.  I drove by it for YEARS not knowing who he was or why he even had a statue.  If it hadn’t been for working at the Visitor Center, I would’ve never known about our little “connection.”

Thanks to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo™, the Saltgrass Trail Ride Association, and the Texas State Historical Association for detailed information.

Finding Holiday Magic in Brenham & Washington County

This is my favorite time of year … waiting and anticipating the first cold snap of the season … when the air turns crisp, leaves begin to float gracefully to the ground, coffee tastes better and animals and children alike seem to get a boost of extra playfulness. It’s magical.

Sounds a bit like the opening of a Hallmark movie, but … it is real. Brenham and Washington County can’t be replicated. This is true Texas. Unapologetically Americana. Authentic.

Fall wouldn’t be complete in Brenham without candy-littered streets from the annual homecoming parade, including of course, homecoming queen hopefuls waving from convertibles. It doesn’t get much more Americana than this, right?

October boasts creatively dressed scarecrows posed in front of Downtown Brenham shops. Each one lovingly put together by dozens of schoolchildren and individuals alike, who have put their hearts into these straw creations, in hopes of winning one of the many prizes. Local spirit and pride are reflected in each entry.

Our community of Chappell Hill, located just 15 minutes east of Brenham, throws its annual Scarecrow Festival. This popular event draws huge crowds to its tiny town to shop, eat and welcome the season with a smile. Tent-lined streets are full of holiday shoppers, happy to escape big city mass merchandise to enjoy unique street vendors and small-town life.

November continues the holiday spirit with Christmas at the Mansion, a home tour and Christmas fair held at Brenham’s beautiful Giddings Stone Mansion. The mansion’s exterior and eight rooms will feature different holiday themes, designed and decorated by Jennifer Hermann of Hermann Furniture.  There is inspiration at every turn.  Self-guided tours are available all weekend and even two separate seatings for a special lunch on Saturday (reservations required).

Antique Rose Emporium’s 32nd Annual Fall Festival of Roses is a favorite outdoor experience in November. Breathing in the cool rose scented air while taking in spectacular blooms and learning how to care for them is a unique seasonal event not to be missed.

And, what we’ve all been looking forward to all year long … the Christmas Stroll and Lighted Parade in Downtown Brenham … an event that will melt the heart of even the worst Scrooge. Downtown Brenham comes to life with residents and visitors mingling on the streets and throughout the shops. No crowded malls here, just a hometown atmosphere of genuine Christmas spirit. Brenham’s Downtown shopkeepers dazzle and surprise unsuspecting visitors with unique finds. Inside some of the antique architecture, new hip ventures are alive and well and waiting to be discovered.

The Stroll is kicked off with the tree lighting ceremony where onlookers are serenaded by a Girl Scout choir singing carols. As night continues to fall, the parade begins. Beautifully decorated and fully lit floats, marching bands, horses and dancers parade through Downtown, all to the delight of friends, family and visitors. And of course, the man of the hour SANTA makes his grand entrance to the squeals of excited children lining the streets, frantically waving to him as he passes by, perched atop a Fire Truck.

People passing, children laughing, meeting smile after smile … doesn’t just happen in a song or a Hallmark movie. It’s in Brenham, Texas and Washington County … where It’s a Wonderful Life!

Sorry, couldn’t help myself!

Photos by: Natalie Lange

Showing the Grands a Grand Time Around Brenham

Grandma of the Year … or at least a close runner-up!

When I learned my daughter who lives in Los Angeles was planning a week-long visit in August with her boys, ages 3 1/2 and almost 2, I was thrilled … and then panic-stricken. How will I entertain two very active toddlers for a week? What will they like? How can I live up to the tall ‘Texas’ tales they’ve been told by their mom?  They already refer to their grandfather as ‘cowboy grandpa’… and we don’t even own a horse?!

It was time for some serious planning, which turned out to be not so serious and truly a lot of fun for the whole family. Showing our grands around the Brenham area was eye-opening and educational … even for us … and we’ve lived here for 30 years!

Day One - Floats and Flicks

There is no better way to beat the Texas heat than by watching an outdoor movie while floating in the pool at Brenham’s Blue Bell Aquatic Center. It is perfect for kids of all ages. The ice cream-themed pool floats and decor set the scene for a lot of fun and laughter. The cost was nominal … which put a smile on Cowboy Grandpa’s face, too!

Day Two - Jersey Barnyard

Of course, Texas conjures up images of cows and our two boys were obsessed with everything cow. This meant finding a fun way to get them up close to these creatures and The Jersey Barnyard, about 45 minutes away, did not disappoint. After a short hayride we met Belle, the famous Blue Bell cow … and even got to milk her! Then bottle-fed a sweet calf. Fed the barnyard animals, which included goats, ducks, rabbits, and pigs. After all the outdoor fun in the sun, we cooled off in the gift shop that offered organic milk products and barnyard themed toys! Adults $10 and Children 2-8 $8 … worth every penny.

Day Three - Parks and Carousel

Brenham has amazing parks. Seriously great parks. Our grandkids’ eyes lit up when they entered the carousel pavilion and saw the beautiful carved antique horses. Hearing their oohs and aahs as they pointed out which one was their favorite and which one they would ride … will be one of my favorite memories of the trip. We rode round and round, listening to calliope music mixed with the laughter and “Yee Haws” from our boys (and Cowboy Grandpa). $1, yes $1 for all you wanted to ride, (from 1-4pm Saturday-Sunday) adults and children alike! The. Best. Town. Ever.

We managed to pull them away from the carousel to play in the park near the Library, complete with giant shade covers and cushioned ground cover. My favorite was the tandem swing which allows you to put your child on one side and the adult sits across and faces him … allowing you to swing together and look at one another. Just a simple pleasure that I am so glad I got to share with our boys.

Day Four - Peeka Ranch and Books

Peeka Ranch, close to Burton, is a beautiful ranch that raises alpacas. We were able to pet and feed their sweet animals. We learned all about alpacas and Cowboy Grandpa managed a great selfie with one of the sweetest alpacas! The gift shop is worth the trip alone. So many beautiful woolen products … I’ll be shopping there often. BTW … there is no charge for visiting the alpacas, but a donation box is there if you want to donate!

Time for some AC after the ranch visit, so off to Downtown Brenham’s little bookstore, The Book Nook.

The kids were smitten … not kidding. The play area captivated them while we filled our baskets with amazing finds for everyone. The children’s book area is among the best I’ve seen and the prices are super affordable. My daughter couldn’t believe her eyes and bought all kinds of goodies for her kids. The staff was helpful and kind. This quaint bookstore is a must-visit in Brenham.

Day Five - Departure

Time flew by quickly and we didn’t even scratch the surface of all the things I had planned … Blue Bell, Washington-on-the Brazos, Downtown shopping (for daughter and me) … so much more to do and see! We will have to save those things for their next visit, which I hope will be soon.

So, if you are a panicked Nana, Grammy, Grandma, looking to make some great memories with your Grands… plan a few days in our town. You will enjoy every moment … and not break the bank.

Charging Your Electric Car in Brenham

Did you know that Brenham has 4 public electric car charging stations?  The newest one was installed in Downtown Brenham this past May and when traveling through from Houston to Austin, it’s a great stop to “recharge” both your car and yourself!  Stop in for a coffee or a meal at one of our Downtown restaurants.  Spend some time browsing our quaint shops.  Or even take in Toubin Park and learn about the history of Brenham.  In addition to the Downtown charging station, there are also stations located at the Coach Light Inn, Holiday Inn, and Best Western hotels.

Traveling long distances with an electric car takes some planning.  Imagine setting out on a road trip in your electric car, only to learn that your destination doesn’t have a charging station!  You need to plan “rest stops” along the way for your car to charge.  Since it’s located in Downtown Brenham, it gives travelers a chance to experience everything Downtown has to offer while their car is “juicing” up.

The details an electric car owner needs to know about the downtown charging station in the Vulcan Street lot (across from City Hall at 200 W. Vulcan):

  • IT’S FREE!
  • It’s an EVSE-RS dual pedestal system with a standard SAE J1772 connect.
  • It charges all SAE J1772-compliant vehicles, including both electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid vehicles with a 25 ft cable, Level 2, 32-amp.
  • Find all the electric car chargers in Washington County on PlugShare.com and ChargeHub.com

Two Couples, One Weekend Getaway

Historic charm meets trendy entertainment.

My friend Julia and her boyfriend, Declan, had recently moved to Brenham, a small town halfway between Austin and Houston. When they told me they were moving, I was surprised. We’d all gone to college in Austin, and I just couldn’t picture them in a small town. Julia said I’d understand as soon as I saw it for myself. I was curious, I missed her, and I had a few unused vacation days, so I enlisted my boyfriend, Adam, to join, and we made the short drive.