Round Top, Texas
The tiny town of Round Top (population 77) with its charming town square surrounded by antique stores and restaurants, is set in pastoral countryside, just off Route 290. Only one and a half hours’ drive from Austin and Houston, and two hours’ drive from San Antonio and Waco.
Chartered in 1870, Round Top is located on Cummins Creek in northern Fayette County. The town is said to have received its name from “the house with the round top”, an early stagecoach mileage designation that, at the time, was located about a mile northeast of the town’s present site.
The first settlers were prosperous Anglo-American plantation owners who came here as early as 1826 and were active in political an d military affairs. By the late 1840s, German immigrants settled here, leaving their indelible cultural imprint on the region’s landscape.
The original 1880s courthouse in Round Top burned in 1924 and was rebuilt at the present location on the town square.
Residents have always taken pride in the care and preservation of their town. Those who have relocated here from places more metropolitan have learned to treasure this pocket of rural tranquility. Today, Round Top has found new supporters, who along with life-long residents and those descended from the earliest settlers, are working to preserve this unique living legacy.
For more information on Round Top’s interesting history, visit the Round Top Historical Society Museum just off the square on Hwy. 237.
The International Festival Institute and Conference Center at Festival Hill – A year round cultural center presenting an internationally famous Festival of classical music, home of the Texas Festival Orchestra. The campus features extensive herb gardens, trails, historic buildings, special collections and a 1200 seat air-conditioned Concert Hall.
Round Top Children’s Library – Round Top is the smallest town in Texas with a public library! The Round Top Library is now open six days a week, and serves patrons from all over Fayette, Austin, Colorado, Lee and Washington counties. It offers over 12,000 items available for checkout, eight free public access computers, and a full schedule of fine arts and other programs for both chidren and adults. The Round Top Library is home in the Sterling and Marianne McCall Library building, a beautifully restored 1920’s gothic church.
Shakespeare at Winedale – Celebrating its 25th year in 1995, this festival offers groundbreaking public performances of the plays of William Shakespeare each summer (July-August) and spring (last Friday and Saturday in April). The performances, recognized nationally as innovative theatre, occur in a restored log barn on the campus of the Winedale Historical Institute.
Winedale Historical Center – This University of Texas center is dedicated to the perservation and interpretation of 19th century German Texas culture. The property, which holds many restored buildings, also serves as a conference center for seminars and educational symposia and as a site for arts and crafts festivals and performances of German and other folk music from early Texas.
Henkel Square Market – This is located in the historic district, on seven acres in the heart of Round Top. With a variety of unique shops housed in charming buildings dating back to the mid-1800’s, a new state-of-the-art, 8,000 square foot event center, landscaped grounds, and a grove of centuries old majestic oaks, Henkel Square Market is the perfect destination to relax, shop, or host your special event.
Round Top News
Come visit the new Bybee Square of galleries, retail establishments, dine at our restaurants and drink wine by the glass or bottle at the Wine Shop. Pasquale’s Restaurant has reopened in the same location on the Village Green.
MS 150 – Houston to Austin ride in the country!
Other Area Happenings
Royers Round Top Café … Bud, “the Pieman” Royer is the funky founding father of Royers Round Top Café, and Royers mail order pies. Bud, along with his wife, Karen, and their four children moved to Round Top in 1987 and took over the tiny 40-seat Round Top Café. The Royer clan is the third family to run the cafe since it opened in 1946. With no culinary training or kitchen experience, Bud and his family, have built and marketed the café into a well-recognized Texas institution. Today, his oldest, daughter Tara “the Pie Queen”, has become the second-generation steward of the Royers brand. Tara now owns the café where she’s been working since the age of 12. She and her husband Rick Steele, take Bud’s vision and turn them into realities.
GERALD TOBOLA … a self taught copper artist specializes in the “Repoussé and Chasing” technique. Repoussé (French for “pushed up”) is a metalwork technique in which a malleable metal is ornamented or shaped by hammering from the reverse side. The opposite technique to repoussé is “chasing”. These two techniques are used in conjunction to create a work of art. Gerald creates unique copper designs on lamp shades, wall hangings, luminaries, etc.
Twice a year, the surrounding countryside becomes an antiquer’s paradise. A broad collection of independent show promoters and local entrepreneurs provide space for more than 2,000 antique, collectible and craft vendors and dealers throughout our immediate area. Altogether there’s more than 300 acres used for the great Antique Weekend events!
Founded in 1972 by world-renowned concert pianist James Dick, the International Festival-Institute at Round Top has developed superb year round education and performance programs. The project is now an internationally acclaimed European-styled music institute for aspiring young musicians and distinguished faculty. It has also created a unique 200-acre campus containing major performance facilities, historic houses, extensive gardens, parks and nature preserves.
Attend summer performances of Shakespearean plays. Shakespeare at Winedale is housed in the Texas countryside, at the University of Texas Winedale Historical Center. Students perform in a century-old German hay barn that has been converted into an Elizabethan-style theatre.
Sterling McCall Old Car Museum – Warrenton
Featuring 130 old cars ranging in age from 1908 to 1967.
Visit with the Frerichs and learn what farming and agriculture are all about. Relax on the porch, pet the animals, take a hay ride tour of their working diary farm and sample their own cheese.
The Bugle Boy is Fayette County ‘s original espresso bar and takes its name from the Andrews Sisters’ 1940’s hit “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” and celebrates a WW I I swing theme. The Bugle Boy not only offers great coffees, espresso, fine wine and beer, but is also known for it’s high quality entertainment.
On a breathtaking bluff overlooking the Colorado River, Monument Hill is a memorial to Republic of Texas martyrs. Tours of the Kreische Family Home and Brewery give a glimpse into early Texas life.
Stroll & shop around the historic square, tour the restored courthouse with Seth Thomas clock & visit the Fayetteville Area Heritage Museum .
Near historic New Ulm, the Falls has been voted the #1 Golf Course in the Houston Area, one of the Top 20 in Texas . Dine in The Cascades Restaurant when you finish.
The Monastery of St. Clare – Brenham
Owned and operated by the Franciscan Poor Clare Nuns, Monastery Miniature Horses offers self guided tours of the horses, Art Barn, and Monastery Chapel year-round.
Tour their plant and museum. Taste the ice cream when you finish.
Tour the vineyard and winery, then stop for a wine tasting.
This multi-acred garden features hundreds of roses, perennials, herbs and native flora. The site contains herb gardens, cottage gardens and many perennial borders. Plants and gift related items are offered for sale.
Visit the place where the Texas Declaration of Independence was signed, relive history at the Barrington Living History Farm, and visit the new Star of the Republic Museum.
Presidential Museum & Library on the grounds of Texas A&M University