Granbury, Texas, is a come-as-you-are, kick-back-and-relax kind of town. With its charming historic square in full swing with historic buildings, boutique shops, restaurants, entertainment venues, and ice cream, you could easily plan a full weekend just hanging out in the town square. And, if that’s not enough, Lake Granbury is just a stone throw away! Yes, you can walk to the lake from the square.
Granbury is located 62 miles from Dallas and 35 miles southwest of Fort Worth. Let me just say Granbury is on my list for wonderful places to retire. It is that special! Here are some of the best things to do in charming Granbury for the whole family to enjoy. So, come as you are and enjoy this town full of life and leisure.
1. Stroll Historic Granbury Square
The center of attention goes to Granbury’s Historic Square! Shopping in the square is one of two reasons why I like to visit Granbury. It’s literally a square that you can shop, eat, visit, then walk to the lake. With boutiques, antiques, and specialty stores and restaurants, you could definitely make this a day and evening affair. Speaking of evenings, the square is thriving with restaurants, bars, live shows at the Granbury Opera House, and some late evening shopping can be done as well.
2. Fun In The Sun At City Beach Park On Lake Granbury
Why yes, Granbury has a beach — a very nice sand beach at that. Get the gang excited about going to the beach for swimming, sand volleyball, kayak rentals, and even a splash pad for kids, plus more fun! Granbury City Beach Park is a public beach located on Lake Granbury where you can rent all kinds of water equipment, including the boat! If fishing is on your list of things to do with the kids, cast a pole off one of the fishing piers (no license needed). The fun never ends at Lake Granbury! No life jacket packed — no problem. There is a life jacket loaner station in case you forget yours, and it takes credit cards.
One more thing I love about the beach, beach monitors are walking around (look for the neon vests with the city logo on the back), keeping an eye on everyone and everything … so that’s more eyes on your kids!
Lake Granbury is conveniently located within walking distance of the downtown square. How’s that for convenience! So when you’ve had enough of the water and sun or want to take a break, you can walk to a nearby restaurant for a bite to eat.
Pro Tip: There are pavilions, restrooms, and showers available at the beach.
3. Explore Acton Nature Center And The Trails
Enjoy walking, biking, or horseback riding on over 5 miles of natural polished trails throughout the Acton Nature Center. Kids will love the natural pond where croaking toads like to hang out, and adults will love the peace and quiet of nature. In the springtime, you can enjoy a flood of gorgeous wildflowers circling all around you. After checking out the nature center, be sure to view the breathtaking beauty of the Elizabeth Crockett Memorial Butterfly and Hummingbird Garden. Birding is offered on the first Saturday of the month.
Pro Tip: All this and free admission to boot.
4. Enjoy A Glass At Barons Creek Wine Room
“Where elegance meets country charm,” let Barons Creek Wine Room set the mood for your day or the weekend with a glass of your favorite wine. My favorite thing to do at wineries is to order a flight; then, I’ll know exactly what glass I want. Whoever started the wine tasting business has got my vote! Barons Creek is located on the square where everything is happening.
Local owners Marc and Marta Chase are proud to bring their award-winning wines to the Granbury community. It’s open every day of the week at 2 p.m. on weekdays and 12 p.m. on weekends.
5. Eat At Christina’s American Table On The Square
Christina’s is locally owned and serves sandwiches, soups, salads, and desserts in their intimate bistro on the square. They will make your special moment extra special — just read the comments on their Facebook page. I had asked a long-time friend of mine what his favorite place to eat in town was, and out of all the places in Granbury, he (notice I said “he”) chose Christina’s. If you like to eat where the locals eat, this is the place. I highly recommend the Shrimp and Grits as it made the list of one of Granbury’s best dishes.
Pro Tip: Be sure to ask the chef what the daily specials are. He sometimes whips up dishes that are not on the menu.
6. Catch A Movie At Brazos Drive-In
Bring the popcorn, snacks, and drinks and kick back to watch a movie from the seat of your car at the longest-running historical drive-in in Texas. Brazos Drive-in opened for business in 1952, and has continued to show its movies through hard times and slow times, and is one of Texas’ long-standing outdoor theaters. Located a mile from the Historic Granbury Square — look for the iconic “Brazos” screen poking itself out around from the trees. Most movies are for the entire family to enjoy, as they usually show new, family-friendly movies rated G to PG-13.
It’s open Friday and Saturday nights with full concessions such as hamburgers, hot dogs, and the ole traditional movie treats. A fun part about this is you don’t have to stay in your car to watch movies. You can bring lawn chairs, blankets, pillows, and the whole works to set out in front of your car to get all cozy — how cool is that!
Pro Tip: Men’s and women’s restrooms are available (they are small but clean and not the port-a-potty type).
7. Take A Granbury Ghosts And Legends Tour
I think there must be many ghosts in Texas, as I’ve noticed several small towns offer ghost tours. Granbury is no exception. On Friday and Saturday nights year-round, you can catch one of the two Granbury Ghosts and Legends Tours while enjoying hearing the legends of historic Granbury and those unforgettable ghost stories.
8. Moment In Time Hike And Bike Trail
Hike or bike the 8-foot-wide concrete Moment In Time Hike and Bike Trail from beginning to end, and you will have put in a lot of steps (around 2.5 miles). A good starting point is at Lambert Branch Park by Lake Granbury. If you hike or bike the full length of the trail (Lambert Branch Park to the airport), you’ll pass two other Granbury city pools, and you can even stop at the Library and read a book!
Pro Tip: There are public restrooms at the beginning and end of the trail and a few along the way. Parking is available throughout the trail as well.
9. Visit Dinosaur Valley State Park
If the kids or grandkids are with you and they love dinosaurs, Dinosaur Valley State Park is only 20 miles from Granbury and worth a trip out to hunt for dinosaur tracks. There, you can hike the park, geocache, have a picnic, swim and more. Plan to stay all day as this is a state park worth traveling to. For more information about this state park, I wrote an entire article devoted to it — “10 Fantastic Experiences At Dinosaur Valley State Park.”
10. Snub An Ice Cream At Silver Saddle Saloon
Ice cream at a saloon? Why sure. The Silver Saddle Saloon is an ice cream “barlour” with a wild west saloon theme, serving up beer, wine, spirits, and ice cream! And, if you’re daring, try one of their boozy ice cream concoctions. It’s a family-friendly atmosphere with table games to play and all sorts of other things to keep your youngsters happy. I’ve been told to try the Toasted Pretzel Ice Cream Sandwich. It’s a local favorite.
11. Stay At A Quaint Bed And Breakfast
If finding a place to stay for the weekend, you might want to consider a quaint bed and breakfast. After all, Granbury is known for having many of them in town. If I’m traveling alone, I always search for a bed and breakfast inn (serving breakfast is bonus points) to stay in when visiting small charming towns, like Granbury. Instead of naming a few here because there are over 22 and everyone has their own tastes and needs, may I suggest finding a favorite at Granbury Bed and Breakfast. There is a special place to stay in Granbury, TX, just for you.
Pro Tip: Locals love spending time outdoors on the walking trails, seeing the horse and carriage rides in action, and the Trolley around town on weekends. The square at night or during special events is a wonderful place to hang out and enjoy time with friends! Another favorite restaurant among locals is Eighteen Ninety Grille and Lounge on the square, and they say the Texas Trilogy appetizer is a must to order! And, If your visit takes you to Granbury on the weekend, hop on the Granbury Trolley for free on Friday or Saturday and let it take you around town.