This past weekend we made our first visit to Granbury, Texas. Although I had a feeling we'd like it, I didn't think we'd absolutely LOVE it! We booked a long weekend to head east, and started the trip with a stop in Glen Rose, which was about 35 minutes south of our Airbnb.
So why Glen Rose? Glen Rose is the Dinosaur Capital of Texas! Our little one is completely obsessed with dinosaurs, so we thought this would be a perfect place to take her.
Replica dinosaurs at the Dinosaur Valley State Park in Glen Rose, TX
1629 Park Rd 59
Glen Rose, TX 76043
Upon entering Dinosaur Valley State Park, you're greeted by two giant dinosaur replicas, conveniently located next to the gift shop. So we started our time here taking a photo with the dinosaurs and buying a few souvenirs. Unfortunately, our daughter got stung by a wasp shortly after the photo above, so we had a rough start... A quick refocus on going into the gift shop cheered her up and we were off.
After the gift shop, we got back in the truck to look at the map and decide on our next stop. My husband had a work call, so we parked in the nearest lot so he could work; from there, my daughter and I walked down to the Ballroom Track site. The walk down from the parking area was maybe 5 minutes and on groomed terrain. We had sandals on and were fine on the trail. We knew we had reached the site once we spotted a crowd of people in the river.
The trail leading to the Ballroom Track Site + prints we saw at this site in the Paluxy River in Glen Rose, TX
Curious, we took off our sandals and walked into the river. The Paluxy River goes up and around the park, so we were on the southwest portion of it, relative to the park. We were extremely lucky to be able to wade in the water the entire width of the river, while also having visibility of the dinosaur tracks - it was quite incredible. The fossilized dinosaur tracks are thought to have been from 113 million years ago!
Tips for visiting would be to bring/wear a bathing suit so you can swim and to have water shoes or waterproof sandals for walking along the slippery rock bed.
After seeing the tracks at the Ballroom Track Site, we headed back up the trail and further north of our entrance point to view the Blue Hole. This section was much deeper and we saw several people swimming here.
Overlooking the Blue Hole at Dinosaur Valley State Park in Glen Rose, TX
Heading back to the parking lot from Blue Hole, we ran into two park rangers. Noticing how excited our daughter was about the park, the rangers invited her to be a Junior Park Ranger and officially swore her in. They ended the presentation with a shiny gold ranger badge, which she was very proud of for days. Thank you to those rangers who made her visit so special!
Someone was very excited about becoming a Junior Park Ranger at Dinosaur Valley State Park
We met back up with my husband and decided to visit the Main Track Site. Walking down to this area was a little more challenging, doing some rock hopping, but again completely manageable in sandals and with a toddler. This site had a section of tracks roped off to protect them, but that is all we could see from this location. From here, we decided to move on to Dinosaur World before it got too late.
The rock path leading to the tracks + the tracks we saw from the Main Track Site at Dinosaur Valley State Park
1058 Park Road 59
Glen Rose, TX 76043
You can't miss Dinosaur World with their grand entrance + some of the dinos inside the park in Glen Rose, TX
Simply put, Dinosaur World is a giant walking trail with replica dinosaurs along the way. We arrived here 35 minutes before their closing, so we had to rush through, but were able to get through the trail. Each of the dinosaurs had a sign with their name, pronunciation of their name, and facts about it. So we really just looked and didn't have time to read everything in detail. I would plan 2-3 hours here, especially when everything is open. In addition to the trail, they have hands on activities: a fossil dig, dino gem excavation and bone yard dig to add on to your experience. These were not open during our visit due to COVID.
Dinosaur World is pet friendly to well behaved dogs on leashes and allows you to bring your own cooler with snacks and drinks. So you could really make a day here with a picnic and the whole fam! They also have a cute playground area to enjoy.
After a dino filled afternoon, and a 35 minute drive to Granbury, we were excited to finally rest our feet at the Firefly A-Frame. This Airbnb is a brand new listing and the second rental property of Superhost Jamie and her family. I had seen photos of her original Airbnb, which are stunning - so I knew this place would be a gem!
Firefly A-Frame in Granbury, TX - waterfront property + new Airbnb with the cutest swing out front!
In our travels, we've stayed at many Airbnb's, but the Firefly A-Frame has been the most kid-friendly Airbnb we've stayed at to date! Jamie has included thoughtful amenities for parents that make traveling so much easier, including: A Family Guide to the home + area, child safety locks, plastic dinnerware, books, toys + games for all ages, a pack n' play and high chair. She also had an assortment of snacks such as goldfish and animal crackers stocked, as well as supplies for s'mores!
The open living room + toy nook under the stairs at the Firefly A-Frame in Granbury, TX
But for those of you that don't have kids - don't worry - it still has a fun, modern vibe! I loved all the decor and little details. My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed relaxing on the couch and listening to the record player with a glass of wine. The selection of music was fantastic - I loved listening to Fleetwood Mac and Jack Johnson!
Looking through the vinyls + getting cozy upstairs at the Firefly A-Frame in Granbury, TX
But the cherry on top was the location; the Firefly A-Frame is located on a calm canal section of Lake Granbury. In the evening we'd sit outside on the bright Adirondack chairs, listening to the fish jump and the squirrels knocking acorns off the tree. On our last morning, we took the canoe out for a fish and explored. We caught two small fish, which is two better than none!
Setting out on the canoe in the canal of Lake Granbury
2439 E. HWY 67
Glen Rose, Texas 76043
We loved seeing our Canadian friends at the driving range + one of the scenic holes at Squaw Valley GC
On our second day, we returned to Glen Rose for a round of golf at Squaw Valley Golf Course. The course has 36 holes - the Apache Links and the Comanche Lakes. We did the Links and were paired with a single. We've been very lucky getting paired with random people in the past, and had the same luck here. Halfway into the first hole, our daughter had already ditched us for our new friend Kevin, who was incredibly patient and kind with her.
This course was amongst rolling hills, and the greens were equally rolling, which made it a challenging course, in my opinion. Although we did not order food, the Rooster Bar + Grill on site had a really nice selection of breakfast and lunch sandwiches. We were also happy they had a beer cart making rounds on the course. Overall a really great course for the amenities, quality and price point of $60 pp with cart.
So all of these activities, but what did we eat?!
919 East Pearl St.
The dock behind Mesquite Pit in Granbury, TX
On the first evening we went to the Mesquite Pit right on Lake Granbury. We didn't have reservations and waited about 20 minutes. The view of the lake was beautiful there, but the food was average, in my opinion. We ordered an appetizer platter, which ended up being all fried food. For the main course we split a 2 meat plate with ribs and brisket. The brisket was dry, but the ribs were good... so the food seemed hit or miss. They claim to have the "best margarita in Hood County" - and the margs they make with fresh lime juice were tasty - so I will give them that!
115 E Bridge St
Granbury, TX 76048
After the round of golf, our little one fell asleep, so we took advantage and stopped for a glass of wine at Baron's Creek Tasting Room in downtown Granbury. The downtown was super cute, and super busy - finding a parking spot took a some time.
The Hood County Courthouse is the center of the historic square in Granbury and the Baron's Creek Tasting Room is located just across the street
We had been to the Baron's Creek Tasting Center in Fredericksburg and knew we liked the wine. The tasting room in Granbury was perfect - they have a seating area at the front with a large couch, so we let our daughter continue napping on the couch while we enjoyed a tasting flight. My favorite was the Albarino - which tasted so crisp and fresh at the time. We also ordered the hummus plate with carrots, snap peas and pita chips, which was a perfect snack!
206 E Pearl Street
Granbury Texas 76048
Our food from Brew Drinkery + the gorgeous mural across the street in Granbury, TX
Before heading home, we stopped at the Brew Drinkery for brunch. We opted for a beer, which was a hard decision from the large selection they had on tap. But what I was most impressed with was the food! I never really have high hopes from a brewery, but the food here was excellent, all around. We got the special: truffle mac + cheese, topped with brisket...amazing. We also had the poke bowl and a caesar salad. Everything was eaten by the time we left.
Honestly, leaving was the hardest part of the trip! We had such an amazing visit and tried to make the most of our time there at the state park and fitting in a round of golf. I wish we could have fished more - one could spend hours out there trolling and taking in the scenery. I also would have loved to shop downtown; there were several stores that caught my eye around the square! For a small town, there is so much to do in Granbury!
Thank you to Jamie and family for hosting us this weekend - you had us looking up properties on realtor.com all the way home. Friends - be sure to check out their rentals if you're visiting the area! Jamie also has a great guidebook for "Best Eats in Granbury" on Airbnb for a local's recommendations! :)