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Bryan-College Station

School Spirit Sets the Tone in Bryan-College Station

Visitors to the Bryan-College Station area will find a long list of local activities that begins with a renowned college’s rich traditions, but it certainly doesn’t end there. Here’s a rundown of the fun things to see and do around this friendly central Texas town.

Adventures in Aggieland

With more than 58,000 students, Texas A&M University is one the nation’s largest institutions of higher learning. If you have never joined the mighty loud crowd at an Aggie football game at Kyle Field, you should know that this is a college town like no other. Every home contest draws thousands of faithful alumni back into the fold.

If a full schedule of competitive sporting events is not your thing, the sprawling campus affords hundreds of educational, artistic, and cultural offerings. MSC Opas is a campus venue that hosts professional music, dance, and theatre productions throughout the year, bringing world-class entertainment to this unique corner of Texas.

The Bonfire Memorial has become a much revered campus landmark. It was built to honor students who died when the wood stack collapsed in 1999. The “Ring of Fire” was a beloved school tradition for 90 years prior to the tragic accident.

The university is also an ideal home for the George Bush Presidential Library, which preserves and displays the records and artifacts of George H.W. Bush, 41st president of the United States. Visitors can tour the public museum exhibits or seek access to the archives.

More Amusement

Just five miles from campus, Historic downtown Bryan has an interesting mix of craft and artisan shops, boutiques, restaurants, as well as vibrant bars and pubs. The charming downtown is put on display at least once each month for First Fridays, which are specially-planned community events such as an art fair, haunted house, or family film in the park.

The Benjamin Knox Art Gallery is the inspiration of a popular local artist. The main building was modeled after a historically significant train depot that welcomed students to College Station around 1900. The fun and colorful facility has a coffee and wine bar that is open to the public. Two large galleries host local and national art exhibits and may be available for special events such as weddings and reunions.

Scenic and romantic, the Messina Hof Winery is a family-owned vineyard located on a 100-acre Texas estate. Fine dining, winery tours, and tastings are available seven days a week, but be sure to check the schedule for special classes and experiences. During the summertime’s Harvest Festival weekends, for example, visitors can participate in grape picking and stomping.

In these parts, the boys of summer are the Brazos Valley Bombers, a local baseball team that competes in the Texas Collegiate League. Games are played at expansive AMB Ballpark, complete with a Kids Zone full of fun inflatable games and activities for kids of all ages.

Outdoor Pursuits

In December, runners come from near and far to compete in the highly regarded BCS Marathon + Half Marathon. Racers appreciate the relatively flat and fast course that weaves throughout the Texas A&M campus.

Golf lovers can enjoy a round or two of the grand old game; there are several public golf courses including Pecan Lakes Golf Club in Navasota, Bryan Municipal Golf Course, and the Texas A&M University Course.

Nearby Lake Bryan is a nice place to camp, picnic, hike, boat, and fish. In the warmer months, you can add swimming and many types of water sports to the list of recreational opportunities. The Lakeside Icehouse has a bar and grill with a massive deck that is a perfect spot for relaxing and listening to live music.

Seasonal Events

Downtown Bryan host’s one of the year’s biggest parties, the Texas Reds Steak and Grapes Festival, in the fall. Festival goers can sample Texas wines, take advantage steak specials at local eateries, enter a cook-off, enjoy live music performances, or have some family fun in the Kid’s Zone.

History buffs aren’t likely to forget a trip to The Texas Renaissance Festival, the nation’s largest and most famous Renaissance theme park. This authentically recreated 16th century village is open to the public on weekends from mid-October through November. Costumed performers entertain the enthusiastic crowd with hundreds of daily performances.

Christmas at the Creek is a College Station holiday tradition. An early-December weekend is loaded with family activities including a living nativity, petting zoo, musical performances, and more. Santa’s Wonderland, a Texas-style Christmas village, opens in late November. If you’re in town during the winter holidays, you might enjoy taking a Hayride or Horse and Carriage tour of the magical light displays.