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The Backyard Explorer: Explore Glen Rose, Texas

Kristen Gibson
Glen Rose Convention and Visitors Bureau
Kristen Gibson

Welcome back! 

Explorers are welcome and highly encouraged here. We’re hoping to encourage all of Glen Rose to become expert tourists in your own city. We are so excited to take this journey with you to #ExploreGlenRose through a local “visitors” eyes, and enjoy all of the amazing sights, sounds, tastes, and adventures that Glen Rose has to offer. So, prepare to get off the couch and explore with us;

This week, we’re going to explore Giving the Gift of Glen Rose this holiday season.

Gone are the days of old, of circling the things you want in a holiday catalog and waiting weeks or months for them to arrive in the mail. We have arrived in the age of Amazon Prime, DoorDash, and Netflix. Every"thing" you could ever imagine wanting or needing is right there at your fingertips and arrives almost instantly. Add in a pandemic, and it leaves so many of us in a holiday funk this year.

So what does that mean for gift giving in 2020? We ask you to take a moment and consider giving the gift of Glen Rose as your distancing destination getaway this year. 

There’s no doubt that many people are sorely missing travel in 2020. And while exploring all corners of the globe may be off the table for the time being, you can still use this holiday season as an opportunity to look beyond your four walls, stop clicking that mouse, get off the couch and think of traveling locally.  

Trips can produce memories for a lifetime, which makes the gift of travel one of the most meaningful you can give. The gift of time is precious and experiences make memories that last a lifetime. We would like to share with you just a few of the ways that you and your family can #ExploreGlenRose together, whether you are traveling from a nearby place, or live locally and want to have an unforgettable “stay-cation,” we hope you will consider these options of ways to share time and experiences with your family. To learn more about these locations and other great things to see and do, visit ExploreGlenRose.org.

• Lodging: Not only does Glen Rose host four major chain hotels, but we also have a GINORMOUS assortment of bed and breakfasts, guest houses, cabins, and even a train car “cabin." Our lodging is definitely something to brag about. So, whether you’re looking for comfort and predictability of major hotel brands, or the down-home charm of a bed and breakfast, the feeling of family adventure at a guest house or cabin, or the outdoorsy freedom of an RV, we’ve got what you need.

• Fossil Rim Wildlife Center: Rated No. 1 by the USA Today Reader’s Choice poll, Fossil Rim Wildlife Center is one of the world’s foremost wildlife conservation facilities, but it also provides guests an opportunity to experience some sights and sounds of an African safari right here in Glen Rose, Texas. At Fossil Rim, they offer a self-guided driving tour as well as a guided tour in their open-air bus. Guided tours are limited to one group per trip, so be sure to make your plans early. All tickets must be purchased on their website ahead of your visit.  

• Dinosaur Valley State Park: Long ago, dinosaurs left footprints in the mud at the edge of an ancient ocean. Today, you can walk in their tracks in the bed of the Paluxy River.

Find dinosaur tracks, camp, picnic, hike, mountain bike, swim, fish, and paddle in the river, watch for wildlife, look for a geocache, ride your horse, or visit our interpretive center.

At Dinosaur Valley State Park, you can stay at one of their campsites. Explore 20 miles of trails. Shop the park store for souvenirs, camping and fishing supplies, books, and much more. You can even rent a kayak at the park. Day and stay passes must be reserved ahead of time by visiting their website.

• Eagle Eye Ranch Carriage Company: Located inside the gates of Dinosaur Valley State Park, Eagle Eye Ranch provides horseback riding experiences for all levels of riders from ages 3 and up through the scenic trails in Dinosaur Valley State Park.  Check its website to book your ride.

• Shop, wine, and dine on the Square: The Glen Rose Downtown Square is loaded with experiences from shopping, dining, history, and more. Take the self-guided historic walking tour; sample some local wine; have a foodie experience; throw an axe; play some billiards; relax by the river; or shop till you drop. Make sure to stop in the Glen Rose Convention & Visitors Bureau Visitors Center to get all of the information and coupons that you’ll need to plan your day. Don’t fret if you have so much to do that you’ll need to spend the night. The CVB can help you find the perfect place to make your day trip a stay-trip.

• Museums - Our museums are one-of-a-kind.

- Barnard’s Mill & Art Museum: This stop, which began as a small trading post on the banks of the Paluxy River now known today as the city of Glen Rose. The mill started as a water-powered gristmill in 1860 then to a steam-powered burr mill. It was sold for $10 and turned into a cotton gin in 1895, a health spa with mineral waters in 1943, a hospital and clinic in 1949, and today a historical mill and art museum.

- Somervell County Museum: The Somervell County Museum opened in 1965 in the building currently known as the Talley Building and moved to its corner location of Vernon and Elm streets on the square in 1970. In 1902, the building it currently resides in was demolished by a tornado that ravished many of the buildings and homes in town and had to be rebuilt.  Prior to 1902 it served as the newspaper, and reopened as a gaslight theater when rebuilt and Coca-Cola Bottling Plant thereafter (In fact, some of the bottles can be found there today). When it was obtained by the Somervell County Historical Society in 1970, it became home to the museum. 2020 is the 50th anniversary of the museum in this location. Full of items donated by Somervell County residents, you will find everything from Dinosaur tracks to a moonshine still.

- Creation Evidence Museum: The Creation Evidence Museum of Texas has an impressive collection of artifacts and fossils, which provide evidence for a young earth. Among the artifacts included in the museum’s collection are: Noah’s Ark Replica, Replica of the Stegosaurus, The London Artifact, The Burdick Track, Alvis Delk Cretaceous Footprint, The Fossilized Human Finger, Polystrate Fossils, and more.

- Dinosaur World: This is a walking museum with 150+ life-sized dinosaur replicas along a beautiful nature path. Dinosaur World also features a small indoor museum with animatronic dinosaurs and, of course, a dino-themed gift shop. Perfect for active kiddos and friendly pets on a leash, this is a unique and fun learning experience for the whole family. Due to COVID, some of the more hands-on activities are not available, however, their prices have been adjusted accordingly.

• Food, food, and MORE FOOD!: With no “chain” restaurants and limited fast-food options, Glen Rose is truly a foodie paradise. With mostly owner-operated dining establishments, there are unique options that can only be found in Glen Rose. Here you will find everything from giant breakfasts, hometown favorites, smoky barbecue, flavorful Mexican dishes, casserole delights, fine dining, casual soups and sandwiches, mouthwatering desserts, and local wine.

• Pics or it didn’t happen. Instagrammable locations: Glen Rose is full of instagramabble locations. Take a look at #OutlawStation, #FossilRim, #BigRocksPark, #DinosaurValleyStatePark, #ExploreGlenRose

I hope you will take the time to explore all of the ways that Glen Rose makes the perfect gift for your loved ones. We’ll see you next month with the next Glen Rose adventure itinerary. We’d love your suggestions as well.

Stay tuned, and stay #GoodInGlenRose. Adventure awaits!

Kristen Gibson is the director of the Glen Rose Convention and Visitors Bureau.