Daytrippin’ to Denton

Gas up the car and put on your walking shoes — we have a fun excursion all planned out for you. Best of all, it’s just 18 miles west of Sandbrock Ranch.

Known as Denton Square, Denton’s historic downtown area is a walkable, mixed-use entertainment district filled with places to eat, drink and shop. Go solo, bring a group of friends or load up the kiddos; it’s a destination that holds fun for everyone.

Housed in historical buildings, local businesses have done an amazing job of renovating the structures and filling them with shops and restaurants that are a mix of old, new, quirky, cool, retro, and most of all, never ordinary.

With more than 500 area structures to explore, we’ve chosen a small sampling of fun things to do in Denton Texas this weekend.

Planners, Start Here

Spontaneous souls can simply park anywhere along the square or adjacent streets to discover shops on-the-fly. If you prefer a more planned approach, make your first stop Discover Denton’s Welcome Center located at 111 West Hickory. The information center has free maps and very helpful staff to answer any questions you may have. It’s also the perfect place to pick up a college t-shirt or a souvenir.

Learn Something New

Established by the Texas legislature in 1846, Denton County’s settlers were ranchers and farmers. The Denton County Courthouse Museum, located at the heart of the square, showcases a variety of cultural and historical exhibits including farming, pottery, weapons, dolls, furniture, folk art, quilts and more.

Feed Your Texas Cravings

Feeling hungry? Nothing says Texas quite like a chicken-fried steak and mashed taters; giddy-up over to Cartwright’s Ranch House for mouth-watering, homestyle cooking.

If brisket queso or a tasty burger is what you’re looking for, then check out musically themed LSA Burger Co., featuring quirky murals, a lively atmosphere and optional roof-top patio dining.

Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth

Year after year, Atomic Candy, is consistently voted “Best Store on the Square” by the readers of the Denton Record-Chronicle. The nostalgic candy store offers hundreds of bulk-candy bins, an astounding variety of sodas, novelty items and retro toys.

Indulge the Old-Fashioned Way

Ice cream lovers can order a scoop (or three) of their favorite flavor from Beth Marie’s, an old-fashioned parlor that makes all of their ice cream using a machine built-in 1927. Ask the friendly staff for sample tastings — they’re happy to oblige.

Quench Your Thirst

Strolling and shopping the streets of downtown Denton can work up a Texas-sized thirst. Hankering for a tall glass of sweet tea, a cold soda or something more spirited? No worries, you’ll find it on the square.

Barley and Board offers hand-crafted brews that feature Texas breweries and “smashes” made with spirits and fresh fruit. Prefer a glass of vino? Stroll over to Wine Squared, located in a 19th-century building and boasting an extensive wine selection curated to please every palate and every wallet.

Shop ’til You Drop

Never dull or cookie-cutter, Denton Square is a paradise for those seeking items that are unique or locally made. Treat yourself to bath products from Salted Sanctuary Soap, where their cold-process soaps are made using organic and sustainable ingredients.

Book lovers and collectors of vinyl records will want to reserve at least an hour or two to browse through the extensive collections found at Recycled Books, Records & CDs.

Retro, rustic, or refined — Denton Square has a long list of shops and restaurants to suit many tastes. Curious to learn more before you go? Browse this handy online directory.

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