Sunday, July 14, 2024

Stay and play: top staycations and day trips near Hood County


Believe it or not, it’s June! School is out, and summer is here! Are you yearning for a getaway but don’t want the hassle of long-distance travel? Look no further!

Hood County and the surrounding North Central Texas area offer an array of exciting and relaxing staycation and daycation options that are perfect for a quick escape. From charming local attractions to scenic outdoor adventures just a short drive away, discover the hidden gems that make our region the ideal destination for your next mini vacation.

Hood County offers a delightful array of staycation options for residents looking to unwind without leaving the comfort of their local community. Whether you seek relaxation, adventure or cultural enrichment, there’s something for everyone right here in Granbury.

1. Explore Historic Granbury Square

Granbury’s historic square is the heart of the community, offering a mix of quaint shops, delightful restaurants and cultural attractions. Spend a day browsing unique boutiques, sampling local cuisine and visiting the Granbury Opera House for an evening of live entertainment.

2. Granbury
City Beach Park

For a day of sun and fun, head to Granbury City Beach Park. This sandy beach along the shores of Lake Granbury is perfect for swimming, picnicking and enjoying water sports. Pack a picnic and relish a leisurely day by the water.

3. Granbury’s
Fourth of July Celebration

Granbury’s Fourth of July Celebration is one of the biggest and best in Texas, and it draws people from all over the world. The festival includes vendors on Historic Granbury Square, a Hometown Parade and one of the biggest fireworks shows in Texas.

4. Granbury Ghost Tours

Delve into Granbury’s mysterious past with a ghost tour. These guided tours offer intriguing stories of the town’s history and hauntings. It’s a unique way to explore the local lore and enjoy an evening of spooky fun.

5. Explore the Granbury Hike & Bike Trail

Nature lovers can take advantage of the scenic Granbury Hike & Bike Trail. This trail winds through beautiful landscapes and offers opportunities for walking, jogging and biking. It’s a great way to stay active while soaking in the natural beauty of the area.

6. Hood County
Jail Museum

The museum is housed in an authentic old western jail built in 1885 and located just off the northeast corner of the town square. The museum preserved the upstairs jail cells and hanging gallows just as they were when the county used them as a jail. The main floor houses extensive exhibits about Hood County history covering David Crockett’s descendants, Gen. Granbury’s tombstone, the Colony, Jesse James, John Wilkes Booth, Bell Starr, Comanche Peak, Barnard’s Trading Post, the Brown family piano and much more. It is recommended to call the museum in advance.


For those looking to venture a bit further from home, there are plenty of fantastic daycation spots within a day’s drive of Hood County. Here are some top picks for memorable day trips:

1. Dinosaur Valley State Park (Glen Rose)

Just a short drive from Granbury, Dinosaur Valley State Park offers a unique experience with its preserved dinosaur tracks. Enjoy hiking, picnicking and even wading in the Paluxy River. It’s a perfect family-friendly adventure.

2. Fossil Rim
Wildlife Center (Glen Rose)

Also in Glen Rose, the Fossil Rim Wildlife Center provides an up-close encounter with exotic animals. Take a guided tour or drive through the park to see giraffes, zebras and more in a natural habitat.

3. Fort Worth Botanic Garden (Fort Worth)

For a peaceful retreat, visit the Fort Worth Botanic Garden. With 120 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens, including the Japanese Garden and the Rose Garden, it’s a serene escape perfect for nature lovers and photographers.

4. Waco Mammoth
National Monument (Waco)

Discover the fascinating history of mammoths at the Waco Mammoth National Monument. The site features well-preserved mammoth fossils and offers guided tours that provide insights into these ancient giants.

5. Stephenville

Known as the “Cowboy Capital of the World,” Stephenville offers a charming downtown area with shops, restaurants and cultural attractions. Visit the Cowboy Capital Walk of Fame or catch a rodeo for an authentic Texas experience.

6. Meridian State Park (Meridian)

For a tranquil day in nature, head to Meridian State Park. This park features a serene lake, hiking trails and picnic areas. It’s an ideal spot for birdwatching, fishing and enjoying the great outdoors.

7. Dr Pepper Museum (Waco)

The Dr Pepper Museum opened to the public in May 1991 and has hosted over 2.5 million visitors. It is located in Waco, and is the home of the nation’s oldest major soft drink. The Dr Pepper Museum holds one of the finest collections of soft drink memorabilia in the world. The items are not just Dr Pepper-related. All soft drink brands are welcome at the Dr Pepper Museum! From Pepsi-Cola to Kickapoo Joy Juice, the collections are a resource for information about the entire soft drink industry.

8. Comanche Peak Nuclear Power Plant (Glen Rose

Take an educational tour of the Comanche Peak Nuclear Power Plant. The visitor center offers exhibits and information about nuclear energy and the plant’s operations, making for an informative and interesting day trip.

9. Tarleton State University Planetarium (Stephenville)

Explore the wonders of the universe at the Tarleton State University Planetarium. Enjoy fascinating shows about stars, planets and galaxies in a state-of-the-art facility.

10. The Chisholm Trail Outdoor Museum (Cleburne)

Step back in time at the Chisholm Trail Outdoor Museum. This open-air museum features historic buildings, artifacts and exhibits that tell the story of the famous cattle drive trail.

Whether you prefer to stay close to home or explore the surrounding areas, Hood County and the surrounding North Central Texas area offer a wealth of exciting and relaxing options for both staycations and daycations. Embrace the local charm and discover the hidden gems that make our community and its neighboring regions such special places to live and visit.