I love Brenham, Texas, and not only because of Blue Bell ice cream. The little town (pop. 13,600) is filled with delightful hotels, restaurants, shopts, and other offbeat places that make exploring the heart of Washington County a pleasure.
One of the most charming stays is the Ant Street Inn, an historic bed and breakfast in downtown Brenham. Owners Pam and Tommy Traylor see to it that guests feel as if they're in their own home-- a home decorated in American Victorian antiques, that is.
With beautiful stained glass accents and polished wood floors, the inn is elegant but friendly, encouraging guests to kick back in the sitting area or parlor and enjoy complimentary ice cream (Blue Bell, of course), sodas, or coffee. There's also a full breakfast at the adjacent Brenham Grill, along with thoroughly modern perks like wi-fi and cable.
The Traylors were married only two years when they decided to transform a run-down building into a bed and breakfast in 1995. Since then it's been an almost constant renovation, renewal, and refreshing of fifteen gorgeous themed rooms with private baths, named after southern cities like the Savannah, the Mobile, and the Richmond. "We're always painting or changing out furniture," says Pam.
Tommy had been in the antiques business before becoming an inn owner and knew where to find the best American Victorian. "We had a great time," says Pam, "traveling to New Orleans and Atlanta" for their finds. The inn, she adds, has been a place "to express my creativity whether it's decorating, coming up for [special] packages, or writing articles for Facebook."
Ant Street Inn has a no pets, no smoking policy, and children must be at least 12 years old.
For reservation information, call 800-481-1951, antstreetinn.com
For more information on Brenham, visitbrenhamtexas.com