The Brazos Valley and surrounding areas in South East Texas are defined by rolling hills, rivers and lakes, stretching across the Post Oak Savannah and Blackland Prairie.
The region is filled with small towns, friendly folks and active communities. Farming, ranching and agribusinesses play a big role in the economy and culture, and when the work day is done, outdoor recreation is often the preferred way to unwind. In addition, the job market is diverse, there are quality schools, and the cost of living won’t break the bank.
United Country Real Estate | Lone Star Homes and Land serves this region from our office in Navasota, Texas. Our coverage area ranges from Madison County on the northern end to Burleson and Washington counties on the western edge, and Montgomery County on the
southeastern end. This includes Grimes and Brazos counties in the middle.
Let’s take a closer look at why so many residents and visitors alike love East-Central Texas.
From hiking to hunting, boating to fishing and beyond … there’s a world of opportunities for outdoor adventures in Central Texas. The Navasota, Brazos and San Jacinto rivers (and their respective lakes), as well as area parks and a national forest all allow for ample recreation. Lake Somerville State Park, for example, is less than an hour’s drive west of Navasota and has a swimming lake, and trails for horses and mountain bikes.
Right within Navasota itself, Gibbons Creek Reservoir covers nearly 2,800 acres and has a maximum depth around 35 feet. Anglers frequent the lake for its trophy largemouth bass, as well as catfish and crappie. Drive 40 minutes east of the city to reach Lake Conroe, a Montgomery County recreation hot spot with campgrounds, picnic areas, hiking trails, marinas and more.
Head another 35 minutes or so north of Lake Conroe for Huntsville State Park in Walker County. It features the iconic piney woods of East Texas and the scenic creek-fed Lake Raven at the center of the park. Wildlife abounds (you may even see the occasional alligator). The park is actually within the Sam Houston National Forest, which spans three Texas counties.
This national forest has its own 128-mile Lone Star Hiking Trail, developed and primitive campgrounds, multiple scenic and recreational wilderness areas, and even seasonal hunting for wild turkey, deer and such. And just minutes away, the WG Jones State Forest is popular with birders seeking the endangered Red Cockaded Woodpecker.
However, there’s also plenty of opportunity for outdoor recreation at local parks in town, area golf courses and the like. Two well-reviewed public courses in the region are Pecan Lakes Golf Club in Navasota, and High Meadow Ranch Golf Club in Magnolia.
Even though most of the cities and towns across the Brazos Valley and surrounding East-Central Texas have modest populations, there’s certainly no shortage of things to see and do here. From historical discoveries to fun family attractions, annual events to hidden local gems, it’s all waiting to be experienced.
And the bonus – for those who wish to take a day trip to explore some larger Texas cities – it’s fairly convenient. From Navasota, for example, Houston is only 65 miles away due southeast, while Austin is less than 100 miles away headed west. And even within the heart of our region, the College Station/Bryan area has a sizeable population, thanks in part to Texas A&M University.
But back to the main point, things to do in East-Central Texas. History buffs should visit Washington on the Brazos State Historic Site to learn “Where Texas Became Texas.” The Brazos Valley Museum of Natural History offers a deep dive into the past, while the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum preserves the records and artifacts of America’s 41st President.
But for children (and let’s be honest, the whole family), the most enjoyable “history class” in the area is found at the iconic Blue Bell Creamery in Brenham. You can tour 100 years of ice cream success at the Visitors Center and grab a couple scoops. Other fun outings for the kids include the East Texas Elephant Experience in Cut and Shoot, and the Saint Francis Wolf Sanctuary in Navasota.
Sometimes, the best way to discover a new area is just to do a little digging for the hidden gems you won’t find on every “things to do” list. Case in point, the Treehouse Café in Magnolia offers one of the most unique (and tasty) dining experiences around in a steadily-growing area. If you love wine, there’s an excellent array of wineries in the Brazos Valley, or you can take on the Texas Bluebonnet Wine Trail for the top Southeast Texas spots.
Lastly, local celebrations and annual events are always a hit in Texas. In the East-Central region, the biggest gathering may be at Snook’s Chilifest Music Festival, which draws 35,000 people each spring. In April, it’s time for Chappell Hill’s official Bluebonnet Festival, followed by the Navasota Bluesfest honoring late blues man Mance Lipscomb in August. Come fall, Caldwell’s Kolache Festival celebrates the food and its Czech heritage. Browse the Brazos Valley options on your own to find the event that’s made for you!