The Heart of Central Texas
We know you have your pick of travel destinations but if you’ve never explored Central Texas, we should be at the top of your list! This region offers a robust wine scene, antique shopping, a glimpse at history, outdoor excursions, and true Texan hospitality. It’s clear that adventures here are as varied as they are enjoyable! So pack a bag and head to Brownwood this weekend!
Conveniently located in the heart of the Lone Star State, Brownwood offers central access to some of the most charming small towns in Texas. Less than an hour on the road will take you to the best the Midwest has to offer in San Saba, Coleman, Goldthwaite, Early, and Comanche, allowing plenty of time to return to the comfort of Brownwood’s cozy bed and breakfasts.
The choice of where to stay in Brownwood is not between your usual pick of corporate hotels; instead, each of our lodging options resonates its own unique personality that will make you feel right at home!
- Harper House – Brownwood
Rest easy inside this gorgeous craftsman-style home, remodeled with influences from the original 1904 structure and modern interior design. This elegant boutique AirBnB offers 3 suites, a private backyard, a full kitchen, and luxury amenities.
- Star of Texas Bed and Breakfast – Brownwood
Serenity, privacy, and even romance set the atmosphere at the Star of Texas. Located on 20 secluded acres a few miles outside of town, this B&B offers private cottages, gourmet breakfast delivered to your doorstep, and personal hot tubs.
- The Hideout Golf Club & Resort – Brownwood
Opposite the above, the Hideout is home to lakefront views, championship golf, freshwater fishing, fine dining, and more. For a more upbeat, resort-style getaway, this is your ideal choice!
- The Goldfish Loft – Brownwood
Brownwood’s newest lodging addition is this spacious loft in the middle of our historic downtown. Resembling the architecture of an art studio, the Goldfish loft sleeps up to 5 guests with a well-appointed kitchen, large walk-in shower, and furnished office space.
- R. B. Rogers House – Brownwood
Step back in time as you experience the elegance of this historic home built in one of Texas’ most influential eras. With the ornate decor and architecture, you’ll feel like it’s 1905 while still enjoying all the necessary modern amenities to make your stay comfortable.
Take a piece of Central Texas home with you from one of the region’s many unique shops. From bookshops and boutiques to cowboy boots and antiques, there’s something here for everyone! Not only do these stores sell fun and enticing products, but the store owners each have their own history and stories to share with eager customers.
- Intermission Bookshop – Brownwood
This artistic storefront has quite the history. What was once a theater known to house World War II soldiers when hotels were fully booked is now a renovated bookshop cozy enough to cuddle up in the reading nook all day if you wanted to! While hundreds of books and a very cool book tunnel now fill the space, you can still see the silhouettes of hair grease from where soldiers would lean their heads against the walls.
- Shaw’s Marketplace – Brownwood
If you like boutique shopping, you’ll love Shaw’s Marketplace. Inside this historic facility fully renovated from the 1920s, you’ll find 20 diverse local businesses each with their own retail space. Shop all kinds of vendors offering men and women’s fashion, outdoor gear, kitchen accessories, soy candles, baby goods, home decor, fresh flowers, vintage antiques, sweet treats, and more! Shopping bags in hand, relax on the luxurious back patio with a coffee from The Coffee House or a margarita from Fuzzy’s Tacos!
- Bard & Hallow – San Saba
There’s no better place to browse one-of-a-kind antiques than Bard & Hallow. Thought-provoking remnants of the past ranging from delicate accessories to large-scale furniture pieces cover over 3,000 square feet in the center of Downtown San Saba. Owners Logan and Uriah J. Hart can’t wait to discuss their curated collection with equally passionate shoppers.
- Harry’s Boots – San Saba
There’s not a single store that resonates more Texas energy than Harry’s Boots. Across from Bard & Hallow, Harry’s spans five downtown buildings offering everything from custom cowboy hats to all kinds of western wear. But the real showstoppers here are the thousands of fine cowboy boots of all styles that line wall after wall after wall. No weekend getaway would be complete without a visit to this Texas institution, known throughout the entire state.
- Owl Drug Store – Coleman
Don’t let the name fool you, Owl’s Drug Store can meet more than your pharmacy needs. Step inside to be greeted by friendly staff and a wave of nostalgia as you glance upon this old-fashioned soda fountain, grill, and gift shop. Grab a milkshake as you browse a selection of bath, body, home, fashion, kitchen, and baby accessories.
Beer and Wine
Wine tasting might be the most relaxing experience we can think of when traveling and Central Texas just happens to be home to dozens of local vineyards. As craft beer has been growing in popularity, so has the number of breweries in our region as well. Here are some of our favorites:
- Pioneer Tap House – Brownwood
Brownwood’s original tap house has quickly become a community favorite. Not only do they serve a notable selection of craft brews and local wines, but crowds also like to gather for Pioneer’s live music, trivia nights, bingo games, bar bites, and friendly people.
- Wedding Oak Winery – San Saba
Sit back with your favorite glass of wine or have fun with a wine flight at Wedding Oak Winery. This beautifully restored 1926 tasting room with a 10,000-case winery is known for celebrating the unique growing conditions of Texas-sourced grapes. Wedding Oak has won dozens of awards, most recently being recognized for having one of the best white wines in Texas by Texas Monthly.
- Skies Over Texas Wineries – Early
“Enter as strangers, leave as friends.” SOT Wines welcomes you to their rustically chic, dog and family-friendly tasting room in their renovated barn and outdoor patio. This more casual approach to wine tasting provides award-winning vino, yard games, light bites to eat, and live music. As an added bonus, the property is also extremely photogenic offering backdrops like an “I love you and wine so much” mural, a bold yellow school bus, and twinkling lights.
- Rancho Pizzeria – Coleman
Nothing pairs better with wood-fired pizza than thoughtfully selected wines. Even Texas Monthly sings the praises of this “unexpected oasis.” If you haven’t heard, let it be known that Coleman, TX is becoming quite the hub for gourmet food and fine wine.
- Brennan Vineyards – Comanche
Where the Texas Frontier and modern-day wine-making meet. Taste 100% sophisticated local wines curated and crafted at Brennan Vineyard’s 1879 estate – one of the oldest remaining homesteads in Texas. While they specialize in providing memorable wine experiences that “pair with all of life’s occasions (big or small),” the vineyard also features a variety of Texas foods, including cheeses from Dublin, olive oils from San Saba, and locally-made chocolates.
One taste and you simply will not stop thinking about how delicious these five restaurants are. Whether you’re craving burgers, barbecue, steak, or fried pickles, it’s all on the menu in Texas!
- Lucille + Mabel Kitchen and Libations – Brownwood
Fine dining truly came to Brownwood with the recent opening of Lucille + Mabel. Met with a lavishly extensive bar upon entry, the restaurant has made a name for itself in terms of premium steak and gourmet burgers. Drip cocktails with syrups made in-house, the display of delicious dry-aged steaks, and the architectural remnants of Brownwood’s very first bank made this a dining experience you do not want to miss.
- Pecan House Grill – San Saba
All steak lovers should continue on over to San Saba for elevated ranch classics, seafood selections, and you guessed it – exceptional Texas beef entrees at Pecan House Grill. Despite the beauty and quality of dining in this upscale steakhouse, this is still a place that families and slightly more casual diners can enjoy.
- Black Cur Steak – Coleman
Fine dining reaches its peak at this sophisticated steakhouse. Black Cur is known for a variety of wonderful dishes such as their world-famous spicy grilled quail, tender poached branzino, pillowy ricotta gnocchi, and most notably their oak and mesquite-grilled steak selections.
- Southside Tavern – Goldthwaite
We’ve heard nothing but rave reviews about Southside Tavern. This “absolutely charming watering hole” has mastered Texas classics including loaded burgers, chips and queso, wings, leafy salads, and all things fried! Accompanying the tavern’s scratch fare is a vast selection of draughts, cocktails, and wine.
- Up In Smoke BBQ & Co. – Early
Is it even a Texas road trip if you haven’t eaten barbecue? You don’t have to find out because right next door to Brownwood is Early’s Up in Smoke! Junior Urias, also known as the 2014 Grand Champion of the Food Network’s BBQ Pitmasters, not only serves mouth-watering brisket and BBQ classics every day, but he even offers cooking classes on a regular basis.
Escaping the hustle and bustle of city life is easy here with so much access to outdoor adventure, live entertainment, and a Wild West experience you’d never even think to search for. There’s no doubt you’ll enjoy your time here in the Heart of Central Texas!
- Lake Brownwood State Park – Brownwood
Lake Brownwood State Park is a treasure of Central Texas with nearly 540 acres of lush grounds surrounded by Lake Brownwood, a 7,300 sq ft surface-acre reservoir. Enjoy activities including picnicking, camping, hiking (2.5 miles of hiking trails and a 5-mile nature trail), motor boating, water skiing (jet skis allowed), fishing, nature study, swimming (in an unsupervised swimming area), and bird watching.
- The Lyric Theatre – Brownwood
Murder on the Orient Express, Big Band & Friends Show, The Foreigner, High School Musical, The Addams Family, Seussical Jr., and Ballet Magnificat are just a few of the many productions and concerts the historical Lyric Theatre will put on this year! This old-fashioned space is one of a kind in terms of surviving playhouses from the 1900s. Book your tickets in advance and come enjoy live theater this summer!
- Mill Pond Park – San Saba
Over six million gallons of artisanal spring water flows over the falls in Mill Pond Park daily. The three-acre park features waterfalls, a sandy beach, a swimming hole, a pavilion, athletic courts, picnic areas, two miles of walking trails, and the San Saba County Historical Museum. Mill Pond is also the center of community events like farmer’s markets, kayaking, July 4th fireworks, and Splash Day on Memorial Day weekend.
- Colorado Bend State Park – Bend
You could spend an entire weekend exploring the unspoiled wilderness of Colorado Bend. Immerse yourself in nature with nearly all the same activities available at Lake Brownwood with the addition of wild cave tours, a 70-foot spring-fed waterfall, and even more freshwater fishing!
- The Willows of Los Trece – Early
Is this Early, TX or the Wild Wild West? With props, sets, and activities like those reminiscent of an old western town, this 13-acre event venue / saloon / dog park / playground / rv park will really make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time! Check their schedule for public events, reenacted gun fights, and live music but come anytime for cocktails, the cantina restaurant, ax throwing, and more!
The opportunities in our neck of the woods are endless and even after completing this travel bucket list, there’s still so much more to do back in Brownwood like sip award-winning wine from the The Turtle Enoteca, shop gifts for him at Matt’s Mantiques, create your own succulent at the Urban Roots terrarium bar, and go swimming at Camp Bowie Family Aquatic Center when the weather heats back up!
So skip the stress of planning big vacations, all you need is a weekend to explore some of the most charming towns in Texas! With so many great restaurants, unique shops, and fun experiences surrounding our town, Brownwood is the ideal location to launch a memorable road trip!