One of the things I love most about traveling is finding little hidden gems along the way. Small towns, quirky little museums, and adorable coffee shops are just a few of my favorite things, and we come across plenty of these as we roam the country.
Cleburne, Texas was one of our most recent finds. This is a medium-sized city located a bit south of Fort Worth. We never would have thought to stop and explore this little area but found ourselves stuck here while we hunkered down to wait out the winter weather at our final destination. To our surprise, we ended up having a blast, and I feel the need to share this fun find with other travelers.
Here are three great reasons to visit Cleburne on your next jaunt down to Texas.
1. Plenty of camping
Obviously, if you’re going to visit a place, it’s important that there’s a good place to park your rig. We’ve all too often found that many places aren’t exactly RV friendly, making it difficult for us to stay for long.
We’re happy to say that this is definitely not the case in Cleburne and the surrounding areas. In fact, there are so many RV parks and campgrounds around, it can be overwhelming to choose.
My favorite options are as follows:
Because we have a Thousand Trails membership, we chose to stay in the area’s Thousand Trails park. We really like this park and found it’s one of our favorites in the whole area.
The amenities are well kept here, and their mini-golf course, nice pool, and tiny movie theater all kept us entertained.
Cleburne State Park
If you don’t have a Thousand Trails membership and you’re looking to save a few bucks, I recommend checking out Cleburne State Park. This park offers RV camping with water and electric hookups.
Prices are reasonable already but even more so if you invest in a Texas State Park Pass. We have this pass and used it a few times over the summer. If saved us quite a bit of money, and we found we really like Texas State Parks.
2. Fun things to do
Wondering what there is to do in a little town you’ve never even heard of? Well, surprisingly enough, there are quite a few options. We had a chance to visit most of them and had a very pleasant time doing so.
Here are our top picks:
Chisholm Trail Museum and Big Bear Native American Museum
The Chisholm Trail Museum is a free outdoor history museum with various buildings scattered about the grounds to create an old town. A staff member took us from one building to the next and unlocked the buildings so we could see inside.
You’ll want to request this if you visit on a regular day, as it definitely made our experience more fun. That said, I really wish we had visited during their Pioneer Days living history event, which looks like an absolute blast. I highly recommend timing your trip to see this event if at all possible.
Big Bear Native American Museum is located on the grounds of the Chisholm Trail Museum. It does charge a small fee but is quite well done, with a number of Native American artifacts on display. While this museum is small, someone with an interest in Native American history could definitely spend a decent chunk of time there.
This was a small history museum set inside a historic building in downtown Cleburne. We really enjoyed checking out the collection of artifacts and learning about the history of the area. We also appreciated that there were small stations set up for kids, offering opportunities to do little hands-on crafts.
Upstairs, visitors can see the town’s old stage theater. As a theater nerd, I found this especially interesting. Be sure to check out the posters on the walls, which advertise productions done long ago.
This museum does not charge admission, making it a great thing to do if you’re on a tight budget.
Texas Children’s Museum
My son’s top pick, Texas Children’s Museum was an unusual place but incredibly fun for kids. It felt to me like having a playdate with the kid who has an enormous collection of all the best toys.
The museum is set up in an old bank building, and every one of the many, many rooms has a different theme. There is a room for LEGOs, music, painting, reading, dinosaurs, vehicles, and many more. Each of these rooms is filled with toys to fit the theme.
For instance, the music room contains keyboards, drums, and other instruments for the kids to play with. Meanwhile, the dinosaur room is filled with toy dinos. A favorite for us was the sand room, which was literally a room filled with sand and sand toys for digging.
Besides the countless themed rooms, the museum also boasts a pretty cool climbing structure complete with a slide, a rope ladder, a climbing wall, and more. The structure is the perfect place for kids to burn off energy, especially on rainy or cold days when outside time may not be an option.
This attraction does charge admission, but they offer discounts on a regular basis, so be sure to check their Facebook page before you go.
3. Delicious places to eat
Anyone who knows me well knows that I love good food. I was very pleased to find that Cleburne (and the nearby towns) offer some pretty good grub.
Below are our top food finds:
A popular burger joint with a super friendly manager, Grump’s Burgers is a great place to go for a casual meal out. We loved our burgers and our fries. Best of all, the soda fountain offered a variety of locally made sodas, making choosing our drinks a fun activity.
La Cima Mexican Cuisine Grill & Bar
Last but not least, there is La Cima Mexican Cuisine. No trip to Texas is complete without some Mexican food, and this local eatery certainly hits the spot. Be sure to try the hot green salsa!