College Station is a city in Texas that sits at the center of the Texas Triangle and at the heart of Brazos Valley. Many people visit this city due to its central location that gives them access to the four largest cities in Texas, and others visit either for business or to see students at the Texas A & M University. It is also a great place to visit due to the range of activities there are to enjoy in the city. Regardless of the reasons for your visit, planning your itinerary can help you to get the most out of your time in this destination. Here are the 20 best things to do in College Station, TX, for first-timers.
20. Have fun at Grand Station Entertainment
Lone Star Travel Guide recommends Grand Station Entertainment as a great place to have some fun during your stay in College Station. Within this entertainment complex, there is an arcade, laser tag, and bowling. There is also a dining venue that serves casual American classics, such as burgers, hot dogs, and pizza.
19. Cool Down at Lake Bryan
There are not many places in College Station where you can cool down in the hot Texan summers, so the locals often head to neighboring Bryan, which is home to Lake Bryan. The lake is the perfect place to take a dip and cool off. There is also camping around the lake, so there is the option to spend a night under the stars during your trip to College Station. The Icehouse is a bar and restaurant on the shores of the lake, and it is a great place to grab a bite to eat and drink a cocktail after you swim in the lake.
18. Watch a Performance by The Theater Company
If you want to watch a live performance during your visit to College Station, then the best place to do so is at The Theater Company. The theater is in nearby Bryan on South Texas Avenue, which is accessible by public transport. It is best to check their program in advance and book tickets before your trip if you see something you fancy.
17. Enjoy an Educational Experience at Brazos Valley African American Museum
Culture Trip says that the Brazos Valley African American Museum was one of the first museums of its kind. It looks at history from the perspective of African Americans, and there are many powerful exhibits within the museum. It also boasts a stunning collection of artwork by local artists.
16. Take the Kids to the Children’s Museum at Brazos Valley
If you are visiting College Station as a family, then one of the top attractions for children in this city is the Children’s Museum at Brazos Valley. It is just a short trip from College Station to neighboring Bryan to visit this attraction. It provides educational and interactive activities for people of all ages to enjoy. Some of the highlights of the museum include a replica H-E-B store, a climb-on spaceship, a play construction site, a giant checkers board, and a model television station. There is also an area dedicated to the animal kingdom, which includes live animals.
15. Visit the Brazos Valley Natural History Museum
The Brazos Valley Natural History Museum is the only museum in the area that is devoted to natural history. It is a family that has something to offer everyone, regardless of their age. The museum’s exhibitions focus on minerals, plants, and animals. One of the highlights of the Brazos Valley Natural History Museum is the discovery room, which is home to fifteen species of live animals. Other highlights include the butterfly exhibit and an observation beehive. Some exhibits include taxidermy, fossils, and agricultural equipment. Throughout the year, there are various rotating exhibits.
14. Enjoy a Beer at New Republic Brewing
Beer lovers should head to New Republic Brewing, which is a craft brewery in downtown College Station. The brewery was founded in 2010, and it is open to visitors for tours of the taproom. The tours will tell you a little about the company’s history and about the brewing and bottling processes. During your tour, you can sample some of New Republic Brewing’s craft beers, which are also available to buy. The best time to visit is at the weekends, as the brewery hosts live music events and invites food trucks from the local area.
13. Have a Go on the Track at the Texas World Speedway
Texas World Speedway is the only Super Speedway in the Southwest of the United States. Not only does the track host racing events throughout the year, but they also have open days where visitors have the chance to drive around the track. It is a fantastic activity for speed freaks and adrenaline junkies. The venue also offers race driving classes, so visitors can learn the skills needed to make it around the track at break-neck speed. If you do not want to put your own driving skills to the test, there is also the option to sit in the spectator stands and watch other people on the track.
12. See the Bonfire Memorial
One of the most significant landmarks in College Station is the Bonfire Memorial. There is a tradition in the area known as the Aggie Bonfire, which started in 1909. It involved a fire being lit every time the College Station football team played at the University of Texas. Sadly, tragedy struck in 1999 when the bonfire was lit incorrectly. The resulting fire killed 12 people, and there is now a memorial in their memory. It consists of twelve stone arches to represent the 12 people killed in the tragedy. Each of the stones in the memorial points towards the hometown of one of the fire’s victims. The memorial is set in a serene park, and there are tours that explain more about the fire. Many visitors say it is an emotional place to visit.
11. Have a Good Night Out in Northgate
To have a good time in the evenings, you should head to Northgate. It is in this neighborhood of College Station that you will find the most bars, clubs, and music venues. Many of the venues are open until the early hours of the morning. There are also multiple casual eateries where you can grab a bite to eat, including places that served local food, such as Tex-Mex and barbecue. Many of the bars and restaurants have outdoor dining and drinking areas, which is ideal during the warmer months when you may prefer to enjoy your drink in the warm air.
10. Sample Wines at Messina Hof
The resident winery at College Station is Messina Hof. Founded in 1977, the winery offers free tours of the winery and tasting rooms to visitors who want to learn more about the wine production and bottling processes, along with the history of wine making in College Station. There is also the opportunity in the hour-long tours to sample some of the wine blends. The winery has an on-site restaurant that serves not only local wines but also top-notch food made using locally-sourced and seasonal ingredients.
9. View the Exhibits at the Sam Houston Sanders Corps of Cadets Center
First opened in 1992, the Sam Houston Sanders Corps of Cadets Center is a museum on the campus of the university. The museum’s focus is on anything related to the university’s Corps of Cadets, and it currently houses more than 60 interesting exhibits. There is also a collection of more than 600 photographs on display. In addition to the Corps of Cadets memorabilia, there are also displays that will educate you about some of the university’s traditions, such as the Muster, the Silver Taps, and the 12th Man.
8. Take a Stroll or Enjoy a Picnic in Research Park
If you want to spend some time outdoors, then one of the prettiest spots is Research Park. The park is next to the George Bush Presidential Library & Museum within the university’s grounds. It is a leafy area that is one of the most pleasant places to take a stroll, and it has a pond with friendly ducks. The park is also a nice spot for a picnic, says The Crazy Tourist.
7. See a Basketball Game at Reed Arena
College Station is a fantastic place to visit for sports fans as there are multiple venues to enjoy a diverse range of sports. For basketball fans, the top venue is Reed Arena. It opened in 1998, and it is dedicated to Chester Reed, who was the main donor to the arena. Not only are basketball matches held at this venue, but it is also used to host various events and concerts throughout the year, as it has a seating capacity of 12,800.
6. Get Tickets for a Game at Olsen Field at Bluebell Park
Home to the baseball program of Texas A & M University, the Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park is the leading baseball stadium in College Station. It hosts many tournaments throughout the year, so baseball fans should try to get tickets in advance so they can watch a game during their stay in College Station.
5. Shop at Post Oak Mall
Although there are many shops along the streets of College Station, one of the best places to enjoy a little retail therapy is at Post Oak Mall. It is home to 125 retail outlets that sell a vast array of clothing, homewares, and other goods. It also boasts an excellent food hall with a vast choice of dining options. Furthermore, there is an indoor play area for children.
4. Drink and See Art at the Benjamin Knox Gallery & Wine Depot
Those who enjoy wine and art can combine both their passions during a visit to the Benjamin Knox Gallery & Wine Depot. As visitors enter the building, there are more than 50 varieties of wine and beer from which they can choose, so they can enjoy a drink as they take a stroll around the gallery. Benjamin Knox is an American artist and a member of the Texas Aggie Class of 1990. Alongside the work of Benjamin Knox, there is a rotating collection of art, most of which is available for collectors of fine art to buy.
3. Go to the Museum of the American G.I.
If you are interested in wars and the military, then a top attraction to visit is the Museum of the American G.I. It is a living history museum that focuses on the men and women who have served in the United States Military. The aim is to preserve the equipment, uniforms, and memories, and the museum houses one of the best collections of restored and running military vehicles in the United States. These include examples from both world wars.
2. Watch a Game at Kyle Field
Located on the campus of Texas A & M University, Kyle Field is the home stadium of the university’s football team. Following various renovations, it is now the largest stadium in both Texas and the Southeastern Conference. Furthermore, it is the fourth largest stadium in the United States and the fifth-largest non-racing stadium in the world. If there are games taking place during your visit, then you should try to get tickets.
1. Visit George Bush Presidential Library & Museum
According to Vacation Idea, the best thing to do in College Station, TX, for first-timers is to go to the George Bush Presidential Library & Museum. It is located on the west campus of the Texas A & M University, and the site covers 90 acres. Not only is this the burial site of George Bush, but it also preserves records and artifacts relating to President George H.W. Bush. The museum also has a replica Oval Office.