Located about 1.5 hours (85 miles) southwest of Dallas, the small town of Glen Rose is the perfect weekend getaway. This small Texas town will surprise you. There are so many things to do in Glen Rose, TX that you might find yourself returning again and again.
Glen Rose is best known for its dinosaur history (which you can see first hand at Dinosaur Valley State Park), the wildlife safaris you can take at Fossil Rim Wildlife Center, Big Rocks Park, and the Paluxy River.
I would dare to say that the downtown area around the courthouse that is lined with shops and restaurants is also one of the popular attractions in Glen Rose, TX.
*This post contains affiliate links. By purchasing through these links, we get a small commission at no additional cost to you. We also participate in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. We were guests of Country Woods Inn, Blackie’s On the Square, Loco Coyote, Pie Peddlers, and Sexton Mill during our time in Glen Rose. Don’t worry though, you can always count on us to give you our true and honest review of places.
Where to Stay in Glen Rose: Glen Rose Cabins
Country Woods Inn
First things first, let’s talk about where to stay in Glen Rose, Texas. If you are like us, then staying in one of the cabins in Glen Rose is optimal as cabins just feel cozier than a hotel room.
When we were choosing our Glen Rose accommodations, we chose to stay at the Country Woods Inn.
Country Woods Inn is located near the historic downtown Glen Rose courthouse square and sits right on the Paluxy River across from Big Rocks Park. The Country Woods Inn offers cabins in Glen Rose, TX that are great for families or couples.
The Country Woods Inn has several accommodations to choose from including several cabin options, a railroad car, and vintage RVs that you can stay in. Making this a fun place to try some Texas glamping as well.
The kids will love all of the animals that are on property that they can interact with. There are also wildlife trails, camping circles to build a fire in, several yard games, a fishing hole, and in the summer you can go swimming in the Paluxy River. All of these amenities make the Inn very family-friendly.
The property also offers breakfast in the barn on the weekends March-November.
Glen Rose, TX Things To Do
Big Rocks Park
One of the top attractions in Glen Rose Texas is Big Rocks Park. Located on the Paluxy River, Big Rocks Park is full of unusually large rocks, hence its name.
Visitors love to come and take photos on the rocks and do a little swimming during the heat of the summer. Bring a picnic and enjoy a day on the river with your family at this free park!
Fossil Rim Wildlife Center
Another huge attraction in Glen Rose, TX is Fossil Rim Wildlife Center. Located in Somervell County, near Glen Rose, Fossil Rim Wildlife Center is one of the unique adventures in Texas and one of the best day trips from Dallas.
A trip to Fossil Rim Wildlife Center allows visitors to see many species of animals that are in jeopardy of being endangered.
They offer a guided tour that allows visitors to also explore areas of the park not open on the general tour. You also have the option of a self-guided tour where you drive your own vehicle through the park.
Fossil Rim Wildlife Center also offers on-site accommodations, a scenic overlook area, and a restaurant and gift shop.
Dinosaur Valley State Park
Did you know that Glen Rose is dubbed the ‘Dinosaur Capital of Texas?’ It’s true!
That’s because there is physical evidence that dinosaurs roamed this area millions of years ago. This evidence is cemented in time (literally) in the dinosaur tracks that you can see while visiting Dinosaur Valley State Park in Glen Rose, Texas.
I have to admit, I was a little skeptical about these dinosaur footprints. I mean, I know dinosaurs existed, but I questioned whether or not you could still see dinosaur tracks after all of these years.
Well, I was convinced once we visited Dinosaur Valley State Park and I literally stepped into one of the dinosaur tracks! The footprints are permanently cemented into the mud of the Paluxy River bed, forever frozen in time.
Standing in these footprints, I couldn’t help but imagine the wild dinosaurs walking along the river. The sheer size of the dinosaur track alone was incredible. I bet this dinosaur track was easily over 100 feet long.
You talk about fossils, these are real-life dinosaur footprint fossils! I just stepped in history!
It’s easy to find the tracks thanks to GPS locators. Just go to the park’s website and use your smartphone to help you search for the tracks.
Dinosaur Valley State Park also offers camping, swimming in the river, geocaching, trails to go horseback riding on, hiking trails, and more. This is a fun place for a weekend in Glen Rose, TX as you are nearby all of the local conveniences of town as well.
You can’t be called The Dinosaur Capital of Texas and only have one dinosaur attraction. And lucky for you, Glen Rose has more than one!
Located near the state park, Dinosaur World is a fun, family-friendly experience that your kids will love!
A visit to Dinosaur World allows you to explore a variety of fun dinosaur-related activities that all allow kids to get hands-on while learning the history of dinosaurs!
There is also a prehistoric museum on site that houses an assortment of fossils and an animatronic dinosaur display.
After your museum tour, don’t forget to visit the on-site gift shop to find the perfect dinosaur souvenir.
Squaw Creek Golf Course
If you love to golf, then don’t miss the local golf course in Glen Rose, Texas, Squaw Creek.
You will find Squaw Creek on the edge of town. This 36 hole course is consistently rated as one of the top courses in the state according to the Squaw Creek website.
A trip here offers a scenic view of the Texas hillside while you enjoy a round of golf or two. Just be sure to make reservations in advance (especially on the weekend) as this course is popular with visitors and the local residents of Glen Rose.
Explore the Shops Around The Courthouse Square
Like most Texas small towns, Glen Rose has a historic courthouse square area that is surrounded by shops, restaurants, and even a county museum.
One of our favorite things to do on a visit to a small town is to support the local businesses. Lucky for us, the Glen Rose square made that easy.
Somervell County Museum
During your trip to Glen Rose, TX, be sure to visit the Somervell County Museum that is located near the historic 1893 county courthouse.
The Somervell County Museum has several exhibits highlighting the history of the county from prehistoric time to the near present day.
Outside, near the museum, sits a 1901 log cabin US Post Office that is said to be the oldest and smallest US Post Office.
The Somervell County Museum is small, but it is certainly worth a little bit of your time, especially since it is free.
The River Walk runs alongside the Paluxy River, connecting Big Rocks Park to Heritage. This is a great place to take a stroll and work off some of the food you are eating while in Glen Rose.
Barnard’s Mill and Art Museum
You will find the Barnard Mill and Art Museum located near the Paluxy River.
What used to be a water-powered gristmill in 1860, a cotton gin, a health spa, a hospital, and now today is the historic Barnard mill and art gallery.
According to historic records, the mill was the first permanent structure in the Glen Rose area, making this historic building art gallery a must-see place on your trip to Glen Rose, Texas. Not only that but Charles Barnard is said to be the pioneer that not only put Somervell County and Glen Rose on the map.
Visitors can enjoy touring Barnard’s and seeing viewing the works of art houses in the art gallery. The art gallery contains Oriental and American Indian works of art and artifacts.
Heritage Park is home to a few historic homes, a playground, a pavilion area, and is the start of the River Walk. Bring a picnic and enjoy the park facilities before exploring some of Glen Rose’s history at the homes on site.
Wheeler Branch Reservoir Park
Wheeler Branch Reservoir Park is a great place to go to relax. Here you can enjoy a beach area, floating dock island, a boat ramp, covered picnic and pavilion areas, and a nice fishing pier.
Enjoy the Brazos River
Glen Rose is the perfect home base for those of you that want to enjoy the Brazos River. Year-round recreation includes kayaking and canoeing, and in the summer, you can grab a tube and float the river as well.
Glen Rose Restaurants
Another one of our favorite things to do while traveling is to enjoy the food of an area, and Glen Rose, Texas is no exception.
During our weekend in Glen Rose, we were loving all of the great restaurants in Glen Rose.
Here are some of our favorites:
Lunch and Dinner Restaurants
The Loco Coyote Grill
The Loco Coyote Grill is a fun hangout on the outskirts of Glen Rose, Texas.
This laid-back venue has been in business since 1965. The Loco Coyote Grill for a cool environment serving up great food, live music, and cold drinks for all who venture through its doors.
The rustic buildings used to be the old chicken coop of the farm. Now, they house family-style seating at their large picnic tables.
The place was crowded since it was the weekend, but we didn’t mind. We enjoyed the live music and had a cocktail while we waited on our food.
We started with an appetizer of their coyote balls. For dinner, Marty went for the chicken fried steak, while I opted for the single BBQ platter of beef ribs. As you can see, the portions here are huge. His steak was bigger than his hand and my plate came with 5 larger than life ribs.
Needless to say, we left with to-go containers!
Another cool restaurant in Glen Rose, Texas is Sexton Mill.
Sexton Mill is an open-air venue right on the banks of the Paluxy River. Here you can dine on some unique Texas cuisine that is a mixture of Tex-Mex and barbecue.
Marty enjoyed a beef brisket sandwich that was utterly delicious! The meat had a great smokey flavor and was so tender! I chose the Cochinita Pibil (Pulled Pork) and made little tacos out of it. My tacos paired perfectly with the yummy margarita I chose.
Don’t leave Sexton Mill without enjoying all of the fun activities they have to offer. There are video games, pool tables, and ax throwing for guests to enjoy!
Marty and I participated in ax throwing for the first time at Sexton Mill and loved it. Our teacher was fabulous and although it took me several tries to get the hang of it, I was a semi-pro by the end of our 1-hour session. Of course, Marty picked up on it immediately. LOL!
Blackie’s On The Square
Another fun venue in Glen Rose is Blackie’s On The Square. I would describe Blackies as a cool bar that serves food.
Blackie’s serves up delicious craft cocktails and unique food offerings to their clients.
I went for the BBQ beef mac and cheese. A large serving of pasta is served with a homemade four-cheese sauce and topped with bbq brisket. This dish was delicious, but also rich, so keep that in mind if ordering it.
Marty went for the Chicken Parm Pesto Flatbread. This flatbread is served up with marinated chicken, pesto sauce, mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, and a balsamic drizzle. It was heavenly!
A trip to Glen Rose is not complete without a stop at the Pie Peddlers.
The Pie Peddlers are well known around Texas as having a reputation for the best pies in the Lone Star State. Their selections include traditional pies like apple, cherry, coconut, and chocolate, as well as some unique creations like strawberry rhubarb and coconut caramel.
Be sure to give them a try on your visit so that you can pick your favorite!
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Book Your Trip: Logistical Tips and Tricks
Book Your Flight:
We love using CheapOAir, Kayak, and Kiwi to search for the best prices on flights. We love using these search engines because they search the web for airlines all over the world to ensure you get the best deal! In addition to flights, you can also find great hotel prices on Kayak and Kiwi.
Book Your Vacation Package:
If you want to book an entire vacation package, then we suggest using Expedia. We love how easy Expedia is to use and we always find good deals on entire vacation packages on their site.
Another great site for vacation packages is BookVIP. BookVIP offers super cheap vacation packages to incredible destinations. You are sure to save money using their site!
For full guided vacations including hotels, some meals, transportation, and guides, then we book with Trafalgar. Trafalgar is a trusted tour company that will meet all of your needs while ensuring that you have a great experience.
Trip.com allows you to book flights, hotels, train tickets, rental cars, airport transfers, tours, and more all on one site. Owned by the parent company that also owns Skyscanner, this is a trusted resource for travel booking and a great “one-stop-shop.”
Book Your Accommodations:
We always begin our search by checking out the honest review on hotels at TripAdvisor. This allows us to narrow our search for specific properties once we are ready to book. Of course, you can also book directly on the TripAdvisor site as well!
There are several accommodation sites that we like to use. One of our favorites is Booking.com because it gives you a wide variety of hotels and guesthouses at a good price.
Another “go-to” hotel booking site for us is Hotels.com. We love their loyalty program that allows you to earn free nights, and their “secret prices” for members are fabulous deals!
HotelsCombined is another cool site. They allow you to compare all of the top travel sites with one search to ensure you are finding the best deal out there. Kayak works in this way as well.
If you are looking for a luxurious all-inclusive vacation, then consider checking out the Sandals/Beaches properties. Sandals properties are for couples only and Beaches are for families. We have visited Sandals in the past and absolutely love the attention to detail and the service they provide.
Tour Companies We Trust:
We love taking guided tours when visiting new places. Our go-to tour companies are Viator.com and Get Your Guide. Both of these companies have been in business for years and provide excellent customer service. You can trust booking tours from their sites for sure!
For a guided city tour, check out City Sightseeing and BigBus Tours. These bus tours are so much fun and easy to hop on and hop off at top attractions in cities around the world.
CityPass is a great way to save money when visiting large cities. CityPass allows you to get free admission to major attractions once you buy their pass. The savings add up quickly with this pass, often saving 50% with combined admissions.
Another great pass to save money in larger cities is the Sightseeing Pass. This pass allows you to save valuable time and money by combining admissions to major attractions. They also have a handy app that keeps everything you need at your fingertips.
Looking to Save Time and Money?
Check out our resource page for all of our favorite vendors. These companies help us to save time and money on our travels!
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About The Author
Michelle Snell is a travel writer, history buff, wine lover, and enthusiast of different cultures. Michelle enjoys bringing places to life through her informative writing style on her blogs, That Texas Couple and Totally Texas Travel. Her practical tips and suggestions help make travel dreams a reality while immersing her readers in the history, culture, and food of a region. She is happiest sipping wine in Italy or chilling on a beach with her husband, Marty.
Sunday 26th of September 2021
Reading your post brought back beautiful memories of our day trip to Fossil Rim park. We took our 2 yr old son and he loved seeing the animals upclose especially when feeding giraffes from the car. Loved reading it.
Monday 27th of September 2021
Thank you! Fossil Rim is a great place for sure! We love it!