With the Texas Bluebonnet Festival happening this weekend, I decided it was time to go ahead and post about the beautiful Texas countryside. As much as I am a total city girl, I also love to spend time in nature. Whether it's a long hike along Purgatory Creek (see here, here and here) or a relaxing afternoon among fields of flowers, it's nice to just get out and see what mother nature has to offer. I thought it would put together a little guide to getting around to see some of the notable Texas wildflowers and a few cute spots for food and fun.
If you head northwest along Hwy 290 from Houston you will find some really beautiful views along the road. Once you hit Hempstead you can make a quick stop at their local Farmer's Market which is open 7 days a week. They carry a variety of staples and many in season items as well. Some of it is organic and some of it is just grown by local farmers. They also carry a few plants/flowers for your patio or yard.
From there, you have the option to head west to Brenham, or east to Navasota. I'm going to take you on the route I went, but you can easily reverse the order since you will travel in a triangle. First stop for me is Navasota, TX.
Martha's Bloomers - I've posted twice about this little garden and cafe (here and here), but this is a great place to spend 15 minutes stomping around and stretching your legs. They sell a variety of herbs, flowers, plants and have a fantastic tea room. I personally like to get their Raspberry Nectar tea and dessert. Oftentimes, when we've stopped there people are having brunch and their menu is pretty broad if you are looking for something tasty.
Navasota also has a cute little downtown. If you are looking for somewhere to stay - The Red Velvet Inn is just precious. You can spend a few minutes walking around their historic area downtown and the homes along the main street that runs downtown are just charming.
Once you get on 105 West, you can head over to the Birthplace of Texas which is Washington on the Brazos. Washington on the Brazos is a fantastic place for an hour long walk and picnic. It's free to tour there, and right in the heart of the Texas Countryside. See more about this location in this post.
Washington on the Brazos
I posted two weeks ago about this location, but it's the first stop on my journey when I leave Navasota. It's the birthplace of Texas and it has a park you can take a leisurely walk in or have a delicious picnic. There are a few sights along the trail that correlate about how Texas came to be a state. You can read more about it here.
Brenham has quite the art scene. If you are looking for cute boutiques or a delicious coffee shop - this is the place. The buildings have murals painted up and down the sides and between the alleys. It's absolutely adorable and a pretty decent historic area.
If you are looking for a great place to find a field of Bluebonnets, you will look no further. In this post, my family and I took a bounty of photographs one Saturday afternoon behind the local Wal-mart. Although it's not part of the Wal-mart property, if you loop around to the backside you will find a HUGE field of beautiful flowers. I mean the land is covered in flowers.
You can also grab a bite to eat and cup of coffee at Wire and Inspired or Yumm! Sweets & Eats for espresso and gelato. Another great place for lunch is Must be Heaven. They have yummy sandwhiches and pie. If you are looking for a place to stay - Brenham House Bed & Breakfast is right off the town square. You can easily park your car the entire weekend and walk to get food, shop or just to sight see.
Independence, Texas is the original site for Baylor College. You can go to old Baylor Hill to find several fields of wildflowers. It's also a cute little spot to spend an hour seeing how homestead Texans lived. As long as you get there prior to dusk, there is a historic property with several buidlings and you can get a glimps back into time. We visited there as the last stop before heading back to Navasota.
There are literally fields of bluebonnets and indian paintbrush and you won't harm anyone's property by getting a few pictures. There is also a few swings for the kiddos to play on and the sun sets just over old Baylor College Hill. I recommend visiting at Sunset.
I'll be posting more about Chappell Hill after next weekend. Since the Texas Bluebonnet Festival is happening next weekend, I thought I would highlight this location. They have a beautiful lavender farm where you can pick your own lavender and tour the farm. For the Texas Bluebonnet Festival, there is no admission and they will have a variety of vendors to include live music. Chappell Hill also has a beautiful Antique Rose Emporium you can visit. The site is a recipient of the Rosarian Garden Hall of Fame. There are several quaint churches to visit