Life in a college town is a never-ending barrage of good times, ball games and dollar beer nights. College Station, home to Texas A&M University, certainly delivers on that expectation. But for those of you who’ve moved on from your college days, don’t worry, there are several attractions and events that this town has to offer. Here are 10 of the best.
George Bush Presidential Library
No trip to College Station would be complete without a trip to the George Bush Presidential Library. Whether you’re a Republican, Democrat or politically agnostic, it benefits everyone to step inside this architecturally beautiful, knowledge filled museum. Researchers, family or students will love perusing through the forty-three million pages of documents and a special section on former first lady Barbara Bush as well as a classroom specifically for students from kindergarten through high school. It’s a landmark of the state of Texas and worth visiting while you’re here.
Although this next attraction is seasonal, it more than makes up for it with the acres of lights, decorations and events that will make even the most hardened cynic smile. Drive around on Santa’s Hayride Tours and enjoy the Santa Wonderland Band or any live act playing every single night for its two month run. Hungry? Chow down on the ‘biggest half pound burgers in the state’ at Frost Bite Village or a grab a glass of wine at the Wonderland Winery. Since it’s the season for giving, the community participates in their annual Brazos Valley Food Bank Night as well as Aggieland Humane Society-Cocoa for a Cause. Oh, and Santa’s there, of course.
Brazos Valley African American Museum
As the first establishment of its kind to promote African American citizens in the Brazos Valley, BVAAM draws you in with a perspective of history known to very few. With powerful exhibits such as ‘A Black Nation Divided: North vs. South’ as well as acrylic paintings from local artists, there is an eclectic mix of information in all forms. This is a perfect destination for those that want a better understanding of the people of Brazos County and beyond.
The Theatre Company
While it may feel like a nostalgic stroll down memory lane in Downtown Bryan, you will be transported to another time and place with the compelling and authentic performances at The Theatre Company. Whether it be ‘Into the Woods,’ ‘Man of La Mancha,’ ‘Bye Bye Birdie,’ or ‘The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas,’ you will be on the edge of your seat experiencing some of the finest in live theater that Brazos Valley has to offer.
First Friday is held every month on the, you guessed it, first Friday. It was established in 2005 to help showcase Downtown Bryan. Arts and Culture is a centerpiece, with street performers, food trucks, and live musical performances. While attending, take a leisurely stroll through Downtown Bryan, a location with architecture that seems to be taken straight out of a movie set. Time goes just a little bit slower here, which is a luxury we all need on the weekend.
Let’s face it — Texas is hot. There’s no better place to alleviate the stress of the Texas heat like going for a swim or camping at Lake Bryan. With plenty of space for the jet skiers as well as the casual swimmer, this is the place to be in the Bryan and College Station area. In the mood for a cocktail and a shrimp quesadilla? Stop by The Icehouse, equipped with a bar, pool tables and a stage for live performances on the weekends. Have an ice-cold margarita on the deck overlooking the lake and you may forget about the blistering heat for a few seconds.
Can’t tell the difference between a Chardonnay and a Riesling? How about a Merlot from a Pinot Noir? If you’re looking for the the top spot in the area where you can enhance your wine expertise, as well as try fantastic wine, Messina Hof Winery & Resort is it. Have a weekend getaway at The Villa bed and breakfast, or a delicious meal at The Vintage House restaurant. With a friendly staff and educational tours, you will bolster your knowledge of wine in no time with enough to impress your friends at the next wine and cheese party.
Brazos Valley Bombers
The Brazos Valley Bombers are the go-to baseball team in Brazos County. The three-time defending Texas Collegiate League Champions display a standard of excellence on a nightly basis for the ardent baseball enthusiast, and make for a great family night out at the ballpark. Come for the baseball, but stay for the promotions such as Teacher Appreciation night, Thirsty Thursday and of course, Fourth of July fireworks.
Sip ‘N’ Shop and Texas Reds
Sip n’ Shop (May) and Texas Reds (September) are yearly events where you can go from shop to shop and business to business in downtown Bryan trying different wines from around the world. These events help promote local business in the area, thanks to patrons sampling various wines and shopping in a place they’ve never heard of before this event. If you want to take your time sampling, you don’t have to finish your beverage inside — walk up and down the streets with your glass full.
In the mood for something a little louder than the lake and less tranquil? Look no further than Hurricane Harry’s. Even though it’s located in Northgate, you don’t have to be a student to enjoy live music and great drink specials every night. The best part is, you don’t have to go on a weekend to enjoy a quality performance, with The Eli Young Band playing on a Wednesday night. They have great drink specials too.
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