Fill Your Stay in College Station, Texas, With Food, Wine, and Fun
Known to Texans as "Aggieland" because it's the home turf of Texas A&M University's "Aggies," College Station and the neighboring city of Bryan offer visitors a full curriculum in history, culinary arts, wine, and more to round out a stay in this youthful and charming east Texas destination.
In the past few years, Bryan and College Station have expanded their downtown amenities, infusing historic buildings with new life and fresh business offerings, including the new Century Square in College Station, complementing long-time hangouts like Northgate Entertainment District. Here are our picks for designing an itinerary that will put you ahead of the class in this Texas college town.
Texas A&M University has the fourth largest student body of any university in the country. Its legacy as the first public university in Texas, enriched with proud, long-standing student traditions, makes it a worthy stop even for outsiders. Take in a football game in the fall, or go for a walk around campus. The university's Bonfire Memorial is a somber yet beautiful remembrance of 12 students who died participating in a former school tradition in 1999.
Continue your educational journey with a visit to the George H.W. Bush Presidential Museum and Library for a deep dive into the term of the 41st U.S. president, with exhibits that examine the breadth of his tenure in office, as well as his softer side (for example, you can see a collection of the outrageous socks for which he had a penchant).
Neighboring Downtown Bryan's historic buildings are great places to roam, too. Find a new cowboy hat at the renowned Catalena Hatters, where they'll steam and crease your hat to your preferences. Bryan is a great place for antiquing and thrift shopping, too.
Where to Eat in College Station
Start your day at Stella's Southern Cafe (motto: Put Some South in Your Mouth), which serves up scratch-made breakfast, brunch, and lunch, from beignets to biscuits and gravy to huevos rancheros, with a hot cup of pecan coffee and a side of Southern hospitality.
Enjoy an artful farm-to-table dining experience in a restored century-old building at Ronin in downtown Bryan. The "farm" in this case refers to nearby land belonging to owners Brian and Amanda Light. If you're lucky to be visiting during a full moon, you can purchase tickets to enjoy an enchanted outdoor multi-course full moon dinner, served in a pine forest.
It's a tradition among Aggies to darken the doors of Dixie Chicken in Northgate—though most people just call it "The Chicken" around here. It's a beloved bar that serves up hamburgers, fried chicken, and other standard bar fare. While you're there, be sure to pay a visit to Bottle Cap Alley.
Where to Stay in College Station
There are two great hotel options located right at Century Square. Both owned by local hotel group Valencia Group, The George Hotel and Cavalry Court each offer something a little unique. The George is artful and sophisticated, while Cavalry Court is a funky spin on the classic motor court, taking its thematic cues from Texas A&M's military roots.
A bit farther afield in Bryan, about a 15-minute drive from Texas A&M, check out Messina Hof, one of the first Texas wineries. Though the winery has expanded to other locations, this is their original vineyard and also boasts 11 rooms at its on-site villa, where you'll also enjoy a delicious home-cooked breakfast. Treat yourself to wine tastings and gourmet meals at the restaurant next door.