When folks think of the great state of Texas, the Cowboys, the Longhorns, “All my Exes,” and The Alamo are usually what they remember. But there are lots of other treasures hidden in American’s Lone Star State, and the city of Denton is one of them. Home to two universities, a thriving art culture, and a delectable food scene, Denton offers the full tourist experience with lots to see and do, all within walking distance or a quick train ride away.
1.A-Train (Denton County Transit Authority)
Getting around in a new place can be scary, but Denton’s A-Train makes it easy and fun. This 21-mile line moves commuters throughout Denton to Downtown Denton Transit Center, MedPark Station, Highland Village/Lewisville Lake Station, Old Town Station and Hebron Station before heading to the Trinity Mills Station to connect with the Dallas Green Line of the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART). The A-Train opened on June 20, 2011, and runs Monday through Saturday, except on major holidays. Serving between 1,600 and 1,900 riders a day, Denton’s A-Train is one of the top thirty most-ridden trains in the United States.
604 E. Hickory, Denton, TX 76205, Phone: 940-243-0077
2.Little Chapel in the Woods
© Little Chapel in the Woods
Dedicated in 1939 by Eleanor Roosevelt, Denton’s beautiful Little Chapel in the Woods sits nestled on the edge of Texas Woman’s University. The Little Chapel was voted “Best Wedding Venue” 2014-2017 by Denton County and hosts over 100 weddings each year. Tourists and couples can’t seem to agree on their favorite element of the Little Chapel—some are drawn to the incredible architecture throughout, and others are fascinated by the stained-glass windows dedicated to the notion of “Women Ministering to the Human Needs.” Visitors do not have to be affiliated with the college to tour, worship, or get hitched in the venue, but they are encouraged to book in advance.
415 Chapel Dr, Denton, TX 76209, Phone: 940-898-3516
© Bayless-Shelby House
The Bayless-Shelby House, part of Denton County’s Historical Park, offers lectures, guided and self-guided tours, teacher workshops and more, all for free. Operating Tuesday through Saturday in the summer and Wednesday through Saturday in the winter, the Bayless-Shelby House gives visitors a glimpse of what life was like in rural Texas 100 years ago. Originally a small farmhouse built in 1882, the home was expanded in 1898 into the two-story Victorian Queen Anne visitors tour today and still contains original furnishings and the Daughtry Collection of hand-painted porcelain.
317 West Mulberry Street, Denton, TX 76201, Phone: 940-349-2865
The history of Campus Theatre is rich with culture and prestige. Originally built as a movie house in 1949 to serve the students of University of North Texas and Texas Woman’s University, Campus Theatre hosted the world premiere of Bonnie and Clyde in 1967 after Warner Brothers used the location as their base of operations during filming. Today, the theatre boasts a 300-seat auditorium with a semi-thrust stage surrounded by the renovated original art-deco style, color scheme, and murals from years gone by. From stage productions to concerts to films, Campus Theatre continues to offer Denton outstanding entertainment and is not to be missed.
214 W Hickory, Denton, TX 76201, Phone: 940-382-1915
5.Texas First Ladies Historical Costume Collection
© Texas First Ladies Historical Costume Collection
If fashion is more your forte, then you can’t miss the Texas First Ladies Historical Costume Collection, which consists of 47 gowns worn by Texas First Ladies dating back to the 1800s. To make sure no visit is ever the same, the display is changed throughout the year, highlighting about 20 pieces of the collection at a time. Visitors can read about the gowns themselves, as well as the women who wore them. The Collection is housed in the Texas Women’s Hall of Fame at Texas Woman’s College and is supported by the Texas Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution and other community members.
Administration Conference Tower, Second Floor, Denton, TX 76204, Phone: 940-898-3644
6.Greater Denton Arts Council
The Greater Denton Arts Council presents and supports most of the cultural events that happen in Denton, including those hosted at Campus Theatre. However, the GDAC makes its home in the Patterson-Appleton Arts Center, the council’s website calls “the arts engine of Denton.” Built in 1929 and renovated in the 1980s from what was originally a steam power plant, the Center features art galleries, dance spaces, and more. The GDAC offers a full schedule of events, after-school programming, and summer camps to the local community and tourists alike in its mission to “serve the community through arts education.”
400 E. Hickory St., Denton, TX. 76201, Phone: 940-382-2787
7.Cartwright’s Ranch House
© Cartwright’s Ranch House
No tourist adventure is complete without good eats, and a trip to Denton is no different. 2016 winner in multiple restaurant categories in Best of Denton, Cartwright’s Ranch House serves home-style cooking at its finest. Surrounded by historical architecture and a familial atmosphere, diners can choose from a variety of comfort food inspired by owner John Cartwright’s childhood memories of cooking with his mom for his six siblings. Cartwright chose to keep elements of the original edifice in his restaurant design to highlight the change and growth that has occurred on the square in downtown Denton, making the whole dining experience wonderfully nostalgic.
111 N. Elm St., Denton, TX 76201, Phone: 940-387-7706
8.GreenHouse Restaurant and Bar
GreenHouse Restaurant and Bar offers a patio and four different dining areas suitable for, quite literally, any occasion. Their website lists a dress code ranging from blue jeans to formal gowns, and their menu lists appetizers, entrees, and desserts with just as much variety, including gluten free options. The drink menu, with over 20 cocktails, an extensive locally crafted beer selection, and wine for every taste, is something to behold. Whether you are celebrating with a single loved one or many, GreenHouse encourages reservations on the weekends and can accommodate large groups with ease.
600 N Locust St., Denton, TX 76201, Phone: 940-484-1349
9.Denton Independent Hamburger
© Denton Independent Hamburger
Denton Independent Hamburger, 18-time winner of “Best Hamburger and Fries” in Best of Denton, has served the town for over 40 years. Located on the square downtown, Denton Independent Hamburger touts a simple menu with lots of heart and soul. Visitors can choose the award-winning chargrilled burgers or a select variety of dogs and sandwiches with sides including the famous fries and pinto beans. Dieters are welcome too, as the menu has carb-friendly options, and dessert, an essential part of any burger meal, comes in the form of Beth Marie's Old Fashioned Ice Cream.
715 Sunset Street, Denton, Texas 76201, Phone: 940-382-3037
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9 Best Things to Do in Denton, TX