Things to do in the area around College Station, Texas?
February 18, 2017 8:23 AM   Subscribe

I'm going to be in College Station, Texas for a few days. I'll have a car on Sunday and be free to drive around. I'd like to see some nice small towns, maybe hit some junk shops (open Sundays?), have some delicious BBQ, see some unusual local landmark. Within an hour or two of town would be ideal

Is there anything of particular interest in College Station itself? Not interested in Presidential Libraries nor in "standard" History-of-the-Region museums. History of Barbed Wire? Count me in.

Good cafe w/internet suggestions in College Station are welcome. I'm going to be busy at TAMU Monday and Tuesday so really just have the Sunday. I've been to Austin several times so not interested in that at the moment, nor in Houston.

Thanks for any/all ideas.
posted by Rumple to Travel & Transportation around College Station, TX (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I grew up in College Station. Ever year I go back with my wife and kids to see my parents and every year we're amazed at how little a major college town has to offer. Unlike Austin, it's basically a vast suburban sprawl with no real center.

The campus itself doesn't have much to offer for visitors, unless you like your stadiums massive and your construction new.

That said: There's a valiant attempt being made to revitalize downtown Bryan, which is the sister city to College Station. You can drive there in 10 minutes. There are some antique-type shops and a renovated theater and an old Carnegie library that's now a history center. Give the area some love and support! You'll get a sense of an older Texas.

The area is not exactly known for wine, but as long as you're in Bryan you can stop at the Messina Hof winery too.

For BBQ, my parents always take us to C&J on Harvey Road. It's the real deal.

You'll probably find more interesting junk shops and so on in some of the surrounding smaller towns like Calvert, where the main street feels like the past and the restaurants and antique stores seem to be struggling but you get an actual sense of place.
posted by bassomatic at 8:46 AM on February 18, 2017 [1 favorite]

If you want to try the amazingness that is Chicken Fried Bacon then this restaurant is worth a shot:

Pretty good steaks - it isn't an awesome restaurant (just a decent local place - more lunch than dinner unless you want comfort food) but the food is decent and the chicken fried bacon is spectacular if you're happy to take about 4 days off your life with a guilty pleasure.
posted by Brockles at 9:14 AM on February 18, 2017

I'm a College Station native!

Both Fargo's Pit BBQ and C&J Barbeque are great.

Downtown Bryan (so right next to College Station) is very cute and has had some major revitalization efforts in the past few years. I'd definitely check it out for some local shops/just for some pretty scenery.

I would also encourage you to maybe check out the Dixie Chicken - it's kinda an iconic Bryan-College Station spot, and they have delicious cheese fries.

It's a quiet part of the state, but it definitely has some charm. Have fun!
posted by superlibby at 9:56 AM on February 18, 2017 [2 favorites]

Best answer: You could go to visit the dead Reveilles.
posted by theweasel at 12:11 PM on February 18, 2017 [1 favorite]

Another former College Station resident here. In addition to barbecue you should make sure you get some kolaches, which are the premier contribution of the many Czech immigrants to the cuisine of central Texas (along with sausage). It's been so long since I've been back that I don't know the best place to get them anymore, but any local should be able to tell you.

Seconding downtown Bryan as worth a poke around.

I went on several tours of the TAMU nuclear reactor as an elementary and high school student, looks like members of the public can as well.
posted by The Elusive Architeuthis at 12:30 PM on February 18, 2017 [2 favorites]

Best answer: If you've only one day, Bryan may be best but Brenham and Washington on the Brazos are both within an hour of College Station and may be worth checking out.
posted by beaning at 2:56 PM on February 18, 2017 [1 favorite]

Seconding Bryan, for antiques, shops, a fun comics shop in a very dilapidated looking house, decent pie at Must Be Heaven. There is a yummy Mexican bakery with excellent tres leches in a gas station on MLK. We always ate BBQ at Fargo's or Martin's. There was also a kickass pupuseria somewhere...

In CS, there's the New Republic Brewery! Also the Cushing Library on campus has had some cool exhibits in the past, though I don't know what they've got on now.

*****Caveat: I haven't lived there in four years, so I can't guarantee all these things are still there.
posted by pepper bird at 5:29 AM on February 20, 2017

Response by poster: Thanks for the ideas everyone. I had even less time than I expected, so just one afternoon free. I drove backroads ending up in Bernham, where I had an ice cream and a good wander around the town which is really nice. The countryside is great and the back roads are in great condition .... I'd like to go back with a little more time.
posted by Rumple at 11:21 PM on February 25, 2017

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