While this town south of Houston may be on the deep outskirts of town, it’s rich in culture, history and adventure that you won’t find elsewhere. From classic cigars and pioneer ranches to delicious ethnic cuisines and the best view of the stars you’ve ever seen, you’ll find that trippin’ through Richmond is like taking a trip across the past, present and future of Texas.
At Brazos Bend State Park, which has been named “Home of the American Alligator,” the gators are hanging out on the trails and enjoying the park just like the tourists. It’s the best — and safest — way to get up close and personal with the scaly creatures. Be sure to hit up the Nature Center to learn more about these swamp gators and the other ecosystems and animals in the park.
The beginning of Richmond dates back to the start of Texas in the 1820s when Stephen F. Austin brought the first official settlers to Texas and many of them settled on the Brazos River banks. To learn more about the first settlers visit the Fort Bend Museum. You can also learn about Richmond’s famous feud, the Jay Birds vs. the Woodpeckers (which is surprisingly not about birds at all…) and you can see Deaf Smith’s grave.
The George Ranch Historical Park is an awesome place to not only learn about the George Family but also about the early pioneer days of Texas. This living history experience takes you through four generations of the George Family. The historic houses on the ranch span from the 1830’s to the 1930’s giving you a peak into life in the different eras of Texas. If you happen to be in town on a Saturday, stop by the ranch for a full historic meal.
For a glimpse into the galaxies and beyond, head to the George Observatory in nearby Needville, TX. The massive telescope makes it look like Jupiter and Orion’s Belt are within reach. This fascinating view of the night skies is definitely one you don’t want to miss.
The best place to get a cup of Joe and learn a little bit about Richmond’s history is at Joseph’s Cigars. This historic shop started in 1903 by the Joseph’s as a cart that sold candy and peanuts around town. Now more than 100 years later it’s run by 4th generation Michael Joseph who is carrying on the family tradition. It serves up delicious coffee and a hodgepodge of eclectic items from antique guns to English sporting goods.
While you’re in town, you won’t have to look far for exotic cuisine — in fact, you can find amazing Vietnamese food at Country Pho in the neighboring town of Rosenberg. Owners Le and Chau cook authentic pho (pronounced fuh) and other phenomenal dishes made with recipes from their home city of Ho Chi Mihn City (Saigon). The hand-stuffed spring rolls and homemade peanut sauce are out of this world and a must-try!
At Larry’s Original Mexican Restaurant, each dish is served with a side of Tex-Mex history — this Richmond institution has been opened since the 1960’s and not much has changed since. During their many decades of service, they’ve mastered the cheese enchilada which comes bathed in perfect cheesy goodness. And just like back in the good ol’ days, chili con carne (a Tex-Mex staple) is served on everything — including noodles! Order the Spaghetti Mexicana if you’re brave.