Bryan and College Station are known for their Texas A&M pride, but there is more to this college town then football games and Aggie traditions. Here’s how to make the most of it, using The Stella Hotel as your launching point.
Nestled along the shores of Lake Atlas, just minutes from Texas A&M University, the 175-room Stella Hotel was the first independent full-service hotel to open in Bryan and College Station in 2017. Since then, it’s become something of the hub of hospitality in Bryan/College Station, greeting visitors with spaces that mix Texas flair with an urban sensibility and amazing views of the rolling hills of Brazos County. And as the anchor of the multi-use Lake Walk neighborhood – home to 90,000 square feet of shopping, dining, and entertainment just steps from the hotel – it’s also the perfect place to spend a long weekend getting to know these twin cities of Central Texas.
6 p.m. | Aggieland Micro District in College Station
What was once a run-down collection of nondescript warehouses from the mid-1990s has become the bustling home of three different craft alcohol producers within just 100 yards of each other: Rio Brazos Distillery, Perrine Winery, and New Republic Brewing Co. Visit each taproom or take a tour, then, with a drink in one hand and some food truck grub in the other, dance to the live music well into the night.
9 p.m. | Nightcap at Hurricane Harry’s
If you’ve still got some moves left in you, take to the dance floor at this traditional country bar for some two-stepping to live music from Eli Young Band, Koe Wetzel, and Read Southall. With alternating concerts and ladies’ nights on Fridays, take a look at their Instagram for an up-to-date list of events.
8 a.m. | Brunch at First Watch
Tucked into an unassuming strip mall on Texas Avenue, First Watch serves up some serious breakfast in style. Inside, the restaurant combines modern style with rustic-chic touches like reclaimed barn wood walls and colorful paintings of cows to give this Midwest chain some true Texas flavor. Brunch offers flavor options for both the most traditional and most adventurous eaters: Keep it simple with a trifecta of pancakes, bacon, and eggs your way, or mix it up with an Asian pork belly breakfast bowl.
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10 a.m. | Visit the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library & Museum
The George H.W. Bush Presidential Library & Museum offers a look into the life of the late 41st president, as well as slices of history from the 1940s on. You’ll find a World War II Avenger Torpedo Bomber, a slab of the Berlin Wall, and rotating exhibits about everything from American political cartoons to the history of espionage and terrorism. Just don’t miss out on the opportunity to take a photo of yourself seated at the desk in the replica Oval Office.
1 p.m. | Shop Historic Downtown Bryan
Spend the afternoon weaving your way in and out of the mix of eclectic shops and vibrant art galleries in historic Downtown Bryan. Originally a railroad town, Bryan has evolved and grown into an amazing cultural art district: Keep your eye out for regular daytime events like the Brazos Valley Farmers Market and street festivals. While popping in and out of the many boutiques, stop into Papa Perez for a bit of the most authentic Mexican in town.
6 p.m. | Eat by Moonlight at Ronin Farm
Each month, Ronin Farm offers a one-of-a-kind and truly Texas experience: a multicourse dinner (anywhere from seven to twelve courses!) in the forest space next to their barn-turned-commercial-kitchen. The evening starts off with a group tour of the farm followed by dinner prepared from seasonally appropriate ingredients grown right on-site. The final dessert course is served in a candlelit garden as the moon rises.
9 a.m. | Breakfast at Campfire
Hotel Stella’s Campfire offers only the best farm-to-fork flavors of Texas, like locally farmed beef, slow-smoked proteins, and fresh produce sourced from the area. Breakfast is served both inside and on the backyard-style patio. You can expect a mixture of classic dishes like omelets and steak and eggs, as well as some Texas classics like the tortilla soup and migas, a Texican take on scrambled eggs. To top it off, hit the mix-your-own bloody mary bar and make it just the way you like it.