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“Smaller than I expected.”

Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Washington on the Brazos State Historic Site is the lush, 293 acre park where the Texas Declaration of Independence was signed in 1836, creating a new nation. Independence Hall, a re-creation of the drafty building where the 59 delegates met to hammer out the document, stands on the original cornerstones. The Star of the Republic Museum tells the story of the decade that Texas was a sovereign nation. Barrington Living History Farm includes the homestead of Texas' final president, Anson Jones, and is a working cotton farm. The vistor's center houses a unique gift shop and a Texas History timeline. Picnic areas are available along the Brazos River.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Wheelchair access, Activities for young children, Bathroom facilities, Stairs / elevator
United States
Level 4 Contributor
37 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Smaller than I expected.”
Reviewed March 30, 2014

And I should say...the place is not small. Just smaller than I expected. It was VERY peaceful. We saw the place where the Texas Constitution was signed, saw the place where a ferry crossing existed, saw the museum and saw the living history farm. I expected to learn a lot about the people who wrote the Texas Constitution and what happened during that event. I felt like I came away with more of a view of what the general population's life was like at that time rather than what happened during the signing. Maybe we missed that part (we got moved along by a school group at one point). We were there on a week day, so there was not too much going on at the farm. We did get to speak to a couple of "citizens" of the farm. They were very informative and it is obvious that this is set up to be a place of "yes". Yes, you can go open the smokehouse door. Yes, you can walk around the outside of fence to get closer to the oxen. One no...the bluebonnets. Had a hard time finding a spot to take pics that did not say stay out. We were told copperhead snakes were out and to be careful. The museum was full of artifacts from the time period.

Visited March 2014
1 Thank horsefun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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145 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
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English first
Pottsboro, TX
Level 5 Contributor
46 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Great History Lesson”
Reviewed March 15, 2014

A lot of time has been taken to make this great for young and old alike. The video was very informative and should be seen first. The various collections tell a story about life back then. Remember Texas is the only state that was once its own country. Take a little time to step back in time.

Visited March 2014
1 Thank TexasEunice
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Texas
Level 6 Contributor
147 reviews
73 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“Bluebonnets, history and walks”
Reviewed January 10, 2014

They have a blue bonnet path and if there when they are in bloom, it is great for photographers and visitors.
There is a historical museum with movies on the history of Washington on the Brazosy, a nice walk where people could visit where the Texas Constitution was signed, the Brazos River where residents crossed the water and some relics from then.
It is a nature walk as an excuse to visit the historical scenery and museum items.
The nature walk is not difficult and not hours long, It is an accessible park.

Visited March 2013
1 Thank fjorthur
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Texas
Level 6 Contributor
104 reviews
42 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
“Another Texas History "Must See"”
Reviewed January 7, 2014

This site is probably more interesting to avid Texas history experts than it is for those who are "just passing through" the area. In fact, it is off the beaten path, but well worth the effort to get there.

Washington on the Brazos is the site where the Texas Declaration of Independence was signed. The museum itself is worthy because it contains much information and many relics about the Republic of Texas in 1836, but there is also memorabilia not necessarily related to Washington in its heyday. When you visit be sure to take the walking trails from Texas' "Independence Hall" down to the Brazos River.

Those who are familiar with Texas history will recognize names in the museum's first floor; as the ramp winds up to higher floors you will see antiques from the era. Let your mind wander and get yourself absorbed into this unique spot of Texas history.

The friendly museum staff is knowledgeable about the exhibits, and the Park Rangers are able to provide interpretations of what went on there. They welcome your questions.

There are nice picnic grounds and places for kids to romp around if they get bored. Washington is reachable from I-10 by cutting off at Brenham and following the signs. You will go through some beautiful landscapes on the way; this is a great stop in the spring after you have traipsed through the bluebonnets.

Plan to spend at least 1-2 hours minimum if you are a Texas history buff. Two to three hours is even better.

Washington is a good trip in conjunction with Stephen F. Austin's village of San Felipe, the first of his settlements in Texas. San Felipe is immediately adjacent with Stephen F. Austin State Park just off of I-10. The buildings there are reproductions because Austin ordered the buildings burned to keep the Mexican attackers from using them for there own purposes. Some of the reproductions contain bricks from the original buildings.

Visited November 2013
1 Thank Roger D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fort Worth, Texas, United States
Level 6 Contributor
64 reviews
34 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
“Quiet Park Full of Texas History”
Reviewed December 8, 2013

Start at the Visitor's Center for a well-presented overview of Texas history, starting with a Spanish territory, to a Mexican state, then an independent nation, and finally the 28th State of the Union.

Enjoy a picnic lunch in the park area. Then take a walk along Ferry Street and visit Independence Hall, the simple building where Texas' Declaration of Independence was signed. For years, the site was forgotten, but now Independence Hall stands once again. Independence Hall has been reconstructed as it was during the signing. Continue down Ferry Street to the Brazos River overlook.

For a deeper understanding of this historic site, the park rangers offer guided walking tours to Independence Hall. The tour packs a lot of history into thirty minutes, with a focus on the history of the town of Washington. The ranger provided a wealth of information, from the humble beginnings of Washington as a ferry river crossing with a simple hotel, to its involvement in the fight for independence, through its rise to prominence as a river hub for the cotton trade, to its eventual fall into desolation within twenty years. Now the sleepy town has a park to memorialize the important event that took place in the old Independence Hall.

Admission to the Park and Visitor's Center is free. You can walk to the Independence Hall on your own. If you attend the walking tour, there is a $5.00 fee for adults. If you are spending the day at Washington on the Brazos, consider purchasing the Brazos pass for $9.00, which includes the guided walking tour, admission to the Star of the Republic Museum, and access to Barrington Living History Farm, all located within the State park. Children rates are also offered.

Visited November 2013
Thank David S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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