Growing up, one of our favorite places to go for a day of fun was Granbury, Texas. Just 45 minutes from Fort Worth it’s a charming place for a long weekend or mid-week getaway. Thank you to Visit Granbury for affording me the chance to re-experience Granbury in a whole new way.
My first day started at the Iron Horse Inn — where history meets hospitality. Throughout its history as a bed and breakfast the Iron Horse Inn has been featured in D Magazine, Southern Inns, Texas highways, and numerous Fort Worth and Dallas newspaper articles. Its owners, Don and Diana McBride, continue that tradition. They greeted me upon arrival and gave me a tour of the grand mansion built in 1907 by Daniel C. Cogdell and his family after their 22-room Victorian mansion was completely destroyed in a fire. It has been lovingly restored to its original design by the McBrides. I spent the night in the Cogdell Suite complete with a king sized bed with the most heavenly linens and a sun porch with a view of the neighborhood park.
The attached bathroom featured spa like amenities including toiletries and one of my favorite features — a monogrammed makeup removal cloth. I love touches like this.
Before I headed to dinner, I sipped the complimentary wine they offer while sitting in the front living room glancing through books on the history of Granbury. If I had more time, I would have curled up with one of the many books on the shelves available for guests to enjoy.
What I didn’t realize until I finished my stay in Granbury was that I was about to embark on some of the best food I have eaten in a long time. First stop was dinner at Farina’s Winery and Cafe. A family owned restaurant, their recipes date back to the owner’s grandparents. As we enjoyed our meal, I noticed all the locals engaged in conversation and a glass of wine. I had always thought of Granbury as a destination, so it was nice to sit back and see it’s a community as well!
The next morning I enjoyed a beautiful breakfast, hot coffee and fun conversation with the McBrides. Diana is famous for her homemade cinnamon rolls that she serves on the weekends. For weekday guests she takes leftover cinnamon rolls and makes bread pudding. It did not disappoint — I ate the entire thing! They also served a delicious egg and sausage strata, fresh fruit and Parmesan crusted potatoes.
With a full stomach it was time to explore the new Granbury Memorial Lane just next door. The Jim Burks Firefighters Memorial Park is a place dedicated to the memory of those lost in the line of duty and honors all those serving or who have served. Situated on the Hike & Bike Trail at the North Travis Street intersection, the park offers a moving statue of a lone firefighter. At the time of dedication, this was one of only three such playgrounds in the world.
Renowned artist Mike Scovel has dedicated his time, heart, and skills to developing the one-of-a-kind life-size statues that enhance the park and lane. Within the Law Enforcement section, there is a statue of a young girl with her head bowed, holding a folded flag, entitled “Tears For The Fallen.”
From there I walked to the historic Granbury square lined with boutiques from home decor, clothing, gifts, and art. I picked up some cute game day clothes at Hope Boutique, sipped a cup of coffee and spied the cutest glassware at The Pan Handle, purchased some pretty greeting cards at St. Helen’s, and found the cutest fall pumpkin at Spell Bound. Visit Granbury has a link here to all the shops on the square.
All this shopping made me hungry and I decided on German Cuisine at Ketzler’s. This was an adventure for me and I was grateful to my server Amanda for all the helpful suggestions. I decided on their original Schnitzel Teller — a center cut pork loin breaded and fried, topped with onions and sides of sauerkraut and red cabbage. It was outstanding. During my meal I met Marcel, the owner. This four generation restaurant serves recipes from his grandparents and his son was the chef that prepared my meal. Amanda begged me to try their homemade apple strudel with a side of vanilla ice cream. I was not disappointed in the indulgence of my entire meal.
It was time for me to check into my next stop the Hilton Garden Inn for my second night’s stay. Located on the boardwalk it overlooks Lake Granbury. It’s within walking distance to the square and is a beautiful property for visitors that prefer the privacy of a hotel room. I enjoyed walking along the boardwalk before my afternoon appointment for a wine tasting and then again the next morning after breakfast.
My next stop was D’Vine Wine. I enjoyed a one-on-one tasting with owner Diane Hedges. She shared their story of how they came to be wine makers and took me in the back of their store to show me their wine making process. All their wine is made and bottled on-site in their store producing up to 18,000 bottles of wine each year. You can even create your own blend working with the staff to choose the grapes you want, bottle it and design your very own personalized label. D’Vine Wine and Fossil Rim have teamed up to create a signature series of wines to benefit the wildlife center in nearby Glen Rose. Wine with a cause!
After my wine time, I walked across the square for dinner at the 1890 Grille and Lounge. It’s nestled inside a historic building with a wine bar on the first floor and would be the perfect place for a date night. The staff was very friendly and accommodating. Scott, my server, offered some terrific suggestions to enhance my meal including the addition of lump crab to my shrimp and grits — quite literally the best meal I have ever eaten! The ingredients were farm fresh and beautifully plated.
And who could resist a dessert tray like this? I honestly wanted one of everything, but decided to stay in the southern cooking realm and ordered “Not Your Grandmother’s Banana Pudding.” With hints of Grand Marnier, crushed vanilla cookies, caramel, bananas, custard and homemade whipped cream, I licked the dish.
I walked around the square, did some window shopping and enjoyed the breeze then headed back to my heavenly bed at the Hilton.
The next morning after a walk along the lake, I ate a leisure made-to-order breakfast at the hotel, read the newspaper in the lobby by the fireplace and planned my morning shopping destinations.
I couldn’t miss meeting Cynthia James, an award-winning artist, and seeing her store Artefactz. This ‘Gallerie of Gifts’ is the perfect place to find unusual and rare nature inspired artisan gifts. Resident artist and owner Cynthia James creates one-of-a kind museum quality art glass jewelry and sculptures. Working in dichroic glass, mold-able precious metal, clay, and found objects, Cynthia James creates works of art for your home and art you can wear. When I entered the store, Cynthia was sitting at a table creating and immediately welcomed me and introduced herself. She showed me all of her works, both in the gallery and in her studio behind the store, explaining how she created them, their significance, and shared her personal story of embracing her love of and passion for art by making it her career.
We finished our time together in her office talking about her labor of love to chair the Harvest Moon Festival of the Arts each year the third weekend of October. It truly was a fantastic experience to meet her!
My time in Granbury, at least for now, came to an end and it was time to head back home. I can’t wait to return to explore more treasures this historic little town has in store for me next time. Be sure to check out Visit Granbury’s website for an extensive list of accommodations, events, dining and attractions to help you plan your visit.