5 Must Do Things in Bryan

West 31st Street Murals | Photo courtesy of Historic Downtown Bryan, Texas

In our series of Must Do Things Around Greater Houston, we take a look at Houston’s vast array of neighborhoods to bring you five fun, tasty, and enticing reasons you should give each a visit. Originally published in 2016, we are now refreshing, updating, and adding to this series, including new neighborhoods and destinations.

Around 100 miles from Houston, the city of Bryan sits in Brazos Valley. Together with College Station, it makes up the Bryan–College Station metropolitan area. Take a trip to explore the relaxed town’s boutiques, restaurants, museums and arts; and while you’re there, check out neighboring hood College Station to cheer on the Aggies, visit a presidential library, and more.

5 Must Do Things in Bryan, Texas

  1. Explore Historic DowntownBryan’s Downtown is lined with quaint shops, restaurants and bars, galleries and more. Shop for unique gifts at Bird’s Nest Gifts & Antiques, The 2nd Story, Brazos Cedar Works, and Sweet Pickin’s Boutique; get boutique chocolates and candies at The Chocolate Gallery; check out the working glass studio and retail store at Brazos Glassworks; and catch a classic film or show at The Queen Theatre. When you’ve worked up an appetite, fill up on beer, bbq, and bourbon at All the Kings Men; get Wagyu chicken fried steak and beignets with wild boar caramel at Ronin Restaurant; feast on German fare and biers at Bavarian Brauhaus; treat yourself to vintage Tex-Mex at Casa Rodriguez; and sip suds and drink wine at Blackwater Draw Brewing Co. and Downtown Uncorked. And that’s just a taste.
  2. Check out the lineup of annual events From art walks and holiday light parades farmers markets and wine and art festivals, Bryan is chock full of fun events year-round. On Saturdays, the Brazos Valley Farmers’ Market rocks locally-grown produce, farm-fresh eggs, jellies and jams, honey, herbs, garden crafts and more. Click here for directions to the farmers market.
  3. Hit the wine bar and tasting room at Messina Hof Estate Winery This Brazos Valley staple got its start in 1977, helping to pioneer the growing wine industry in Texas. Today, you can visit the grounds to sip wine flights at the bar, take tours and go shopping at the tasting room, enjoy fine dining at The Vintage House Restaurant and weekend getaways at The Villa Bed & Breakfast, and check out specials events and festivals. The winery is also a stop on the famed Texas Bluebonnet Wine Trail. Click here for directions.
  4. Experience its arts and museums – In Downtown Bryan, the West 31st Street Murals bring bold and bright art to the side of the Conlee-Garrett Moving and Storage building. Check out the outdoor gallery and be sure to snap a pic or two. Located at the 700 block of North Main, ArtFill is a community project designed to make use of both the physical location and local culture, engaging visitors to areas of Downtown not yet benefiting from development investment. Brazos Valley Museum of Natural History, you’ll find fossil exhibits, sculptures, antique farming and survey equipment, discovery rooms and more. Tour the museum Tuesday through Saturday from 10am to 5pm (admission is $5 for adults, $4 for children 4 to 17, senior citizens, friends and university students, and free for kids 3 and under with a paying adult. Explore the past at the Brazos Valley African American Museum, which hosts a lineup of rotating exhibits and events as well as a library of books on African American history. Hours are Tuesday through Friday 1pm to 5pm and Saturday 10am to 4pm ($5 for adults, $4 for seniors, $2 for students, free for kids 5 and under). The Children’s Museum of the Brazos Valley is the perfect place to bring the kiddos. Open Tuesday through Saturday from 10am to 5pm, visitors can explore interactive exhibits like the Giant Piano, Rocket Ship, Train Table, and High Flying Wind Tunnnel ($7 per adult, $6 per child, $5 per senior).
  5. Go full cowboy at The Cowboy Club Break out the boots for this local honky-tonk sports bar and dance hall, which offers a friendly atmosphere, a full bar of whiskey, spirits, beer, and wine; open mic nights and live jams; and no cover charge for the 21-and-up crowd. Click here for directions.
Photo courtesy of Historic Downtown Bryan, Texas
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Brooke Viggiano is a food and lifestyle writer residing in Houston. When she's not contributing to publications like 365 Things to Do in Houston, Thrillist Houston and the Houston Press, she's on the hunt for the coolest happenings in the city. You can follow her musings on Twitter @BrookeViggiano .