Things to Do in Glen Rose is part of my Texas Travel Series, an initiative to explore the diversity in Texas. Many of us dream of far away places, but with 9 to 5’s it’s not possible to hop on a plane every month. However, Texas has so many unique places that even have attractions that remind us of a faraway destination we want to visit. Many cities in Texas make the perfect weekend getaway and so it’s easy to live a travel lifestyle every weekend without even leaving Texas! Glen Rose is one of these cities with it’s small town charm, a Jurassic past, and a safari that will help you escape to South Africa. For such a small town, Glen Rose truly has so many things to do (and so much good food).
Things to Do in Glen Rose: Day 1
Check into Inn on the River
People used to come in from all over the country to visit Inn on the River because of the healing properties from the springs on site. Even without the springs, Inn on the River remains a health resort in the sense that the owners go out of their way to provide the ultimate relaxation experience. Every morning includes a homemade breakfast, and every night involves sinking into a bed and down comforter that basically hugs you all night. You can read all about the Inn on the River experience here and book your stay here.
Downtown Glen Rose
The beauty of Inn on the River is that it is in close proximity to the downtown square and you can easily walk there. We enjoyed browsing through the cutest boutiques, antique shops, and soda shops. Glen Rose also has a regular farmers market. It’s most active on the weekends, but vendors are allowed to set up shop any day or time of the week and sell their goods right outside of the old courthouse.
Located within the shops is the Somervell County Museum which is fun to pop into. Glen Rose is known as the moonshine state capitol of Texas so you’ll see one of the moonshine contraptions, lots of vintage odds and ends, as well as some interesting fossil. For a tiny two room museum, it’s packed with a lot of fun items to look at!
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Enjoy a Fairy Tale Lunch
Just a little past the Glen Rose square is a cafe right out of Beauty and the Beast called Storiebook Cafe. The owner’s name is actually Storie, hence the name. The cafe is covered in books, tea pots, and other eclectic decorations. We enjoyed our fairy tale lunch with an out of this world Reuben sandwich. They also have a kids playroom with dress-up and toys so that the adults can sit back and enjoy their lunch while the kids play. Make sure to arrive before 3 when they close.
Immerse Yourself in History and Art
On the other side of Inn on the River is Bernard’s Mill and Art Museum. At this time it’s open Saturdays and Sundays. If you are there any other days feel free to call them. Bernard’s Mill is significant because it’s what put Glen Rose on the map and has immense history behind it and is the oldest operating building in Texas. Bernard’s Mill also has an art gallery with local and famous artists.
Search for Dinosaur Tracks
Dinosaur Valley State Park actually has a dinosaur tracks for you to seek out! There are roped off areas for people to view them. If the river is dry you can also walk around to find your own! Bring a swimsuit if you want to swim! The river was dry when we went, but there were still some great swimming spots.
Enjoy Live Music and A-Mazing Burgers
Loco Coyote is about a 20 minute drive from the Glen Rose downtown square and is absolutely worth it. They have live music on the weekends and the craziest burgers imaginable. The one you’re seeing is a Jack Daniels burger with brisket, fried pickles, and onion rings! I sometimes considering driving back just for this burger.
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Things to Do in Glen Rose: Day 2
After emerging from the cocoon that is the Inn on the River bed, head to Fossil Rim for an early morning safari. Make sure to book a tour at least a week in advance. Go early because that’s when the animals are still hungry and will come up to the trucks for food. There’s nothing like having a giraffe stick it’s head into the tour bus to grab snacks from your hand!
What I love about Glen Rose and Fossil Rim is that many of us have an African safari on our list of things we would like to do. However, with the top Cheetah breeding program in the world, thousands of animals on site including many exotic animals, and a major conservation effort, you are able to have the safari experience close to home! You can either bring your own vehicle or go on the bus like we did (which I recommend for all of the knowledge and because the animals are more likely to walk up). For a truly unique experience you can splurge on an adventure tour where you have a customized experience with the animal care specialists and get to go behind the scenes. For a romantic experience ask about the a sweetheart dinner where you can enjoy a sunset safari and end with a multi-course meal overlooking one of the major watering holes and wild life gatherings. Fossil Rim is definitely worth splurging for because of it’s unique experience!
Visit an Old Speakeasy
I wasn’t joking when I said old. The Old Rock Gas Station was a hot spot during prohibition days. The back area was where the moonshine was distributed and it’s rumored that Bonnie & Clyde were regular customers here. Now you won’t be able to order any drinks, but it’s a beautiful spot with petrified wood and is worth the quick pit stop. In order to find it just type Old Rock Gas Station into your maps app.
Grab Margaritas and a Pineapple Taco Plate
Now I wouldn’t have expected Glen Rose to have amazing Mexican food and I didn’t know pineapples went in tacos, but I stand corrected. Cafe Azteca has a pineapple dish with shrimp, steak, chorizo, and peppers! While it was probably one of the stranger dishes I have had, the flavor was amazing and I don’t know where else I could get such a special dish!
Check Out Some Big Rocks
For real! Big Rocks Park is appropriately named. It’s a popular swim spot, but if the water is too low you can walk across the street to Oakdale Park with a water slide.
Don’t forget to stop at Snow Shack for the most extensive list of Snow Cones (or raspas as we call them).
End the Day Relaxing with Views of the River
What is vacation without a little time to lay back! As a city that used to be the mecca for natural healing, there’s no better way to end the trip then with a good book and views of the river at Inn on the River.
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Things to Do in Glen Rose: Final Thoughts
For a little town, there’s a surprising number of diverse things to do in Glen Rose. The balance to find in this town is the mixture of things to do and the need for relaxation. What I loved about the Inn on the River were the many signs that reminded you that you are there to relax and while we made sure to get out and see dinosaur tracks, history, and animals, we also enjoyed long breakfasts, naps, and books by the river. After all, while vacationing is about exploring, it’s also about leaving refreshed and ready to take on Monday! Glen Rose is the ultimate spot for this!
I was hosted for some of these experiences. As always, all opinions are my own.