Touring Texas small towns has been quite an adventure! Mostly, I have been thoroughly surprised by the history and cultural influences all around me that I didn’t even know existed! This weekend mom and I took a day trip to Schulenburg, Texas, which to provide a brief history lesson, Schulenburg was established in the mid-1800s largely by German immigrants. Today the merge between Texan culture and deep German roots makes for an interesting and unique little town just over an hour outside of Houston.
What first drew me to this town was the uniquely painted churches. Throughout various areas of Texas, there are about twenty painted churches, which from the outside look like average small-town Texas chapels, but on the inside, they are covered with beautiful hand-painted murals and ornate decor. When you step inside you are no longer in a little southern town, but transported to a breathtaking mini European cathedral. Schulenburg just happens to be a hot spot for these structures, and I had to see them! My favorites were St. Mary’s Church High Hill (featured on the right) and St. Cyril and Methodius Church (featured on the left). Both of these churches were established in the 1910s by the German settlers.
We also found that on each church property there was a cemetery. Burial sites dated back to the 1850s with German inscriptions chiseled into the stone.
Every Texas Town Has a Main Street
After spending an hour or so driving on the long and winding country roads touring the painted churches, we popped over to none other than Main Street for a coffee at Tillie’s Cafe, the quaint local coffee house, before exploring the few blocks which make up the historical town. Schulenburg is also known for the unique sounds of German Polka music, and you can learn all about it at the small Polka Music Museum before making your way to check out Sengelmann’s Hall, the town’s iconic structure, which is still a happening spot today for live music and events.
The Cute Brunch Spot
For lunch, we opted to check out a cute little restaurant just five minutes from Main street called The Garden Co. Marketplace and Cafe. Their menu featured delish farm-to-table starters, entrees, and salads as well as a thirst-quenching cocktail and drink menu.
A highlight of the trip for me was the cafe’s marketplace, which consisted of an outdoor nursery featuring a large collection of plants, flowers, and succulents for sale and a silo converted into a whimsically decorated shop containing handcrafted chimes, vases, candles, and other goodies. I purchased a beautiful stoneware baking dish for brie. Bring on the wine and cheese parties!
This town is full of awesome shops for yummy treats! Whether you stop in to get a few souvenirs or a little something for the drive home, you must visit The Original Kountry Korner for Czech and German goodies including delicious scratch-made pastries and kolaches. We also made a point to stop right off of IH-10 at the sight of the large Pecan sign to sample the vast selection of toasted Pecans in specialty flavors like cinnamon-sugar, Cajun spice, and Carmel. If you have a sweet tooth, be sure to browse the homemade fudge bar, which features unique flavors like watermelon and rocky road.
Last but certainly not least, a Texas road-trip wouldn’t be complete without a stop at Buc-ee’s. If you aren’t a Texan, you are in for a big surprise! Buc-ee’s is not just a gas station, but the place to stop for the best bathrooms in the state, BBQ to-go, homemade jerky in more flavors than you can count, all kinds of sweet and savory snacks, including their popular Beaver nuggets, and even a large selection of Texan attire, mugs, hats, and trinkets. When you see the large beaver sign, make sure to exit and visit this favorite stopping place for visitors and Texans alike!
If you are looking for a fun trip this coming weekend, grab a friend, or a couple, and go for a drive. This quaint country town is so much more than it appears to be, and you’ll be happy you decided to see it for yourself. xxx