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8 Must See Attractions in Downtown Brenham

July 22nd, 2014 by Pamela Murski

Downtown Brenham?  Though there are more things to see, do, experience in Downtown Brenham than we can mention  in this space, but here are 8 of our recommended must see attractions in downtown Brenham.  When planning  your trip to Brenham, you will definitely want to stay a few days to take  it all  in.  With all the different inns to choose from,  Brenham offers a variety of choices.  For great hospitality and personal service, book a room at Murski Homestead Bed and Breakfast.  Our personal concierge service ensures you have  help if needed to plan your itinerary for Downtown Brenham.

Downtown Brenham

Downtown Brenham Attractions

1.  Brenham Heritage Museum Complex, from 1915:   This stately, Classical Revival building was originally a Federal building that housed the United States Post Office.  Many museum displays tell the story of Texas and Washington County. Also part of the Brenham Heritage Museum complex are two buildings that display Brenham’s antique fire trucks. 105 South Market

2.  Toubin Park and the Burning of Brenham (circa 1880):   Beneath Brenham streets is a State Archeological Landmark, the only system of historic public cisterns found in Texas. Learn how they were built and supplied with water by private businesses. It’s a Wild West tale of an early railroad, a rough Boom Town, and inventive citizens who banded together in adversity. See a large private cistern and learn how it was used. Find out about present-day cisterns and how they can help you.  208 South Park St.

3.  Washington County Courthouse Square, built in 1939,  is an Art Deco style with streamlined forms in the metal grillwork over the entrances and cut stonework on each of the corners. The gazebo, on the Courthouse Square at the corner of Alamo and Park Streets, is a replica of an earlier auction stand. It serves the community for many Downtown events. The original courthouse, built in 1844 when Brenham became the county seat, was made of local cedar. In 1855 a larger courthouse was built of  locally-made bricks. A third courthouse was built in 1884, the grandest in scale and architectural detail. It was crowned with a central bell tower, a visual landmark for miles around.

Downtown Brenham Walking Tour to experience and explore the 1800’s Architecture:

4.  Brenham Opera House built in 1872 which now houses the antique store, “Yesterday and Tomorrow”, is chock full of antiques, stained glass and collectibles. This two-story building was once home of a fine opera house on the second floor, and Alex Simon’s general mercantile on the first floor. The upstairs opera house had a large stage, orchestra pit, a dress circle, dressing rooms, and box seats with gilded and velvet upholstered seating. It is rumored that deceased opera performers still haunt the building today.  101 West Alamo St.

5.  The Simon Theatre, at 109 W. Main and  housing the Washington County Visitor Bureau, the Independence Coffee Shop and soon to be convention space, is a historical building designed and built by renowned architect Alfred C. Finn, who also designed the San Jacinto Monument.  It was plush and popular in its time, with an upstairs ballroom used for events. The lower floor had a lobby, retail space, a vaudeville stage and movie theater with seating for 739 including the balcony.  Since its’ early heyday, this building has been many things over the years including an  indoor cinema, a Chinese restaurant/grocery store and apartments.  Currently in the last phase of restoration, this is a magnificent structure will soon serve the community again as an entertainment and event venue..

6.  Washington County Citizens Visitors Bureau: located inside the Simon Theatre on Main Street.  Be sure to stop in to pick up brochures of what to see, do, eat, drive, stay and what’s going on locally.  Enjoy a visual experience of Washington County and some of its’ attractions the minute you walk in the door……the floor is the map!  This is not  to  be missed!

7.  Hot Nights/Cool Tunes Music Festival each summer!  This FREE  music event is going on every Saturday evening during the month of July @ 7:00 P.M.  Great live bands, food, drink and classic  car cruise-in.  For a great time, bring your lawn chairs to the Courthouse Square in Downtown Brenham.  Cool Bands like Suede from Austin!

8.  Unity Theatre’s live performances are not to be missed.  Located in a restored antique warehouse, this intimate venue offers some of the best professional live theatre going.  Unity brings in actors, directors, designers and technicians from across the country to give you the most rewarding theatrical experience possible.    Professional artists from across the region delight audiences each season with musical magic, intriguing stories, contemporary and classical comedy.  Come see for yourself why Unity Theatre continues to be called “one of the best regional theatres in the country”.

Of course, you’ll also want to stay overnight to really enjoy Washington County and downtown Brenham.  Murski Homestead Bed and Breakfast,  located in the country just 5 minutes from downtown,  offers rustic charm blended with big city amenities…… the best of both worlds!

Photo Courtesy of QuesterMark

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