Why We Love It: It’s as Texas as cowboy boots and barbecued brisket. Nestled in the Brazos River Valley about 40 miles southwest of Fort Worth, Granbury was reborn in 1969 when part of the Brazos was dammed to create Lake Granbury. The lake project also helped revitalize the town’s courthouse square, which became the first town square in Texas to be placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Our Favorite Inn: The Inn on Lake Granbury
Set on a bluff above Lake Granbury, this inn offers 3 acres of landscaped grounds and gardens within walking distance of Granbury’s town square. Guests can stay in 12 rooms or suites (our favorite hideout is the Jesse James Room in the main house), or gather up to four adults in the spacious pool house that comes complete with a living room and kitchen. Rates start at $215.
Best Place for Dinner: The Loft and Hank’s on the Square
The Loft restaurant and martini lounge is only open for dinner Thursday through Saturday, and it can get a little crowded. So make reservations to enjoy a seasonal menu featuring entrées such as pork loin stuffed with spinach, apricots, and cherries. After dinner, head down to Hank’s (inside the same town square building as The Loft) for live music and the biggest selection of draft beer in Central Texas.
City Center: Granbury Historic Square
The 1890s Hood County Courthouse anchors a space that’s surrounded with Victorian-era buildings housing more than 40 shops. Linda Preston’s store Almost Heaven offers just about anything a modern Texas woman needs, from leather Milano totes to all the fixtures it takes to build an outdoor shower. Down the street, artist Stacey Watkins features her works made with fused glass, metal, and paint, as well as pieces by 30 other Texas artists in Your Private Collection Art Gallery, the space she owns with her mother.
Scenic Spot: Granbury Resort Conference Center Boardwalk and Beach
Although built to accommodate conventions and trade shows, the Conference Center also includes a lakeside boardwalk and a white-sand beach with open-air “tiki huts.”