It’s Springtime! Therefore it’s the best time to see bluebonnets gloriously blooming in the great state of Texas. Bluebonnets are the state flower of Texas and you can find them in open prairies and roadways across the state. Not only have bluebonnets been the state flower since 1901, but they give Texans a big sense of pride. Additionally they are extremely unique because they need a peculiar combination of rainfall, sunshine, and temperature to bloom. They are also difficult to grow in a garden and just like Texas they are wild and free.
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Best Practices for Viewing Bluebonnets
Most importantly, if you decide to venture out for bluebonnets, there are some key things to keep in mind. First of all please be respectful of people’s property when stoping to take pictures. As you ride around you will no doubt see large fields abloom with bluebonnets and other Texas wildflowers. While some owners don’t mind if you stop and take a few photos, many don’t want you to tear up their beautiful display. Therefore you should pay attention and respect Private Property or No Trespassing signs. Also, try to find a patch where there are no bluebonnets if you want to sit or walk amongst them.
Next, be sure to pull your car off the road as much as possible if you’re going to park and pay attention for other cars that may be passing by. Finally, I would encourage you not to pick the bluebonnets. While there is no law that says it’s illegal to pick them, it is considered rude.
Best Time to See Bluebonnets in Texas
Bluebonnets and Texas wildflowers are spring a time treat. For that reason the best time to see bluebonnets in Texas would be between March and April. Of course, they peak in April typically, so April is ideal to find full and large spreads of bluebonnets. If you happen to take a road trip in Texas during that time, you are likely to catch them even along the highways. You can thank former First Lady, Lady Bird Johnson for that. Mrs. Johnson believed that she could make the world a better place one plant at a time. Being that Texas was her home state she championed the idea of having these wildflowers planted all over the state, including along highways and interstates.
Exploring Washington County, Texas for Bluebonnets
While you can find bluebonnets all over Texas, there are key areas where they seem to grow the best. Our road trip took us to Washington County, which is just a short drive outside of Houston. Not only is Washington County considered one of the best places to see bluebonnets in Texas, but it also home to some other key attractions in Texas. These include Washington on the Brazos, Blue Bell Creameries, the Antique Rose Emporium, as well as the Burton Cotton Gin & Museum.
Our first stop on our road trip was Chappell Hill. Chappell Hill is a quaint little town located off Highway US 290. They have a cute Main Street with antique and gift shops. There are also some nice photo ops like the Chappell Hill United Methodist Church. The church was rebuilt in 1901 due to being destroyed by the Great Storm of 1900. Next door you will find the original Chappell Hill College, which is now a museum. If you have time, I would recommend a stroll on main street and visit the quaint antique and art galleries.
Definitely to see bluebonnets, take a drive along Indian Paint Brush Road to find lovely fields of these spectacular flowers.
Next we visited the Washington on the Brazos State Historic Site. What better place to see bluebonnets than where Texas became Texas. Washington-on-the-Brazos is where Texas declared its independence from Mexico March 2, 1836. It also served as the first capital of the Republic of Texas. For that reason, I highly recommend this spot because you can learn about some cool Texas History and view large, open fields of bluebonnets. Additionally you will field large patches of Indian Paintbrushes here as well. They are another beautifully example of Texas wildflowers.
Finally we made out way to Brenham on our quest for bluebonnets. Brenham is not only a great town to see bluebonnets, but you will find bluebonnets all over the place. You don’t even have to venture off the main roads to do so. Brenham is also one of the larger towns in Washington County. In fact the Brenham is the County Seat for Washington County. Due to its larger size Brenham features multiple restaurant options, parks and hotels. The city of Brenham and Washington County offers a Wildflower Watch as well, with maps of all the places to find beautiful displays of wildflowers.
Stops You Must Make on a Texas Road Trip
If you’re taking a road trip in the great state of Texas, then there are some mandatory places you must stop and visit. Of course, one of these “Musts” is in Brenham, so that may or may not work for you on your trip. While these establishments have branched out of Texas a little, they were born and raised here. Not to mention they are true Texas favorites.
An absolutely, positivity a must stop is Buc-ees. In addition to having the cleanest restrooms in America (they won an award!), they are just fantastic! Not only can you fill up on gas, but you can get sweet treats like homemade fudge. Furthermore, they have Beaver Nuggets, which you must purchase, but I warn you, they are addicting, so you may want to get more than one.
Buc-ees is also a great place to buy souvenirs such as fun t-shirts and Buc-ee the Beaver items. They even have home decor and gifts for just about anyone on your list. Needless to say Buc-ees is a fun for everyone place to stop. I promise you if you visit one, you will wish you had one in your state, if you don’t already have one.
Secondly, you must stop at Whataburger, especially if you’re from the north or the west because you don’t have one. Whataburger was Texas born in 1950 and they are still going strong with yummy grilled burgers, fries and so much more.
The great debate is always which is better, Whataburger or In-N-Out Burger and Texans will always say Whataburger. Don’t get me wrong I like In-N-Out Burger, but they don’t have some cool things that Whataburger has. For example, breakfast. There’s something special about a Honey Butter chicken biscuit and the option to have Japlepno cheddar biscuits. Not to mention they are also super friendly!
Blue Bell Creamery
Blue Bell ice cream is a Texas favorite for sure! To visit the Blue Bell Creamery is a very special treat. It is located in Brenham, Texas. If you decide to venture on this road trip to see bluebonnets, I do recommend a visit.
The creamery has a store for souvenirs, as well as an ice cream bar to enjoy the ice cream. Additionally you can enjoy many popular flavors and some that are not available in stores. Each scoop comes in it’s own cup and the cost is $1.00 per scoop. In addition, the creamery has an observation deck where you can watch how they make the ice cream. Although the store and ice cream bar are open 8-5 Monday through Friday, the observation deck is only open until 2 p.m.
Best Places to Eat in Washington County
If you’re in the mood for some authentic, home style cooking, you must visit Beaver’s Kitchen and Alejandra’s Pie Factory, located in Chappel Hill. Bevers Kitchen offers a vast selection of meals, not to mention outstanding pies! Certainly be sure to save room for a slice of homemade pie.
Hours: Mon. – Thurs. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Fridays: 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturdays: 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Closed on Sundays.
Of course, barbecue lovers will love R Place. It’s not too fancy, but they have some good Texas barbecue including sliced beef, sausage and ribs with a cold beer or glass of wine. After your meal you can enjoy a yummy dessert. Not only do they have splendid peach cobbler with ice cream, but they have a rich “to die for” flourless chocolate cake. In addition, R Place offers a special seasonal dinner menu on Saturday night with live, local music.
Hours: Open Fridays at 11 a.m. Saturdays, open at 11 a.m. with a special dinner starting at 6 p.m. Sundays, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The Inn at Dos Brisas
Did you know the only Forbes five-star restaurant in Texas is not in Austin, Houston, or Dallas. It’s actually at The Inn at Dos Brisas in the rolling hills of Washington County. Most notably their cuisine is made from ingredients cultivated on their own organic farmland. Of course the intimate dining room’s elegant Spanish country manor décor also adds a touch of romance to every meal. The Inn is located between Houston, Austin and College Station. In addition to enjoying a lovely farm to table menu, you can also enjoy a peaceful stay at the Inn, if you you would like.
Hours: Daily lunch, 12-2 p.m. Daily dinner, 6-8:30 p.m. (last seating.) Sunday brunch, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
More Great Towns to See Bluebonnets
While Washington County is certainly in the top five list of beautiful bluebonnet displays, it’s not the only area. For example, Ennis is known as the “Official Bluebonnet City in Texas.” Located south of Dallas, the Official Texas Bluebonnet Trail is said to be the oldest bluebonnet trail in Texas.
Another great area of Texas to see bluebonnets is in the Hill Country. Texas hill country is located between Austin and San Antonio and covers the area west of Austin to Junction. As well as from San Antonio NW upwards to Mason and Llano. Due to the beauty of hill country it’s a top destination in Texas year round. Not only is this area great to see bluebonnets, but it’s also popular for hiking, swimming and wineries.
Certainly the top cities to visit for bluebonnets in hill country are Fredricksburg, Marble Falls, Kingsland, Llano and Burnet (pronounced Burn it). In addition to the map provided by Hill Country Visitors, there is also a map below of all the towns and places mentioned in the post.
Map of Places to See Bluebonnets
In conclusion, I hope you have enjoyed this post on where to see bluebonnets in Washington County, Texas. If you know of any other cool places to see bluebonnets, please let us know.
If you’re looking for more things to do in Texas, then check out our Family Friendly Things to Do on Galveston Island. Of course you may also like, Castle Adventures in Texas – Exploring Newman’s Castle.
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