Bryan Texas is an awesome destination for parents visiting their college student at Texas A&M. Not only are there delicious restaurants and a charming main street, there are plenty of other activities to experience. This college town isn’t just for students, parents will find there are some great things to do in Bryan TX!
*We were guests of Destination Bryan for the purposes of this review. As always, opinions are 100% our own.
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What to do in Bryan Texas
Bryan has an enviable position, located 2.5 hours from Dallas, and only 1.5 hours from Houston and Austin. Bryan and College Station are the two towns bordering Texas A&M University. If you are visiting your student and want to explore the area, here are some things you shouldn’t miss.
1. Eat all the food
There are so many delicious restaurants in Bryan, it’s hard to know where to begin. Here are some we think parents would like:
Breakfast in Bryan TX
If you are looking for a light breakfast, head to Polite Coffee inside Kyle House. This coffee shop is popular with students during the school year, and offers indoor and outdoor seating. Polite Coffee is all about good service and quality coffee, so if you are looking for good local coffee, start here.
Those wanting a heartier breakfast or brunch should head to The Village Cafe in downtown Bryan. There’s indoor and outdoor seating here as well, and they have a fairly extensive menu, with everything from breakfast sandwiches to salads and pizzas.
Lunch and dinner in Bryan
Cilantro Mexican Grill
There are a ton of Mexican food restaurants in Bryan, and I’m sure they are all fabulous, but we really liked Cilantro Mexican Grill. They are known for their fajitas, enchiladas, and margaritas. Yum!
Located downtown in a building that was the town pharmacy, Rx Pizza has indoor and outdoor seating and tvs for watching the latest sporting events. If you are looking for delicious pizza and/or salads, this is the place to go.
Ronin restaurant started with dinners on the farm before opening up a restaurant in the former ice house in downtown. Their fresh from the farm menu changes daily based on what’s available. Everything on the menu is amazing and the scallops are perfect.
Also located in a repurposed building in downtown, Caffé Capri is a traditional Italian restaurant that has been family run for over 20 years. Their pasta dishes are flavorful and based on authentic Italian recipes passed down through the family.
2. Go shopping in Downtown Bryan
No matter what you are looking for, you are sure to find it in Bryan’s historic downtown district. There’s everything from home decor to clothing to art galleries. Be sure to visit Corner of Time Antique Mall with a huge assortment of antiques and an antique soda fountain. For something special, stop into Catalena Hatters for custom fit cowboy hats.
3. Celebrate First Friday
First Friday happens the first Friday of each month and the city shuts down some of its downtown area for a pedestrian friendly street festival. Stores are open for shopping, kiosks sell unique goods, and there’s live music on different street corners. It’s a ton of fun and a great way to kick off the month!
4. Go wine tasting at Messina Hof Winery
Messina Hof is one of the largest and oldest wineries in Texas. This location in Bryan is where the business began.
Visitors can take a tour of the Messina Hof vineyards and learn about the company’s history and different varietals of grapes. After the tour head to the tasting room and sample a variety of wines. There’s a beautiful outdoor patio space overlooking a pond and you can order snacks to enjoy along with your vino.
Be sure to check for events at Messina Hof before you visit. There’s a Harvest Festival in August, and a variety of events throughout the year including Murder Mystery Dinners and Cooking Parties with the Chef. It would be fun to try one of these when visiting your student.
5. Spend time outdoors at Lake Walk Town Center
Lake Walk Town Center is a community lake with a bike path and observation tower. It’s located in a complex that has a coffee shop called POV, the Stella Hotel, and Campfire restaurant. On any given day there are events at Lake Walk. Everything from concerts to Saturday morning yoga.
If you stay at the Stella Hotel you can use their bikes or paddle boards and head out around the lake. For a view of the surrounding area, climb the five story tower and you can see the Texas A&M campus in the distance.
6. Connect with locals at the Brazos Valley Farmers’ Market
Every Saturday from 8 to noon at the north end of Main Street in Bryan is the Brazos Valley Farmers’ Market. There’s everything from flowers to produce to locally grown honey.
Where to Stay in Bryan TX
The Stella Hotel
For a hotel that’s convenient to downtown Bryan and Texas A&M, head to The Stella Hotel. Many of their rooms overlook Lake Walk Town Center. The Stella Hotel was voted the #3 hotel in Texas by Condé Nast. The rooms at The Stella are spacious and stylish, with stunning modern decor.
The staff at The Stella Hotel will help ensure you have a wonderful stay. They can share recommendations for local activities and restaurants. However, many amenities are located within walking distance. POV coffee shop is next door and Campfire restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Hershel’s Bar just off the lobby offers cocktails and live music.
As mentioned above, The Stella Hotel offers complimentary bicycles and paddle boards. There’s also two outdoor swimming pools, a fitness center, and free parking.
So the next time you are visiting your student at Texas A&M, be sure to check out all of these fun things to do in Bryan TX!