Looking to rekindle the romance or longing for a relaxing weekend as a couple? Plan a trip to Cleburne! A short drive from the Dallas-Fort Worth area, Cleburne offers a fun and easy getaway for city dwellers. Whether it is a chance to reconnect with your special someone or you are overdue for a staycation away from the kids, you will have a blast together in Cleburne.
Here’s how to enjoy your romantic couples trip to Cleburne.
Where to Stay
City break or country escape—which will you choose? In Cleburne, you can have the best of both worlds. If your ideal getaway is to be in the center of all the action, reserve a room at the Liberty Hotel. Set in a historic brick building, the boutique hotel is in the heart of the city. Here you are just steps from shops, restaurants and a number of scenic spots. Texas charm abounds in the wood-paneled lobby and continues into the warmly decorated guest rooms with all the amenities you could need. Begin your day with free hot coffee or a workout in the hotel’s fitness center. Cleburne also has a slew of other hotels in town for every price point. Movie and history fans can start their exploration of Cleburne at the Gone With the Wind Remembered Museum—it’s just moments away.
Where to Dine
You will find a variety of family-owned restaurants serving delicious food in a warm and welcoming setting in town. After strolling around historic downtown Cleburne, have lunch at the Garden of Eating Bistro. On the menu are homemade soups, large salads and gourmet sandwiches. Always popular is the Mother Clucker sandwich, which is chicken salad with dried cranberries, red onions and celery on a sourdough roll. Or try the Heifer on the Rye, with corned beef, Swiss cheese and the bistro’s special Thousand Island coleslaw served on grilled dark Russian rye bread. With the cheerful and eclectic ambiance, you will want to linger longer at the Garden of Eating to enjoy dessert. Before you leave be sure to browse the boutique, where you can buy some jewelry or old-fashioned sweets for your sweetheart.
Just minutes from downtown is the cozy and inviting Purple Turnip. As its name would suggest, the inside is decked out in shades of lavender, violet and plum, but the menu will appeal to both vegetarians and meat eaters. The restaurant serves a mix of comfort food and American classics with an Italian influence. Try its Caesar salad topped with artichoke hearts and shrimp, or go for its Southwestern version that comes with grilled chicken, tomatoes, black beans, corn, bacon and fried tortilla strips. The savory portabella mushroom sandwich comes full of veggies and with a pesto basil mayonnaise. Or have your sandwich with grilled chicken, Italian fried chicken or chicken fried steak. Desserts are a must at Purple Turnip! Locals recommend the tiramisu and Mississippi mud pie.
For handcut steaks cooked to perfection in an authentic Texas setting, make your dinner reservation at Fly by Night Cattle Company. The ranch-turned-destination restaurant is owned and operated by the Craft family, who incorporate their own recipes and warm hospitality into each memorable meal. Bring an appetite and share the tomahawk rib-eye steak, 46 to 48 ounces of certified Angus beef with a 6-inch bone, served with smashed red potatoes and brown sugar green beans with bacon. Any of the steaks can be topped with a lobster tail, jumbo shrimp, crab meat or fried eggs. Fly by Night’s menu is rounded out with classic steakhouse starters, salads and sides, plus Southern favorites like chicken fried steak, fried catfish and grilled salmon. If you still have room for dessert, try the homemade peach or blueberry cobbler. It’s topped with a scoop of Blue Bell ice cream.
What to Do
The picturesque 528 acres of Cleburne State Park offer a variety of outdoor activities to enjoy as a couple. Lace up your hiking boots or bring your mountain bikes and explore nearly 13 miles of scenic trails that take you through wooded areas, limestone hilltops and along the spring-fed Cedar Lake. Follow the Spillway Trail to get to the three-tiered spillway built by the Civilian Conservation Corps. Make sure to bring your camera! Commemorate your visit with a picture in front of the awe-inspiring rushing waters, one of an infinite number of beautiful views at the state park. The heart of the park is the sparkling blue 116-acre lake. Paddle out on a double kayak, or cast a line from the ADA-accessible, covered fishing pier. You can rent kayaks, paddleboards and fishing gear in the park. Or pack a picnic and pick a secluded spot along the water and take in the sights and sounds of nature together.
Ever wanted to see how your favorite spirits are made? Plan a day date at Cleburne’s very own small-batch whiskey distillery, Johnson County Distillery, located just south of downtown. Here you will learn about the history of this American tradition and how Johnson County Distillery crafts its bourbon whiskey. Find out how the unique Texas climate affects the aging and flavor of the whiskey, and then experience it for yourself with a tasting of its Jacob Weldon blended bourbon whiskey. Stay a bit to sip a whiskey cocktail in the saloon, like a Jake’s Manhattan or Jake’s Infashion. You can buy a bottle of the locally made Bourbon Whiskey to take home with you, along with other whiskey-inspired gifts.
Date night doesn’t get much better than a show at Plaza Theatre Company. Now doing outdoor shows, this intimate venue is where you get to be close to the performers, allowing you to be truly immersed in the live theater experience. Showcasing the region’s top performers and shows of everything from “Always… Patsy Cline” to “Matilda the Musical” to “Little House on the Prairie.” Visit its website to see what shows will be taking place when you visit.
Photo Courtesy of Jim McHale & Kortney Boyett