7 Reasons to Visit Tomball
Just 30 miles away from Houston, Tomball has a small-town charm with a definite Texas twang.
Photo by Olivia Flores Alvarez
Tomball has lots in common with the Heights area; the Houston skyline looms to the south, there's a palpable appreciation of history and a friendly neighborhood feel to the place. There are a few differences. Things are a little more spread out in Tomball than they are in the Heights and then there's that Tollway which keeps traffic moving along.
German immigrants settled the area some 150 years ago so it's no surprise that one of the biggest events every year is the annual German Heritage Festival. The railroad kept the town afloat during its early years, thanks to intervention by Tom Ball, who made sure the train route included a Tomball stop. (Yes, there actually was a guy named Tom Ball.) The restored train depot is the site of festivals and family fun pretty much every weekend.
It might seem to be a sleepy little town to the folks who zoom by on the freeway as they head somewhere else but if you stop and look around, you'll find there's lots and lots to see and do, and, thankfully, to eat and buy. Here are seven reasons you should head north for a visit to Tomball.
Want to eat local? The produce at the Farmers Market Tomball is usually grown just a few miles away. The vendors at the market are small local farms, mostly family owned and operated, with organically grown fruits and vegetables that change with the season. Farmers sell in small quantities but if you pre-order you can usually buy in bulk (anything over 25 pounds.).
Along with fresh produce, several vendors offer meats, eggs, cheese and honey. Houston Farm to Home, for example, delivers grass-fed beef and lamb, pasture raised pork and poultry, raw milk, cheddar cheese and raw East Texas wildflower honey to buyers at the market (order online during the week and pick up your meat and other Houston Farm to Home products at the Farmers Market on Saturday with no minimum order and no delivery fees).
Della Casa Pasta has homemade pastas ready for cooking as well as prepared sauces, raviolis and lasagnes. Marchese Sausage Company offers Italian sausages made from recipes that have been in the family for generations. Artisans at the market sell hand crafted jewelry, ceramics, birdhouses and natural skincare products. Find a complete list of Farmers Market Tomball vendors here.
Farmers Market Tomball runs 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays, Main Street at South Walnut. For information, visit tomballfarmersmarket.org or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tomball's an antiquing mecca with dozens of antique and junktique shops in the downtown area. Granny's Korner (201 Market, 281-351-8903) is a good place to start with some 12,000 sq. ft of offerings.
Nana’s Main Street Cottage (314 E. Main, 832-639-8528) and Cherry Street Antiques (106 North Cherry, 281-516-9190) also offer a wide variety of goods from antique quilts, collectibles, furniture, vintage post cards, books, shells, dishes, jewelry, records (yes, the vinyl kind) and folk art. Lots, and lots of folk art. (Much of the folk art is done by local residents so ask the shop keeper if they know any details.)
Insider tip: Ask about delivery options before you buy a giant armoire or 50-book set of encyclopedias.
Country music star Gary P. Nunn is among those that have performed at Tomball's Main Street Crossing.
Main Street Crossing has a blockbuster line-up of country, blues and rock music stars. It also has a scant 150 seats. (All seats have unobstructed views and are less than 40 feet away from the stage.) The combination of big name talents and a small stage setting makes for intimate and intense performances that just aren’t possible in a large venue. A recent check showed Pam Tillis, Tony Castro and Gene Watson all on the concert calendar. Roy Clark stopped by recently for some reminiscing on stage.
Along with a short menu of food (chips, pizza and burgers), Main Street Crossing offers some 45 kinds of beers, including several craft brews. It also has a small but adequate wine list.
Tickets for national headliners like Pam Tillis or Gene Watson can run from $70 to $175; Texas artists like Gary P. Nunn are a much more reasonable $20 to $30. All seats are assigned. Most tables seat six or eight people, so unless you come with several friends, you’ll be sitting with strangers.
Insider tip: Get there early if you want to grab a burger; the kitchen opens a couple of hours before the show starts and stays open through the first part of the concert. (Translation: It’s all about the music here. Once the singing starts, you should stop chewing.) Drinks are available all night.
Main Street Crossing is at 111 West Main, Tomball. For information, call 281-290-0431 or visit mainstreetcrossing.com.Next Page
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