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This is an article discussing things to do in Brenham, TX.
When considering cities to visit in Texas, Brenham isn’t usually top of the list. But the city is filled with local treasures just waiting to be seen. If you’re in looking for weekend family getaways near Houston, Brenham is only about an hour or two away. Packed with small-town Texas charm, there are plenty of things to do in Brenham Texas. Here is a list of things to do in Brenham, Texas.
Blue Bell Factory
A visit to the Blue Bell factory will top any list of things to do in Brenham, TX. And with good reason! Blue Bell is one of the largest companies in the city and is considered a local treasure for the state of Texas. Guests can stop by the Visitors Center to see exhibits detailing the history of the company and see the ice cream packed for shipment from the Observation Deck. If you’re in the market for some Blue Bell merchandise [or just some nice country home goods], there is also a rather large gift shop.
The Little Creamery is most people’s favorite of the things to do in Brenham. You can sample the different flavors for free and purchase a scoop at the low price of $1 each. Some of the flavors at the Little Creamery are available only at the factory.
Explore in Downtown Brenham
If you’re looking for the quintessential small-town shopping experience, look no further than downtown Brenham. Small businesses are the heart of the town and must-do of things to do in Brenham, Texas. From clothing boutiques to home decor shops, there is a little bit of something for everyone.
Downtown Brenham is also home to many of the town’s biggest events like the Summer Sip & Art Walk, the Farmers Market, and their music festival. If you’re visiting Brenham with kids, be sure to catch their Scarecrow Extravaganza where participants can create their own scarecrow to compete for cash prizes.
Take Pictures in the Bluebonnets and Texas Wild Flowers
Is it even a Texan spring if you don’t take pictures with the state’s flower? The Texas hill country is one of the best places in Texas to find the infamous bluebonnet flowers. Come dressed in your finest western wear and snap a few pictures. They are typically found in large fields and alongside the highway.
Make sure you time your visit just right because the Texas bluebonnet is finicky. The best time of year to visit Brenham for bluebonnets is early spring when it isn’t too cold or too hot. They start to die off as the weather heats up so if you wait until the summer it will be too late.
Please note that although this is definitely one of the most fun things to do in Brenham, TX, Texas outdoors is still, well, outdoors. Beware the wildlife – particularly snakes – as you squat down in the sea of flowers to take your picture.
Eat Authentic Small-Town Texas BBQ in Brenham, TX
This list of things to do in Brenham, TX wouldn’t be complete without including the national cuisine of Texas: BBQ. The Texas hill country is home to some of the best BBQ in the state and Brenham is no exception.
Stop by Nathan’s BBQ to get BBQ “Old School the Texas Way.” Nathan’s BBQ is a family-owned restaurant run by [you guessed it] Nathan. All their meats are cooked on pits using lump charcoal and pecan wood. It also happens to be my family’s favorite BBQ spot in Brenham. We aren’t their only fans – Nathan’s BBQ has been voted The Brenham Banner-Press Reader’s Choice “Best Barbecue” 5 Years in Row 2015-2019.
Truth BBQ is another Brenham, TX favorite. While their eatery is extremely small [only 2 people can be in the lobby at one time and the rest have to queue up outside], stories of their food indicate it is worth the wait. Someone even described their brisket as life-changing. There is a small adjacent patio with seating but be prepared to take your order to-go if needed.
Become a Knight at Newman’s Castle
Did you know there is a real-life castle located in Texas? Newman’s Castle is technically located in Needville but its close proximity to Brenham landed it on this list of things to do in Brenham, TX.
Newman’s Castle is designed with authenticity and is fashioned after the castles of yore. It’s even surrounded by a moat! There’s a large drawbridge, a chapel, a courtyard, and more. They provide guided tours for visitors 6 days a week! Be sure to call in advance to make a reservation.
The secret to this one of a kind thing to do in Brenham? It’s actually a bakery! While you’re there, stop by Newman’s bakery for one of their award-winning baked goods. They also serve coffee, country breakfast, and lunch.
Visit a Winery in Brenham, TX
Did you know that the Texas Hill Country is home to some of the best wineries in the state? Brenham, TX is one of the cities housing these wonderful wineries. Some are located within Brenham proper and some are in a town adjacent but all are worth the visit! Windy Winery and Pleasant Hill are just two of the wineries in Brenham that provide Texas wines from Texas grapes. Tour the grounds, sample their offerings, listen to live music, and leave with your very own taste of Brenham.
Sip a Brew at Brazos Valley Brewing Company
If wine isn’t your thing, Brenham has you covered! Visit the Brazos Valley Brewing Company to taste locally brewed beer. This place is a landmark unto itself with over 7 acres of good people, good beer, and good music.
All of their local crafts are named after songs that the owners love like “Two Step” and “Brown Eyed Girl”. If you’re visiting Brenham with kids, no worries! The brewery is family [and pet] friendly. Brewery tours are available by request.
Take a Step Back in Time at Barrington Living History Museum
Step back to the year 1850 by visiting the home of Dr. Anson Jones, the last president of the Republic of Texas. His home is the centerpiece of the Barrington Plantation, a cotton plantation located in Brenham, TX.
Historians have been able to recreate the daily living experience of the residents and enslaved there based on journals left by the Jones family. Visitors are able to walk through what real life felt like during that time. They even have staff on-site that dress and behave as they would have in the 1850s. They also have special events that focus on special aspects of life on the Barrington Plantation like pulling fodder, family pastimes, and harvesting grains.
Visit Where Texas Became Texas
Washingon on the Brazos is where historic figures signed the Texas Declaration of Independence in 1836. Today, the Washington-on-the-Brazos Historic Site memorializes the site with a 293-acre park. There is even a recreation of the drafty building where delegates sat to sign the declaration. The Star of Republic Museum is also there with all the historic memorabilia from the 10 year period that Texas was its own sovereign nation. If you’re looking for things to do in Brenham, TX visit where Texas became Texas.
Stroll through Fields of Lavender in Chapel Hill
Lavender farms are all the rage these days. Luckily, there is an exquisite lavender farm located in Chapel Hill, TX right outside Brenham. Chapel Hill Lavender Farm is free to visitors and you can even cut your own pieces to take home during their twice-annual cutting season.
There’s still plenty of fun to be had at Chapel Hill Lavender Farm if you miss the cutting season! They also host an annual Lavender and Wine Fest with craft vendors, live music, lavender cuisine, and of course, wine. You’re also invited to shop their gift shop for lavender themed gifts like soap, lotion, and even home decor. As this farm is entirely free to visit, purchases from their gift shop are highly recommended.
Ride Horseback Through the Texas Hill Country
There are few things more Texan than riding horseback deep in the heart of Texas. Visit TC Ranch Horsemanship to learn all things horseback riding with authentic cowboys. They also offer specialized courses and clinics throughout the year.
If you want the full-fledged experience, you can even book a customized ranch vacation that includes transportation, meals, accommodations on the ranch, horseback lessons, and sightseeing around Brenham.
Enjoy a One of a Kind Farm Experience at The Jersey Barnyard
The Jersey Barnyard describes itself as the place “where family meets farm” and the description could not be more accurate! Visitors are encouraged to explore the dairy farm, pet the animals, watch the chickens roam the farm, and soak up the country sun. The Frerichs family has owned The Jersey Barnyard for over 100 years. You can still find them at the barnyard greeting guests and answering questions.
They are a working dairy farm so you can also purchase grass-fed beef, organic pastured chicken, pastured chicken eggs, and pastured pork.
What are your favorite things to do in Brenham, TX?