Leonard Botello, owner of Truth BBQ in Brenham, Texas, boxes up a brisket sandwich. Brenham is about halfway between Houston and Austin in Washington County.
Smoked meat aficionados often line up early at Truth BBQ, which is open from Thursday to Sunday from 11 a.m. until it sells out.
Washington County was home to many of the "Old 300" (the first families of Anglo Texas) and the seat of revolt against Santa Anna's Mexican government, earning the area its "birthplace of Texas" moniker.
Livestock graze along the county's back roads. In the spring, the fields are riotous with wildflowers -- most notably red and yellow Indian blanket and Indian paintbrush and the violet-tinged bluebonnet.
Artisan cheeses, locally produced beef and poultry and craft beer are among the offerings at Home Sweet Farm Market & Biergarten in downtown Brenham.
Julia Hatfield performs at Home Sweet Farm Market & Biergarten on a Friday night. The venue hosts live acts every weekend.
At Park Street Bakery, kolaches and klobasniky hint at the legacy of the area's Czech immigrant farmers, who flocked to the Brenham area starting in the mid-19th century.
The historic Simon Theatre has taken on new life as part of The Barnhill Center, a meeting and event space in downtown Brenham.
About 11 miles northeast of Brenham, the Inn at Dos Brisas provides rustic luxury to overnight guests. The resort is home to an impressive equestrian facility.
Brenham's revitalized, Frank Capra-esque downtown defies the trend toward Walmart-based, chain-dominated edge cities.
Night falls on the Corner Liquor Store, which has been serving Brenham since the 1940s.