Like many small Texas county seats, Granbury’s downtown is centered around a historic courthouse square. The Hood County courthouse was built in 1891, and today is surrounded by shops, restaurants, and small businesses. In many ways it is similar to downtown McKinney.
Located southwest of Fort Worth, Granbury is a comfortable two-hour, 100-mile, drive from Collin County, perfect for an easy-to-reach weekend getaway.
There are several dozen Bed and Breakfast Inns to pick from, most within walking distance of the downtown square. Most require a Friday-Saturday two-night stay. We opted for one night at the Hilton on Lake Granbury. It was very comfortable, had a great breakfast, and was only a short drive to downtown.
A walk around courthouse square takes you to any number of small restaurants. We had lunch at Christina’s, a combination boutique and bistro. The food was great and the staff was friendly, offering ideas on where to go and things to do.
Based on a tip from Christina’s owner, we walked around the square to find the 119-year-old Granbury Opera House, and bought tickets for a Saturday evening musical-comedy performance by the Granbury Theater Company. The show was a smashing success, highly professional, far exceeding expectations for a small town theater performance.
During your stroll around the square, make sure you stop at the Visitor’s Information Center on Bridge Street. There are brochures, maps and plenty of free advice from the friendly folks behind the counter. When we stopped in Tony Procaccino was manning the desk and was a great guide to attractions in the area.
Just east of downtown on Pearl Street, adjacent to the Hilton, is the sandy Granbury City Beach Park on Lake Granbury. You can swim and rent kayaks and Stand Up Paddleboards. There are thatched roof picnic pavilions.
If you have kids, or still have some kid in you, a short half-hour drive from Granbury is the Fossil Rim Wildlife Center in Glen Rose. You stay in your car and drive around a single-lane 9-mile road to view wild critters in their natural element. Buy a bag of animal food at the admission center. Most animals are quite accustomed to the free handouts from tourists, and will come right up to your car.
We only stayed one night, but packed a lot into our trip. We definitely recommend Granbury as a not-so-far getaway. The only drawback was parking downtown around the courthouse. You may have to cruise around the square a few times before a space opens up. All the parking is free. We opted for an off-square lot that was only as short walking distance to the center of town. On weekends there is a free tram for those parking in remote lots on Houston Street.
NorthTexasActiveLife rating for Granbury: 10. There’s a lot of fun in this small town.
Posted August 14, 2015