Travel Tuesday: Sights to See in Seguin

by Babs Chandrasoma on February 9, 2016 in Living Texas, Travel,

Seguin, Texas was originally settled as Walnut Springs, in the mid 1800s, and has grown into a close-knit community supported by loyal residents. Close to San Antonio and Austin, this quaint town offers much more than meets the eye. Rich in history and blended with traditional small town values along with re-energized growth offers something for everyone.

If history is your passion, Seguin will not disappoint and offers many educational and historical spots throughout the city.

There is more to this town than expected. Photo by Babs Chandrasoma�
There is more to this town than expected. Photo by Babs Chandrasoma

Once nicknamed the Mother of Concrete Cities, credited to the over 100 concrete buildings within the city, 19 remain standing to date. The Sebastopol House, completed in 1856, is the most famous of historical landmark and is available for tours and hosts the Wilson Pottery collection. Wilson Pottery, the first Post- Civil War business owned by freed slaves is just one example of the capitalist spirit.  Fun fact about the house, from the street the roof looks flat but it is actually concaved and shaped like a W, rain water pools on the roof and acts as a cooling system.

Photo by Babs Chandrasoma
Photo by Babs Chandrasoma

Park Plaza Hotel Seguin is the only hotel located in the town square across from Central Park, opened its doors on December 2015 offering an eloquent boutique hotel experience and 5 star dining. Owners, Jenny Savage and her husband, renovated the 1917 building combining past and current styles to create a truly unique experience. The flooring, elevator, crown molding, and banisters were preserved from the original structure, complemented with modern décor, is the perfect blend of the past and present. Antiqued furniture and a player piano accent the reception and bar areas.

The hotel features 30 rooms, along with a private dining/conference room, gym, and a full bar featuring live music on the weekends. Opening Spring 2016, a rooftop bar offering 360 views of the city. Each room offers luxury pillow top beds with 1,000 count Italian linens and lush plush robes, all amenities that wrap guests in lavish indulgence, you may not want to leave your room. A welcoming complimentary continental breakfast greets guests each morning.  

The owners and interior designer repurposed the old window frames into picture frames and feature pictures of Seguin past throughout the halls of the hotel. Furthermore, since the old room doors did not meet modern building codes the doors were recycled into the bathroom door for each room in the hotel.

Photo by Babs Chandrasoma�
Photo by Babs Chandrasoma

The hotel is home of five star restaurant, the Chop House Bar and Grille. Executive Chef Daniel Frilley does not disappoint. House specialties include the lobster macaroni and cheese and the french onion soup. Chef Daniel was required to sign a waiver during his career in France in order to obtain the soup recipe from the restaurant where he was employed. The only portion of the secret recipe I could get out of him was the soup contains three different types of onions and takes all day to create. Fine steaks and seafood grace the main entrée menu, my favorite, the 24-ounce Cowboy Ribeye. Don’t miss the opportunity to stroll around the enchanting town square after the decadent meal, the twinkling lights strung in the trees will transport you back in time.

Blending details from the past and splashes of trendy art, a harmonic balance exist throughout the restaurant, bar, and lobby.  My favorite design feature, the plate art, envisioned by owner Jenny Savage, is a compilation of plates collected by Jenny during the renovation and creatively displayed in an artful arrangement in the dining room.

Photo by Babs Chandrasoma�
Photo by Babs Chandrasoma

If you are looking for family fun, ZDT ‘s Amusement Park the place to be. The park, whose name is derived using the first initials of the owners three children, opened in 2007 with five attractions all within one building. All of the buildings in the park are repurposed from the original agricultural and grocery center once occupying the space. Today, they host a water park, go-karts, multiple attractions and the most recent addition, Switchback, a wooden shuttle roller coaster. Roller coaster enthusiasts from all over the world are expected to visit this great new attraction.

Thousands of nutcrackers from all over the world is what you will find at the Pape Pecan Nutcracker Museum. Novelty nutcrackers, from Star Wars characters to the seven dwarfs, are part of this eclectic collection. If your travel plans include a quirky and eccentric stop, this one is a must.

Photo by Babs Chandrasoma
Photo by Babs Chandrasoma

Referred to as the little jewel box for the ornate details throughout, The Texas Theatre originally opened in 1931, as an impressive movie palace. In the late 90s the theatre was deteriorating and demolition was looming. The Seguin Conservation Society acquired the theatre in 1996, and restoration plans were launched. Through the efforts of fundraising and a generous gift by the Stephen and Mary Birch Foundation, the dream to restore the theatre became a reality in 2011, with the opening of The Stephen and Mary Birch Texas Theatre. Today, the theatre presents multiple productions a year, host private events and manages as an exclusive volunteer operation.

Home of the World’s Largest Pecan, the Texas Agricultural Education and Heritage Center and Pecan Museum hosts annual events, including an antique tractor pull, Ag Fest, Pecan Fest and Country Christmas, just to name a few. The center and museum are entirely volunteered staffed and serve the local school districts and organizations with educational field trips.  The young visitors learn about farming and ranching, preserving the agricultural heritage of the area. Various buildings are located on the property, similar to a village during this era of history, and are part of a working farm including a garden, farm animals, and an active beehive.

Photo by Babs Chandrasoma
Photo by Babs Chandrasoma

The Power Plant Texas Grill on the Guadalupe River is located in the historical Municipal Power Plant.  The Power Plant Texas Grill overlooks Max Starcke Park, a municipal park with an 18-hole golf course, a playscape, wading pool, Little League baseball-softball and fishing.  

A true labor of love, owners Sam Pancherve and Mike Claypool, along with Mike’s daughter Tracie opened their doors in 2015. Merging historical aspects, such as the Engine Room and Turbine Room, with modern day conveniences results in a family friendly restaurant with great food and an amazing view.  The Power Plant Texas Grill offers daily and happy hour specials along with featuring local Texas goods and ingredients. The signature chipotle ranch sauce is part of many of their dishes.

The outdoor covered deck offers an open-air area for enjoying warm summer days, cold drinks and delicious food. The most popular spot in the restaurant is the Turbine Room.

Photo by Babs Chandrasoma
Photo by Babs Chandrasoma

Nowadays, not many outings in Texas are complete without a stop at a local winery. Wine making has exploded throughout the state and each winemaker and winery offers a unique flair, and Blue Lotus Winery is no exception to this trend. Mike and Melissa Poole, along with their two adorable daughters, own and operate the winery. Tucked away about three miles off Hwy 123 in Seguin, the winery features a tasting room, art gallery, a serene garden and grounds. Mike and Melissa moved to Seguin with the vision to not only pursue the dream of owning a winery but also to create a place for gatherings and to support the local community. Events include weddings, themed dinners such as Murder Mystery, annual BBQ cook-off, and display local artist collections.