Best of Texas

You work hard all year, balancing your work with shuttling the kids back and forth between school, activities and back home again for family time. Now you deserve some time for yourself. So gather your girlfriends and start planning for a relaxing trip to the Texas countryside – moms only.

The accommodations in Brenham and the surrounding Washington County area are as charming as the city itself. From boutique hotels and bed and breakfast inns to a true-blue stay on a Texas dude ranch, you’ll receive southern hospitality at its finest no matter where you choose.

Downtown historic Brenham is home to the Ant Street Inn, a boutique hotel boasting 15 guest rooms, each named for the southern city that inspired its Victorian-style décor. While the furnishings are antique, you will still have modern-day comforts like free wi-fi. Another quaint inn is the Southern Rose Ranch Bed & Breakfast in Chappell Hill, which is located along the Bluebonnet Trail. With just two guest suites, you’re sure to get all the attention you dream of from the innkeepers, who will deliver breakfast to you daily either in your suite or in the outdoor kitchen.

If you would rather enjoy the peace and quiet of country living, a stay at Texas Ranch Life will do the trick. At this working ranch, you can learn to be a cowgirl with an open range horseback ride, a roping lesson or tomahawk throwing session. Lodging at the ranch isn’t just an ordinary bedroom either. You will get to stay in one of eight authentically restored homes that date back to the 1850s.

A springtime getaway will bring you to the Lone Star State during bluebonnet season. Taking a drive down the meandering country roads will offer a glimpse of the Texas state flower all around you. Make sure you have the windows rolled down to enjoy their true beauty. But if you can’t make it in the springtime to see the beautiful blooms, there is still plenty to do while you’re there.

History buffs can explore the state’s past at Washington-on-the-Brazos State Park, known as ͞”the birthplace of Texas”. Take a tour of Independence Hall, where representatives wrote and signed a formal declaration of Independence, creating the Republic of Texas. Also on site is Barrington Living History Farm, a re-creation of the farm that Dr. Anson Jones, the last president of the Republic of Texas, founded. Interpreters, dressed in period attire, will guide you through the home where he raised his family and the surrounding farm. The Star of the Republic Museum will walk you step by step through Texas heritage with artifacts and educational materials there to remind you of what you learned firsthand on the rest of the property.

Next, take a taste down the Wine Trail, discovering Texas wine at its finest. Windy Winery is one of the only wineries in Texas to exclusively use grapes from within the state, making each bottle 100 percent authentic to the region. Pleasant Hill Winery, the oldest in Washington County, is another winery that uses Texas grapes to produce award-winning varietals. Each winery has breathtaking views of the Texas landscape to enjoy while you savor the wine. Saddlehorn Winery and Texas Star Winery are also stops on the trail.

While Texas soil produces grapes perfect for wine, it also provides ideal conditions for growing lavender, a crop that has become increasingly popular over the years. The fields of Chappell Hill Lavender Farm hold 3,000 of the fragrant plants. While you’re there, take a stroll through the fields and soak in the sun while enjoying a glass of lavender lemonade. The gift shop is full of treats, from beauty products to homemade jellies. Make sure to try the lavender-flavored mustard; it’s delicious on pretty much anything.

Before you head home, you must dig into a Texas-sized plate of barbecue. Nathan’s BBQ has been providing a real true-pit experience for more than 30 years. Slow-cooked meats, savory sauces and side dishes, and down-home southern cooking (with recipes inspired by owner Nathan Winkleman’s grandmother) have quickly made Nathan’s a local favorite and an absolute must-see while you’re in town.

Another popular Texas flavor is Blue Bell ice cream. Brenham-based Blue Bell Creameries has been in business for over 100 years, and locals are proud to have the third best-selling ice cream in the United States as a neighbor. You’ll often see the famous ice cream on the menu at local restaurants –like R Place at Washington on the Brazos – and even the local inns serve the product as an amenity for guests.

Brenham and Washington County will give you a much-needed break from real life so you can enjoy some kid-free lazy days spent wine tasting and antique shopping in the beauty Texas country side.


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Written by Lyndsay Fogarty

Lyndsay Fogarty has had many roles at Central Florida Lifestyle, working her way from intern to contributing writer to managing editor. She is a graduate of the University of Central Florida’s Nicholson School of Communication where she earned her degree in journalism. Along the way, she has learned that teamwork and dedication to your craft will get you far, and a positive outlook on the present will get you even farther.

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