My Texas small town tour continues (so many small Texas towns to explore!) in a town called Brownwood. I’m sharing some of the best things to do in Brownwood, Texas, with y’all today. From restaurants to outdoor activities to where to stay, I’ve got lots of info that will help you plan your trip to Brownwood!
We visited Brownwood, TX on a media tour, as guests of Visit Brownwood. All opinions are my own. If you’d like to see more photos and video of my trip, you can find it in my Instagram Brownwood Story Highlights.
Things to do in Brownwood
Brownwood is home of Lake Brownwood, which is the first large body of water east of Midland and Odessa…making it an ideal getaway for central and west Texans. Once you hit the lake, Brownwood is the nearest city – this is where you’ll find restaurants, shopping, and lodging.
Where are the best places to stay in Brownwood?
We were in Brownwood for three nights. The first two nights, we stayed at the Hampton Inn. This is always a safe bet – they have a hot breakfast and cookies every afternoon. Hampton Inn is very family-friendly, and the free breakfast is perfect when you have kids to feed (the menu changes from day to day, which is also nice).
The last night, we stayed at The Hideout Golf Club and Resort, and Y’ALL. This was so perfect. We stayed in a cabin with a beautiful view of the golf course and the surrounding Texas landscape. The cabin was also located right next to a playground, and was just a short walk from the pool and the restaurant (which was very, very good and had live music on the balcony!).
There are also RV hookups. And a golf course! And a pool with gorgeous views and a wait staff that will bring you drinks. This is also home of my favorite adult beverage – the Strawberry Smash.
Stay tuned for more details on The Hideout – I’m going to write up a full post about it.
Where are the best places to eat in Brownwood?
We got to eat at all the best places to eat. Here were our favorites:
Steves’ Market & Deli – Located in downtown Brownwood, you’ll find a unique menu with upscale food at diner prices. The diner is also cute and quirky – it reminds me of something I’d find in Portland, which means I am all in. We also got to meet one of the Steves who own the place, and there is something to love about meeting the owner, who also cooked our food. Definitely recommend. There’s also a really cute cat and fish mural on the back wall of Steves’ – so be sure to grab a photo op while you’re there!
Common Grounds Coffehouse and Deli – Grab coffee and a breakfast burrito at this neighborhood coffee shop (I always like it when I can find a local coffee shop for my caffeine fix!).
Flour Power Bakery – Stop by the bakery for a cupcake! But get there early – this a popular spot and they sell out. We got their later in the afternoon and there were only a few flavors left to choose from. But have no fear – they are all delicious and you can’t go wrong.
The Turtle Restaurant – Also located downtown, The Turtle is fresh fine dining. The menu is amazing. Make sure you order the sourdough loaf to get you started! You’ll also find a great wine list and some kid-friendly options, too. After dinner, be sure to grab a gelato at the Turtle Gelataria, which is connected to the main restaurant.
Underwoods BBQ – This was my kids’ favorite restaurant, and I think the hot, buttery rolls might be my Favorite Rolls Ever. I’ve had a lot of hot, buttery rolls in my life so you can trust my judgement here! Cafeteria style, you’ll walk through the serving line and load up on smoked meats, generous side portions, cobbler and rolls. Then – and this might be the best part – as you’re enjoying your meal, someone will bring around a giant tray of steaming rolls that will just melt in your mouth. Enjoy!
Runaway Train Cafe – The Runaway Train Cafe is a diner in an actual train car. I had a burger and it was great, but the real star here is the…drumroll, please!…clam chowder. You wouldn’t expect it, but there it is. This restaurant is famous for its chowder. On our way out, a random couple stopped us and told us they’d traveled all over the country and this was the best clam chowder they’d ever had. Charles ordered it and agreed – it would be hard to top!
Studebaker’s – This is your ultimate small town Texas dining experience. Friendly staff, crispy and delicious french fries, tasty burgers – you can’t go wrong.
Where are the best things to do in Brownwood?
Spirit of Texas Winery – Just a short drive outside of Brownwood, the Spirit of Texas Winery is located in nearby Early, TX, and the second I entered the building I loved it. The tasting room is full of personality and filled with items found on the property when the owners bought it (a boat makes for a shelving unit, a truck bed a booth, an old bus a photo op). The owners are SO nice, and the wine was on point. I wish I could pick this winery up and put it in my town! Also – there are games available and a nice outdoor space, making this a family-friendly winery.
Lake Brownwood State Park – Camping, a giant lake, and lots of trails await you at Lake Brownwood State Park. We saw lots of people boating and fishing. It was kind of hot for the trails (if you live in Texas, you know how steamy it can get in the summer), but we powered through a short hike. I’d wait until the fall or winter though if I did it again – the trails were pretty grown over and the Texas Bug Force was out in full effect. The park is beautiful though and the lake is great for boating – and you’re in for a surprise when you see the ginormous and unexpected castle on the hill!
Lehnis Railroad Museum – Located right next to an old, historic train depot, the Lehnis Railroad Museum is a train lover’s delight. Full of model trains and tons of railroad memorabilia, kids and adults alike will love the hands-on nature of this museum. There are two old train cars that you can tour as well as a mini train ride (available on Fridays and Saturdays). Definitely hit this spot if you’re in town.
Camp Bowie Aquatic Center – A great way for the kids to burn some energy, the Aquatic Center has a water slide, a pool, a little lazy river, and a diving board. Admission is only a few dollars, and you can expect to spend at least a couple hours here.
The Brown County Museum of History – The Museum of History is broken up into two parts – a building that houses artifacts and history related to the county (there’s quite a bit of World War II history!) and the jailhouse across the street. This was one of the unexpected highlights of the trip – visiting the jail! It’s old, and super creepy, and you get to walk around inside the cells and look through the actual prison records (lots of drunks arrested in Brown County during the 60s!). If you look at my Instagram Brownwood Story Highlights you can get a look at the jail and be creeped out with me!
You can find more things to do in Brownwood, TX, at the Visit Brownwood site. One of the things we wanted to do but weren’t able to fit in was kayaking in the Pecan Bayou. I’d definitely make that happen next time! You can find other recommendations and ideas here.
Have you been to Brownwood? What’s your favorite thing to do or favorite place to eat? Leave your recommendations in the comments below!