A Texas arts and culture getaway worth the trip.

By Travel & Leisure
April 17, 2014
Photo by The Inn at Dos Brisas via Yelp.com

Blue Bell Ice Cream—a favorite Texas treat—may have put Brenham on the map, but this town of 16,000 now stands on its own thanks to its historic downtown filled with chic shops, creative restaurants and a surprisingly first class theater scene. Instead of staying in town, book a room outside of town at the elegant Inn at Dos Brisas.

Blue Bell Creameries

You may see more families than romancing couples at the Blue Bell Creamery, but it’s worth stopping in to see the birthplace of every Texan’s favorite frozen treat—not to mention the free samples at the end of the factory tour.

The Inn at Dos Brisas

The acclaimed Inn at Dos Brisas is a 313-acre, luxury ranch retreat located in Washington, Texas (70 miles outside of Houston). The ultra-exclusive property has four casitas, each outfitted with country chic décor, a king bed with 1,200-thread count sheets, and fireplaces. There are five 3,000-square-foot haciendas, each featuring a screened-in porch, pool deck, and patio with a private heated plunge pool. The star attraction at the inn is its award-winning restaurant, which uses produce harvested from its own organic garden to craft dishes. Available activities on the grounds include horseback riding, hiking, and wine tastings.

Beadboard UpCountry

This elegant shop, owned by California native Maryanne Flaherty, is a welcome find in downtown Brenham. Look out for Peacock Alley towels, Italian-designed Lombaggi scarves, and exclusive Arte Pura linens.

The Unity Theatre

This local theater, approaching its 20th anniversary, is surprisingly first rate thanks to its two stages and recruited talent: You’ll often see actors and directors from big theater markets like Houston and Dallas.

Simon Theatre

While the stunning Simon Theatre, an old movie house and ballroom built in 1925 by Texas architect, is currently going through a painstaking restoration—preservationists are meticulously restoring the performance space—patrons should still stop in for a tour of the Beaux Arts classical-revival-style building.