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Explore Texas – Painted Churches and Coastal Texas

This post is part of a series in which SVP Marketing for The State Fair of Texas, Jennifer Schuder, showcases her Texas Roadtrip

DAY 2 – Breweries to BBQ

By the numbers –1 picture of baby Brahma bull, 1 painted church, 1 State Park, 1 museum, 2 breweries, 4 samples of Shiner Beer, 1 BBQ dinner.  Total miles – 118.

We started the second day of our Travel Texas adventure with an amazing breakfast at the Big Tin Flag Bed and Breakfast.  After taking an opportunity to photograph the scenery and the cutest mom and baby Brahma, we hit the road.

We had done our research on the area, but totally missed the information about the Painted Churches of the area.  Luckily our hosts at the B&B shared their local knowledge with us and suggested we make the stop.  We re-routed and stopped at St. Mary’s Church of the Assumption in Flatonia, Texas, one of the best examples of the Painted Churches and simply stunning.   There are 15 of these churches in Texas on the National Historic Register with a concentration of several around the Schulenburg area.  The churches where built in the 19th Century by German and Czech immigrants.  The outside of the church looked much like any you would see in a Texas town. Once we walked through the doors, you felt as through you were entering a church in a small town in Germany.  Every surface was painted with intricate details and amazing imagery.

After leaving St. Mary’s, we headed to Monument Hill.  The State Park is an interesting juxtaposition between nature, archeology and a monument Texas History.  Perched on a bluff above the Colorado River, sits a granite crypt with the remains of those who gave their lives in the fight for Texas independence.  It is a memorial to the men who died in two separate events in the 1840s: the Dawson Massacre and the infamous Black Bean Death Lottery.

The monument is only one part of the Park.  We headed down the hiking trail to find the H.L Kreische Family House and the Kreische Brewery.  The brewery was built in 1860 and was the third largest brewery in Texas by 1879.  The success was short-lived and the brewery closed in 1884.  The remains have been carefully unearthed and can be viewed from several different vantage points.  The brewery design was truly innovative and leveraged the features of the land.

We hit the road and headed to Shiner.  We could not pass up the opportunity to visit one of Texas’ most iconic breweries.  Walking up to the Spoetzl Brewery, the smell of the brewing process was in the air.  It’s the best deal in town!  The tasting and the brewery tour are both free.

Next stop was Victoria and the Museum of the Coastal Bend.  The museum has collection of artifacts recovered the French explorer La Salle’s ship La Belle which sank in Matagorda Bay and the Fort St. Louis cannons brought to Texas La Salle.  Victoria also has an amazing driving tour of historic homes.  It really showed the architectural diversity of the area.

We ended our day by taking advantage of the Coastal Texas BBQ Trail and eating at McMillan’s Bar-B-Q located between Victoria and Goliad.  It was a bit too early for dinner but we did not want to pass up the opportunity.  So at 4 PM, we were the only ones there and were lucky enough to be able to sit and chat a bit with the owner Louis McMillian himself. McMillan’s has been recognized on all sorts of “top lists” and after eating, we understand why.  Highly recommend the brisket.

After a day of unique experiences, we headed into Goliad for the evening and some much needed sleep.

For more information about our stops on Day 2, check out these links.

 

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