The Best of Granbury Texas: Five things you'll want to do

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Not only does this Dallas Metroplex town exude friendliness, undeniable charm and range of accommodations, but Granbury makes a great homebase for local travel.

Granbury, Texas has over 40 historic sites and a perfect example of the small town square, the first in Texas to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places. With all that this 1860's town has to offer, you may not want to leave.

Our New Book

Ghost & Legends Tour

With the catchy subtitle “Where Texas History Never Left” promising much, the mother and daughter team of Coletta Henderson and Brandy Herr that make up Ghost & Legends Tour certainly deliver with delicious tidbits of legend and fact as the tour winds its way around the square. There’s plenty of evidence in support of some of the hauntings but you’ll be captivated by the stories and impressed by their careful research. Reservations are recommended.

Granbury Doll House

This charming Victorian in the historic district of Granbury is quite literally a house filled with dolls. Sisters Jane Sharp and Barbara Gray-Williams started the Granbury Doll House in 2012 with their own collection of about 600 dolls, and they have been taking in donations ever since. They estimate their collection is over 2,000 dolls.

The dolls represent everything from whimsy to realism. A favorite was a tall elegant giraffe doll dressed in a gorgeous ball gown. Owners Jane and Barbara believe every doll has a story to tell, and Lady Grace is no exception. She was cast as a mannikin from a mold created by the Bru Doll company at the request of a clothing manufacturer who wanted to showcase the dresses. Today this life-like young girl is one of the stars of the collection.

Of course, sometimes dolls need a bit of tender, loving care so both Jane and Barbara have taken doll repair courses.

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When a doll comes in they wash and press the clothes, gently wipe down the doll, and redress her for display. If she needs a bit of tending, they can do that too.

Historic Performances

Granbury offers not only live theater in a beautifully restored building but also movies in a historic drive-in.

The Grandbury Opera House

Located in the heart of the historic center of town, the beautifully refurbished Granbury Opera House was originally constructed in 1886 and is now an elegant theater with filigreed balcony railings, original limestone walls, and plush seating. It provides an intimate setting for the Granbury Theatre Company which presents professional quality shows throughout the year.

Brazos Drive-In Theatre

Only open Friday and Saturday evenings (and sometimes on Sunday) the Brazos Drive-In Theatre is one of the few remaining drive-in theaters in Texas. Showing movies for over 50 years you can enjoy the 1950s style concession stand and watch a first-run movie. Check their Facebook page for movie information.

Explore Beer, Wine, and Cheese

Revolver Brewing

Opened in 2012, Revolver Brewing makes some truly great beers. For those who love a side of music with their beer, make sure to be in Granbury on Saturdays when Revolver Brewing runs their events. The cost of admission includes a logo pint glass, beer tastings (must be over 21), live music, and a tour given by one of their brewers at 1:30.

Revolver brews three main beers, but don’t miss the Blood and Honey. Made with local blood orange zest and local honey – light, simple, elegant. Their Revolver Bock and High Brass Ale are also excellent. This beer menu is rounded with seasonal specials.

Barking Rocks

This low-key friendly winery is open every Friday and Saturday afternoon. Barking Rocks also have their First Friday of the month with music from 7 till 11 pm.

Winery at Bluff Dale Vineyards

Although not strictly in Granbury, their slogan is reason enough to visit – “Wine Tastings All Day.” Pair this with live music the 3rd Sunday and most Saturdays on a beautiful outdoor terrace and this family-owned Bluff Dale Vineyards winery will charm you.

Cheese

No longer in Granbury where it started, today the Eagle Mountain Farmhouse Cheese Co has a new state of the art facility in nearby Lipan, Texas where cheese-making is more a calling than a business. Eagle Mountain started with an ending when owner Dave Eagle decided he no longer wanted to be a lawyer. He wanted to make cheese instead -- silky creamy all natural cheese. He has carefully sourced his raw milk, bringing it in fresh from the open pastured, grass fed dairy cows of Mike and Debbie Moyers' Sandy Creek Farm in Bridgeport, Texas. His cheese is sublime.
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Windmills

You don’t have to stay at this small but inviting cabin-focused lodging to enjoy their most unusual feature – the sprawling collection of about 40 historic windmills. In fact, as you pull up to the property, you can find a multi-page handout describing each of these once state-of-the-art pieces of technology.

These windmills are representative of the actual mills used in Texas and have been lovingly restored. Chuck & Ruby Rickgauer started their collection in 1992 when they rescued a windmill from Ruby’s family farm in South Dakota. The Windmill Farm is actually located just outside of Granbury but collections this extensive are rarely found. Making a contribution is appreciated.

If You Go: Dining and Lodging

Let's Eat

For food lovers, there’s one truly outstanding place offering such innovative and delicious dishes that it would be a stand out anywhere. The down-at-the-heels looking Let’s Eat in Bluff Dale is the result of chef Curren Dodds’s passion for food, (and disinterest in decor. Open only for dinner Thursday through Saturday, Let’s Eat offers a changing menu as well as some standards. One dish that it a delicious riff on an old favorite is Dodd’s chicken with waffles. Fried chicken tenderloins are served on a roasted garlic-infused waffle accompanied by a compound butter made with bacon, eight different kinds of cheese and a touch of green onions. It also comes with maple syrup infused with jalapeno to provide a sweet bite that delights the mouth.

Another standout was the beef tenderloin – perfectly cooked and impossibly tender served with collard greens and bacon along with smoked onion cream potatoes, with bacon and parmesan.

This is not your gluten free or vegan restaurant. If you have food rules you probably won’t be happy here. But if innovative flavors calls to you, you’ll love Let’s Eat. Reservations are required. There is no website call (254) 728-3635.

There’s a wide range of accommodations all of which are friendly and inviting

We enjoyed our night at the Iron Horse Inn. Within walking distance to the center of town yet in a quiet area, this restored 1905 home offers a welcome combination of historic setting with modern luxury. Breakfast is delicious, made fresh and served in their elegant dining room.
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Inn on the Lake has within its grounds a range of accommodations. From the completely renovated historic building with classic furniture with a modern feel to the modern glass windowed cottage and even loft cabins. Full breakfast with a lovely pool, little nooks on the water with chairs to enjoy the view. This is a great place for everyone from singles to groups.

The full range of familiar chains is also represented in Granbury, but it’s worth noting that the Hilton Garden Inn is located adjacent to the Granbury Conference on the shore of Lake Granbury. Delicious breakfast included.

Strolling the Square

D’Vine Wine is a upbeat fun place to have a glass of wine. They don’t carefully age their wine in oak, but they do know how to throw a party. It’s a great place to stop and enjoy a glass of wine and some snacks on Fridays and Saturdays before you head out to any of the town’s restaurants. And, in Granbury it is legal to carry a glass of wine or beer around the square so at events people can grab a glass and enjoy whatever is going on.

Filling Station started as a 1920s era Marathon Oil filling station turned burger casual restaurant. It’s fun and auto-themed but the menu is burgers, sandwiches, deserts and more.

In addition there are shops, museums, historic hotels, quirky restaurants and so many places to explore in Granbury.

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Neala McCarten

Unless otherwise indicated, all photos by the author

Published: May 22, 2015



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