Texas Arts and Music Festival

The sixth annual Texas Arts & Music Festival in historic Downtown Brenham is just around the corner! Join us October 16-17, 2021, for a family-friendly weekend of art, music, street food, and activities in the streets of Downtown Brenham.

Each year, the Texas Arts & Music Festival brings live music and world-renowned mural artists for live art installations for the public to enjoy. This year’s featured artist is Levi Ponce. Ponce works with traditional and digital media to develop large-scale graphics and artwork for clients like Activision, AT&T, Sony, Toyota, 23 and Me, Dunkin’ Donuts, iHeartRadio, Modelo, Mun2, and many others.

This year the festival is once again teaming up with the City of Brenham’s popular concert series, Hot Nights, Cool Tunes. On Saturday, October 16, Jordan Matthew Young will take the stage at 7:00pm. Fans of The Voice will recognize Young from Blake’s team on season 20. The concert, along with the festival, are family-friendly and free to the public. Bring your lawn chair and enjoy live music and delicious food and refreshments from local restaurants and food trucks.

 

The Art Village will be open on Saturday, 10am-8pm and Sunday, 11am-2pm. Artists and Craftsmen from across Texas will be set up offering their unique handmade creations to the public.

Sam Houston Mural

The Texas Arts & Music Festival is the perfect weekend to enjoy all that historic Downtown Brenham has to offer! Check out our lodging partners, and plan your weekend now.

Photography by Natalie Lacy Lange

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

 

 

Midsummer in Texas 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 FIVE places in Brenham/Washington County to get a scoop of refreshing Blue Bell Ice Cream!

1. 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!

2. 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!

3. 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.

4. 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!

5. 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.

 

 

Hot Nights, Cool Tunes 2021

 

 

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 7:00 pm and ends around 9:00 pm. Come early for shopping, food and the car show!

July 10th – The Fab 5

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

Sponsored by: Brenham National Bank | Seidel Schroeder | Germania Insurance | Tippit Dental Group

July 17th – The Rockets Brothers Band

Austin's premier party band! Playing popular music from the '50s til now, a true variety band!

Sponsored by: Ant Street Inn | Briannas Fine Salad Dressings | Associated Credit Union of Texas | Legacy

July 24th – The Brown Sugar Band

They will have everyone up on their feet, movin' and shakin' as they play Old School Rock'n Roll, Motown, R&B, and Today's Hits.

Sponsored by: Woodson Lumber Company | Citizens State Bank | Budweiser - Mike Hopkins Distributing | Bluebonnet Electric

July 31st – Escape

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

Sponsored by: Brannon Industrial Group | Strand Associates | Brazos Valley Schools Credit Union | Baylor Scott & White Health

 

 

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.

Toast the Arrival of 2021 with Downtown Brenham’s Uptown Wine Swirl

Leave 2020 Behind … Welcome 2021!


2021 Swirl LogoJanuary 16 from 3pm-7pm

Purchase at participating Downtown merchants:
$35 before 12/31 or $40 after 12/31

Purchase online:
$40 before 12/31 or $45 after 12/31

Bring your ticket purchased at a participating Downtown merchant, or your receipt if purchased online, to the Courthouse Gazebo the day of the Swirl. Turn it in and show ID to receive your wristband, keepsake tasting glass, and shopping bag. Enjoy!

Swirl participants on sidewalk

Don’t delay! Quantities are limited!

Swirl participants in Alamo Alley

Spend time with family and friends relaxing and tasting wine from all over the world. Swirl leisurely through quaint establishments nestled in Brenham’s beautiful downtown National Register District.

Swirl Participants in store

Fresh air, plenty of space to distance and friendly shopkeepers all come together to put a smile on your face.

Swirl participants taking selfie

Holiday Shopping in Washington County

Holiday Shopping in Washington County

Get your Holiday Shopping Done around Washington County

Whether it’s during our Stroll on December 5, 2020, or some other time of year, you can find gifts for even the biggest Grinch in Washington County.

Downtown Brenham is a one-stop shop location with great stores like Book Nook, The Woman’s Cave, and Canyon Chick…but have you SEEN Hermann Furniture all decorated up for the Holidays?  Home décor galore and its neighbor, Hermann Emporium even has great clothes for kids!

Ace Hardware.  Yes, a hardware store, but it's not your average hardware store…there’s tools & grills for Dad, but you can surely find something for Mom in the clothing department or easy soup & dip mixes in the Gift Gallery that you can whip up last minute for that holiday party tonight!

South Texas Tack and Brenham Saddle Shop have the best selections for your cowboy/cowgirl (and Rodeo season is right around the corner).

Find antiques at Main Street Antiques in Chappell Hill, and Bootleggers and Leftovers on the way to Burton.

Who doesn’t like a sweet treat?  Check out Jet Set Chocolates and Bliss Candy Company, and treat yourself to something while you’re there.  You deserve it.

Bliss Candy and Cupcake

Never show up to a Holiday Party empty handed…stop by Pleasant Hill Winery, Saddlehorn Winery, Texas Star Winery, Windy Winery, Brazos Valley Brewery, or 1844 Liquor for a gift for the host or hostess.

There’s more stores in and around the county, but these are some you should definitely check out while you’re here.

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. 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 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 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!

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!