Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Brownwood, TX

  • Published 2022/11/07

If you’re fond of history, sports, arts, and nature,Brownwood would be an enjoyable destination for you.

It’s the largest city in Brown County, Texas, offering entertaining attractions.

Lake Brownwood, Colorado River, and Pecan Bayou surround the city, providing many attractions with a touch of nature.

Its recreational establishments also connect the youth and the elderly through their war and sports historical backgrounds.

Interested to know more about this place?

Here are the best things to do in Brownwood, TX:

Explore Wildlife on a hike in Lake Brownwood State Park

Scenic view of Lake Brownwood State Park

Alyh M /

The 7,300-acre Lake Brownwood State Park lies northwest and features six trails stretching nearly six miles.

Snaking through the trails, you’ll find different kinds of oak trees, dagger-shaped twisted-leaf yuccas, and flat-shaped prickly pear cacti.

Learn more about animals as you observe opossums, white-tailed deer, and wild turkeys roaming around the various trails.

Trail at Lake Brownwood State Park

Alyh M /

See a spectacle of colors with over a hundred bird species flocking to this park in various seasons.

On the lakeside area of Lake Brownwood State Park, rest your bones for a while as you soak up the scenic views of the mountains, lake, and limestone formations.

Stone steps and shed at Lake Brownwood State Park

Alyh M /

Ride a Train at Lehnis Railroad Museum & Visitor Center

Lehnis Railroad Museum & Visitor Center, an interactive museum a few minutes from North Main Street, takes you on an eight-minute miniature train ride passing through models of a passenger waiting area and a train depot.

For more passenger experience, enter two train cars to see the private and regular cabins and kitchen and dining areas with uniformed models of train workers.

Inside the museum are parts of trains and railroad equipment, which first arrived in Brownwood in 1885 to help farmers from neighboring areas trade their products and expand its economy.

Amid the mostly black metal memorabilia, your eyes will be easily drawn to the moving miniature trains around models of an industrial town and a circus town.

Children can also play with toy trains and blocks of Lego at Lehnis Railroad Museum & Visitor Center.

Buy Rare Books at Intermission Bookshop

This former Queen Theater in downtown Brownwood mostly sells donated books of various genres.

Intermission Bookshop has wooden theater seats beside shelves where you can pick out the old titles you’ve been hunting for.

Like what you find behind theater curtains, you can see the bookshop’s bare ceiling, which adds to its cozy feel.

But the main attraction of the bookshop is a small, low archway lined with books all the way to the top—a gateway that a true bookworm cannot resist.

Above the archway is a loft with couches where you can ponder which books to take home.

Intermission Bookshop was built to invite the community to make time to read and discover new friends.

It was also a place for rest of the soldiers during World War II when nearby hotels were all occupied.

Hunt for Antiques at Saturdays

There’ll never be enough antique shops for people looking for something vintage, quirky and amusing.

If you’re one of them, head toward Center Avenue and scour the eclectic collection of Saturdays.

You’ll find ceramics, wood sculptures, jewelry, vintage clothes, lamps, and more.

Classic furniture pieces like Roman chairs and European-inspired paintings are also available.

You’ll also find the famous jars of paint from Dixie Belle at Saturdays.

They became famous because of their lively colors, portable containers, and easy application without the pre-painting stress of scraping and priming your objects.

Indulge in the Arts at Lyric Theater

Sit back in the 364-seat Lyric Theater in downtown Brownwood to watch classic and new musicals from the city’s growing artist community.

Expect fresh faces on stage as theater officials invite artists to do acting workshops among the youth, including students from nearby Brownwood High School and Howard Payne University.

The theater featured vaudeville and Paramount films before it closed in 1955.

It reopened later but as an upscale clothing shop until 2003.

After more than a decade, it’s reinvigorated the city with concerts of different music genres.

More art workshops besides live performances are available in Lyric Theater as more people flock to the downtown area to visit new restaurants and shops.

Discover beauty in Deceptive Geodes at Brown County Museum of History

Exterior of the Brown County Museum of History

Larry D. Moore, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

At Brown County Museum of History, you’ll be amazed at the museum’s display of rainbow colors of crystals inside geodes, which are semi-hollow egg-shaped rocks.

Some of the crystals are opaque, and others are glowing.

Learn from tour guides explaining the geographical history of Texas, which is rich in limestones and minerals.

Children will enjoy playing house inside teepees, which are cone-shaped tents made of animal skins or a canvas and poles, and where American Indians or early inhabitants of the United States lived.

Loosen up and get goofy as you don a prisoner’s uniform and take photos in jail booths at this museum where the old Brown County Jail was located.

Enrich your knowledge and share in the life of old Brownwood at this museum along North Broadway Street.

After your visit, you might seek more adventure hunting for geodes the next time you hike around the plains of Brownwood.

Slide Down the Pools at Camp Bowie Aquatic Center

Where’s the fun in summer without dipping into a pool?

You’ll have plenty of it at this waterpark featuring a 7,000-square-foot pool.

Camp Bowie Aquatic Center was once part of a military training camp during World War II along Milam Drive.

You’ll enjoy as you dash, turn through its slide tower, and plunge into the cool water.

Get more thrill from its springboard diving area by doing your own creative twists up in the air.

Dip from one pool section to the other as you also try the waterpark’s refreshing water geysers, tot slide, four lap lanes, zero beach entry, and lazy river.

Have a fun workout with its lily-pad walk as you hop on the floating pads, pulling yourself up with the rope net above the pool to keep your balance.

Camp Bowie Aquatic Center is the perfect place to visit with your family.

Hit Balls at The Hideout Golf Club & Resort

Grab a golf club and swing at the ball on this 18-hole course in the heart of Texas Hill Country.

The Hideout Golf Club & Resort overlooks Lake Brownwood’s glistening lake and picturesque hills.

The 1,400-acre resort has lush greenery for both newbies and pros.

Witness the majestic, purple-orange sunset on the wide horizon upon completing the course, and slump in wooden lounge chairs in front of The Hideout Grill to relax.

Light bulbs hanging on the trees add to the charm and cozy feeling of The Hideout Golf Club & Resort, which was once hailed one of the Best Courses in Texas.

It also has a pool area for kids to frolic around, making the destination family-friendly and a place of tranquility with its expansive greenery and lake views.

Go Kayaking at Flat Rock Park and RV

Alongside Lake Brownwood, Flat Rock Park and RV has shining, dark blue waters that relax your eyes as you paddle for a kayak ride.

You’ll feel relaxed as gentle waters sway you and as you enjoy picturesque views of the surrounding hills and the golden sun.

Aside from kayaking, you can also go for a thrilling jetty ride.

There are also camping grounds and fishing sites at Flat Rock Park and RV.

You can hook up various fishes like white bass, white crappie, and flathead catfish, which you can cook to spend the rest of your day at this multi-purpose park.

Because of its large flat terrain, you can also do various land-based activities like volleyball.

This place is one of the most family-friendly attractions in the city.

Dine at the Historical and Romantic Harvey House

Exterior of the Harvey House

Renelibrary, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Near the Lehnis Railroad Museum and Santa Fe Railroad Depot, the restaurant at Harvey House is popular because of its delicious dishes, but more importantly, because of its heartwarming history that helped build the economy and communities in Brownwood.

Fred Harvey, an immigrant from England and entrepreneur, worked as a freight railroad agent after his business failed in New Orleans.

The railroad restaurant idea struck him after noticing the lack of quality meals for train passengers.

Aside from a dose of entrepreneurial spirit, the railroad restaurant shares stories of men who found love in its female staff called the “Harvey Girls.”

Complete your relaxing visit in Brownwood at the hotel area of Harvey House.

It once closed along with the restaurant but reopened during World War II to accommodate soldiers training at nearby Camp Bowie.

Founded on service, generosity, and love, Harvey House treats visitors like family.

Meet a Football Legend at Gordon Wood Hall of Champions

Located near Brownwood Visitor Center, Gordon Wood Hall of Champions houses the memorabilia of Coach Gordon Wood, who led his team toward the most victories in Texas high school football.

Footballs, jerseys, helmets, photos of the champion team, and playbooks of the legendary coach are displayed in the museum.

Watch footage of Gordon’s fist-pumping plays and listen to his and fellow coaches’ recordings as they describe his brilliant strategies.

A statue of Coach Gordon kneeling in front of the bench with a queue of helmets and scanning the field symbolizes honor and inspiration for football fans.

Sports buffs, young and old, will marvel at the nearly 50-year career of Coach Gordon as they learn about it at Gordon Wood Hall of Champions.

Check Out Paintings at Brownwood Art Association Gallery

Every month the collection of Brownwood Art Association Gallery changes and further diversifies as its organizers invite younger artists to share their masterpieces.

Here, you’ll see paintings of landscapes, people, geometrical shapes, and abstract objects.

Have creative talks through the gallery’s workshops and meet-ups with the artists at this simple-looking gallery with unique visual arts inside.

Brownwood Art Association Gallery also offers lessons on painting on textiles instead of canvas.

Stretch your imagination and discover a range of emotions when you visit this gallery on Fisk Avenue in the central part of the city.

Practice Shooting at Brownwood Claybird Club

Sharpen your shooting skills at this 12-course club on the south of Gordon Wood Stadium.

Because it also lies within the Lake Brownwood area, Brownwood Claybird Club has stunning mountain views.

The club owner says the shooting facility was created to complement sporting activities in Lake Brownwood.

The nature-filled location offers a wide horizon for shooters to target flying disks made of clay.

The club has varying heights of stands to increase the difficulty levels of courses.

If kayaking or hiking is not enough for you to release stress, try smashing clay objects by firing guns at them and see how lighter you’ll feel afterward.

Taste Hand-Crafted Beers at Teddy’s Brewhaus

Exterior of Teddy's Brewhaus

Renelibrary, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Teddy’s Brewhaus was a former go-to hardware store in the city.

It’s impossible to overlook as it spans 18,000 square feet and now features a tasting room, dining area, and lounge area.

It serves hand-crafted beers, pizzas, and desserts and can accommodate 482 people.

Teddy’s Brewhausis located in the Weakley-Watson Building on Fisk Avenue, the oldest hardware store in Texas.

It was built in 1888 and was declared a historical site.

Jeff Tucker, a former fireman and the brewhaus owner, said he named the establishment after former President Theodore Roosevelt to embody a can-do attitude.

Like Roosevelt and the Weakley-Watson Building, Teddy’s Brewhaus made its mark as Brownwood’s first microbrewery.

Final Thoughts

Brownwood offers simple joys in life—from playing with toy trains, plunging into the pool, painting freely, and reading a book.

The city draws you with its picturesque, wide-open natural destinations, bringing you a sense of tranquility and freedom.

Brownwood also lets you get active with its sports facilities that encourage other adventurous activities with nature as their backdrop.

Try these best things to do in Brownwood, Texas, to make the most of your trip!

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