Santa Claus and others can’t resist the Victorian charms of Columbus


A little slice of Americana with deep Texas roots, Columbus is a relaxing small town with a rich history and friendly Southern charm.

With convenient proximity to Houston, Austin, and San Antonio, there’s no reason not to explore its long list of fun — and even quirky — things to see and do.

Here are some ideas to jumpstart your road trip:

Wander through history
As one of the most prominent historic districts in the state, Columbus is punctuated by beautifully restored Victorian homes, period shops, and commercial buildings.

Many of them circle around the town square’s epicenter: the 1891 Colorado County Courthousewhich is a beautiful beacon with its Renaissance Revival temple style.

Also look for the similarly regal 1886 Stafford Opera Housethe only flat-floored opera house still in existence in Texas, and the 1891 Brunson Buildinga former saloon that now houses the Live Oak Art Center’s year-round exhibits.

The lovely 1867 Tate-Senftenberg-Brandon House is another gem in town, while the Dilue Rose Harris House Museum is a unique, coastal “tabby”-style home featuring furnishings and ephemera dating to the 1850s.

Hug a tree
Columbus is known for its impressive live oak trees that line the city streets and dot the countryside.

The most famous one is located at 1340 Walnut, across from the post office, and is confirmed to be the largest oak tree in Texas, clocking in at more than 75 feet tall and 310 inches in circumference. It’s also thought to be more than 500 years old!

Have visions of sugar plums
It’s Christmas in July (or any month of the year) at the Santa Claus Museum. The place is a veritable wonderland of Kris Kringle collectibles — nearly 3,000 pieces from all over the world! — amassed by Mary Elizabeth Hopkins, a former resident of Columbus who loved old Saint Nick.

Put in some B&B time
Nestled amid gently rolling hills, The Carriage Step is a cozy-luxe bed-and-breakfast and tea room in a beautifully restored 1890s home that’s full of charm.

It’s also the perfect venue for bridal showers, parties, intimate weddings, and reunions, with space for up to 50 inside the main house and garden.

Magnolia Oaks Bed & Breakfast is another quaint option that’s housed in an 1890 Eastlake Victorian. The property radiates charm with walk-through windows, 14-foot ceilings, intricately carved doors, and a garden arbor area with a fountain, swing, putting green, and room for croquet.

Grab a beer
With flagship craft beers and an eclectic group of rotating brews, Hound Song Brewing Co. has the best pours around — and the food to pair with them, including beer-battered cheese curds, beer queso, and beer-braised brats. They also frequently bring in live music to the tap room.

Blake’s Kitchen and Cocktailz is another local hang for classic cocktails and beers on tap, along with bar food faves.

Float a while
Right on the mighty Colorado River, Waldo’s Camp offers a spot to set up your RV and spend a few days admiring the wildflowers, birds, turtles, and more. Hop into a float and tube the river with help from Columbus River Co.

Discover more to love about Columbus here.

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