An actual quaint little historic village in the middle of a big city? Yes, please!
Last weekend I got to explore the Bracken Village in San Antonio with Jessica. The reason we went there is because someone recommended the Avocado Cafe that’s there. And yes, their menu is centered around avocados, but we’ll get to that.
Driving to Bracken Village is kind of a nice experience in itself. You get there by taking Nacogdoches Road, which is apparently one of the oldest roads in San Antonio – and you can tell, too! It takes you through fields and fields and fields… As you get closer, you can start seeing some really old buildings that didn’t get assimilated into the business complex that is the Bracken Village.
Now, a very quick snapshot of the history of this place because if you’re anything like me, you’ll start to wonder whether these are actual old structures, or just slightly old structures that were built more recently than it seems with the explicit goal of looking old timey.
Quick historical facts:
- The whole complex is centered around a house that used to belong to a German farmer. The house was built circa 1883.
- The house and surrounding structures have been restored to make it accessible to the modern American (a.k.a. electricity, and more importantly, toilets!).
- There is a house built in downtown Bracken by the Great-Northern & International Railroad. This part and the surrounding structures are estimated to be built around 1860 to 1900.
- There are some extra structures that weren’t there originally, which have been moved from surrounding farms.
All in all, it’s pretty legit! I don’t know how about you, but I just hate being deceived and I do my due diligence.
The Bracken Village complex
As you drive through the rustic wooden gate, one of the first things you see is a big, magenta-colored building surrounded by a fence made of pink bicycles that you saw on top of this post. How instagrammable is that?!
The answer is very. Very instagrammable. But before you whip out your selfie camera or bring your dedicated Instagram boyfriend to take endless, though cute, pics of you in front of those bicycles, keep in mind that this place does require a photo permit. If you go around snapping pics like Chinese tourists the way we did, you’ll be fine, but if you start going around striking poses in front of every cute spot, you might get in trouble. To get a photo permit you need to go to their website where they tell you exactly how to do it. They don’t tell you how much it costs, though: http://www.brackenvillagesa.com/photography/
There is one sound that is very prominent and hard to ignore the entire time, and it’s a resounding “COCK-A-DOODLE-DOO”! Very easily, we managed to locate the source:
Definitely very village-y.
Here’s a couple more photos from the village:
There are regular toilets in every/most buildings (haven’t checked that obviously), but there is also a separate and rather large outhouse towards the front. Going in, I had no idea what to expect… but it was just regular toilets inside and a sink with running water. What a relief! The problem, though, was that the regular stall didn’t have any sort of lock on it and the little wooden door didn’t close all the way, while the disabled-accessible stall did have a lock on it, but it wasn’t functional. You’ve been warned. Just use the restroom inside whichever building you’re inside, if it’s available.
In my next post I’ll tell you a little bit about the best part of the Bracken Village – the Avocado Cafe!
In the meantime, let me know what you think of this place so far. Are you a fan of old-timey places? Yay or nay?