With its hot summers and mild-to-cool winters, Cleburne, Texas, is a perfect spot for a family trip or a weekend getaway with friends. In the summertime, kids love playing at Splash Station, a year-round water park. Outdoor enthusiasts enjoy Cleburne State Park throughout the year, too. A 116-acre spring-fed lake invites swimming, fishing and boating with 5.5 miles of mountain bike trails and campsites available, too. Plenty of additional year-round fun includes top-notch theater performances, dining and annual events that include a 25-mile-long antique show. Ready to explore? Here are some great things to do during your next visit to Cleburne.
Cleburne is full of great places to grab a bite. Voted the city’s number one restaurant on Trip Advisor, La Cima Mexican Cuisine combines reasonable pricing with fresh Mexican fare. If you’re an enchilada lover, you’ll appreciate the enormous selection, from brisket or avocado to mole or “cowboy” varieties. In addition, the restaurant offers tacos, fajitas and much more. Pair your meal with a handcrafted margarita. Lunches are a bargain, at less than $8.
Shades of purple create a soothing color palette at The Purple Turnip, where burgers and sandwiches rule at lunchtime. Evening offerings include Southwestern crab cakes, shrimp Caesar salad with artichokes and entrees like rib-eye steak, grilled chicken breast with portobello mushrooms or herb crusted salmon. You’ll want to save room for its signature desserts, from key lime or coconut cream pie to Mississippi mud cake you’ll love it all.
Opened in 2017, amid antique shops in downtown Cleburne, Loaf 'n Dog is known for its condiment-rich Vienna hot dogs and sausages and local art displayed on the walls. Choose from specialty “dogs” as well as vegetarian and gluten-free options, or create your own combo. Whether you choose The Mary Sunshine Dog or The Yellow Jacket Dog, you’re guaranteed a tasty bite. Watch televised sports indoors, or enjoy the fresh air on the patio. On balmy Friday nights, local bands and singer/songwriters perform, and the restaurant has an Open Mic Night on Mondays.
A Museum That Honors A Classic Movie
If you love the iconic movie “Gone With the Wind,” prepare to be amazed at what you will find at the Gone With The Wind Remembered Museum & Gift Shop. See original props amid one of the most comprehensive and extensive collections dedicated to this cinematic legend. There are only a small portion of more than 6,000 historical pieces displayed amid the state-of-the-art, climate-controlled exhibit spaces. Enter the museum through a replica of the Tara door and marvel at its contents. Plan your visit for Thursday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
New and Seasoned Theater Experiences
You’ll find plenty theater performances to enjoy while in Cleburne. In 2010, ABC-affiliate, WFAA, named Plaza Theatre Company the best one in North Texas. Billing itself as “Cleburne's Unsurpassed Family Entertainment Destination,” the company debuts at its new home, Dudley Hall Feb. 15. The first show will be "The Hunchback of Notre Dame," with performances through March 10.
In the past, Plaza Theatre Company offered only three to four kid-friendly and teen shows annually.These shows will now take place year-round at Plaza Theatre Company Main Street. Plaza Junior shows will take place on Saturdays, and beginning in May 2018. The company will offer family-style concerts—Plaza FamJams on Fridays.
Entertaining Summer Events
Cleburne hosts plenty of special outdoor events each year, too. If you’re a theatergoer, you’ll enjoy the humorous romantic tangle of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" June 8-9, during the annual Cleburne Shakespeare in the Park, which takes place inside beautiful Winston Patrick McGregor Park. With ticket prices only $5 for children and $10 for adults ($15 at the gate), this beloved outdoor event is an entertainment bargain for the entire family. Bring lawn chairs and coolers, or purchase goodies from the nearby food trucks.
Held June 13-16, the Johnson County Sheriff's Posse PRCA Rodeo is full of calf roping, bull riding and “mutton bustin” activities, as well as a car show and the crowning of the JCSP Rodeo Queen. A tradition spanning more than six decades, the event brings the finest outdoor professional rodeos to Johnson and the surrounding counties. Enjoy live music and nightly dances, too.
On July 28, thousands of cyclists of all ages, from throughout the nation, will participate in Cleburne’s annual Tour de Goatneck Bike Ride. Riders can choose from 69.5-mile, 41-mile, 27-mile and 10-mile races along smooth, quiet country roads that are full of rolling hills. There will be rest stops every 8 to 9 miles and showers at the finish line (inside the Cleburne High School basketball locker rooms). Entry fees that supported Johnson County charities topped $30,000 in 2016!
A Fall Festival For Wine Lovers
Every fall, wine lovers gather here for Cleburne Wine & Art Festival. Featuring Texas wineries, this year’s event takes place Sept. 29 in Downtown Market Square. Available for purchase online or by phone, wine tasting tickets entitle you to a souvenir glass and 10 tastings from a dozen vineyards and wineries. Sip your wine while perusing arts and crafts. In addition, you’ll enjoy live entertainment and a tasty selection of food truck fare. Each annual event benefits a local charity. Cleburne Animal Services received proceeds from the 2017 festival.
Paradise For Antiques Fans
If you love antiques, plan your visit during the spring or fall so you can take in the semi-annual Antique Alley & Yard Sale that also includes nearby communities of Grandview, Maypearl, Alvarado, Sand Flat and Venus. The three-day, 25-mile-long spring 2018 event is already scheduled for April 20-22. Browse more than 500 dealers from across the state and nation while enjoying snacks from food vendors. This is a rain or shine event, so bring along rain boots, umbrellas, sunscreen or a hat— depending on the weather. And plan to spend several days at this mega-sale if you want to see everything.
Historic Homes Tour Depicts Cleburne’s Past
The Historic Homes Driving Tour provides a comprehensive look at the wide variety of classic architectural home styles in Cleburne—all from the comfort of your own car. Pick up a self-driving tour guide from the visitor center or the website. Then prepare to view gorgeous houses representing Victorian, Arts and Crafts and Bungalow styles. Each one exemplifies the craftsmanship of another era.
These are only some of the terrific things to do, see and eat in while in Cleburne. Learn more about the city at visitcleburne.com.