What do John Wilkes Booth, Jesse James, and Billy the Kid all have in common besides being the country’s most infamous outlaws and gangsters? They’re all associated with Granbury, Texas—a tiny gem tucked away in the Texas plains. Beyond its historical ambiance, the town also caters to tradition and Old West folklore. While James is supposedly buried in a Granbury cemetery, some people are still on the fence concerning the other two gunslingers. Did Booth really flee there after assassinating President Lincoln, and just how did the Kid’s tombstone mysteriously resurface in the North Texas town? We don’t know whether there’s any truth to it, or if these are merely legends passed down through generations. But what we can prove is that these classic tales are just one of many things that gives Granbury its charm. Not to mention, it’s an encapsulating place committed to staunchly protecting its Old World flair and small-town luster, while the low hum of the Dallas and Fort Worth metropolises lingers just outside its borders.
Although there are tons of picturesque jewels that make up the Lone Star State, very few of them have the bragging rights of Granbury. Where else in the South can you seemingly walk back through time to experience the old Texas revolution and dinosaurs? If you’re looking for a quiet getaway with just enough mystery to keep things interesting, head to Granbury for your next weekend escape. And while you’re at it, visit these 10 places for good measure.
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1. Granbury Texas Square
The downtown square boasts the distinct honor of being the first downtown locale in Texas to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places. At first glance, it’s not hard to see why. The square is lined with more than 60 shops and restaurants, including Home Sweet Home, which houses HGTV favorite Joanna Gaines’ home décor collection.
2. Revolver Brewery
One of Granbury’s newest attractions, this family-owned microbrewery offers tours and tastings of its full-flavored beers and regional sips.
3. Dinosaur World
Dedicated to the creatures in times past. This museum features more than 150 life-size dinosaur models in their natural settings.
4. Hood County Jail and Historical Museum
The old jail is still intact with the original cell blocks from 1885. You can tour the cells and learn about the history of the jail and the scrawlings on the wall. Forewarning, though, rumor has it the place is haunted.
5. Ghost & Legend Tours
Speaking of haunted, if you’re not afraid to discover the spirits roaming around Granbury and its alluring mystique, sign up for a walking tour through downtown.
6. Brazos Drive-In Theater
The last of a dying breed, this is the best place to watch the sunset and a movie from the comfort of your car. The theater embodies the aura of the 1950s. Double feature begins just after the sun sets, and you can drive up all summer long, from May through October on Friday and Saturday nights.
7. Granbury Opera House
Musicals and Broadway-esque shows aren’t strictly relegated to major cities. The Granbury Theatre Company has been putting on entertaining productions since 1886.
8. Nutt House Hotel
Now that you’ve got the play part covered, you’re going to need a beautiful place to stay. In operation since 1867, the historic Nutt House is truly one of its kind, both in name and stature. One of the former owners of Nutt House, Mary Lou Watkins, is said to still be roaming the halls. Why would that matter, you ask? Well, she died in 2001.
9. Fillin’ Station
Fuel up on delicious burgers, sandwiches, pork tenderloin, and desserts at this restaurant that was once a gas station. Even the menu gives a thematic nod to automobiles and mechanic-based terms. Dine outside and nosh on “Lug Nuts” or “Fly Wheels”, which are basically fried jalapeno slices and chicken strips respectively. You can also race to the finish line with their signature fried peaches dish and “Twin Carburators” (root beer float).
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10. Lake Granbury Marina
What’s a vacation without time spent out on the water? Lake Marina is where you can safely go boating, kayaking, canoeing, and paddleboarding with the locals.