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Home Travel Past and future meet in quaint-but-hip Brenham, Texas

Past and future meet in quaint-but-hip Brenham, Texas

Need a charming vacation spot that weaves collectively Texas’ legendary previous with a contemporary, hip vibe? Look no additional than Brenham, Texas, conveniently positioned midway between Houston and Austin. It’s the proper hub for a area stuffed with callbacks to historical past and a forward-looking power.

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© Jacob Rhoades / Lonely Planet

Brenham’s downtown is listed on the Nationwide Register of Historic Locations, with buildings relationship to the 1860s, however wandering the atmospheric streets you’ll discover loads of trendy boutiques and outlets – an ideal diversion. Afterward, no journey is full with out exploring the encircling rolling panorama and small communities of Burton and Chappell Hill. Listed below are our must-do’s for this basic and genuine nook of the Lone Star State.

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 When you’re admiring the artwork and historical past in downtown Brenham, find time for the native companies © Courtesy of Go to Brenham, Texas

Historic Downtown Brenham

Brenham’s downtown is filled with colourful murals that fill the streets – to make certain you catch all of them, take a self-guided Brenham Artwork Stroll tour. For historical past buffs, there’s additionally a self-guided Historic District Strolling Tour that covers historic buildings such because the Brenham Opera Home, Glissmann Pharmacy, Simon Theater, Toubin Park, and extra.

When you’re admiring the artwork and historical past, find time for the native companies – greater than 25 outlets fill the quaint downtown. Pet Dawgs and Cat Tails is a must-see for these with furry buddies on the lookout for pet beds, treats, pet clothes, and pure pet meals. Girl’s Cave is nice for presents resembling home made soaps, candles, pottery, and décor. The Barnhill Home Toys and Books is ideal for teenagers, with old style toys, books, puzzles, and a great deal of stuffed animals.

Chappell Hill, Texas

Based in 1847, Chappell Hill is positioned simply 15 minutes east of downtown Brenham. The city is part of Stephen F. Austin’s authentic colony and in its early days was a well-liked stagecoach cease. It was additionally a steamboat port for cotton being shipped down the Brazos River to Houston.

There are 12 Nationwide Register spots in Chappell Hill, together with century-old church buildings, the oldest regularly working financial institution in Texas, the restored Windfall Baptist Church, and the Chappell Hill Historic Museum. For a bit of outside exploration, the Chappell Hill Lavender Farm has fields of lavender, a present store, lessons and seminars, and even permits lavender slicing at sure instances of the 12 months. The city additionally holds the annual Official Bluebonnet Pageant of Texas in the spring, and a Scarecrow Pageant in the autumn.

Texas Tidbit: Group excursions can be found for Chappell Hill’s Windfall Baptist Church, the Rock Retailer, the museum, and the Chappell Hill United Methodist Church Wednesdays by way of Saturdays.

Old Cotton gin
Burton is house to the oldest working cotton gin in America © Getty Photos

Texas Cotton Gin and Museum, Burton, Texas

West of Brenham on freeway 290 is Burton, a small city that’s house to the oldest working cotton gin in America. The Texas Cotton Gin and Museum is the house of the gin, which dates to 1914, and it’s visited by hundreds of individuals yearly. Museum admission is free and consists of quite a few reveals, a present store, and a presentation on how cotton is cultivated at present, from floor to bale. Excursions of the gin are carried out twice day by day for a small charge.

Texas Tidbit: The annual Cotton Gin Pageant takes place the third weekend in April and features a parade, a cotton-seed-pulling contest, meals and craft cubicles, an vintage tractor present and pull, a kids’s barnyard, and folk-life demonstrations.

Historic Outdated Baylor Park and Vintage Rose Emporium, Independence, Texas

About 15 minutes north of downtown Brenham is Independence, Texas, one other charming small city stuffed with historical past. Based in the 1820s, it turned a Baptist stronghold when it was chosen as the positioning of the unique campus of Baylor College in 1845. Go to the Vintage Rose Emporium, an expansive nursery devoted to roses that transport you straight to a fairytale. Eight acres are stuffed with rose show gardens, and you should purchase roses of every type and colours. Subsequent door, you’ll discover Outdated Baylor Park, the positioning of the unique campus. Immediately, you’ll see the archaeological ruins alongside a strolling/driving path with indicators detailing the historical past of the village of Independence.

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Blue Bell ice cream started because the Brenham Creamery Firm © Alizada Studios / Shutterstock

Blue Bell Creameries

Arguably top-of-the-line merchandise popping out of Texas is Blue Bell ice cream, which has its roots in Brenham. Blue Bell started because the Brenham Creamery Firm, when the founders remodeled an deserted cotton gin right into a creamery and made butter from extra cream provides. Ice cream manufacturing started in 1911, and it’s been a favourite ever since. A go to to Blue Bell consists of the Customer Middle, the place you possibly can take a self-guided tour of the corporate’s historical past by way of the Blue Bell Museum; the Ice Cream Parlor, the place you possibly can seize a scoop of your favourite taste; the Nation Retailer, the place you should buy Blue Bell swag; and the Statement Deck, the place you possibly can watch the ice cream being made.

Fireman’s Park and Vintage Carousel

Just some blocks from downtown is Fireman’s Park: 30 acres of park house consists of playgrounds, a skate park, volleyball courts, a baseball subject, the StoryWalk out of doors studying expertise, and extra. A park favourite is the vintage carousel, known as Brenham’s Flying Horses Carousel. It’s one in all solely 5 surviving basic picket carousels that exists in Texas, and is the oldest one in the state. The carousel was discovered in 1930 by Hugh Durden in Clay, Texas, the place it had been left in a pasture years prior. In the course of the Nice Despair, a carnival that couldn’t afford to pay lease on the land they used for his or her carnival was pressured to desert the journey. The carousel was moved to Brenham, restored, and has been the satisfaction of the neighborhood for many years.

Immediately it’s the proper emblem of this eclectic neighborhood: Enjoyable and forward-thinking, with a deep respect for the previous.

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Brenham represents a basic and genuine nook of the Lone Star State © Courtesy of Go to Brenham, Texas

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