Articles Tagged with: senior travel Texas

SENIORS TRAVEL THROUGH TEXAS


Seniors Visit A “Picture Perfect City”

800px-Waxahachie,_TX_welcome_sign_IMG_5588I came across the town of Waxahachie on a Texas weather alert map. I had never heard of Waxahachie, so this senior’s curiosity kicked in and I just had to learn about this “Picture Perfect City.”

The name “Waxahachie” which creates a great deal of interest as to its origin, is derived from the Indian word meaning “Buffalo Creek.”  Senior visitors discover this Movie Capital of Texas, located just 30 minutes south of Dallas/Fort Worth. It has a population of 30,000. 

Waxahachie, designated in the early 1900′s as Queen of the Cotton Belt, has also grown to be known as the Gingerbread City for the ornate woodwork found on many of the historic homes.

Seniors Discover a Most Photographed Courthouse

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The Ellis County Courthouse is one of the most photographed structures in the State of Texas and said to be the most beautiful of Texas’s older courthouses. The downtown area is surrounded by numerous antique and specialty stores and a historic train depot.

20% of the National Historic Registered Historic Sites in the Texas section are in Waxahachie, which has five National Registered Districts. I love National Historic Sites. The city was officially organized on the banks of the Waxahachie Creek, from which the City derived its name in the year of 1850. Its history is one which is interwoven with the history of Texas.

Waxahachie claims the title of Movie Capital of Texas, with over thirty motion pictures and three Academy Award films: The Trip to Bountiful, Places in the Heart, and Tender Mercies. Waxahachie is recognized as being Picture Perfect by the movie industry.

Seniors Enjoy The Crepe Myrtle Capital

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The Historic Downtown District is home to a myriad of antique shops, restaurants, boutiques, and specialty stores and is famous for a great Texas dining and shopping experience. The Waxahachie Convention and Visitors Bureau offers senior visitors helpful information. Check out the link on this site and read about the fascinating history of Waxahachie.

The city is loaded with annual events including Scarborough Faire Renaissance Festival in April-May, Gingerbread Trail Tour of Homes, Crape Myrtle Festival, Tree Lighting on the Square, Texas Country Reporter Festival in October, Candlelight Historic Home Tour and Bethlehem Revisited held in December.

Do you know what Crepe Myrtle is? Waxahachie is said to be the Capital of this beautiful tree that grows abundant flowers in red, white, pink and purple. In 1997, the Texas State Legislature designated Waxahachie as the “Crape Myrtle Capital of Texas.”

Enjoy your stop in Waxahachie -jeb

SENIORS DRIVE TO DALLAS


After The Big Apple, Seniors, It’s BIG D

imagesYes, it’s Dallas, Texas. Recently, this senior wrote a  travel blog on New York City.  I did not really think that I could do justice to NYC, but my wife liked it. She asked…”Why don’t you write more blogs on large cities.” I had no response.

The first city that popped into my mind was Big D (pop. 1,250,000, #8 in the USA). Dallas is the largest urban center of the fourth most populous metropolitan area in the United States (6.5 million). Dallas and Fort Worth, separated by 30 mi of suburbs, aren’t exactly twin cities, they’re more like cousins who squabble more than they get along.

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Their roots are different, yet intertwined. Dallas has almost always been a center of trade, built on the ideals of capitalism and progress—and great leaps of faith. Loaded with history, Dallas was formally incorporated as a city way back on February 2, 1856.

 Seniors Experience ‘BIG’

I was a little disappointed to discover that the origin of the name Dallas is uncertain as I have always figured that every city, even country has a reason for its name. Not so with Dallas. There were a number of people named Dallas who could have been the inspiration for the name, but back to Big D.

Perhaps you already know that “everything in Texas is BIG” and so it is with Dallas. I do know from experience that the Dallas/Fort Worth airport is huge.

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Let’s go to Texas where it is said, “Big Things Happen Here.” It is quite certain that senior visitors will not run out of things to see and do. Sights and attractions, shopping, great dining, entertainment of every nature, great nightlife, professional sports and more will keep you entertained and engaged.

 AT&T Stadium Attracts This Senior

Wikipedia that provides a huge overview of this great city. Dallas offers a unique blend of Southwestern warmth, cosmopolitan flair, old west charm and modern sophistication.

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A major attraction for this senior would be the AT&T Stadium. On a clear day, you can see the Dallas Cowboys’ $1.2 billion football palace in Arlington from the GeO-Deck at Reunion Tower in downtown Dallas, 18.5 miles to the west.

The Dallas Tourist Information Center is located in the historic Old Red Courthouse at 100 South Houston Street in Downtown Dallas, a great place to begin a visit to this great city.  The Center provides senior visitors with brochures, directions, and information about Dallas and the surrounding areas. Enjoy Dallas. -jeb

SENIORS DRIVE THROUGH TEXAS


Seniors Take A Break In Van Horn

IMG_1362Here is a new one for this senior, Van Horn, Texas. My wife’s sisters have been traveling and stopped in Van Horn. So, I just had to do a blog on this town. Van Horn, with a population of 2,400, is called by some, ‘the westernmost town in the U.S’.

While they did not stay at the Hotel El Capitan, I learned that this famous, historic site is not to be missed. The entire hotel recently went through a $2,500,000 renovation. Does that tell you something about the hotel?

Located just 2 blocks off Interstate I-10, The Hotel El Capitan is the new destination in Van Horn. The hotel has 52 rooms and suites. Historically, it was one of the five Gateway Hotels in a chain built by Charles Bassett in Eastern New Mexico and West Texas. The El Capitan Hotel, begun in 1927 and opened in 1930 was based on a design by the famous El Paso Architect Firm of Trost and Trost.

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Seniors Hike In Guadalupe Mountains National Park

The town is named for Lt. James Judson Van Horn who commanded an army garrison at the Van Horn Wells beginning in 1859. Lt. Van Horn’s command was relatively short-lived as the post was seized by Confederate forces in 1861 and Lt. Van Horn taken prisoner. Poor guy.

In 1899 the first Old Settlers’ Reunion was held; it would become Van Horn’s biggest event, held annually on August 28 and featuring rodeo events, dancing, and a barbecue. Sounds like a fun event, especially that Texas barbecue.

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While there are hundreds of great towns in Texas, there is only one “TOP” that sits north of Van Horn inside Guadalupe Mountains National Park.  Guadalupe Peak is 8,749 feet in the sky.  A trip to the top covers approximately 8.4 miles, takes 6-8 hours to hike, and includes 3,000 feet of elevation gain.

Now climb aboard as we ZIP through town on our way to the Guadalupe Mountains…and boy do we ever zip. Attach those seat belts.

 Seniors Enjoy History of Cattle, Mining And Railroads

Van Horn is loaded with Texas history. The best place to dig into its past history of cattle, mining, and railroads is the Clark Hotel Museum, a museum, not to be missed. The Museum was the first permanent structure in town, started in 1901 and the main portion was later completed in 1905 to 1906.

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Senior visitors will find many relicts from the American Indians, pioneers and families who resided in the area. Included are artifacts from the railroad and the saloon in Van Horn.

Take a ride with me into Van Horn and note the hotel and historic main street. And sure enough, senior visitors will note the El Capitan and Clark Hotels. So now, you have been to and through Van Horn.  Plan to stop next time you are driving through. You will find Pure Texas all over town.  -jeb

SUNDAY COFFEE WITH JEB


Seniors Enjoy a West Texas Oasis

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Do you have your coffee, friends, we’re headed for Texas this morning. San Angelo, in West Central Texas, with its 100,000 citizens, is the largest city in this mostly sparsely-populated part of west Texas. Senior travelers find San Angelo a beautiful setting, home to awesome three lakes, and the beautiful Concho River, that runs through the heart of the city.

San Angelo was founded in the late 1800s outside a new Army post, Fort Concho. The founder, Bartholomew DeWitt, named it “Santa Angela” after his wife, Carolina Angela. This was eventually shortened to “San Angela.”

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The final change came in 1883 when the US Postal Service informed the town that the name was grammatically incorrect (san can only be used before a male name). Rather than revert to the original name, they simply changed it to “San Angelo.”

 Seniors Enjoy San Angelo’s Great Location

San Angelo is perfectly situated between the lush East Texas Hill Country and the rolling plains of West Texas. Texas is divided into 7 different and distinct regions, and this senior loves them all.  Hill Country is one of my favorites.

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San Angelo is home to Fort Concho, a National Historic Landmark. Established in 1867, along the banks of the Concho River. Fort Concho was built to protect frontier settlements, patrol and map the vast West Texas region, and quell hostile threats in the area.

In 1889 the last soldiers left and it was deactivated and is now a historic preservation project and museum.

Constructed for the most part of native limestone, Fort Concho consisted of at least forty buildings and covered more than 1600 acres.  Fort Concho National Historic Landmark encompasses most of the former army post and includes twenty-three original and restored fort structures.

Fort Concho And The Riverwalk Interest Seniors

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The Convention and Visitors Bureau site highlights the history of San Angelo. In addition, San Angelo enjoys an active arts community, highlighted by the San Angelo Museum of Fine Art and the San Angelo Civic Theater.

“What city in Texas has a historic downtown district with a river running through it; has an internationally renowned museum; and possesses a cultural and artistic community surpassing all expectations?”

Running through the center of town and home to beautiful, one-of-a-kind freshwater mussel pearls called “Concho Pearls,” the Concho River is a key feature of San Angelo. Senior walkers enjoy the Riverwalk located on the Concho River with its 4 miles of walking/running trails and 14 water displays.

The words used to describe downtown San Angelo are as numerous and diverse as the people who live and visit there. So you will all be welcomed in San Angelo. Take in the many amenities the city has to offer and senior visitors will come away with many fond memories.  jeb

SENIORS VISIT SAN MARCOS, TEXAS


Seniors Enjoy a Main Street City

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This senior was watching a football game with Texas State University. This former coach, just had to find out where TSU ( 36,700 students) was located and I discovered San Marcos.  So here we are today in San Marcos, Texas.

San Marcos is a city within the Austin–Round Rock–San Marcos metropolitan area. The city is on the Interstate 35 corridor between Austin and San Antonio, is the seat of Hays County and its population runs right as 54,076 happy Texans.

San Marcos was designated in 1986 as an official Main Street City by the Texas Historical Commission and the National Trust for Historic Preservation and remains one of the oldest Main Street programs in the state. Conveniently located in Central Texas, San Marcos truly is in the center of everything.

 1280px-Hardy_williams_building_2013Seniors Find One Of Those ‘Best Places’

And honors, in 2010, San Marcos was listed in Business Week’s  fourth annual survey of the “Best Places to Raise your Kids.”More recently San Marcos was named the fastest-growing city in the United States and one the “10 Most Exciting Small Cities In America”.

This central Texas community is known as “The Gateway to Texas Hill Country,” one of my favorite areas of the state. The San Marcos River is a spring-fed waterway that flows through the heart of San Marcos–both literally and figuratively. Senior visitors can kayak, snorkel, swim, and float on inner tubes in the 72-degree water.

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Or you can relax in the several parks that straddle the river, watching the tubers float by. San Marcos is prime shopping country.

The historic downtown offers unique local shops for people who want to walk and shop, and the outlet malls attract bargain hunters from all over the country.

Seniors Enjoy Hill Country Treasure

The rich cultural heritage of San Marcos is a treasure of the Hill Country and is expressed in the  museums, architecture, and festivals. San Marcos boasts more than 1,700 acres of parks and natural areas. They range from soccer fields to virgin natural areas with foot trails and rugged bike paths. This Digital Magazine Guide to Everything San Marcos, by the local Chamber of Commerce, has a plethora of information.

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Senior visitors will find plenty to see and do in Downtown San Marcos. You will soon discover the recently restored 1909 Hays County Courthouse that is nestled in the center of the downtown square. Historic exhibits are housed in it’s lower floors.

The Marc is another major draw in town.  It is a world-class listening room with state of the art acoustics, two levels, three full-service bars, an upper level balcony, standing room for up to 1,000 music fans, smoke-free for most events, two projector screens that show off the stage, and a large dance floor. The Marc is a place you truly have to see and hear to believe.

Enjoy your visit to exciting San Marcos.  -jeb

SENIORS STOP IN GEORGETOWN, TEXAS


Seniors Enjoy Cultural, Historic Georgetown

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My brother-in-law went to college in Georgetown, Texas.  He attented Southwestern University and this senior learned that it is the oldest University in Texas. The campus is close to the historic district, a nine-block area around the Williamson County Courthouse, on the historic Square. Just 20 miles north of Austin, Georgetown enjoys all the benefits of the Central Texas climate.

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Established in 1848, Georgetown is rich in culture and history, with more than 180 homes and buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places. At the heart of Georgetown’s Downtown Historic District is the charming Town Square.

The recently restored Williamson County Courthouse, built from native limestone, with a grand copper dome is the centerpiece of historic downtown. The downtown area boasts a varied collection of boutiques, restaurants and antique and craft stores.

 Seniors Enjoy the Red Poppy Festival

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The city is known as the “Red Poppy Capital” of Texas with a massive amount of poppies in the Red Poppy Festival that takes place each April and draws over 30,000 visitors. Georgetown was established in 1848 as a trading center for the surrounding agricultural area.

Much of the town has been preserved through participation in the Main Street Project along with help of the Georgetown Heritage Society. Senior visitors will find one of the best collections of Victorian architecture in the entire state of Texas.

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The University Avenue – Elm Street Historic District consists of a group of five houses built between 1889 and 1900, on three city blocks in Georgetown. Few alterations have been made to the structures, and the area today retains the scale and character of an affluent late nineteenth century neighborhood.

“The Williamson County Courthouse Historic District in Georgetown, is an unspoiled, coherent and intact area composed primarily of two-story limestone structures of Victorian commercial design. These encircle the Courthouse which is located right in the center of the District.”

Seniors Stroll Downtown

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Seniors are invited to take a stroll in beautiful downtown Georgetown and to appreciate some outstanding Victorian architecture. In addition, unique shopping and delicious dining await your visit.

If you enjoy theater, don’t miss the Palace Theatre in the historic downtown district that is home to a year-round season of live theater productions including musicals, comedies, and dramas. The Williamson Museum promotes the unique culture and heritage of Williamson County.

 Senior visitors can check out places to go and things to do and explore to get the authentic flavor of Georgetown. Add all that together and toss in three classic golf courses, wineries and Texas Hill Country.  Enjoy your stay.  -jeb

SENIORS TRAVEL TO HEART OF TEXAS


Seniors Swing Into Frontier Abilene

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When I decided to write on Abilene, this senior was reminded of the song “Abilene.” Here’s George Hamilton IV who made it famous back in 1966. Enjoy. Abilene, in west central Texas, has a population of 120,000.

Senior travelers will find Abilene approximately 180 miles due west of the Dallas/Fort Worth near the center of the state. It is the center of a 22-county area commonly referred to as the Texas Midwest or the Big Country. Abilene is home to Abilene Christian University, founded in 1906, with an enrollment of 4,500 students.

Abilene was established in March 1881 upon the completion of the Texas & Pacific Railroad. It was the railroad that promoted Abilene as the “Future Great City of West Texas.”

Abilene is the home to Texas Tech with over 30,000 students. “A new era of excellence is dawning at Texas Tech University as it stands on the cusp of being one of the nation’s premier research institutions.”

Seniors Enjoy Pedestrian-Friendly Downtown

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Abilene is rated one of the Top 20 places to visit in Texas. About Abilene, a travel magazine,  wrote: “Abilene won readers’ praise for its small-town feel, state park, zoo, shopping, history, and restaurants, which range from classic barbecue joints to newcomers like Abi-Hau.”

Senior visitors could easily spend a full day just exploring the pedestrian-friendly downtown, which dates to the late 1800s. The high-tech museum Frontier Texas illustrates regional history and the Grace Museum covers the art scene.

The Center for Contemporary Arts is another hit that was founded in 1989, when a former department store in the heart of downtown Abilene was converted into three beautiful galleries, classrooms and artists’ studios.

The city began life in 1875 when it was decided to establish a railhead to make it easier for ranchers to get their cattle to eastern markets. In just two years, hundreds of thousands of cattle were herded over the Western Trail to Abilene.

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The Old West experience starts at Frontier Texas museum, starting point of a walking tour through downtown Abilene where you can see historic buildings from the city’s rich past. The Paramount Theatre, built in 1930 by H. O. Wooten, is the only structure of its grandeur between El Paso and Fort Worth. The theatre was fully restored and renovated in 1986.

Senior travelers will get a feel of the traditional heritage of the Old West with the advantages of a thriving contemporary city. The Old West lives on in Abilene so make plans to spend some time checking out all the amenities that the city has to offer visitors.  You will experience real Texas hospitality in Abilene.  -jeb

SENIORS TRAVEL TO DALLAS TEXAS


Seniors Enjoy “The Branch”

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We are off to visit what the locals call “The Branch”, Farmers Branch, Texas.  Seniors discover that Farmers Branch, with a population of just under 30,000, is an oasis of small-town life in the heart of big-city bustle.

Over the years Farmers Branch has come to be known as “The City in a Park” with fifteen parks, three golf courses, seventeen tennis courts, three youth centers, two indoor theaters, and a swimming pool.

Twelve miles north of downtown Dallas, Farmers Branch is the oldest settlement in Dallas County, a community steeped in Texas heritage with very deep roots. The local Historical Park is one of the best-kept secrets in the area where senior visitors can take a walk back in time and wander amongst the array of historical buildings and colorful gardens.

 

 Senior Visitors Find More Than A Branch

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Farmers Branch was settled in 1842 by Thomas Keenan and his wife, Sarah. The area was called Mustang, but later changed to Farmers Branch due to the rich soil and flourishing crops in Dallas County.

Between 1845 and 1850, it was the best-known of all of the Texas settlements. The community is credited with many of Dallas County’s firsts, including the area’s first church, school and blacksmith shop.

Farmers Branch is more than a branch with 3,500 companies  in town and over 250 corporate headquarters, including 60 Fortune 500 companies.

Senior visitors will enjoy Farmers Branch Historical Park with its historic houses, a museum store, picnic area, and two large meadows. A one-room schoolhouse is one of its many attractions, as well as a three log structures, and a beautiful late-19th-century Queen Anne Victorian Cottage.

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Seniors Enjoy A City On The Move

“The city is ‘on the move’ and is creating a new downtown – a special place that will be uniquely Farmers Branch – a place that will be a highly desirable neighborhood in which to live, work and play.”

When you are in the Dallas area, stop in Farmers Branch and see for yourself this city on the move. Seniors will discover that Farmers Branch hosts dozens of events every year… Date Night, Independence Day Celebration, Bloomin’ Bluegrass, Halloween in The Park, and the Christmas Tour of Lights.

See you in Farmers Branch.  jeb

SUNDAY COFFEE WITH JEB


Seniors Admire 10 Cadillacs Nose First in the Ground

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 Do you have your coffee, senior friends?  Today’s blog is fun and different. Hope you enjoy it!

Cadillac Ranch is a public art installation and sculpture near Amarillo, Texas. It was created in 1974 by Chip Lord, Hudson Marquez and Doug Michels, who were a part of the art group called Ant Farm. The buried Cadillacs have been a popular senior tourist stop; they are unique in the world. The Ranch consists of ten Cadillac vehicles nose-driven into the ground in the same orientation as the pyramids of Egypt.

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Senior visitors are always welcome at Cadillac Ranch. If you bring spray paint, make sure to also bring a camera. At first, the cars displayed their original paint jobs – turquoise, banana yellow, gold, and sky blue. But barely was the monument complete, when people were scratching or painting their names in the cars. “No worries if you forget your can of spray paint you can usually find a can or two laying around!”

 

Seniors Enjoy Texas Legend

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Cadillac Ranch, standing along the famed Mother Road – Route 66 just west of Amarillo, was invented and built by a group of art-hippies imported from San Francisco, calling themselves The Ant Farm. Their silent partner was Amarillo billionaire Stanley Marsh 3 who died on June 17 in Amarillo at the age of 76. He wanted a piece of public art that would baffle the locals, and the hippies came up with a tribute to the evolution of the Cadillac tail fin.

Decades have passed. The Cadillacs have now been in the ground as art longer than they were on the road as cars. They are stripped to their battered frames, splattered in day-glo paint, and barely recognizable as automobiles.

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Senior travelers can’t miss Cadillac Ranch, visible from the highway, and though it is located on private land, visiting it by driving along a frontage road and entering the pasture by walking through an unlocked gate is tacitly encouraged. In addition, writing graffiti on or otherwise spray-painting the vehicles is also encouraged, and the vehicles, which have long since lost their original colors, are wildly decorated.

The cars are periodically repainted various colors (once white for the filming of a television commercial, another time pink in honor of Stanley’s wife, Wendy’s birthday, and yet another time all 10 cars were painted flat black to mark the passing of Ant Farm artist Doug Michels or simply to provide a fresh canvas for future visitors.

So bring along your camera and enjoy spraying your name on one of your favorite Caddies. That’s what others do and you may enjoy doing it as well.  jeb

SENIORS JOURNEY THROUGH TEXAS


Denton Named a Great Mainstreet City

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Denton, Texas is on the list for having one of America’s Greatest Mainstreets. Senior travelers find Denton 35 miles north of the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex in North Texas on I-35.

Denton is known for its active music life, the State Fair and Rodeo and the Arts and Jazz Festival that attract over 300,000 people to the city annually.  This area is traditionally referred to as the Golden Triangle.

The Main Street Program is a worldwide program to revitalize downtown areas. The Denton Main Street Program began in 1989 with over $36.5 million reinvested in the area since. Plus the first Courthouse restoration was completed in time for the Texas Sesquicentennial in 1986.

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The overwhelmingly positive response to the Courthouse renovation confirmed to the merchants that there was a need for an organized downtown revitalization program. The  1896 courthouse is deemed one of the finest in Texas and was designed by one of the great Texas courthouse architects, Wesley Clark Dodson.

With its massive Texas limestone walls and soaring clock tower, it has been called “the most picturesque pile of rocks in North Texas.”  Around the courthouse are a variety of antique shops, restaurants, and specialty stores.

If you are “into historic bridges,” be sure to visit the famed Old Alton Bridge. With a population more than 118,000 not including a student population of more than 40,000, Denton is far from rolling up the sidewalks at night.

Senior Equestrians In The Middle Of Horse Country

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The arrival of a railroad line in the city in 1881 spurred population, and the establishment of the Univ. of North Texas in 1890 and later Texas Woman’s Univ. in 1901 distinguished Denton from neighboring regions. The city was named after pioneer and Texas militia captain John B. Denton, a pioneer lawyer, preacher, and soldier.

Denton has lots of festivals and events throughout the calendar year, from Twilight Tunes to Dog Days of Summer and Cinco de Mayo. Denton is fast becoming one of the most popular places to visit in the Metroplex area. The Denton Jazz and Arts festival attracts senior visitors from around the country. The Denton Square, bordered by Oak, Hickory, Locust, and Elm Streets, is a cultural and primary hub of the city.

Senior equestrian lovers, you will be in North Texas Horse Country, one of the largest concentrations of horse farms in the United States. Plus you will find exciting museums, art galleries, performing arts centers and local heritage.

Visit Denton and plan on spending a couple of days to get the “True Texan Feeling.”  jeb

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