A day trip to Brenham provides an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, traffic, work and school commitments. There are a number of attractions for singles, couples and families alike to enjoy. Brenham is not only full of rich history and dynamic architecture, it is also home to the largest ice cream distributor in the state, a nationally known airport restaurant and quaint shops.
1. Blue Bell Creameries, 1101 S. Blue Bell Road, 800-327-8135, www.bluebell.com
Thousands of gallons of Homemade Vanilla, Cookies ‘n Cream and Dutch Chocolate ice cream are concocted every day at Blue Bell Creameries in Brenham. Visitors can stop by the world headquarters of the ice cream giant and tour the factory. The tour explains how the ice cream gets from the farm to the table. After the tour, each guest is served a scoop of fresh ice cream in the Country Store, which also sells unique dessert products.
- Mon–Fri 8 a.m.–5 p.m.,
- Sat. (Feb.–Dec.) 10 a.m.–4 p.m.
- (no weekend tours)
- $5 — Reservations recommended
2. Brenham Heritage Museum, 105 N. Market St., 979-830-8445, www.brenhamheritagemuseum.org
Just outside the town square is the old U.S. Post Office building, which was constructed in 1915. The large, red-brick building was turned into the Brenham Heritage Museum in 1991 and houses the history of the town and Washington County. Special exhibits are displayed throughout the year. The museum asks for a $1 admission donation fee.
- Wed 1–4 p.m.,
- Thu–Sat 10 a.m.–4 p.m.
3. Giddings Stone Mansion, 2203 Century Circle, 979-836-1690, www.giddingsstonemansion.com
Built in 1870, this Greek Revival-style house sits atop a hill right outside downtown Brenham. Although primarily used for weddings and large events, visitors can arrange a tour of the mansion for groups of 10 or more during the week or for smaller groups on the weekends. Group tours for 10 or more are given throughout the week for $10 a person. If the mansion is not open for a tour, passersby can observe the distinct architectural features, including the two-story porch with Doric columns.
- Open by appointment
- weekends starting May 12. 10:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.
- $49.95 per person for one day of all attractions, individual attraction costs vary.
4. Southern Flyer Diner
3001 Aviation Way (Brenham Municipal Airport), 979-836-5462, www.southernflyer.com
Jack and Janet Hess opened their homestyle diner in 2002 to take diners back to the happy times of the 1950s. The restaurant is connected to the airport and serves hamburgers, chicken fried chicken, ice cream shakes and other comfort foods to both pilots and land dwellers. More than 54,000 pilots voted to elect it the best fly-in restaurant in the United States. The diner has earned this title for the past four years from $100 Hamburger magazine.
- Sun–Thu 11 a.m.–3 p.m.,
- Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–9 p.m
5. Must Be Heaven, 107 W. Alamo St., 979-830-8536, www.mustbeheaven.com
Must Be Heaven brings patrons back to the heyday of ice cream parlors and soda shops. Offering numerous ice cream treats—banana splits, shakes and sundaes—along with hand crafted sandwiches and soups, it is a great lunch spot and popular with the locals. The cafe also offers a variety of pies.
- Mon–Sat 8 a.m.–5 p.m.,
- Sun 11 a.m.–3 p.m.
6. Today and Yesterday, 101 W. Alamo St., 979-830-0707, www.todayandyesterdayantiques.com
It is appropriate that this fully stocked antique store is located in one of Brenham’s most historic buildings—the Brenham Opera House, which was built in 1872. Owner Bebe Hayward sells a variety of distinctive gifts, stained-glass windows, Tiffany lamps, furniture and dishware.
- Mon–Sat 11 a.m.–5 p.m.,
- Sun 1–5 p.m.