Two people stand in a field of green vineyards under blue sky

The owners of Wines of Dotson-Cervantes

The inside of a cluttered antique store with numerous old signs and products on display

D&J’s Good Ole Days offers oddities and antiques

A short drive from our state’s geographic center, Brady is named for the creek that runs through the area, previously home to members of the Apache and Comanche tribes. Henry and Nancy Fulcher donated the land for the city in the mid-1870s, and the town was chosen as the McCulloch County seat soon after. An imposing courthouse was built from local sandstone in 1878. By 1930, Brady was home to 3,983 citizens and boasted a three-story hotel, a movie theater, a newspaper, a school, and several churches. Today, the town touts its central location and a plethora of annual events: two country music festivals in March and August; a big July Jubilee for Independence Day; and late summer’s World Championship BBQ Goat Cook Off, held since 1974. The town is known for its hunting spots, largemouth bass fishing at Brady Lake, and four prime camping locations for serene lakeside stays. Brady also houses two museums, a gun range, a golf course, an antiques store, and a small city-run water park to stave off the summer heat.

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A collection of images of the places mentioned in this article, below

Stay

Eat

See

Learn

Shop

Drink

1 / The Rusty Goat and Heart of Texas House
Brady offers pleasing alternatives to chain hotels with lodgings like the Rusty Goat ($135/night) and the Heart of Texas House ($171/night). Both rentals, available to book on Airbnb, have a yard with scenic country views. The Rusty Goat has a hot tub and collection of chickens, and the Heart of Texas borders a park and sports a basketball court.

2 / Heart of Texas Country Music Museum
The Heart of Texas Country Music Museum displays 100 outfits and lots of other memorabilia from artists including Patsy Cline, Ernest Tubb, and Ray Price. Owner Tracy Pitcox, who also runs Heart of Texas Records, acquired Jim Reeves’ first and only tour bus and now features it in front of the museum. Visitors can tour the bus and museum for free.

3 / Good Eats
Seafood mainstay Boondocks is a local favorite for lunch and dinner. Founded in 2010 by Shane and Ruby Swenson, the restaurant offers classics like fried catfish baskets with hush puppies or dressed-up bacon-wrapped pork chops, as well as occasional shrimp and seafood boils. Try Mexico City Café for breakfast favorites or Medina’s for breakfast burritos.

4 / Downtown Square
The three-story Richardsonian Romanesque-inspired courthouse anchors this town square. The Palace Theater, restored in 2017, joins the local shops and cafés rejuvenating the area. An 83-foot-by-30-foot mural, Lone Star Rider by West Texas artist Calina Johnson, adorns a wall of Evridges Furniture Store perpendicular to the square, adding to the artsy ambience.

5 / D&J’s Good Ole Days Antiques & Oddities
This shop provides hours of enchantment with its expertly organized assortment of relics and curiosities. The showroom totals 20,000 square feet over two locations and features off-the-wall items like a prosthetic eyeball, a stuffed alligator, and a collection of doll heads. Locals DeAnn and Joe Evridge opened the shop in 2010.

6 / TruCountry Inn
Country singer Heather Myles transformed the former Hotel Brady into this inn with rooms named for country stars. Built in 1923, the building has contained a grocery store, housed Brady’s first switchboard, and hidden Bonnie and Clyde between crime sprees. Amenities include a grill, a bar and game room, and the Bluebonnet Ballroom venue. Rooms start at $60/night.

7 / Heart of Texas Historical Museum
Housed in the three-story red brick former county jail, the museum features displays on the area’s development and a historic homes map that facilitates a self-guided tour around town. The control tower from nearby WWII Curtis Field stands behind the museum. Enter to view the Striegler Collection of over 500 model airplane engines.

8 / wines of Dotson-Cervantes
Drive 10 miles southeast to Dotson-Cervantes winery’s 30-acre vineyard in Voca. Former NFL lineman Alphonse Dotson and his wife, Martha Cervantes, started growing grapes in 1997. About 10 years later they were producing red, white, and dessert wines under their own label, which they serve at the nearby ­tasting room.

A guitar on the exterior of a light limestone building with a red roof

Country Strong

Tracy Pitcox, who runs Heart of Texas Records, is the force behind the Country Music Museum and the town’s two annual country music festivals, the Heart of Texas Country Music Festival in March and the Heart of Texas Honky Tonk Festival taking place Aug. 14-17. The lineup for the latter includes the Justin Trevino Band and Jody Nix and the Texas Cowboys.
hillbillyhits.com

Pitcox also hosts a popular radio show that features traditional country artists. Tune in to 95.3 FM while you’re in town to get a feel for Brady’s country connection.

An illustration of an RV

Heart of Texas RV Park

The Heart of Texas RV Park is located in the southern part of town and offers quick access to Mac’s Bar-B-Que and the country music museum. The site offers free Wi-Fi, full hookups, and a ­selection of extended-stay guest­houses for RV-less visitors. 979-533-5700; heartoftexasrvpark.com

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