Getaways » History and Heritage

Come to Washington County and experience the true history and heritage.

If you love history, you’re going to love Washington County. Not only is Washington County the Birthplace of Texas, but it also holds many “oldests” and “firsts.” Come explore where Texas became Texas.



  • Start your history tour in Brenham with the downtown area. The Visitor Center can provide a map of the historic buildings with descriptions of the historical markers. On Saturdays a historical film about Brenham is played at the Visitor Center at 11am, 1pm and 2pm.
  • As you’re strolling around town, make your way to Toubin Park. Here you can read all about the “Burning of Brenham” and see one of 27 cisterns from the 1800s implemented to assist the volunteer fire department.
  • Arrange a tour, or just admire from the outside, three of Brenham’s oldest homes: Giddings-Stone Mansion, Giddings-Wilkin House and the Ross-Carroll-Bennett House. If you time your visit just right, you might get to tour those and others during the Holiday Home Tour in November or the Spring Home Tour in April.
  • Burton: Home of the 1914 cotton gin
  • Independence: Home of Baylor University’s beginnings, the oldest Baptist church in Texas, and many historical buildings and homes.
  • Washington-on-the-Brazos: No history lesson is complete without a visit to The Birthplace of Texas. Visit the site of Independence Hall, the Star of the Republic Museum, and the home/farm of the last president of Texas, Anson Jones.
  • Chappell Hill: Home of the oldest bank in Texas, Chappell Hill is one of the most preserved towns in Texas.
  • Driving tour of Washington County – there are many historical markers throughout the county – make time to stop and learn more about the area.


  • The Brazos Belle is a Country-French restaurant in an 1800s historical building in Burton.
  • Brenham Grill is nestled inside the Ant Street Inn, an 1899 restored building, and serves American, Mexican, and Italian favorites.
  • Must Be Heaven has long been the lunch stop for many people visiting Brenham. Serving up soups, sandwiches, quiche, pie, and Blue Bell ice cream.