It's finally fall. And with the weather finally cooperating, it's time for a fall getaway.
Want a fall weekend somewhere with a laid-back vibe but plenty of good food, drink, and fun? The classic small town of Brenham, barely four hours from Fort Worth, offers everything needed for a classic mini vacation. Sweaters optional.
Eat and drink
At Home Sweet Farm Market and Biergarten, enjoy 21 local craft beers on tap, artisanal foods such as small-batch cheeses and sausages and local jams, wine, and live music. Outdoor patio and dog-friendly.
Pioneer Smokehouse and BBQ serves up a rotating selection of meats pit-smoked onsite, served with classic sides and cold beer. Music or sports on the TV inside, plenty of shade and games outside, plus a wide selection of handmade Texas-themed wall hangings and other items.
Order a burger and shake with a side of nostalgia at the old-fashioned (poodle skirts and a jukebox!) Southern Flyer Diner, which overlooks the local airport. Open for lunch every day with a wide selection of comfort food from chicken fried steak to meatloaf.
Make the short drive to Chappell Hill for pie at Bever’s Restaurant, operating in a cottage on Main Street since the 1980s. The menu covers all the bases, from enchiladas to salads and daily specials such as chicken and dumplings, plus more than 30 types of pies. New flavors are added on a regular basis and all are made from scratch.
No trip to Brenham is complete without a tour of its most famous business, the Blue Bell Creamery, established in 1907. Learn in the visitors' center how the tasty stuff is made and then watch it happen from the observation deck. And no visit is complete without a scoop and a stroll through the Country Store.
Wander Washington on the Brazos State Historic Site, which includes exhibits in the visitor center, a Brazos River overlook, and a restoration of Independence Hall where 59 delegates to the General Convention met in 1836 in the town of Washington to adopt a constitution for the Republic of Texas. The site also is home to the Star of the Republic Museum and Barrington Living History Farm, an operational 1850s farm. Located about 20 miles outside of downtown Brenham.
Pack a picnic and head to the village of Independence and Old Baylor Park, site of the original Baylor University and featuring interpretive signage and a reconstructed bell tower. A walking trail relates the history of the town founded in 1835 and once home to Sam Houston.
Ant Street Inn, located in historic downtown and a Texas registered historic landmark, has 15 unique rooms featuring appropriate antique furnishings. It also has an award-winning restaurant, Brenham Grill, onsite.
In the nearby town of Chappell Hill, Southern Rose Ranch bed and breakfast has a guesthouse with two suites and an outdoor kitchen, fireplace and hot tub, all with pastoral views of grazing horses and cows. Breakfasts feature the farm’s own eggs and herbs.
Texas’ only Relais & Châteaux property, the Inn at Dos Brisas features haciendas for up to four and casitas for two scattered around its 313 acres, plus a Forbes five-star restaurant, trail riding and carriage rides, tennis, fishing, clay shooting, swimming, walking, and bicycling.