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Texas Escape: Visitors can’t get enough of Granbury’s many small-town charms

STORY AND PHOTOS BY TAMRA BOLTON // July/August 2017

A historical jewel seemingly frozen in time, the tiny town of Granbury, Texas, staunchly maintains its downtown’s historical ambiance and yesteryear architecture, much to the delight of locals and visitors alike.
Located west of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, Granbury is the first town in Texas to have its entire downtown square area listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The 1890s’ Hood County Courthouse is a thing of beauty and worthy of a walk through and at the old county jail, you can tour cells that held inmates from 1885 until 1978.
Full of history, shops and attractions, Granbury is one of Texas Highways’ Top 40 Travel Destinations.

THE SQUARE

The square is lined with eclectic shops and eateries. At The Pan Handle gourmet tool shop, you can find everything from fresh home-canned products to kitchen items. At the Home Sweet Home store, you can find linens and home decor by Joanna Gaines, who stars in HGTV’s “Fixer Upper’’ with her husband, Chip.
The delightful Red on the Square boutique is housed in a former bank building. Its unusual white spires and distinctive roof line is one of the few examples of Romanesque architecture in Granbury. The beautifully restored 1886 Opera House boasts curved staircases, original limestone walls and iron balcony railings. Throughout the year, it houses productions by the Granbury Theatre Company.
If you enjoy mystery and intrigue, take one of Brandy Herr’s walking tours of downtown Granbury. The guide entertains with stories about spirits who may linger in the historic buildings.

CULINARY DISCOVERIES

At The Fillin’ Station, you can sit under the former gas station’s beaded board and brick ceiling and munch on grilled pork tenderloin and pineapple. Finish the meal with the restaurant’s specialty dessert: fried peaches with vanilla ice cream. The light crunchy butter crust filled with juicy peaches is like eating a peach-filled funnel cake.
If enjoying fine wine and pizza in a classy atmosphere is more your style, you’ll want to try Farina’s Winery & Cafe. For hearty German fare, there’s Ketzler’s Schnitzel Haus and Biergarten, an open-air beer garden.
A trip to Christina’s Bistro is on everyone’s list. For Sunday brunch, locals know to get there early to beat the rush and avoid the wait. Its southern fried chicken and waffles, coconut stuffed French toast and Monte Cristo sandwiches are worth the wait. It also offers an extensive variety of blended Tea Punk Teas.
For a different tasting adventure, stop at D’Vine Wine and let Diane Hedges guide you through blending and bottling your own wine. Every bottle comes with a label you design.

AREA ATTRACTIONS

There is even more to discover nearby.
Bluff Dale Vineyards offers fantastic views. David and Theresa Hayes will make your visit one to remember with their wines and food. Relax and soak up quiet time at the stone patio perched on a hill.
A blue bottle tree and fluttering American flag beckons you to stop at The Local, an eatery just outside Granbury. The funky little outdoor place will take you back to the days of the ’60s’ roadside diner. Housed in an old travel trailer, The Local serves dishes using local produce and fresh herbs from its own garden. The wooden stools, patio tables and an eclectic décor create a dining spot that is both kid and dog friendly.
Staying at the Texas Heritage Log Cabins in the town of Acton, is like stepping back into the past but with all the luxuries of today.
The cabins were built in East Texas in 1867 from virgin pine and moved to Acton. The cabins are a lasting monument to the ability of Texas settlers to carve a life and home out of a wild new country.
Acton Cemetery is home to Texas’ smallest state historic site, the resting place of Davy Crockett’s second wife, Elizabeth. A stately white statue marks the location.

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