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HISTORIC DESTINATIONS

Travel Itineraries in Texas and Beyond
By Paris Permenter and John Bigley

ON THE SPECIAL SECTION COVER:
Begin Your Adventure in Brewster County, home of Big Bend National Park
www.VisitBigBend.com
           
Take a step back in time with a visit to one of these historic sites for a perfect day trip or weekend getaway. Whether your interests are shopping or music, food or festivals, you’ll find a destination with historic roots that hearkens back to the early days and major accomplishments of Texas and its neighbors.

AUSTIN
High-tech meets history in the Live Music Capital of the World where — since 1888 — the Texas State Capitol, constructed of red granite from Marble Falls, has served as the city’s focal point. Nearby the Bob Bullock Texas History Museum showcases the history of the Lone Star State from European exploration to recent times. Visit www.austintexas.org
• Texas State Capitol (1888), 1100 Congress
• Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum, 1800 Congress
• LBJ Presidential Library, 2313 Red River
• The Driskill, 604 Brazos

BASTROP
Bastrop holds the honor of being one of the oldest settlements in the state, built in 1829 along the Camino Real. This was the western edge of the Little Colony established by Stephen F. Austin. Today tour Old Town Bastrop with more than 130 historic buildings then overnight in a cabin at Bastrop State Park. Explore www.visitbastrop.com   
• Bastrop Opera House (1889), 711 Spring
• Main Street Historic District
• Bastrop County Courthouse (1883-1884), 804 Pecan
• Old County Jail (1891-1892), Pine and Waters
• Bastrop State Park, 100 Park Road 1A

BEAUMONT
In 1901 Anthony Lucas struck oil while drilling into a salt dome known as Spindletop. For nine days oil shot up in the air at a rate of 100,000 barrels per day, and Beaumont made Texas synonymous with oil. Discover more at www.beaumontcvb.com
• Spindletop Gladys City Boomtown, Lamar University, 5550 Jimmy Simmons Boulevard
• John Jay French Museum (1845), 3025 French

BIG BEND NATIONAL PARK
In 1944 Big Bend became the first national park in Texas, a more than 800,000 acre park in the Chisos Mountains surrounded by the Chihuahuan Desert. Home to hundreds of bird species, more than 1,200 types of plants and bountiful wildlife, the park’s southern boundary of the Rio Grande carves temple-like canyons in the ancient limestone along the United States-Mexico border. Learn more at
www.visitbigbend.com .

BRENHAM, INDEPENDENCE
German immigrants began settling in Brenham in the 1860s, but the 1907 founding of Blue Bell Creameries — then the Brenham Creamery Company — added a sweet boost to the city that continues today. Nearby visit the community of Independence with its historic town square and ruins of the original Baylor University campus. Explore www.visitbrenhamtexas.com
• Step Into the Past tours every Saturday, 115 West Main, Brenham
• Antique Carousel, 910 North Park, Brenham
• Blue Bell Creameries, 1101 South Blue Bell, Brenham
• The Antique Rose Emporium, 10,000 FM 50, Brenham
• Seward Plantation (mid 1850s), 10,005 FM 390, Independence
• Old Baylor Park, FM 50 and FM 390 (La Bahia Road), Independence

BURTON
Founded in 1870 by German immigrants, the tiny town off US 290 was named after one of its early settlers. Soon after it became home to a terminal on the Houston and Texas Central Railroad, the perfect spot for the Burton Farmers Gin which today is the oldest working cotton gin in the country and serves as a museum. Discover more at www.burtontexas.org
• Texas Cotton Gin Museum (1914), 307 North Main
• 30th Annual Cotton Gin Festival, April 27, 2019

CARMINE
During Antique Weeks in the winter, spring and fall, this town earns its name as “Gateway to the Antique Festivals.” Visit carminetx.com.
• Carmine Chamber of Commerce Museum & Visitor’s Center, 248 Sylvan

CHAPPELL HILL
Located in the heart of Stephen F. Austin’s original colony, Chappell Hill is a designated National Register Historic District. Main Street is dotted with old buildings that now serve as restaurants, art galleries and shops. Spend the night at Texas Ranch Life, a ranch dating back to 1823 when it was settled by one of the 300 settlers who received a land grant from Stephen F. Austin. Guests stay in antique filled homes dating back to the 1850s. Explore www.chappellhilltx.com
• Chappell Hill Historical Society Museum, 9220 Poplar
• Chappell Hill Lavender Farm, 2250 Dillard
• Official Bluebonnet Festival of Texas, April 13-14, 2019
• Texas Ranch Life (1823), 10848 Cactus

CROWLEY, LOUISIANA
Located in the heart of the Cajun Prairie Country, Crowley dates back to 1886, once home to a seven-story building that ranked as the highest between Houston and New Orleans. Discover more at acadiatourism.org.
• Grand Opera House of the South (1901), 505 North Parkerson
• Crowley Motor Co. & Ford Building (1920), 425 North Parkerson
• Le Vieux Presbytere (1887), Rue Ivy Lejeune and South Rogers Street, Church Point

GALVESTON
Once the busiest city in Texas and a major center of commerce, in 1900 the town, then called the Wall Street of the Southwest, was struck by the most devastating hurricane in our nation’s history. Today the city, which is located 50 miles from Houston on Galveston Island, recalls its roots with a 36-block historic district. Visit www.galveston.com
• 1892 Bishop’s Palace, 1402 Broadway
• 1859 Ashton Villa, 2328 Broadway
• Galveston Railroad Museum, 2602 Santa Fe Place
• The Grand 1894 Opera House. 2020 Postoffice
• 1877 Tall Ship Elissa, Texas Seaport Museum, 2200 Harborside
• Moody Mansion, 2618 Broadway
• Rosenberg Library, 2310 Sealy
• The Strand Historic District, downtown Galveston

GEORGETOWN
Recently named one of the Great Places in America by the American Planning Association, Georgetown has long been lauded for having the most beautiful town square in Texas, thanks to its historic downtown with fine Victorian architecture. Explore www.georgetown.org
• Williamson County Courthouse, 710 South Main
• The Williamson Museum, 716 South Austin
• Red Poppy Festival, April 26-28, 2019

GIDDINGS
Giddings began as a railroad community in the 1870s, a time when most residents were Wendish immigrants (Germans of Slavic descent). These founders later moved to the nearby community of Serbin. Discover more at www.giddingstx.com
• Lee County Heritage Center, Schubert-Fletcher Home, 173 East Hempstead
• Lee County Museum, 183 East Hempstead
• Texas Wendish Heritage Museum, 1011 County Road 212
• St. Paul Lutheran Church, 1572 County Road 211

GONZALES
Known as the place where the Texas Revolution began in 1835 in a skirmish over a small cannon, residents of Gonzales sewed the first battle flag of Texas. It pictured a cannon beneath the words “Come and Take It,” a motto by which Gonzales is still known. Visit www.gonzales.texas.gov
• Gonzales Memorial Museum, 414 Smith
• Texas History Museum District, Saint Lawrence, Saint Louis, Highway 183 and Highway 90A
• J.B. Wells House Museum (1885), 829 Mitchell
• Gonzales County Jail Museum, 414 Saint Lawrence
• Pioneer Village Living History Center, 2122 North Saint Joseph

HOUSTON
Founded in 1836 following the Texas Revolution, this city has never forgotten its historic roots. Explore www.visithoustontexas.com
• Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens, 6003 Memorial
• Buffalo Soldiers National Museum, 3816 Caroline
• Houston Museum of African American Culture, 4807 Caroline
• Sam Houston Monument, Hermann Park, 6100 Hermann Park Drive

JEFFERSON
Originally known as the Riverport to the Southwest, Jefferson was established in the 1840s on Big Cypress Bayou and at its peak ranked as the second largest port city in the state. When the natural log jam on the Red River broke and the water from the bayou drained, the city’s steamboat commerce ended. Today many historic accommodations and boat tours remember its early days. Discover more at www.visitjeffersontexas.com
• The Atalanta Rail Car, 211 West Austin
• The Excelsior House Hotel (1858), 211 West Austin
• Historic Jefferson Railway, 400 East Austin
• Jefferson General Store (1870s), 113 East Austin
•Jefferson Historical Pilgrimage, May 2-5, 2019

KERRVILLE
Started in the 1840s, the town was named for James Kerr, a supporter of Texas independence. With its unpolluted environment and low humidity, Kerrville became known as a health center and later the mohair capital of the world, thanks to Charles Schreiner, founder of the nearby Y.O. Ranch. Visit www.kerrvilletexascvb.com
• Schreiner Mansion Historic Site and Event Center (1879), 226 Earl Garrett
• Kerr Arts and Cultural Center, 228 Earl Garrett
• Stonehenge II, Hill Country Arts Foundation, 120 Point Theater, Ingram
• Kerrville Folk Festival, May 23-June 9, 2019
• Texas Arts & Crafts Fair, September 28-29, 2019

LA GRANGE
Immortalized by the infamous Chicken Ranch, this small town is surrounded by miles of rolling hills and farmland that attracted many German and Czech immigrants. Explore www.lagrangetx.org and www.visitfayettecounty.com
• Monument Hill and Kreische Brewery State Historic Sites, 414 State Loop 92
• Texas Quilt Museum, 140 West Colorado
• Texas Czech Heritage and Cultural Center, 250 West Fair Grounds

LA PORTE
On April 21, 1836, Texas revolutionaries rode the Lynchburg Ferry here and launched a surprise attack on Mexican General Antonio López de Santa Anna and his army, capturing Santa Anna in what became known as the Battle of San Jacinto. Discover more at www.sanjacinto-museum.org  and www.visitlaportetx.com
• Lynchburg Ferry, 1001 South Independence Parkway North, Baytown
• San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site, 3523 Independence Parkway South, La Porte
• San Jacinto Museum of History, One Monument Circle, La Porte

MARFA
Located on a high desert plateau, this west Texas community was named for a character in The Brothers Karamazov and originally thrived as a railroad stop. Later it was a hub for the filming of Giant starring James Dean, Rock Hudson and Elizabeth Taylor. Explore www.visitmarfa.com
• Hotel Paisano, 207 North Highland
• The Chinati Foundation, 1 Cavalry Row
• Marfa Visitor Center, Historic USO Building, 302 South Highland
• Marfa Lights Viewing Area, nine miles east of Marfa on US 90, towards Alpine

MCKINNEY
Named for a signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence, McKinney today is one of the fastest growing cities in the nation. Visit www.mckinneytexas.org
• Historic downtown
• Collin County History Museum (1911), 300 East Virginia
• Chestnut Square Historic Village, 315 South Chestnut
• Heard-Craig Center for the Arts, 205 West Hunt

MONTGOMERY
In 1839, just two years after Stephen F. Austin established Montgomery as his second colony, the first Republic of Texas flag and the state seal were designed here by a Montgomery resident and Texas Declaration of Independence signer. Discover more at www.montgomerytexas.gov
• N. H. Davis Pioneer Complex and Museum, 308 Liberty
• Restored 19th century historic downtown district with retail shops
• Fernland Historical Park, 770 Clepper

NACOGDOCHES
The oldest town in Texas began as a Native American settlement. Legend has it that this east Texas community was named for twin sons of the Caddo family, who lived on the Sabine River. One young man was sent to walk three days toward the setting sun; his twin brother was instructed to walk three days toward the rising sun. And their new homes? Each was named for the twin who settled there: Nacogdoches to the west and Natchitoches to the east in Louisiana. Visit www.nacogdoches.org
• Sterne-Hoya House Museum and Library (1830), 211 South Lanana
• Millard’s Crossing Historic Village, 6020 North
• Charles Bright Visitor Center, 200 East Main
• Old Nacogdoches University Building (1859), 515 North Mound
• Durst-Taylor Historic House and Gardens (circa 1835), 304 North

NATCHITOCHES, LOUISIANA
Louisiana’s oldest town, established in 1714, is known as the Bed and Breakfast Capital of Louisiana and also was a filming site for the movie Steel Magnolias. Explore www.natchitoches.com
• Cane River Creole National Historical Park, 400 Rapides
• Magnolia Plantation Complex, 5549 Highway 119, Derry
• Melrose Plantation (1832), 3533 Highway 119, Melrose
• Annual festivals and competitions celebrating jazz, R&B, Zydeco, arts and crafts, barbecue and meat pie

NEW IBERIA, LOUISIANA
Cajun, French, Spanish, Native American and African American cultures have blended to form New Iberia, with influences especially seen in area dishes, handcrafts and local events. The community is also home to the oldest rice mill in America. Discover more at www.cityofnewiberia.com
• Historic Main Street district
• Conrad Rice Mill, 307 Ann
• The Shadows (1834) and The Shadows Visitors Center, 320 East Main
• Shadows Arts & Craft Fair, spring and fall

PALESTINE
Founded in 1846, the city was named for Daniel Parker’s former hometown, Palestine, Illinois. Today it’s especially known for its Main Street district with 44 blocks of historic architecture plus shopping, restaurants, bakeries and more. Explore www.visitpalestine.com
• Museum for East Texas Culture (1815 building), 400 Micheaux
• Railroad Heritage Center, 808 West Oak
• Historic Anderson County Jail (1931), 704 Avenue A
• Carnegie Library (1914), 502 North Queen
• Texas State Railroad (1881-1909), 789 Park Road 70
• Braly Builders Supply (1938 building), 420 West Palestine

SAN ANTONIO
Texas’s top travel destination is centered on the San Antonio River, a place Payaya Indians called Yanaguana, or refreshing waters. In the early 1700s Spaniards constructed missions along the river starting with San Antonio de Valero, later known as the Alamo, a site that has become a must-see for Texas visitors. Discover more at www.visitsanantonio.com
• The Alamo, 300 Alamo Plaza
• La Villita Historic Arts Village, 418 Villita
• Spanish Governor’s Palace, 105 Military Plaza
• Casa Navarro State Historic Site, 228 South Laredo
• Market Square, 514 West Commerce
• The Historic Pearl Brewery (1883), 303 Pearl Parkway
• San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, 807 Mission, 6701 San Jose, 9101 Graf and 10040 Espada
• Hemisfair Park, Tower of the Americas and Institute of Texan Cultures, 434 South Alamo

SCHULENBURG
The official home of the Painted Churches of Texas features more than 20 painted churches, including those in nearby Dubina, High Hill, Praha and Ammannsville. Visit www.schulenburgchamber.org
• Texas Polka Music Museum, 625 North Main
• Stanzel Model Aircraft Museum, 311 Baumgarten

ST. FRANCISVILLE, LOUISIANA
Established in 1809 and known as the town two miles long and two yards wide, St. Francisville is located on bluffs overlooking the Mississippi River, which made it a commercial center. Explore www.stfrancisville.us
• The Myrtles Plantation (1796), 7747 Highway 61
• Audubon State Historic Site (1806), 11788 Highway 965
• Rosedown Plantation State Historic Site (circa 1835), 12501 Highway 10

TYLER
Tyler is known as the Rose Capital of the World with its annual festival including a parade and queen’s coronation ball, but this city is also rich with historic architecture. Discover more at www.visittyler.com .
• Goodman-LeGrand House and Museum (1859), 824 North Broadway
• Historic Aviation Memorial Museum, 150 Airport
• Tyler Rose Museum, 420 Rose Park
• Cotton Belt Depot Museum, 210 East Oakwood

WASHINGTON-ON-THE-BRAZOS STATE HISTORIC SITE
Halfway between Brenham and Navasota, Washington is known as the birthplace of Texas, the place where founders signed the Declaration of Independence in 1836 establishing Texas as a sovereign nation. From 1842 to 1845, Washington served as the capital of the Republic. Today the capital is remembered in this expansive park with multiple attractions. Visit www.wheretexasbecametexas.org
• Washington on the Brazos State Historic Site: Independence Hall, Barrington Living History Farm (1850), and Star of the Republic Museum, 23400 Park Road 12, Washington
• Fanthorp Inn State Historic Site, 579 South Main, Anderson
• Texas Independence Day Celebration, March 2-3, 2019

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