Have you ever wanted to explore the beauty and charm that Denton, Texas, has to offer? Often referred to as “the state’s northern campus,” Denton holds a wealth of things to do, from outdoor activities to cultural and historical attractions. It’s also home to Texas Woman’s University and the University of North Texas, making it a great destination for young adults. In this post, I will highlight 21 of the best things to do in Denton that are sure to create an unforgettable experience.
Things To Do In Denton, Texas
1. Visit the Old Alton Bridge
Also known as the Goatman’s Bridge, this is one of the oldest bridges in Denton you must visit. Built in 1884, this bridge was used to carry horses and later cars across Hickory Creek. It stands at 145 feet and is one of the most iconic Denton attractions.
Today, it’s a popular spot for ghost hunters and fans of the paranormal. There are several tales about it being cursed; some people even claim to have spotted a mysterious creature called the “Goatman” on the bridge. Whether you believe in ghost stories or not, this is still one of the most famous things to see in Denton.
You can come here for some great photo opportunities, as well as to take a peaceful stroll and admire the stunning views of the creek and surrounding forest.
Address: Lantana, TX 76226, United States.
2. Learn About Denton at Bayless Selby House Museum
This historic home, built at the end of the 19th century in the Victorian style, was once the home of George Selby and his family. Today, it serves as a museum exhibiting the history of Denton before 1908.
You can learn more about what life was like during that time and view artifacts from the Selby family. Some of the highlights include E. Gabler & Bro. Grand piano, the Eastlake-style adult bedroom suite, and the stylishly set dining room table. These things, along with original furniture and fixtures, make this place a must-see.
The museum is located within the Denton County Historical Park and is open for self-guided tours from Wednesday through Saturday between 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. But if you prefer to join a guided tour, you can request one (though you’ll have to pay an extra fee).
That said, this is a great spot to learn more about the city’s history and make for unique things to do in Denton. So plan ahead, and don’t forget to bring your camera for some stunning shots of this gorgeous Victorian home.
Address: 317 W. Mulberry St., Denton, TX 76201, United States.
3. Learn About African-American History at Quakertown House Museum
Quakertown was once a thriving “town within a town” that hosted a diverse African-American population. They built homes, churches, and businesses and created a thriving community.
However, in 1920, civic groups and Denton women’s clubs were looking for a field to put up a fairground. And without consulting the Quakertown community, they decided to choose the area.
In March 2021, a petition with 150 signatures was presented to the Denton City Council to turn Quakertown into a fairground. And in April of the same year, an election was held, and the majority of the votes were in favor of creating a fairground in the Quakertown area. This meant that the African-American community was being uprooted and displaced. Most of the buildings were razed to the ground, and some were moved to different locations.
This story was erased in most of Denton’s history books until it was rediscovered in the 2000s by historians. And today, the Quakertown House Museum stands as a tribute to the African-American community who once lived there.
This museum is located in Denton County Historical Park after it was moved from its original location. Here, you’ll find artifacts and photographs that tell the story of this unique community. There are also events and programs that allow visitors to learn more about African-American history and culture.
All in all, a visit to Quakertown House Museum is a great way to learn more about Denton’s unique history. In fact, it’s one of the famous attractions in Denton, as many people come here to learn more about African-American history.
Address: 317 W Mulberry St, Denton, TX 76201, United States.
4. Have Fun at Water Works Park
Water Works Park is the perfect spot in Denton to visit if you’re looking to have a fun day out with family and friends.
The park features four big slides, a lazy river, a wave pool, a kiddie play pool, an outdoor amphitheater, a sand volleyball court, and much more. This makes it a great spot for all types of visitors, whether you’re looking to relax and take things slow or want to challenge yourself with the thrilling slides.
Plus, you can also enjoy an ice cream or a light snack at the Hula Hut concession spot. And if you need to take a break, you can find plenty of shaded spots to relax.
Overall, Water Works Park is one of the most popular places to visit in Denton for all ages. So don’t miss out on this fun and entertaining spot.
Address: 2400 Long Rd, Denton, TX 76208, United States
5. Go Hiking at Ray Roberts Lake State Park
Ray Roberts Lake State Park is a great spot to enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, biking, boating, and fishing. However, most people visit the park for hiking trails.
There are various trails to choose from, ranging from easy-to-moderate levels. Plus, you’ll get to enjoy some spectacular views of the lake and surrounding areas.
But perhaps one of the most popular trails is the Randy Bell Scenic Trail. This 4-km loop takes you through one of the most beautiful parts of the park and features some spectacular natural features. It’s an easy hike, so even if you’re not a pro hiker, you should be able to manage this one.
Other popular trails include Johnson Branch Trail, Elm Fork Greenbelt Trail, and Dogwood Canyon Trail. All of these trails are relatively easy and offer some stunning sights along the way.
Apart from the hiking trails, there are plenty of things to do at Ray Roberts Lake State Park, from fishing and swimming to birding. So it’s definitely worth a visit if you’re looking for fun things to do in Denton.
Address: 100 P W 4137, Pilot Point, TX 76258, United States
6. Get Your Shopping Fix at Golden Triangle Mall
Golden Triangle Mall is the place to go for all things retail. This large single-level shopping mall has everything you need, from apparel and accessories to jewelry and electronics.
There are more than 85 shops and restaurants, including anchor stores like Macy’s, J. C. Penney, DSW Shoe Warehouse, Dillard Barnes & Noble, and Sears. This means there’s something for everyone, whether you’re looking for a new outfit or something to eat.
This is also the perfect spot for window shopping. You can stroll through the mall, take a break at one of the many restaurants, or catch up with friends over coffee.
The mall is open seven days a week, so no matter the day, you can always get your shopping fix.
Address: 2201 S I-35E, Denton, TX 76210, United States.
7. See Animals at Sharkarosa Wildlife
Are you a wildlife enthusiast? Then Sharkarosa Wildlife Ranch is the place to be. This wildlife ranch, spread over 126 acres of open-range habitat, is home to some of the most exotic animals in North America.
You can get up close and personal with a variety of animals, including lemurs, sheep, zebras, giraffes, lions, and tigers. Plus, there are several interactive activities that you can participate in, such as feeding the animals and going on guided tours.
The ranch also offers educational programs for school-aged children, where they can learn more about nature and conservation. So if you’re looking for something different to do in Denton, this ranch is a great option. It’s a fun and educational experience for the whole family.
Address: 11670 Massey Rd, Pilot Point, TX 76258, United States
8. Have Fun at Lone Star Indoor Sports & Event Center
Lone Star Indoor Sports & Event Center is a great spot for family fun and team-building activities. The facility offers various sports, such as roller skates, roller derby, and indoor hockey.
It occupies 27,000 square feet of space and has high ceilings, so you get plenty of room to move around. Plus, the facility is open seven days a week and offers a variety of events, classes, and camps.
This sports center can also be booked for private events such as birthday parties, wedding receptions, and sports tournaments. This makes it a great spot in Denton for fun things to do with family, friends, or colleagues.
Address: 222 S Mayhill Rd, Denton, TX 76208-6374.
9. Tour the Denton Firefighters Museum
The Denton Firefighters Museum, established in 2005, is the perfect spot for history buffs and firefighting enthusiasts. Here, you’ll get to see artifacts from Denton’s past firefighting services, view vintage fire engines, and learn about the history of Denton’s Bravest.
The museum also houses a unique collection of firefighter memorabilia, including old helmets, firefighting equipment, photos, and more. The museum also has an interactive fire safety and prevention area, making it a great place to visit with kids.
Admission to the museum is free. So if you’re looking for things to do in Denton that won’t put a dent in your wallet, this is it. Guided and group tours are also available.
Address: 332 E Hickory Street, Denton, TX 76201, United States.
10. Unwind at South Lake Park
Encompassing over 187 acres, South Lake Park is a great spot to relax and enjoy some outdoor recreation.
The park features playground pavilions, tennis courts, a Basketball court, a Sand volleyball court, Lakes and fishing piers, Drinking fountains, 78 picnic tables, 12 grills, 3 dog stations, 27 benches, and much more.
In addition to that, you can also explore multiple trails around the park. These paths will take you through some of the most scenic spots in Denton and provide plenty of opportunities to spot some wildlife, including birds. And if you’re feeling adventurous, there are several things to do at the park, such as canoeing and kayaking.
Address: 556 Hobson Ln, Denton, TX 76205, United States.
11. Go Camping at Pilot Knoll Park
Pilot Knoll Park is a great spot to escape the city life’s hustle and bustle. Located about 9 miles southeast of Denton, this park offers a great opportunity to reconnect with nature.
The park covers between 65 to 85 acres (depending on the water levels of Lake Lewisville) and offers a wide range of activities such as fishing, biking, canoeing, kayaking, and more. The park also features several hiking trails, ranging from easy to moderate. The trails take you through some of the most picturesque areas of the park and offer some stunning views of the lake.
But one thing that makes this park stand out is its amazing campground. The campground features over 50 RV and tent campsites with electricity, water, and restroom facilities. There are even some primitive camping sites if you’re looking for a more secluded camping experience.
Plus, there are plenty of picnic areas where you can relax and enjoy a meal with your family or friends. So whether you’re looking to reconnect with nature or just want to get away from the city for a bit, Pilot Knoll Park is the perfect spot. In fact, it’s one of the most visited tourist attractions near Denton.
Address: 218A Orchid Hill Ln, Argyle, TX 76226, United States.
12. Catch a Game at Apogee Stadium
Every fall, Apogee Stadium serves as the home of the University of North Texas Mean Green football team. This NCAA Division-I FBS stadium opened on 10 September 2011. And since then, it has hosted many thrilling games.
The stadium has a seating capacity of over 31,000 and features state-of-the-art facilities and amenities, including a large video board, plenty of food and drink options, as well as chair seating.
Of course, it’s not just football games that take place here. The stadium hosts several other events throughout the year, from concerts to family days. So if you’re in town, head to Apogee Stadium and get ready for some exciting things to do in Denton.
Address: 1251 S Bonnie Brae St, Denton, TX 76207, United States.
13. See a Live Show at the Denton Civic Center
The Denton Civic Center is a multi-purpose event venue located in the heart of downtown Denton. It was designed by the famous Texas architect O’Neil Ford and is now a popular destination for live shows and performances.
The center features two performance spaces, the indoor and outdoor stages. Both of these venues host a variety of events, such as concerts, plays, and other performances. In addition, the center also has a few smaller rooms, which are perfect for meetings and private celebrations.
The Denton Civic Center also offers classes and workshops for those who want to perfect their craft. Plus, you can also rent out the venue for your own events.
Therefore, when you want to be entertained and have a good time, the Denton Civic Center is one of the top places to go in Denton.
Address: 321 E McKinney St, Denton, TX 76201, United States.
14. Tour the Courthouse-on-the-Square Museum
The Denton County Courthouse-on-the-Square Museum is a great spot for heritage buffs and history lovers. This 19th-century courthouse was once the center of Denton County politics and served as the hub for all local affairs.
The building is now a museum that features various exhibits highlighting the city’s rich history. There are many things to learn about Denton County’s legal system and its prominent figures, as well as artifacts from the pre-Civil War era.
You will also find documents dating back to 1846 and even some historical photographs from the turn of the 20th century.
The museum is open Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. and from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday. Admission is free, making it one of Denton’s best attractions for those on a budget.
Address: 110 W Hickory St, Denton, TX 76201, United States.
15. Take Your Kids to Doubletree Ranch Park
When traveling with kids, it’s always a good idea to plan things that can make them happy. And one of the best things to do in Denton with kids is to visit Doubletree Ranch Park.
This is the perfect place for kids to let their imagination run wild and explore the natural world around them. There are plenty of things to keep them occupied, including a playground, picnic areas, a splash pad, and nearly a mile walking/jogging trail.
You don’t have to be a kid to enjoy the park. The beautiful scenery and the various things to do make it a great spot for a family outing or just a casual walk.
Address: 310 Highland Village Rd, Highland Village, TX 75077, United States
16. Go shopping at Denton Community Market
The Denton Community Market is a Saturday event where local vendors sell all things from fresh farm veggies and fruits to handmade jewelry, home decor, and much more. It’s a great place to pick up local goodies, meet the makers, and even chat with them about their wares.
The market is open from April to November, every Saturday between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. It takes place in the city’s downtown area, just a few minutes from Downtown Denton Square (another popular shopping spot).
Aside from the shopping, you can also expect to find things like live music and entertainment, children’s activities, food trucks, and more. Admission is free, so you really have nothing to lose if you want to check it out.
Address: 317 West Mulberry Street, Denton, TX 76201, United States.
17. Go Kayaking at Big Sandy Boat Ramp
Let’s now move on to things to do in Denton that offer some real adventure. If you’re an adrenaline junkie, then Big Sandy Boat Ramp is a great spot for you. This boat ramp offers some exciting things to do, such as kayaking, boating, and fishing. And you’ll get to enjoy some stunning views of Lake Lewisville.
If you don’t have your own kayak or boat, don’t worry. You’ll find plenty of rental options nearby. Just make sure to book in advance, as they get booked out quickly, especially during the weekends and summer months.
18. Indulge in Culinary Delights at LSA Burger Co.
Food is an essential part of any vacation, and for those who are fans of burgers, LSA Burger Co. is the perfect spot to go. This burger joint has been serving some of the best burgers in Denton since 2013, and it quickly became a local favorite.
The menu contains delicious burgers and sides, from the classic American burger to more creative options like the Psychedelic burger. Everything on the menu is made with fresh, quality ingredients and cooked to perfection.
Their menu also features salads, grilled cheese sandwiches, fries, veggie burgers, and much more. You can also enjoy a selection of drinks to complete your meal.
You can also visit other food joints scattered around the city, such as Barley & Board, Rooster’s Roadhouse, Beth Marie’s Old Fashioned Ice Cream & Soda Fountain, and much more.
19. Catch a Show at the Campus Theatre
The Campus Theatre is a historic building in downtown Denton. Built in 1949, it served as a theatre and movie house until 1989, when it closed its doors. However, in the late 1990s, the city of Denton began restoring the theatre, and today it serves as a performing arts center where you can catch a variety of shows and performances.
It has a capacity of 300 seats, making it the perfect place for smaller productions. The theater hosts various shows throughout the year, including live music concerts, stand-up comedy acts, plays, and more.
Apart from performances, the theatre also hosts a variety of special events such as movie screenings, free lectures, and workshops.
Address: 214 W Hickory St., Denton, TX 76201, United States.
20. Enjoy Denton’s Nightlife
After a day of enjoying the sights of Denton, you can head to the town’s lively downtown area for some nightlife fun. Denton is renowned for its live music scene, with a range of venues offering jazz, folk, rock, and just about every genre.
Some popular spots to check out include The Garage, Dan’s Silverleaf, Luxor Hookah & Sports bar Denton (a hooker bar), and Dirty Dick’s Bar.
The city also boasts some great bars and pubs, such as Paschall Bar, Oak St. Drafthouse & Cocktail Parlor, and Hickory Street Lounge.
As you can see, the nightlife in Denton is vibrant, with something for everyone. So it’s definitely worth checking out if you’re looking for the best things to do in Denton.