The Getaway
15 Top Things to Do in College Station and Bryan, TX

The twin cities of College Station and Bryan are nestled in the heart of Texas. This metropolitan area is most famous for Texas A&M University, and, yes, the college has a huge influence on the region's look and feel. But it's not the only reason to travel two hours from Austin or elsewhere. If you're interested in military history, want to visit a pioneering vineyard, or are keen on a change of scenery, College Station and Bryan are fab destinations.


01 George H.W. Bush Presidential Library & Museum

The George H.W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum on the Texas A&M campus shines a spotlight on the life and legacy of the 41st U.S. president. It's also the former president's burial site, and his wife Barbara and their daughter Pauline were laid to rest at this location, too. The museum, located at the appropriately named 1000 George Bush Drive West, houses personal papers and artifacts, audiovisual material, and permanent and temporary exhibit spaces. Take a photo behind the Commander in Chief's desk in an Oval Office replica and become more familiar with late 20th-century American history at one of the state's top attractions.

02 Texas A&M University

May 27, 2020 - College Station, Texas, USA: May 27, 2020 - College Station, Texas, USA: Texas A&M University is a public research university in College Station, Texas.

If you've ever wondered what the A&M in Texas A&M stands for, the answer is nothing in particular, at least today. But back in 1876, it referred to the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas. Since 2021, Texas A&M has officially enrolled the largest student body in the country. The sprawling main campus stretches for 5,500 acres and reflects the enormous scope of operations, including being one of only six senior military colleges in the nation with a volunteer Cadet Corps. Members of the university community are known as Aggies. Visit for a sense of rich traditions, a taste of the vibrant student life, and pics of the iconic Century Tree.


03 Wolf Pen Creek

The best towns have good parks for a respite from the daily grind. Wolf Pen Creek is a beloved College Station green space with walking and cycling paths, a 9-hole disc golf course, a playground, and a 7,000-capacity amphitheater for outdoor concerts and gatherings. You'll find folks flying kites, attending yoga sessions and community events, swaying to evening performances, and sampling food truck fare here.


04 Museum of the American G.I.

If it hasn't already, it'll soon become clear that if you love military history, College Station is where it's at. The Museum of the American G.I. is a cornucopia of war-related objects, including vehicles, weapons, and period armor, and memorializes Aggie Veterans and their brave feats. If your timing is right, you'll get to see a living history element with battle reenactments and tank rides. Check out the reasonably priced gift shop and say hi to the corgi mascot.


05 Northgate

The Northgate District is a vibey hub adjacent to Texas A&M where students and locals can dance at clubs like Hurricane Harry's and Shiner Park, dine at restaurants like Smitty K's Sports Bar and Grill, and shop. Unwind at the end of a long, hard day with a bit of banter at a saloon-themed watering hole, or attend a performance, church, or both. Fuel a study session with coffee, Tex Mex, or fried chicken and smoke hookah, play pool, or go bowling when you want to socialize. Parking is in no short supply, so don't let the logistics put you off.


06 Bottle Cap Alley

Ever heard of the Gum Wall in Seattle, WA? Bottle Cap Alley is College Station's quirky equivalent. Check out this local Dixie Chicken landmark, the result of a 40-year bottle cap chucking tradition. The swathe of bottle caps is so iconic that seniors bid fond, photographed farewells to it, and the Corps of Cadets are rumored to come hunting here for material to make lucky Fish Spurs.


07 Downtown Bryan First Fridays

Historic downtown Bryan has a little extra oomph on the first Friday of every month. From art demonstrations and handmade goods to free live entertainment and the perfect atmosphere, the streets come alive as families arrive for Aggieland's favorite event. Get here via a free shuttle or park for free.


08 Bryan Taco Trail

Embark on a culinary journey that tantalizes your taste buds with the Bryan Taco Trail. Home to more than 40 unique taco spots, this trail is a haven for taco enthusiasts. Whether you’re craving traditional street-style tacos or innovative new-age creations, the Taco Trail offers a diverse palette of flavors. Collect stamps on your digital passport as you visit each location and earn prizes along the way. Don’t miss the opportunity to taste the famous birria tacos at Don Chente or savor the authentic pastor from Taqueria Poblana. It's not just a meal; it's a quest through the heart of Tex-Mex cuisine.


09 Lake Bryan

Sunset over Lake Bryan, Texas

There's lots to do at Lake Bryan, from camping and star gazing to spending the day hiking, biking, swimming, fishing, or playing volleyball. Carry a pair of aqua shoes for a more comfortable dip, and when you're done in the water, enjoy a BBQ or picnic. Lake Bryan is dog-friendly, so you can bring your pup along, too. The Cadillac Ranch restaurant serves pub grub and seafood, and live music and karaoke add to a cheerful ambiance.


10 Ronin Farm & Restaurant

For a special date night or group celebration, you won't go wrong with the farm-to-table experience at Ronin Farm. Monthly full-moon dinners take place in an intimate, natural setting with long wooden tables surrounded by trees and whimsical lighting. Family-style seating encourages a convivial feel among strangers, and an open kitchen allows patrons to see the care put into transforming sustainable, locally sourced ingredients into delicious, unique dishes. Service can be a little slow on busy nights, but there's a brief farm tour while you wait, and the staff members are super friendly. You don't need to worry about inclement weather either—the waiters move proceedings into a tidy barn if the rain starts to fall.


11 Brazos Valley Farmers' Market

Every Saturday, you can count on the Brazos Valley Market in downtown Bryan to bring you a rainbow of fresh, and often organic, local produce straight from the region's farms. Meal plan for the week depending on what's available, and you'll be doing more than you know for the environment. You can expect passionate vendors selling fresh-cut flowers, house plants, grass-fed meat, eggs, honey, candy, preserves, and small-batch baked goods like pastries. Grab pet treats at this dog-friendly event and treat yourself to an ice cream sandwich for good measure. In addition, you'll have opportunities to purchase artisanal items such as natural soaps from craftspeople.


12 Historical Downtown Bryan

Bryan's historic downtown area, a recognized Texas Cultural District, has seen different eras come and go. The town flourished in the late 19th century with the transformative power of the railroad and recovered after a fire. You'll see hints of the past in the town's Victorian architecture as well as art-deco buildings like the Queen Theatre. Shop for vintage and new goods at Old Bryan Marketplace housed in a building that's over a century old, or dine at The Proudest Monkey after you've watched the latest movie next door.


13 Messina Hof Winery & Resort

As far as award-winning wineries go, few have more prizes than Messina Hof Winery and Resort. This winery, run by the Bonarrigo family, was the first of its kind in the Lone Star State. Today, it serves as a wedding venue, offers tastings and tours, and puts on seasonal events in a beautiful setting. Stay at the bed and breakfast, or pop in for a leisurely brunch and feed the turtles in the pond. During the family-friendly Harvest Festival, you can get your frustrations out during a grape stomping session or stick to picking fruit off the vine.


14 Bryan Historical Tours

History buffs can take the free self-guided Bryan tour to see how 150 years have played out in the built environment. Landmarks include the Astin Mansion, the Carnegie History Centre, Charles Hotel, Coulter House, and the Ursuline Academy, among other venues. The city's history is entwined with cotton plantations and slavery, and the Brazos Valley African American Museum honors the local African American community. Historic Downtown Bryan is also awash with public art. Look out for the murals on West 31st Street, for starters.


15 Aggieland Safari

Aggieland, located just outside Bryan, will open your eyes to the wonders of the natural world. See and interact with wildlife from across the globe—capybaras, fennec foxes, kangaroos, and more. You can buy bags of food and feed docile animals during a drive-through safari. Choose between self-drive options or an educational bus tour. The Walkabout section has a playground, petting area, and dozens of different species to meet, and you may just get some slobber on you. Overall, this is a fun and informative outing for families and animal lovers.


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