This post is part of a series in which SVP Marketing for The State Fair of Texas, Jennifer Schuder, showcases her Texas Roadtrip
I am blessed with a husband who has a fascination with Texas Historical Markers and history in general. He spends our beach vacations reading history books, and I have often awoken on a road trip to find we have pulled to the shoulder to read the historical marker*. Over the last few years, we have repeatedly discussed taking a road trip to explore the Texas Independence Trail. Recently, a conference in South Padre Island provided us the perfect opportunity to act on those conversations.
While this trip did not allow time to visit all the sites on the Trail, we gained a new appreciation for the Texas Park System, a renewed love for the unexplored roads of Texas and realized that is has been a LONG time since 7th grade Texas history class.
I hope these blog posts inspire you to take a trip to the Coastal Bend region of Texas and experience Texas history along the way.
DAY 1 – The Road to Washington
By the numbers – 3 Kolaches (each), 1 bluebonnet picture, 1 State Park, 1 museum, 2 historic towns, 2 scoops of Texas’ own Bluebell ice cream, 1 bed and breakfast with a Texas flag on the roof. Total miles – 262.
We started our trip in Dallas and headed down 1-45. Our first stop was in Ennis to pick up breakfast. You cannot properly start a Texas Road Trip without kolaches – that would just be unTexan! Back on the road, it took us about 3 hours to get to Washington On the Brazos – the site where Texas became a country in 1836. Independent Hall now sits in the middle of a beautiful State Park near the banks of the Brazos River. There are tours throughout the day – take one! We were lucky enough to be there on a slightly rainy Monday and it felt like we had the entire park to ourselves. Park Ranger Adam (who was incredible) served as our fearless guide with an amazing wealth of information and historical facts. We learned so much about the town, the people and the impact on Texas.
Just down the street is the Star of the Republic Museum, and was definitely worth the stop. The artifacts really brought to light the fight for Texas independence and the real people behind the fight. My favorite part of the museum? A timeline that showed a comparison between what was happening in Texas, the United States and the world at various points in time.
From Washington, we headed over to Independence to visit a very impressive collection of historic markers and buildings where my husband read every single marker.
When it was time to hit the road, we went in search of a late afternoon snack. Too bad there was just one suitable place in Brenham to stop… the Blue Bell Creamery. We had scoops of ice cream at the mother ship that could not have been more delicious.
Our day ended at the Big Tin Flag Bed and Breakfast just outside La Grange, where we were welcomed by owners Pat and Jerry Schmidt. This beautiful bed and breakfast is tucked into rolling hills and is surrounded by wildflowers. We settled into the Bluebonnet Room for a perfect night’s sleep under a fluffy comforter.
For more information about our stops on Day 1, check out these links.
- Washington on the Brazos – http://wheretexasbecametexas.org
- Texas Parks Department. http://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/washington-on-the-brazos
- Star of the Republic Museum – http://www.starmuseum.org
- Independence, Texas – http://independencetx.com
- Brenham, Texas – http://www.visitbrenhamtexas.com
- Big Tin Flag Bed and Breakfast – http://www.bigtinflag.net
*The Texas Historical Commissions has great site where you can see all the historical markers across the state. They are now numbers so if you see one while driving, just plug in the number and read the marker. No stops needed. https://atlas.thc.state.tx.us