Article by Deborah
Midway between Austin and Houston nestled in the rolling hill country of Texas, lies Brenham, the county seat of Washington. Established in 1844, this country town is the perfect place to relax.
One of the best parts of Brenham is driving there, especially in the spring. Brenham is the center to several Bluebonnet Trails, the region of country roads devoted to the display of the state flower.
Whether traveling along U.S. 290 or the smaller farm to market roads by car or motorcycle, sheets of green fade to a blanket of violet in the untouched landscape paintings of nature. Many make an annual pilgrimage for the perfect family photo.
When you walk around downtown Brenham, you walk back in time. The courthouse that sits center stage is surrounded by offices and shops, which sell antiques, apparel, and art. Eateries range from bistros selling delightful sandwiches and soups to cafes with the best pie in town.
During the weekend, you will come across many folks walking their dogs or just lounging on the courthouse steps.
|Brenham’s flourishing historic business
center is a result of the town’s participation in the National Trust Main
Street Center, a program devoted to the restoration of a downtown’s
Brenham is home to Blue Bell Creameries, known in the South as having “the best ice cream in the country”.
Tours are available during the week, Visitors can buy a souvenir at the gift shop and then stroll outside the creamery with their ice cream snack. Blue Bell, established in 1907, is celebrating its 100th anniversary and has just been granted a Texas Historical Marker in acknowledgment of the creamery’s role in the community.
|The Blue Bell Aquatic Center across
from the creamery offers an indoor pool open all year-round in addition to
the outside summer family pool, with equipment for kids.
Brenham is dedicated to ensuring that its residents have the opportunity for an active lifestyle. It has several parks dedicated to softball and baseball.
Soccer fields are scattered about Holt Park, the largest of the parks. Most are outfitted with barbeque pits, playgrounds, and pavilions.
team sports don’t sound interesting, just walking or jogging around the
College campus or downtown Brenham is incentive enough for a workout.
Blinn College, which was founded in 1883 and began as a ministry, has a beautiful campus. The college’s earliest structures blend with the contemporary buildings in a seamless flow.
This two-year accredited institution was the first county-owned college district in Texas and has become one of the largest junior colleges in the state.
|In the spring its all about
wildflowers, people from across the country converge on Brenham and
Washington County to see bluebonnets, Indian paintbrush, evening primrose and many
other kinds of wildflowers blooming along the side of the roads and in the
fields and pastures.
All the roads around Brenham seem to have wildflowers, but if you feel adventurous you may want to take the back-roads, you never know what you may find over the next hill or around the next bend, this is one time getting lost could be a good thing.
Professional and amateur photographers are a common sight in the spring, many people from Houston make the two hour drive to photograph their kids sitting in a field of bluebonnets, or to get unique portraits of their family and friends.
|Additionally, about 12 miles north of Brenham,
Lake Somerville affords its guests a chance to go fishing, boating, hiking,
skiing, camping and just about any kind of recreational activity you can
This 11,630 acre lake has 85 miles of shoreline and contains two state park units, the 2,365 acre Birch Creek located on the north shore and the 3,155 acre Nails Creek located on the south shore on the west end. There is also lake access with public boat ramps, picnic tables, camp sites on the east end of the lake, near the dam.
Whether you spend one day or many, Brenham’s laid-back, welcoming charm will entice you to return for years to come.
I just couldn't take it any longer, after seeing all the wildflower pictures I just had to go see them for myself. I woke up at 3:45am and stepped onto the porch to check the weather, as soon as I walked out the door I knew it was going to be a perfect morning for shooting flowers... New
Unity Theater is a non-profit, professional theater located in historic downtown. Set in as restored warehouse, the 125 seat intimate theater offers a variety of plays and musicals throughout the year. 979-830-8358
Dr W.W. O'Donnell Performing Arts Center, home to the Blinn College Theater Arts program. A 500 seat theater is the setting for the college's theatrical, musical choral performances, as well as guest entertainers. 979-830-4024
International Festival-Institute at Round Top, showcases the Texas festival Orchestra and internationally regarded conductors, performers and chamber music groups in concert. European-styled 1,100 seat concert hall, a renovated chapel, restored Victorian homes and extensive herb & flower gardens. 979-249-3129
The clear, pure voices of Brenham Children's Chorus members can be enjoyed at several concerts during the year. 979-277-6540
Visit www.BrenhamTexas.com for upcoming events.
Brenham Heritage Museum, A classic revival structure built in 1915 is on the National Register of Historic Places. Exhibits include the Elenor Cox Lamp Collection, 100 lamps from 1787 - 1940.
World War II artifacts and other items presenting the history of Brenham and Washington County. 979-830-8445
|Downtown Brenham's "Main Street"
District, come stroll through past and present, visit more than 40
shops and spend time relaxing in the "Wi Fi" hot spot. Brenham's downtown
buildings reflect the town's early history and charm.
Burton Cotton Gin & Museum, history's alive at one of the last cotton gins operating in America, powered by 1925 Bessemer engine! 979-289-3378
Heritage Home Tours, visit Brenham's oldest house, the Giddings-Wilkin House, containing many original furnishings. 979-836-1690
Washington on the Brazos State Historical Park, the historic site is located on the original town site of Washington where Texas declared independence from Mexico on March 2, 1836 and which served as the capital of the Republic of Texas. 936-878-2214
Star of the Republic Museum, the museum preserves and interprets the rich history of the Lone Star State during the Texas Republic period of 1836 - 1846.
Barrington Living History Farm, experience the home of Anson Jones, last president of the Republic of Texas.
The Brenham Maifest, one of the oldest
spring German festivals in the South, will hold its 119th celebration on
May 8th - 9th, 2009 at Fireman's Park in Brenham, Texas.
||Washington County Fair, events including the annual fair in September, concerts, rodeos, livestock shows, arts and craft shows, meetings, special events and more! 979-836-4112|
|What to See & Do
Americana Alpacas, 936-870-3887
Antique Rose Emporium, 979-836-5548
Chappell Hill Lavender Farm, 979-251-8114
Ellison's Greenhouses, 979-836-6011
Glasco's Garden and Gifts, 979-836-3210
Horseshoe Junction, 979-251-8701
Martha's Bloomers, 936-825-7400
Miracle Farm, 979-836-0901
Monastery of St. Clare Miniature Horse Farm, 979-836-9652
Nueces Canyon Equestrian Center & Resort
Shiloh Ranch Horses, 979-836-0599
Somerville Lake, 1-877-444-6777
Washington County Fairgrounds, 979-836-4112
Nueces Canyon Equestrian Center, 979-289-5600
Pleasant Hill Winery, 979-830-8463
Westwood Cinema 6, 979-836-7656
Windy Hill Winery, 979-836-3252
|Brenham Bed & Breakfast
A Journey's Inn, 979-836-1320
Anderson’s Round Top Inn, 979-249-5294
The Allcorn House, 979-836-6717
Ant Street Inn, 979-836-7393
Barrington Bed & Breakfast, 936-878-2844
BlissWood B&B, 713-301-3235
Bogart’s Casa Blanca, 936-825-1969
Bootstrap at Round Top, 866-664-4040
Captain Clay Home Bed & Breakfast, 979-836-1916
Country Place Cottage, 979.836.6429
Eberly Ranch, 979-865-9675
Front Porch, 979-278-3809
Hackberry Hill Guest Cottages, 979-481-0843
Herban Escape B&B, 979-451-9071
Homestead House, 979-836-2674
Inn at Indian Creek, 979-289-2032
Ingleside Bed & Breakfast, 979-251-7707
Inn at Wakefield Farms, 979-251-1459
James Walker Homestead, 979-836-6717
The Kenney Bunkhouse, 979-865-5872
Knittel Homestead Inn, 979-289-5102
Lillian Farms Bed & Breakfast, 979-421-6332
Lonesome Dove, 979-289-5005
M's Hide-A-Way Bed & Breakfast, 979-830-0269
Mariposa Ranch Bed & Breakfast, 979-836-4737
Murski Homestead B & B Guesthouse, 979-830-1021
Nueces Canyon Ranch Resort, 979-289-5600
Outpost at Cedar Creek Inn, 979-836-4975
Prairie Hill Farm, 713-306-5766
Quebe Farm, 512-924-3068
Scenic Hill, 713-705-7717
Southern Rose Ranch, 979-251-7871
Stagecoach Inn, 979-830-8861
Stonebrook Farm, 979-289-3909
Sycamore Cottage Guest House, 979-337-4850
Tara Farms, 979-836-7098
Texas Ranch Life, 979-885-8338
The Brenham House Bed and Breakfast, 979-251-9947
Wellspring Retreat and B&B, 979-249-2019
Wolf Creek Cottage, 979-836-1002
Wrigley House Bed and Breakfast, 979-836-4346
Bevers Kitchen, 979-836-4178
Bread Basket Café, 979-421-9765
Big Daddy's BBQ, 979-830-1619
Brazos Bell Restaurant, 979-289-2677
Cafe M Bloomers Tearoom, 936-870-3277
Casa Ole, 979-830-1661
Chappell Hill Cafe & Meat Market, 979-836-0850
CiCi’s Pizza, 979-421-2424
Coffee Cup (inside Tres Chic), 979-836-9505
Country Inn II Steakhouse, 979-836-2396
Domenic's Capital Grill, 979-251-7800
Design II, 979-830-0450
El Charro T, 979-337-9515
Ernie's an American Bistro, 979-836-7545
Fluff Top Restaurant, 979-836-9441
Funky Art cafe & Coffee Bar, 979-836-1199
The Inn at Dos Brisas, 979-277-7750
K-Bob's Steakhouse, 979-836-7990
Las Fuentes Restaurant/Cantina, 979-337-9515
Legends Billiards & Grill, 979-251-7665
Longhorn Saloon & Steak House, 979-421-6700
Mariachi's Mexican Restaurant, 979-830-9015
Mo’s Bar-B-Que, 979-421-9995
Monzi’s Fine Cuisine, 979-542-2201
Must Be Heaven, 979-830-8536
Purcell's Country Style Buffet, 979-836-9508
Quizno’s Subs, 979-421-9113
Red Room Restaurant, 979-251-7791
Royer’s Round Top Café, 979.249.3611
Scoops at Westwood, 979-830-0266
Sealand Seafood & Steaks, 979-836-5600
Sonic Drive-in, 979-836-4242
Sonic Drive-in #2, 979-836-4010
Southern Fryer, 979-836-5462
Starbucks Coffee, 979-251-8742
Subway #1, 979-830-8222
Subway #2, 979-251-9400
Subway #3, 979-830-8722
SugarDaddy’s Bakery & Gift Shop, 979-337-9900
Tex's Bar-B-Que & Catering, 979-836-5962
Vineyard Wine Bar & cafe, 979-836-4069
Volare Italian Restaurant, 979-836-1514
Wired and Inspired (inside Pomegranate), 979-836-1199
Bluebonnet Realty, 979) 836-1836
Hodde Real Estate, 979-836-8532
Trinity Medical Center, 979-836-6173
Brenham Municipal Airport, 979-836-5452
Brenham Banner, 979-836-8473
Nearby State Parks Destinations
Lake Somerville State Park
Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site, 936-878-2214
|Content copyright George L. Hosek. The articles and photographs on this site are for viewing on your computer only, absolutely, no commercial or personal reproduction without written consent from George Hosek.|