Hit the Road and Head to Brenham, Texas

Take a summer road trip to Brenham, Texas for some small town USA.

| Summer 2015

  • The Barrington Living History Farm features the restored 1844 home of the last president of the Republic of Texas.
    Photo by Karen K. Will
  • A working vegetable garden at the Barrington Living History Farm.
    Photo by Karen K. Will
  • The feed troughs for livestock at the Barrington Living History Farm.
    Photo by Karen K. Will
  • A gazebo at Chappell Hill Lavender Farm lets visitors enjoy the beauty and fragrance of the farm.
    Photo by Karen K. Will
  • The Antique Rose Emporium features beautiful rose-covered paths and unique displays.
    Photo by Karen K. Will
  • A beautiful rose sculpture on display at the the Antique Rose Emporium.
    Photo by Karen K. Will
  • The author looks comfortable in this replica of the Oval Office at the George Bush Presidential Library.
    Photo by Karen K. Will
  • Touring the facilities at Blue Bell Creameries, the third largest U.S. ice cream seller.
    Photo by Karen K. Will
  • A sample of the goods at Blue Bell Creameries. There are about 60 varieties to try after the tour.
    Photo by Karen K. Will
  • Hermann Furniture in downtown Brenham, Texas, offers new and old housewares.
    Photo by Karen K. Will
  • Bootleg Airstream is a traveling shoe store.
    Photo by Karen K. Will
  • The Brenham Fire Department Museum is home to the restored 1923 American LaFrance fire truck, “Samanthe.”
    Photo by Karen K. Will
  • Lillian Farms Country Estates, near Brenham, Texas, is a beautiful and cozy bed and breakfast.
    Photo by Karen K. Will
  • Lillian Farms Country Estates offers guests a taste of true Southern hospitality
    Photo by Karen K. Will
  • Rooms at the Ant Street Inn feature a combination of antique furniture with modern technology.
    Photo by Karen K. Will

Summer is the time to hit the open road and go exploring … with or without the family. No need to book a flight! Lots of fun and culture awaits in all the nooks and crannies of our country – and if you’re into small towns and country experiences, the vacation won’t necessarily cost you a month’s wages.

With that idea in mind, I recently toured a little piece of heaven in Washington County, Texas, known as “the birthplace of Texas.” Located about halfway between Houston and Austin on Highway 290, the small town of Brenham is known as “National Main Street City,” with a historic downtown. Loaded with independent boutiques and antique stores, cafes, museums and surrounding small farms, Brenham is a destination worthy of a few days of your summer vacation.

Here are a few things you’ll want to add to your itinerary.

Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site



Learn why Washington County is known as “the birthplace of Texas” (hint: It’s where the Texas Declaration of Independence was signed in 1836). The Star of the Republic Museum is also on the grounds, and hosts a number of interesting displays from the early days of Texas, from Native Americans to German settlers and Mexicans.

Another point of interest on the grounds is the Barrington Living History Farm — the restored 1844 home and farm of Anson Jones, the last president of the Republic of Texas. Here you’ll see all kinds of interesting homesteading artifacts from more than 150 years ago, including heritage livestock, poultry houses, a vegetable garden, a smokehouse and a tack shed. Re-enactors encourage you to participate in working the farm by helping feed the chickens or pigs, or helping plant or harvest crops as the season and weather permits.






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