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Tucked between Houston and the sandy beaches of the Texas Gulf Coast is Alvin—a charming cowtown with humble beginnings dating back to 1845. There, visitors will find historic sites, linger-worthy shopping and family-friendly adventures.

Spend the whole day antiquing at the Alvin Antique Center, a 55,000-square-foot antique mall with hundreds of uniquely filled shops. The center offers an ever-changing array of gifts and antiques collected locally and from around the world.

Minutes away, guests can get up close and personal with more than 500 different animals from 19 different countries at the Bayou Wildlife Zoo. There, visitors go on a safari-like adventure across 80 acres, feeding everything from ostriches and deer to bison and camels.

For a real treat, stop by Froberg’s Farm for pick-your-own strawberries—the picking season typically starts in mid-January and ends in late May. In the fall, the farm offers a corn maze for the kids. Save time to peruse Froberg’s Country Store, which offers homegrown fruits and vegetables, along with pies, jams, peanut brittle and other treats.

For more information about Alvin’s accommodations, shopping and dining, visit