Sometimes you just got to get away, but there’s no time or money or energy for a full on “gettaway” – I found myself in this situation a few weeks ago. The kids really needed a final Hurrah before school, I needed to feel like I gave them something fun to remember, to tell kids & teachers about their summer. Plus we all needed a nice, good time together, that was easy on the energy level & the pocket book. So it wasn’t exactly a “day trip”, we decided to make a mini vacation out of it.
So we chose Brenham Texas, home of Blue Bell Ice Cream – 90 miles from Austin straight down 290
We stayed at Comfort Suites – Good rates and fab huge rooms – “suites” with kitchenettes, free breakfast, close to downtown, the highway and all the convenient stuff like Starbucks, Walgreens, HEB (so we could stock up the little fridge) and some easy chain type food places. We even walked to the next door Sonic for slushie happy hour.
There is LOTS to do around Brenham – and for not much money – here’s a short rundown of what we did in 3 days/2 nights:
The Blue Bell Cremeries: the #1 reason to go to Brenham! Get a tour of the factory, watch ice cream being packaged (when we were there we even witnessed a huge spill mishap of home made vanilla, kids loved it), learn some lore, and best of all get a bowl of free ice cream at the end! (we tried Black berry cobbler, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough & Rainbow Sherbert) http://www.bluebell.com/ – FYI the creamery is NOT open on weekends so this isn’t something you can do with kids during the school year for weekend trips 🙁
Chappell Hill Lavender Farm – Gorgeous place with a pond offsetting the lavender fields. Cutting season begins in August but we went the weekend after the Lavender Fest so our pickings were slim. Nonetheless we enjoyed cutting what we found and buying yummy smelling souvenirs in the gift shop. http://www.chappellhilllavender.com/
The Jersey Barnyard – In nearby La Grange, also known as Frerichs Dairy, this family owned farm offers guided tours which include a hayride, feeding goats, feeding chickens, roosters & rabbits. Bottle feeding calves, & milking a cow. Plus one of the Frerich’s themselves give you the tour and and you learn the history & how a dairy works. http://www.texasjersey.com/
Monastery of St. Clare Miniature Horse Farm – who doesn’t love miniature horses? Here is a whole farm, run by an order of nuns, you can explore the pastures & stables & chapel. There were even young ones but I would like to go back in the Spring to see tiny foals. http://www.monasteryminiaturehorses.com/
We also enjoyed strolling the downtown square, which has quaint shops, super old historic buildings, and best of all “It Must Be Heaven” – a casual lunch spot & old timey ice cream parlor. We may or may not have gone there twice.
There really are way more things to do in Brenham and surrounding cute towns, and I found out about most of it all from this website http://www.brenhamtexas.com/
I really would love all of your ideas about other great small towns to visit within 2 hours of Austin – lay it on me!