Schulenburg, Texas is not just a halfway point between Houston and San Antonio. Though a small city, with just under 3,000 residents, it is rich in history. Many of Schulenburg’s early settlers were of German and Czech descent, and it is that culture that has impacted the central Texas town and made it what it is today. So let’s find out what today’s Schulenburg is all about by exploring the 6 best things to do in Schulenburg, Texas.
1. Be wowed by the artistry of The Painted Churches
The Painted Churches…are as inspiring as they are beautiful - Gerald E. Mcleod, austinchronicle.com
Step inside a plain, white steeple church and discover vibrantly colored hand-painted murals and frescoes, among tall spires and high Gothic windows. The Painted Churches are an absolute must-see. Fifteen of these churches survive today and are on the National Register of Historic Places; four of them are located a short drive from Schulenburg, in the towns of Praha, High Hill, Dubina and Ammannsville. The intricate and delicate artwork of The Painted Churches make this a one-of-a-kind wonder not to be missed. An added bonus is the scenic drive; the terrain between the churches is winding, and rolling, and contains some of the best views in Texas.
The Schulenburg Chamber of Commerce provides detailed directions for The Painted Churches and brochures are available outside the chamber office for weekend visitors. If you decide to take a guided tour, a docent will join you in your car and show you around. But you must make reservations in advance. However you choose to see the churches, guided or going it alone, you will be awestruck by the skillfulness of these Czech and German immigrants who brought Europe’s Old World beauty to Texas. For more information before you go, contact the Schulenburg Chamber of Commerce by phone or through their website.
The Painted Churches
Address: 618 North Main Street, Schulenburg, Texas 78956
Contact: +1 9797434514
Website: The Painted Churches
2. Uncork and unwind at Majek Vineyard & Winery
Photo is only for illustrative purposes
When people think of vineyards they conjure images of the Bordeaux region of France or California’s Napa Valley. But, in actuality, Texas has a long history of growing and stomping grapes. Luckily, Schulenburg has a delightful vineyard in its own backyard. Majek Vineyard & Winery is a top-notch destination for wine lovers. The wine tastings and vineyard tours offered are both informative and entertaining.
Majek Vineyard & Winery is located on a 1.5 acre (0.6 hectare) piece of land. The tasting room is an old barn, where paintings created by local artists adorn the walls. There’s several picnic tables outside where you can pop the cork on a bottle of Sweet Blanc Du Bois, recognized as a Best of Texas Wine for 2015 by Texas Monthly magazine, and enjoy good conversation under the big, blue Texas sky.
Majek Vineyard & Winery
Address: 12508 CO RD 957, Schulenburg, Texas 78956
Contact: +1 2104138912
Hours: Friday 4pm-7pm, Sat-Sun 12pm-6pm
Website: Majek Vineyard & Winery
3. Get your nut on; shop at the Potter Country Store
Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing
Potter Country Store actually has two locations in Schulenburg, affectionately called The Big Store and The Little Store. Fresh Texas pecans are what put Potter Country Store on the map. Its wide variety of flavored pecans, from the standard caramel pecan to an elaborately sinful red velvet, are mouthwatering. What makes Potter Country Store special is they grow their own pecans at their family-owned farm, located in Schulenburg. So freshness is an absolute guarantee!
Not a pecan lover? Not a problem. Potter Country Store offers plenty of tasty treats. The fudge candy counter will definitely satisfy any sweet craving, with mint chocolate chip fudge, fudge with butterscotch, and chewy praline fudge available. The fudge is made with real butter and cream and there’s always a special going on, like buy 4 fudge pieces get 2 free! Potter Country Store even allows you to shop online. So, if you fall in love with a certain item, like Potter’s blackberry roasted pecans, more is just a click away!
Potter Country Store
Address: 16 N. Kessler Ave., Schulenburg, Texas 78956 (Little Store) & 716 N Us Hwy 77, Schulenburg, Texas 78956 (Big Store)
Hours: Mon-Sat 9am-6pm, Sunday CLOSED
Website: Potter Country Store
4. Relish the home cooking at Oakridge Smokehouse Restaurant
Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing
COME AS U R BRING MA N’ PA is the slogan above the entrance of the old-fashioned, country style Oakridge Smokehouse Restaurant. Serving German and American cuisine, this Schulenburg institution features truly tantalizing Texas BBQ, as well as German sausage and sauerkraut and chicken and dumplings. Be sure you get the squash casserole when you order your sides for your main dish. It is a crowd-pleaser!
The decor is lively and unique with red and white checkered tablecloths, wagon wheel light fixtures overhead, and various Texas-German-Czech motifs hanging on the walls. Don’t forget before you leave to visit the gift center and check out the souvenirs, and a variety of novelties and toys. The food section of the gift shop offers candy, kolaches, a delicious Czech pastry, and smokehouse jerky. There’s also a selection of Texas jams and jellies.
Oakridge Smokehouse Restaurant
Hours 5:30am-9pm, every day
Address: 712 US-77, Schulenburg, Texas 78956
Contact: +1 9797436119
Website: Oakridge Smokehouse Restaurant
5. Model plane lovers' paradise; Stanzel Model Aircraft Museum
Opened in 1999, the Stanzel Model Aircraft Museum is dedicated to the past, present and future of the model and toy aircraft world. Brothers Victor and Joe Stanzel, natives of Schulenburg, pioneered miniature aviation in the 1930s. The “Tiger Shark”; their most well-known plane, and the first control-line model kit in the world, is on display here!
Stanzel Model Aircraft Museum consists of three areas: the Main Museum, the Factory Wing and the Historic Stanzel Home. In the Main Museum visitors can explore the original shop where the Stanzel model planes and other items were manufactured. The well-designed complex also features drawings, old machines and interesting tales of how the brothers founded one of the most-loved model plane companies in America.
Those who grew up flying these exciting battery-powered model aircrafts, like the Lil’ Rascal Stunt-Master Bi-plane or the Electro-Jet F-2000, will feel a twinge of nostalgia as they walk past the various exhibits, while others will marvel at this bygone era. Even if you don’t swoon over model airplanes, this modest little museum is still a great way to spend an afternoon.
Stanzel Model Aircraft Museum
Address: 311 Baumgarten Street, Schulenburg, Texas 78956
Contact: +1 9797436559
Hours: Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday 10:30 am-4:30 pm
Price: 4 USD, children under 12 FREE
Website: Stanzel Model Aircraft Museum
6. Put some oom-pah-pah in your day; check out Texas Polka Music Museum
“The Texas Polka Music Museum is "dedicated to preserving the history and legacy of polka music in Texas by honoring Texas polka bands and musicians of Czech, German and Polish ancestry” - texaspolkamuseum.com
The doors opened in 2010 with a display of vintage records, instruments, costumes and other memorabilia on Polka in Texas. Texas Polka Music Museum also makes a point of honoring disc jockeys who have promoted polka, as well as historic and contemporary polka bands. If, after exploring these musical pioneers, you want to own a piece of this authentic music, CDs are available for purchase. Who knows, you may even be inspired to make some oo-pah-pah music of your own by learning the accordion or tuba!
Texas Polka Music Museum
Address: 625 N Main St, Schulenburg, Texas 78956
Contact: +1 9797434752
Hours: Thursday, Friday & Saturday 11am-3pm
Website: Texas Polka Music Museum
Schulenburg...cultural roots bind this city
Schulenburg, Texas is a city that keeps its cultural ties close to its heart. Pride of heritage is apparent in the museums, attractions, restaurants and shops that, in large part, make up this town. It’s what draws visitors from far away cities and nearby towns. So, when you visit Schulenburg, start your day with a hot cup of coffee and a fresh kolache from the local bakery and experience first-hand the best of this unique and interesting locale in central Texas.
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