On the banks of the Brazos River, the city was founded in 1828 by Stephen F. Austin as one of his original Texas settlements. Brazoria derives its name from the Spanish word abrazar, meaning "to embrace," which was the Brazos River's original name. Today, visitors can find restaurants, bed-and-breakfasts and access to nearby beaches. The Brazoria Historic Bridge was the first traffic bridge on the Brazos River and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The San Bernard River offers opportunities for boating and fishing. It is the location of the annual Christmas boat parade. (979/964-4402.