If you ever wondered why Nederland sounded like the Netherlands, it’s because the town was originally established as a Dutch settlement. Largely a hodgepodge of immigrant settlers who moved to work on the railroads, jetties, farms, and refineries, over the years, the city experienced the same type of boom-bust economy as the neighboring Golden Triangle cities. With touches of European culture throughout, Nederland remains a charming place to visit. Here’s how to spend 24 hours taking it all in.
Breakfast: Rao’s Bakery
A local favorite for decades, Rao’s is an Italian style bakery with full pastry case and dozens of caffeine powered-coffee creations. For a quick breakfast, kolaches and burritos are go-to’s, but there are also croissant sandwiches and wraps for savory breakfast fans along with assorted muffins, cinnamon rolls, and scones for the sweets lovers.
Shop: Boston Avenue
Arguably the best strip of boutiques in Southeast Texas, the Boston Avenue Historic District is a fashionista’s dream. For antiques, peruse the Holland House and Chatzkies for specialty home décor. Favorite clothing shops include Baubles and Bliss, Gaudie & Co., Glory B’s Consignment Boutique, Sassy Trendz, Southern Chique, Twisted Gypsy, and Zandy Zoo’s, and for the little ones, there’s Kid’s Closet and Paisley Peach Children’s Boutique.
Lunch: Pho Ha
You may have noticed a sizeable Vietnamese presence in Southeast Texas as many residents were resettled here after the war. Great for our culinary options, Pho Ha is one of the best Asian restaurants in the Golden Triangle. Try a bowl of traditional Vietnamese noodle soup, which consisting of beef broth, rice noodles, basil, cilantro, lime, bean sprouts, and choice cuts of meat that cook as it simmers. It’s as good for your taste buds as it is for the soul and a great pick me up when you’re feeling under the weather.
Photograph: the Dutch Windmill Museum
The most obvious example of Dutch influence in the area, the Windmill Museum is a quirky addition to Southeast Texas. An exact replica of one from the Netherlands, you can actually climb inside the windmill to see a quirky and eclectic collection of antiques from the Netherlands that include everything from Dutch shoes and flowers to Olympic artifacts.
Get a History Lesson: La Maison Acadienne or “The House of Acadia”
Right next to the Windmill is a replica home used by the early French settlers. It offers an interesting juxtaposition of the lives of the first Cajun pioneers who settled at the same time as the Dutch and documents the hardships of growing up in that period.
Dinner: The Schooner
A restaurant that’s stood the test of time, the Schooner has been open 60+ years. What started as a quick stop for gumbo and beer became one of the first businesses in the area to have air conditioning so you can imagine how popular they were back in the day. Since then, the menu has significantly expanded to include a number of steak and seafood favorites.
Drinks: Buckstin Brewing Co.
The newest addition to Southeast Texas’s brewery scene, Buckstin describes itself as a rustic family-friendly hunting lodge. Owned by a husband and wife duo that have been homebrewing since before they were legal (shh), there are nine beers on tap that change weekly. Cheers!