7 Places in Brenham to Get a Scoop of Blue Bell Ice Cream

 

 

Midsummer in this crazy Texas heat means one thing–it’s time for Blue Bell Ice Cream! And what better place to get a scoop of the best ice cream in the country than right in the hometown of the little creamery?

Here are SEVEN places in Brenham/Washington County to get a scoop of refreshing Blue Bell Ice Cream!

1. Blue Bell Ice Cream Parlor

Is it really a trip to Brenham if you don’t visit the creamery? A visit to the Blue Bell Ice Cream Parlor will take you back in time to your first scoop of Blue Bell Ice Cream! Enjoy free samples, and scoops are only one dollar! The Blue Bell Country Store adjoins the Ice Cream Parlor, so you can shop for souvenirs while you’re there. Be sure to grab a free paper Blue Bell hat to complete the experience.

 

2. Must Be Heaven

Located in the heart of Downtown Brenham, Must Be Heaven is home to an old-fashioned soda parlor. Get a scoop of your favorite Blue Bell flavor, or indulge in a sundae with a cherry on top! Must Be Heaven is also known as a favorite stop for sandwiches, quiche, and homemade pie. Dine inside or sit on the patio, and don’t forget to snap a picture in front of one of their murals before you leave!

3. SCOOPS

Scoops may look like a regular convenience store, but the locals know that this inconspicuous place is the home of the biggest selection of Blue Bell flavors in Brenham! With 32 flavors to choose from, go for a double or triple-scoop!

4. R Place

You won’t find as many flavor options at R Place in Washington, but you will find BBQ and loads of character to go with your scoop of Blue Bell! Located right next to Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site, this is a must-stop when you visit where Texas became Texas. R Place is only open on weekends, so make it part of your weekend getaway.

5. Yumm! Sweets & Eats

Another Downtown Brenham favorite, Yumm! Sweets & Eats offers Blue Bell along with a plethora of other sweets to fuel your Downtown stroll. Don’t miss their homemade pizzas on the restaurant side!

6. Kippers Kountry Store

Kippers Kountry Store in the heart of historic Chappell Hill is the perfect place to get a scoop of Blue Bell Ice Cream! Take it with you as you stroll and shop in one of Texas’ prettiest little towns.

7. Mescalito Coffee

Locating on the square in Downtown Brenham, Mescalito Coffee is a favorite to refuel and refresh. Get a scoop of your favorite flavor, or enjoy a scoop featured in one of Mescalito’s delicious specialty drinks. Indoor seating is available, as well as a front porch and a balcony overlooking several of the Downtown Brenham Murals. Bonus: stay and shop at sister company Ballad of the Bird Dog.

 

 

Gift Ideas for Him

    Looking for the perfect gift for him? Brenham and Washington County have you covered! From fine cigars to rugged leather goods, Brenham offers a variety of unique shops where you can find the ideal gift for every type of guy. Here are some top picks to help you find that special something: 

For the Classic Connoisseur

Brown Water Cigar Bar

Man making smoked old fashioned with smoke coming out at Brown Water Cigar Bar. - Photo by Natalie Lacy Lange
Brown Water Cigar Bar, Brenham

For the guy who enjoys a good smoke, Brown Water Cigar Bar offers a curated selection of premium cigars and accessories. Treat him to a relaxing evening in their cozy lounge or pick out a sampler pack of his favorite cigars.

Brazos Valley Brewery

people sitting at a bar being served a flight. Brazos Valley Brewery Photo by Natalie Lacy Lange
Brazos Valley Brewing Company, Brenham

Why not treat him to a refreshing pint of locally brewed beer from Brazos Valley Brewery? Swing by their taproom to sample a variety of handcrafted brews or pick up a growler to enjoy at home. 

 If he prefers wine, checkout our local wineries!  

For the Vintage Lover

Leftovers Antiques

The inside of an antique store. In the center there is a large dog statue on top of a table. Photo by Natalie Lacy Lange
Leftovers Antiques, Brenham

For the guy with a love for history and nostalgia, Leftovers Antiques is the place to go. Browse their eclectic collection of vintage finds, including antique tools, signage, and memorabilia that will add character to any man cave. Leftovers also carries men’s personal care products and boasts an impressive kitchen department for foodies.

Hermann Furniture & Hermann Emporium

The inside of Hermann Emporium features John's Corner, men's gifts, clothing, and food.
Hermann Emporium, Downtown Brenham

If he appreciates quality craftsmanship, head to Hermann Furniture and Hermann Emporium, which are right next door to each other in Downtown Brenham. Hermann Furniture is the oldest furniture store in Texas, and has been in the family for 5 generations now, and includes an Antique Mall.

Inside the charming shop of Hermann Emporium, look for John’s Corner, featuring men’s clothing, bourbon-inspired decor, gourmet foods, and other one-of-a-kind treasures that are sure to make him smile.

For the Dog (or Cat!) Dad

Puppy Dawgs and Cat Tails

Woman holding dog and shopping bag inside of Puppy Dawgs & Cat Tails - Photo by Brandi Burkett
Puppy Dawgs and Cat Tails, Downtown Brenham

Is he a proud pet parent? Stop by Puppy Dawgs and Cat Tails for a unique selection of gifts for both him and his furry friends. From stylish collars and leashes to gourmet treats, there’s something here for every pet-loving dad. 

For the FashionForward Dad

Chupacabra Leather Co.

The inside of Chupacabra Leather Co. There is a table filled with handmade leather goods.
Chupacabra Leather Co., Downtown Chappell Hill

Treat him to a handcrafted leather accessory from Chupacabra Leather Co. Their collection of wallets, belts, and accessories are made with care and attention to detail, ensuring a gift that will last a lifetime. 

Ballad of the Bird Dog

The inside of Ballad of the Bird Dog. There are racks of t-shirs, hats, sunglasses, and dog leashes. Photo by Natalie Lacy Lange
Ballad of the Bird Dog, Downtown Brenham

Does he have a passion for the great outdoors? Explore the rugged yet stylish apparel and gear at Ballad of the Bird Dog. From durable outerwear to versatile accessories, you’ll find everything he needs for his next adventure. 

Nine Seven Nine

Nine Seven Nine offers a curated selection of clothing and accessories from independent designers. Whether he’s into streetwear or classic menswear, you’re sure to find something that suits his style. 

For the Cowboy

South Texas Tack

A large hat bar with many western hats. Behind the bar a man is steaming a cowboy hat. A group of people are watching him. Photo by Natalie Lacy Lange
South Texas Tack, Brenham

If he’s a cowboy at heart, look no further than South Texas Tack. Browse their extensive selection of riding gear, stable supplies, and Western-themed gifts that Dad is sure to appreciate.

Brenham Saddle Shop

Another must-visit for horse lovers, Brenham Saddle Shop is a hub for all things equine. This Western outfitter offers a wide range of cowboy boots, hats, and apparel, as well as custom-made saddles and tack for the equestrian enthusiast.

For the Foodie

Is he more about experiences than physical gifts? Brenham and Washington County have you covered!

LJ's BBQ, plate of sausage, ribs, brisket, potato salad, collard green and mac and cheese. Photo by Natalie Lacy Lange
LJ’s BBQ, Brenham

If he’s a barbecue aficionado, you’re in luck with two local joints making Texas Monthly’s Top 50 BBQ Joints list. Explore our Brenham BBQ Trail for insider tips and recommendations!

Not a BBQ fan? No problem! We’ve got mouthwatering burgers waiting for you too. Check out our curated list of the best burger spots in town!

And if he’s just looking to spend some quality time with his buddies watching the game, we’ve got just the place! Explore some of the best local spots to catch all the action.

With so many unique shops and experiences to choose from, finding the perfect gift in Brenham and Washington County is a breeze. From thoughtful tokens of appreciation to practical essentials, these local businesses have something for everyone.

Summer Fun in Brenham

The days are getting longer and the sun is shining, which means that it is time to plan your summer trip to Brenham, Texas! Come spend a few nights at one of our wonderful lodging properties because there is no shortage of fun during the summer months. Make your summer to-do list for Brenham & Washington County today!

Summer Events

Main Street Chappell Hill Artwalk - May 25, 2024; Come to Chappell Hill to shop and meet the artists in the variety of stores while they create original artwork throughout the day.

Summer Sip & Art Walk - June 8, 2024; stroll through unique shops in historic Downtown Brenham while tasting signature drinks and enjoying a variety of featured art.

Cotton Gin Classic Car & Truck Show - June 8, 2024; Annual Car & Truck Show held in the shadow of the oldest operating cotton gin in America, located in Burton, TX. This event is weather dependent; in case of rain, it will be on June 15 instead.

Annual Judge Eddie E. Harrison Juneteenth Heritage Celebration - June 8, 2024; Washington on the Brazos is proud to celebrate Juneteenth as a part of Washington County’s long history of marking the end of slavery in Texas. This year the event will focus on the evolution of Black music in Texas. There will be food trucks, vendors, informational and cultural heritage booths, and lots of fun!!

WCJA Juneteenth Ceremony & ParadeJune 15, 2024; Annual Juneteenth Parade in Downtown Brenham held by Washington County Juneteenth Association.

Hot Nights, Cool Tunes  - Saturday evenings July 6, 13, 20, & 27; 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!

Chappell Hill Independence Day Parade & Festivities - July 4, 2024; It's the best small town parade you'll experience! Come on out to celebrate Independence Day in Chappell Hill.

Annual Independence Celebration - July 4, 2024; Fireworks will be visible for miles, so there's plenty of room for everyone to come out and celebrate our freedom and independence in Independence, TX.

Chappell Hill Wine & Cheese Swirl - August 10, 2024; Stroll the shops along Chappell Hill's charming Main Street and taste a variety of wines and chocolate pairings.

Movies in the Park Summer Series - May 31, June 21, & August 2, 2024; Bring the kids and watch movies including Sharktale and The Little Mermaid at the Blue Bell Aquatic Center, and Under the Boardwalk at Hohlt Park. All movies will start approximately 10 minutes after sunset.

Summer Activities for Kids

Blue Bell Creameries is a must visit when you are in Brenham! It is usually only open on the weekdays, but during the summer months of June-August, the Ice Cream Parlor and Country Store will be open on Saturdays from 10am-4pm as well. To experience everything Blue Bell has to offer, including the parlor, visitor center, country store and observation deck, please come on weekdays from 8am-5pm.

Other fun activities include swimming at the Blue Bell Aquatic Center, playing arcade games, mini golf, and racing Go-Karts at Horseshoe Junction, roller skating at Silver Wings Ballroom, picking lavender at the Chappell Hill Lavender Farm, and horseback riding at Rockin' Star Ranch. There's fun for everyone in Brenham & Washington County!

Brenham’s Perfect Picnic Places

The weather is just right to enjoy a breeze and beautiful blooms around Brenham. In addition to taking in the scenic views, this is the perfect time to  grab a big blanket, your favorite lunch and head to one of these Washington County picnic spots. 

Old Baylor Park


Located in Independence, Texas, this historic site of Baylor University’s original female campus offers beauty and a breeze year round. Sit beneath the massive live oak trees at one of the picnic tables or on your favorite blanket as you take in a piece of Texas history. 

Old Baylor Park at Windmill Hill

On the east side of FM 50 in Independence (next to the Antique Rose Emporium), a reconstructed bell tower marks the archeological ruins of the Baylor campus for males. 

Hohlt Park

One of the prettiest public parks in the state, Hohlt Park offers 80 acres of shaded trails, playgrounds, fields, and plenty of places to spread out for a picnic. If you forgot a blanket, you’ll find picnic tables and covered pavilions for an easy option. 

 

Fireman’s Park

Historic Fireman’s Park is home to an antique carousel (open weekends, March through October), shaded playgrounds, and a large pavilion with tables. This beautifully landscaped park in the heart of Brenham also has a kitchen available to rent if your picnic is for a large group.

 

Jackson Street

Find a walking trail, playground, pickleball courts, basketball courts, and plenty of shaded picnic tables and a pavilion/kitchen at Jackson Street Park.

 

Antique Rose Emporium

This 8-acre retail garden in Independence features antique roses, native plants, perennials, herbs, water gardens, and wildflowers. With inspiration at every turn, take time to stroll the beautiful grounds before or after your picnic. 

Washington-on-the-Brazos

Picturesque Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site is located on the Brazos River. Expansive park grounds provide a beautiful setting to picnic, sightsee, and bird-watch. The Star of the Republic Museum, Independence Hall, and Barrington Plantation offer visitors a unique insight into the lives and times of the men who fought and won Texas’ independence from Mexico.

290 Rest Stop

Between Burton and Brenham on HWY 290 is one of Texas’ most scenic rest stops. A shallow seasonal creek with a rock bed runs alongside the rest stop’s picnic tables. This beautiful spot is a local favorite for portraits at any time of year. 

Toubin Park

Nestled between two Downtown Brenham buildings is Toubin Park, which offers a slice of Brenham’s historical infrastructure and architecture. Self-guided tours through this historic Downtown Brenham pocket park can be enjoyed any time of the day. Park benches are available for a light picnic or snack between meals. 

Henderson Park

Henderson Park is located just blocks away from Downtown Brenham across the street from Fireman’s Park. This 22 acre Park features a splash pad and is a part of a 2-mile Hike n’ Bike Trail. The kitchen, as well as the fields at Henderson Park, can be rented for parties, events, and tournaments.

Rose Park (Across from City Hall) 

Just steps from the Visitor Center in Downtown Brenham is a small rose park, complete with inviting animal-shaped topiaries and a table for a picnic. 

Pre-Packaged Lunches

Brenham & Washington County have so many wonderful restaurants where you can get food to go. Check out the full list of restaurants here!

 

Holiday Happenings

The Holidays are officially here! This magical time of year is the perfect time to visit Washington County. Here are a few of the things to do throughout the holiday season in Brenham and Washington County.

Downtown Brenham’s Cocoa Crawl – Nov. 25

Shop small in beautiful Downtown Brenham on Friday, Nov. 25. Taste variations of hot cocoa concoctions while you shop at your favorite boutiques!

The Downtown Brenham Christmas Stroll & Lighted Parade – Dec. 2-3


Downtown Brenham looks like a holiday movie set with the holiday magic of the annual Christmas Stroll. The lighted parade on Saturday, Dec. 3 is the highlight of the festivities, but the weekend also includes the First Friday Farmer & Artisan Market, Breakfast with Santa at Must Be Heaven, Jingle Bell Market at Ant Street Inn, rides on the 1950 Invader Firetruck following the parade, and more. For a complete schedule of the weekend festivities, click here.

A Taste of Christmas

Join the Downtown Brenham businesses on Saturday, December 9, for a tasty stroll! Stores will be offering drinks and treats to enjoy while you shop.

 

Photos with Santa

Several retailers offer portrait sessions with Santa. Appointments with Brenham Portrait Gallery are offered on several days each week at Hermann Furniture throughout November and December. Other businesses including Blue Bell, Puppy Dawgs and Cat Tails, Silverwings Ballroom, and South Texas Tack also offer Santa photo ops on select dates.

 

Christmas Events at The Barnhill Center

The Barnhill Center is hosting two Christmas movie nights this year, each with the option of pre-movie activities for the family. The Polar Express plays Friday, Dec. 1; and Elf will be shown on Friday, Dec. 8.  Catch Dailey & Vincent: All I Want for Christmas is Y’all on Saturday, December 16. Purchase tickets and find details here.

 

Unity Theatre “The Game’s Afoot” a Comedy by Ken Ludwig

It is December, 1936, and Broadway star William Gillette, admired the world over for his leading role in the play Sherlock Holmes, has invited his fellow cast members to his Connecticut castle for a weekend of revelry. But when one of the guests is killed, the festivities in this isolated house of tricks and mirrors quickly turn dangerous. It is then up to Gillette himself, as he assumes the persona of his beloved Sherlock Holmes, to track down the killer before the next victim appears. The danger and hilarity are non-stop in this glittering whodunit set during the Christmas holidays.

 November 30 – December 17. Tickets available online or by phone, 979-830-8358.

Live Nativities

Celebrate the reason for the season with one of the area’s live nativities. The Greatest Gift Live Nativity by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is December 1-2, 6:00-9:00 pm, at 1400 Niebuhr Street, Brenham. The following weekend is Bethlehem in Independence, December 9-10, 6:00-8:00 pm, at the Independence School House, 9325 FM 390 E. There will also be a live nativity scene at The Christmas Experience at Milk & Honey Ranch, Sunday, November 17, 5:30-8:30. See details below.

The Christmas Experience at Milk & Honey Ranch

Join the fun on Sunday, December 17, 5:30-8:30pm at Milk & Honey Ranch with a Christmas market, hay rides, live nativity scene, bounce house, caroling and more fun for the entire family. Admission is free. RSVP here.

Christmas in Chappell Hill

Saturday, December 9, is the perfect day to visit Chappell Hill. Festivities begin with the Christmas Home Tour by the Bluebonnet Garden Club. Check back soon for more from Chappell Hill.

Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site

Celebrate Texas history and Christmas at Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site for a “Candlelight Christmas,” December 8-9, 6:00-8:30 pm. Walk the candlelit paths at Barrington Plantation and experience a Texas Christmas in the decade before the Civil War. Discover the origins of some favorite Holiday traditions as costumed interpreters bring to life the festivities of the season with musket-fire, music, dancing and more. Tour the historic home of the last President of the Republic, Dr. Anson Jones, as the family enjoys their Christmas gathering. Visit the plantation quarters to hear how those enslaved at Barrington celebrated the season. Sip a hot cup of cider, cozy up to the fire and begin your holiday season with Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site!
On December 16, return to Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site for “Dickens-on-the-Brazos” Yuletide Celebrations in the Republic of Texas.

Christmas in Burton

Burton’s Christmas Market on Saturday, December 9, 12:00-400 pm, at The Texas Cotton Gin Museum, has something for everyone in the family. Enjoy shopping, kids’ crafts, Photos with Santa, and Christmas caroling.
Be sure to check our event calendar for a complete list of everything happening in Washington County!

10 Fall Happenings Around Brenham

The days are getting shorter and the promise of lower temperatures means that it’s time for fall! The Fall happenings in Brenham and around all of Washington County make it a favorite time of year to visit.

Mark your calendar and reserve your rooms for these TEN fabulous fall happenings around Brenham!

1 . Oktoberfest at Home Sweet Farm Biergarten

SEPT 29-30  It’s time for Oktoberfest at HSF Biergarten in Downtown Brenham, September 29-30.  The tap wall will be filled with several fine imported German beers. Come raise a glass, chug a boot, and enjoy some live music by Beau Hinze & The Back Porch Shufflers and Sparky Parker. Prost, Ya’ll!

2 . Scarecrow Festival in Chappell Hill

OCT 14-15  Visit one of the most charming communities in Texas for the Scarecrow Festival.  The festival boasts more than 250 exhibitors (home décor, gardening, artists, craftsmen, jewelry, clothing, etc.), delicious country-style food, live music, and tours of the National Register Chappell Hill community. A special Children’s Activity Corner provides pony rides, a petting zoo, face painting, barrel train, and more.

3 . Hocus Pocus Party

OCT 19   Join a bewitching blend of nostalgia and fun hosted by Glamfetti at Westwood Cinema 6. Tickets include movie, popcorn, glass of bubbly (non-alcoholic is available), themed photo opps, and more!

4 . Antique Shows

OCT 14-28   Round Top is just down the road, and there are several fabulous fall antique shows and year-round venues in Washington County. The LaBahia Antique Show (Oct. 20-28) between Burton and Round Top is celebrating over 30 years of incredible treasures. Antiques at the Pavilions will offer a variety of dealers at the pavilions of the Texas Cotton Gin Museum, Oct. 19-25. Look for all the antique dealers in Burton, as well as the world renowned Leftovers Antiques, open year-round between Brenham and Burton on HWY 290 W.

5 . Wine & Wander in Burton

OCT 20   Head to Burton for “Wine & Wander” October 20, at the Texas Cotton Gin Museum. Enjoy shopping and heavy appetizers catered by Blue Willow Cafe. Sip local wines from Busted Oak Cellars and meads from Rohan Meadery, and listen to the soulful music of Samuel Paul Brown.

6 . Texas Arts & Music Festival

OCT 21-22    The Texas Arts & Music Festival is the source of Downtown Brenham’s beautiful murals! This free, family-friendly event takes place in Downtown Brenham October 21-22, and includes live music, live mural installation, an art village, pop-up galleries, and much more. Music headliner for Saturday night will be Reverend Horton Heat!

7 . Mask-erade on Main

OCT 28     Join us for a spooktacular free family-friendly event in Historic Downtown Brenham, Saturday, Oct. 28. Grab the kids and costumes and head downtown for Trick-or-Treating at your favorite Main Street Brenham businesses! There will be plenty of family fun to sink your fangs into!
There will be food trucks, face painting, and more!

8 . Christmas Magic at Hermann Furniture & The Giddings Stone Mansion

NOV 3-5   Hosted by Hermann Furniture, the oldest furniture store in Texas, this festive weekend is more than a shopping event. The store will be decked wall to wall with seasonal decor, and they will have design seminars, door prizes, pop-up shops, wine and hors d’oeuvres. The festivities include a luncheon at the Giddings Stone Mansion on Saturday, November 4. Luncheon tickets are $30 per person with reservations required. Entry to store and design seminars is free.

9 . Fall Festival of Roses at Antique Rose Emporium

NOV 3-5   The experts at Antique Rose Emporium host the Fall Festival of Roses during the first weekend of November. Explore the inspiring display gardens and attend seminars to grow your gardening knowledge. In addition to the seminars and endless fall garden inspiration, enjoy food trucks and shopping in the heart of Independence, Texas.

10 . Weekly Fall Happenings

child riding antique carousel ride with other children riding it in the background. Adults standing in back.

WEEKLY EVENTS    Some of our favorite fall happenings are so good, we have to share them every week! Antique carousel rides ($1 each), free entry to the Brenham Fire Museum (Saturdays in October & November), and the live demonstrations every weekend at Barrington Plantation, which is located within Washington-on-the-Brazos historical site are a few.

 

In addition to these fall happenings around Brenham, we have many daily events that include live music, theatre, and retail specials. See our full calendar of events here. Fall is prime time to visit the area, so make reservations with your favorite lodging partner soon!

The Washington County Fair

Washington County is home to the oldest county fair in Texas!

The Washington County Fair offers an entire week of exciting events: a rodeo, carnival, live music & concerts, a variety of livestock shows, arts & crafts, special attractions, contests, commercial exhibits and more.

The festivities kick off on Saturday, September 16, with a trail ride followed by a parade in Downtown Brenham.

Tuesday, September 19, is the opening evening of the carnival. There are rides for toddlers up to the most adventurous riders.

Head to the rodeo arena for mutton bustin’, wild steer saddling, bull riding, and other rodeo events throughout the week. The CPRA Rodeo begins at 7:30 pm, Thursday through Saturday. Click here for a complete list of rodeo events.

Browse the antique tractor exhibit, along with the youth livestock barns to complete the county fair experience! There are also arts & crafts exhibits, as well as a country store to purchase from your favorite exhibitors.

Live music is playing in the pavilion throughout the week .

Saturday, September 16th at 8 PM – Risky Liver Band

Wednesday, September 20th at 8 PM – Los Igualados with Los Cazadores Del Cerro

Thursday, September 21st at 9 PM – Trae Pierce & the T-Stones

Friday, September 22nd at 11 PM – Shane Smith & the Saints with 9 PM Charlie Robinson

Saturday, September 23rd at 11 PM – Gary LeVox of Rascal Flatts with 9 PM William Beckmann

Advanced season passes will be available for purchase from a Fair Queen Candidate or online at https://www.washingtoncofair.com/p/tickets-deals

This family-friendly week of events truly offers something for everyone. Visit Brenham and hold on to your hats for the Washington County Fair!

For more information about tickets, schedule and more go to WCF.

Where to Watch on Game Day

The season is always right to watch your favorite team–especially when you have a list of the best places to watch on game day! Here are a few of the best places to cheer on your team with friends in Brenham and Washington County…

Brazos Valley Brewing Company

BVB is a family-friendly, small-town brewery and taproom that has screens inside the taproom to watch a big game. There are also indoor games, an outdoor playground and games and plenty of room to stretch your legs. You won’t go hungry–BVB has bar bites and is home to acclaimed food truck Country Sunshine. You can also catch live music on weekends at the Brewery.

Brown Water Cigar Bar

Enjoy a smoky Old Fashioned and your favorite cigar while you watch the game at Brown Water Cigar Bar. This Downtown Brenham venue is a favorite place for the guys to relax while the girls shop nearby.

BT Longhorn Saloon & Steakhouse

The antique bar at BT Longhorn is a piece of history–and a favorite place to watch on game day. Sit at the bar or one of the high-tops and check out their delicious menu and full bar.

Floyd’s Lounge

It doesn’t get much better than the patio at Floyd’s Lounge. The party lights will be on and the heaters and fire pit are ready for those cooler nights. If it’s a really big game, Floyd’s is great to bring in a big blow-up screen to make viewing easy for bigger crowds.

Home Sweet Farm Biergarten

HSF is the perfect place for a favorite wine or your favorite beer on tap. It’s also one of those places that feels like home when you’re cheering on your team with a room full of people who don’t seem like strangers anymore. Order food from HSF Kitchen food truck, just steps away from HSF.

Pioneer Smokehouse

The cozy indoor space at Pioneer is just right for a smaller crowd. The patio offers games and room to play if part of the family would rather use some of that energy on playing games instead of watching the game. Don’t miss the hobo nachos to share for the perfect start to your game day meal.

30 North Gastropub

From the delicious food to the full bar to the extensive choice of indoor and outdoor seating, 30 North is an easy choice on game day. Enjoy some of the best pizza in town and settle in for cocktails or beer at this Downtown Brenham establishment.

Wine Bar Brenham

Located in a historic corner building of Downtown Brenham, Wine Bar Brenham is the perfect stop to catch the game during a day of Downtown shopping and strolling. They offer light bites, shopping, and games.

Burgers in Brenham

When Brenham comes to mind, you may think of Blue Bell and rich Texas history. While that is all true, one thing you might not expect when you are here, is that you are in the middle of a foodie’s paradise. From authentic Italian food to award winning BBQ, Brenham/Washington County has it all! One staple that can be interpreted a million different ways is a big juicy hamburger with all the toppings and your favorite sides.

We’re celebrating National Cheeseburger Day by providing a bucket list of places to get an amazing burger in Washington County! Our inspiration came from local resident Michael Mullins on his quest to try all the hamburgers in the county. He has been documenting his journey on Facebook. Visitors and locals alike can appreciate this quest, as you might get the chance to have your favorite burger raved about, or even find a new hidden gem! Watch for Michael’s comments in quotes.

1.  Bevers Kitchen

Bevers is famous for their homemade pies, but don’t miss out on their burger. “Bevers Kitchen sells pies and is not known for their burger, but they should be,” said Michael. “This is a solid old-fashioned hamburger just like you would have in your mom’s kitchen on a Sunday afternoon.”

2.  Brossa’s Cibo e Vino

Burgers aren’t typically what you would expect at this authentic Italian restaurant, but like the rest of the food on the menu, this burger is made from only the best ingredients… Wagyu. Served during lunch, covered in caramelized onions, their parmesan Reggiano cheese sauce, and sandwiched between a brioche bun, you will be licking your fingers non-stop!

3. Burton Short Stop

Convenience store, restaurant, and gas station all in one in Burton! You won’t want to miss their daily specials, especially their hamburgers. Make sure to grab either a piece of pie or one of their homemade cookies on your way out.

4. Country Sunshine

These burgers are unlike anything you have ever tried before. “This burger doesn’t come with the lettuce, tomatoes, and onion salad that some great burgers have–and it doesn’t need to. It stands alone in taste and looks.” Filled with homemade pickles, cheese and sauce, the burger is perfect alone or paired with one of their incredible sides. Trust us. You will not be disappointed with this burger or anything on the menu.

Mouth watering Country Sunshine Burger. Photo by Natalie Lacy Lange

5. Dairy Bar

If you want an iconic establishment in Brenham, then try Dairy Bar. Established in 1985, it still makes one of the best burgers in the county. You will most likely always find a long drive through line and the inside packed with locals. “This is as local as it gets.” Be sure to add curly fries and a chocolate shake to your order!

6. Independence Store

When you arrive, you might be confused by the look of a gas station, but not to worry – you are in the right spot. “The burger came wrapped in silver foil and it was hot, the fries looked like they were made for a TV commercial.” This is the best hole in the wall you can find. “Remember when you come here to eat, don’t be in a hurry, slow down and relax. Take in the history and the wonderful folks who run it.”

7. LJs BBQ

LJ’s is known for its award-winning BBQ, but have you ever tried their burgers? “Let me start by saying this is no normal hamburger. It’s cooked to perfection. The secret for this bad boy? Smoked then grilled.” This is the type of burger you skip breakfast for and then are still too full for dinner later. They serve until they sell out, so make sure you get there early!

8. Nathan’s BBQ

Recently written up in Texas Monthly magazine for its traditional style of BBQ-ing, this family-friendly restaurant is where you will find locals on a Sunday afternoon for lunch. “I enjoyed the atmosphere and decor and, rest assured, that delicious, juicy hamburger.” Nathan’s is another staple in Brenham and a place you do not want to miss.

9. Pioneer Smokehouse

Didn’t we say Brenham has great BBQ? Well, great BBQ means great burgers. Pioneer will give you an amazing atmosphere with an even better burger. You choose your toppings to your liking and then be prepared to have to use two hands to tackle this thing. Right in the heart of downtown, Pioneer has the atmosphere, the drinks, and the burger!

10. Smitty’s Cafe & Bakery

For a place known for their chicken fried steak, they sure can do a burger right in an old gas station turned into an amazing restaurant. “Their list of burgers is long, but they do not disappoint. They make their own buns and that is what made this burger stand out.” Make sure to have a slice of pie before you leave!

11. Wild Bill’s

When you are heading out to Lake Sommerville, you will not want to miss Wild Bill’s, adjacent to the entrance to Rocky Creek Park. You’ll walk into a nice wooden bar where you will be welcomed and order a burger where they don’t skimp on the meat. With three choices of fries for your side, you will not be disappointed with the atmosphere and the burger.

So tell us! Where is your favorite burger in Brenham/ Washington County?

 

Finding Holiday Magic

Finding Holiday Magic

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 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!

 

Weekend Getaway with S.A. Foodie

Weekend Getaway in Brenham with S.A. Foodie

Recently, S.A. Foodie visited Brenham & Washington County.  She had great things to say & took some AMAZING photos!

Check her out on Facebook to see all the fun she had while she was here!

🚗 RECOMMENDED TEXAS GETAWAY 🚗
I recently went to Visit Brenham/Washington County, Texas for the weekend to explore their...

Posted by S.A.Foodie on Monday, November 16, 2020

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. Chappell Hill Bakery & Deli - Sausage & Fruit kolaches and traditional breakfast
  5. Chappell Hill Sausage Company (closed Sundays) – can’t get more fresh than where the sausage is made
  6. Daisy’s Mexican Food – authentic Mexican breakfast including menudo and migas migas and breakfast taco
  7. Las Americas Latin Cuisine (Downtown Brenham)– weekend brunch specials like Fried eggs & chorizo with mimosasFried egg & chorizo sandwich
  8. Manuel’s Mexican Restaurant – breakfast only available Saturdays
  9. Ninety-Six West (Downtown Brenham) – another weekend brunch favorite like smoked salmon eggs benedict along with mimosas & bloody mary's Bloody Mary and Mimosa
  10. Santa Fe Café – only open weekdays in Downtown Brenham, but a local favorite
  11. 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. Mescalito Coffee (inside Ballad of the Bird Dog)
  2. Wired & Inspired Coffee Shop (inside The Pomegranate)

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 NINE 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

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!

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