We all know that Brenham, TX is home to Blue Bell Ice Cream, every true Texans favorite ice cream, but it also is full of so much more and makes for THE best weekend getaway destination! Nestled perfectly between Houston and Austin (just about an hour outside of Houston), this charming town is filled with good eating, live music by local artists, and some of the cutest lil' shops! We took a day trip to Brenham a few months ago but felt like we didn't have enough time to truly experience it, and so we went back last weekend for a whole weekend for the Summer Sip festival. After a jam packed weekend, we are convinced that everyone living in Houston (or in Texas) should visit here at least once, and we've put together a list of many reasons why.
Where to Eat
Home Sweet Farm Market & Biergarten // We stopped here on our first night as it was just a short stroll from our Airbnb. It is a cute bar with a large outdoor patio and a food truck parked out side. Grab some food and drinks here and catch their regular live music from local artists! It's absolutely magical at night, especially with their twinkling string lights.
LJ'S BBQ // Y'all might remember we stopped here on our first trip, and it was so dang good that another stop was 100% warranted. This place has a line out the door as soon as they open and sells out routinely, so make sure to plan ahead. Get the 3 meat plate and MAKE SURE that their brisket makes it onto your plate! You will not regret it.
Blue Bell Country Store // Dolla dolla scoops, y'all! That's right! At the Blue Bell Country Store (right next to the factory), you can get $1 scoops of any and all of their ice creams! We tried a couple we had never had before, which were (not surprisingly) very tasty -- the Southern Blackberry Cobbler and the Pecan Praline 'n Cream. They also do tours during select days and hours, so try to plan ahead if you are interested to see the magic behind the ice cream.
96 West //This is another great find right off the downtown square! 96 West is your destination for a bit of an elevated food experience in Brenham with eloquent fine dining and an absolutely splendid wine room. A few of our favorite dishes included the stuffed peppadew salad (currently off-menu, but not for long!), squid ink linguine (also currently off-menu), and the Wagyu Sirloin. The steak was divine, and eating it on the patio while viewing the downtown square with a glass of wine was quite the experience!
Country Sunshine // Located right on Main St., this outdoor patio has all the charming Marfa/West Texas vibes! We recently went to West Texas for our one year anniversary and this brought back so many good memories. We swung by for drinks because it was just too cute not to, but we had heard amazing things about their food truck on site. If only we weren't so fat and stuffed at the time...
Las Americas Latin Cuisine // Steak & Eggs and Mimosa Flights... need I say more to convince you to come here for brunch? 😜 This place specializes in latin cuisine, which adds an exciting twist to your typical brunch menu. Their options are amazing, such as the above pictured Steak & Eggs which are doused in chimmichurri sauce. We also went ahead and tried some of their small bites too, such as their fried plantains and ceviche.
Where to Drink
Mescalito // We came to Mescalito for coffee on our first morning in Brenham... and then came back the next morning for seconds before heading home because we loved it that much. Mescalito is inside Ballad of the Bird Dog, one of the cute shops in town, so you can browse around while waiting for your order. We'd recommend the Mocha Mescalito!
Brazos Valley Brewery // This brewery is located right outside of downtown -- just a few minutes drive or a 10 minute walk (if you're crazy like us and made the walk from downtown under the scorching Texas summer sun). Matt and I got a flight of their IPAs to share and boy were they super refreshing, especially after that walk. We were even lucky enough to catch the start of some live music! There is also ton of outdoor seating with multiple games with multiple fans to help stave off the heat. When you inevitably get the drunchies, they have vendors whom rotate through for food. We were lucky enough to catch Mertle's Mudbugs for one of the last rounds of crawfish of the season, and omg they were DELICIOUS!
What to Do
Sip & Art Walk // Twice a year, Brenham hosts a Sip & Art Walk in Downtown Brenham (one during the summer and one during the winter), where over 30 plus participating shops serve up unique cocktails to enjoy while shopping and viewing exhibitions from local artists. Tickets cost $25 which include a cute glass, a shopping bag, and access to all the drinks! We had the pleasure of attending the Summer series, and it is so much fun. There are wayyyy too many cute places to shop, and being a bit tipsy makes it even better.
Mural Tour // The town is sprawling with beautiful murals (no like really, they are EVERYWHERE). Take some time to walk around Downtown Brenham during the crisp mornings or cool evenings to take photos and pose with all the colorful walls!
Antique Rose Emporium // Just about a 15 minute drive outside of downtown, you'll find the prettiest plant shop that is a plant lovers paradise. It's quite expansive and feels almost like an arboretum, with such a wide variety of flowering plants and shrubs, so expect to spend quite a bit of time walking around, taking photos, and shopping for your next plant friend!
4 Star Concert Hall // Catch a concert here! They have live music every night with ticketed shows on Fridays & Saturdays. We didn't get to take too many photos, but it is still a neat place to visit.
Barnhill Center // We got to see Shiny Ribs here last weekend, and what an incredible performance it was. He was so lively and full of energy that the whole crowd was practically up dancing with him. It also helped that the Barnhill Center is a smaller, more intimate theater that really added to the experience.
Where to Stay
St. Charles Place // Matt and I stayed at this adorable Airbnb right in Downtown, and honestly is the place to be if you want to be within walking distance to everything. It is located on the second floor in one of the oldest buildings in Brenham, in a super central and convenient location. Everything was within a few minutes walk (excluding the brewery, which was closer to 10) with the Summer Sip event being on the same street! The Airbnb sleeps up to 6 people, so if you're coming with a group of friends, St. Charles Place is a great option.
Ant Street Inn // Ant Street Inn is a boutique inn that is also right in the heart of Downtown with balcony views of Home Sweet Farm and Pioneer Smokehouse. We weren't able to visit here, but it is close enough to be a consideration when planning your stay.
A big thank you to Visit Brenham for partnering on this post and hosting us! As always, all thoughts and opinions are our own.