As a kid, I went to a summer camp in Glen Rose, and therefore the town has always had a special place in my heart. Now that I’m “all grown up,” I’ve grown to further appreciate the small town’s offerings for the whole family.
If you have a dinosaur or animal-lover in the house, you are probably already acquainted with lovely little Glen Rose. Located 75 miles southwest of downtown Dallas, Glen Rose is home to Dinosaur Valley State Park and Fossil Rim. Head yonder down Hwy 67 to escape big city life and soak up some old-fashioned charm.
Whether you want to sneak away for a weekend or pack all the fun into one day, we’ve got you covered with the best stops in this river town gem.
1. Storiebook Cafe – Located just off the downtown square, Storiebook Cafe is a special place for the entire family. Browse the books for sale, surf the free WiFi, and let the kids play in the playroom filled with dress-up clothes and vintage toys. Nosh on sandwiches, salads, and soups; this spot is perfect for a family lunch. 502 NE Barnard St
2. The Green Pickle – Stop here for hearty burgers, onion rings, and fried pickles (why, of course!) And if you can get away with it, make sure to check out the beer garden behind the restaurant. 212 NE Barnard St
3. Pie Peddlers – Retired kindergarten teachers Rhonda Cagle and Jean Ford made their pie-making hobby a full-time business over a decade ago. Viewers of Texas Country Reporter voted Pie Peddlers the “Best Pie in Texas.” For a decadent treat, pop into their spot on the square. (Be sure to note they are only open Thursdays-Sundays.) 102 Walnut St
4. Shoo-Fly Soda Shop – Step back in time with this old-fashioned soda shop. New to the downtown square, Shoo-Fly serves up ice cream, popcorn, candy, fudge, and more. 102-C W Walnut St
5. Riverhouse Grill – If you have confidence in taking your spawn out in public for meals, check out this upscale restaurant for your visit’s dinner option. Set in a renovated historic home near downtown, patio seating is hard to beat when the weather is nice. 210 SW Barnard St
1. Drive Thru a Real Texas Safari – Experience animals up close and personal at the Fossil Rim Wildlife Center’s 9.5 mile Scenic Drive. Also be sure to check out the Children’s Animal Center for a petting zoo, galapagos turtles, a few other farm animals, and some exotic birds. 2299 County Rd 2008
2. Go Camping and Hunt for Dinosaur Footprints – Long ago, dinosaurs roamed this earth and left their footprints in what is now known as the Paluxy River. Explore the giants’ prints and camp out in Dinosaur Valley State Park. 1629 Park Rd 59
3. See “Real” Dinosaurs – If footprints aren’t enough for your littles to fully comprehend the historic beasts, check out the 20-acre complex at Dinosaur World where over 150 life-sized dinosaurs rule this land. 1058 Park Rd 59
4. Explore The Paluxy River – Pack water shoes and a floatation device for some good ole fashioned (and free!) fun. Big Rocks Park is a great place to let the kids slide and climb on the river rocks and float along the current. Make sure and check out the sno-cone stand next door, too! 1014 SW Barnard St
1. Rough Creek Lodge – Go big or go home, that’s what I say. Rough Creek Lodge is one of the finer resorts within a reasonable driving distance of DFW. From the lazy river and water slide to use of the property’s four-wheelers to fine dining and campsite s’mores, Rough Creek is a splurge I wholly recommend. 5165 County Road 2013, Iredell, TX
2. The Lodge at Fossil Rim – Did you know Fossil Rim has its own bed and breakfast nestled right in the middle of nature? Read here about contributor Jenny’s family retreat. 2299 County Rd 2008
3. Country Woods Inn – Accommodations range from “the main house” which sleeps 12 to adorable cottages including a renovated box car (um, Boxcar Children anyone?!). The grounds are filled with activities like tetherball, a fire pit for s’mores, a hammock, croquet, a playground, and farm animals who love to be fed. 420 Grand Ave
Let us know if you venture out of Dallas and visit Glen Rose. We are always interested in your trip notes and other ideas for day trips away from the big city!