Small-town charm and Texas-sized hospitality are just two of the reasons Cleburne is a great place to visit. An easy drive from Fort Worth and Dallas, here you’ll find a city with history, culture and many Insta-worthy sights to snap. Whether you’re looking to enjoy scenic views or you’re a seasoned photographer, you’ll love discovering all that Cleburne has to offer. Here are the nine most Instagrammable destinations in Cleburne.
1. Chisholm Trail Outdoor Museum
With its life-size cattle drive silhouettes, it’s no wonder the Chisholm Trail Outdoor Museum is one of the most photographed spots in Cleburne. The Instagrammable opportunities are limitless in front of the massive longhorns that lead the way to the outdoor museum. It’s located on the Chisholm Trail, a cattle drive route that brought hundreds of thousands of longhorns from Texas to Kansas in the late 1800s. At the Chisholm Trail Outdoor Museum you can easily picture yourself back in time, with a working blacksmith shop, a stagecoach station and the county’s original courthouse. Built in 1855, it is the oldest log courthouse in Texas. Pose in the restored stagecoach that was used in Hollywood Westerns, or have your photo taken behind bars in the jail—just make sure you don’t get locked in!
2. Lake Pat Cleburne
At the Chisholm Trail Outdoor Museum you’re just steps from your next Instagrammable spot. Spanning more than 1,500 acres, there is plenty of space for finding the perfect scenic shot at Lake Pat Cleburne. Wade among the water willows and cattails, or capture the changing colors of the vast Texas sky as it is reflected on the water. Bring your fishing rod and snap a picture of you reeling in catfish and bass. And for boaters, there are four boat ramps located along the lake.
3. Cleburne State Park
Starting with sunrise over the spring-fed lake, incredible views abound at Cleburne State Park. The 528-acre state park offers miles of trails for hiking, biking and viewing wildlife, along with swimming, fishing and boating on Cedar Lake. Paddle out on a double kayak to have your picture taken as you glide through the water, or show off your balancing skills on a stand-up paddleboard. The rushing water of the three-tier spillway makes a stunning backdrop. It’s one of several engineering projects in the state park completed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s. #Latergrams are totally normal after a visit to Cleburne State Park—with so much natural beauty, you’ll want to fully embrace it in the moment.
4. Johnson County Courthouse
At the intersection of architecture and history, in the heart of downtown Cleburne, is where you’ll find the Johnson County Courthouse. Both outside and inside, it’s a truly Instagrammable destination. Completed in 1913, the courthouse was built in a Classical Revival style with Prairie-style elements and an exterior made from pink granite and brick. The tower is six stories tall—step inside the courthouse and you’ll find a spectacular atrium with light cascading in through the glass dome high above. It’s a chic spot to snap a pic. While you’re there, don’t miss checking out the Johnson County Courthouse Museum, which showcases the rich history of the area.
5. Layland Museum
Your journey into Cleburne’s past starts on the steps of the Layland Museum. Snag a picture outside the building, with its distinctive Greek Revival-style architecture. Originally the library, the building was completed in 1905 and was partially funded by steel industrialist Andrew Carnegie. It’s a complete original, one of only 12 Carnegie libraries remaining in Texas, and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Inside you’ll find a treasure trove of artifacts, memorabilia and photos that capture what life was like in Cleburne during the past century and beyond. It’s time to share it with your followers!
6. Hulen Park
All aboard! Snap a selfie alongside Steam Engine 3417 in Hulen Park. Railroading was an important way of life in Cleburne at the turn of the 20th century, and this steam engine ran on the Santa Fe Railroad system. The park in downtown Cleburne offers a variety of recreational activities, including walking paths, basketball and tennis courts, picnic tables and a children’s playground. It’s also the place to be nightly during the holiday season, when the park is decked out in lights for the annual Whistle Stop Christmas.
7. Buffalo Creek
Gently winding its way through downtown Cleburne to Hulen Park is Buffalo Creek. Start behind the First Financial Bank, and walk along the waterside path, pausing to admire the sights and sounds from one of the benches that dot the route. Don’t miss your chance to take a photo with the buffalo statue! Buffalo Creek’s name pays tribute to the animals that once roamed in large herds in the area and that often watered there. During the time of the Chisholm Trail, the creek was used as a watering stop for cattle drives.
8. Downtown Murals
If you’re looking for a little artistic flair for the background of your next Insta-story post, head downtown to see how artists have turned the sides of Cleburne’s buildings into their canvas. Outside the Gone With the Wind Remembered Museum, you will find three incredible murals commemorating the movie. Our fave? A mural of Rhett Butler and Scarlett O’Hara strolling down a picturesque path has real rose bushes that give the painting a 3-D effect. Nearby, historical cattle drive scenes and more cover Wright Plaza. The series of murals are titled “Wild Frontier, Trails Dust, and Rails” and were painted by artist Stylle Read in 2009.
9. Winston Patrick McGregor Park
Make time to stop and smell the flowers—then take a picture of them! The 10-acre Winston Patrick McGregor Park is a botanical-style park just minutes from downtown. A leisurely stroll along the walking path offers many opportunities to admire native and flowering plants. Follow a butterfly as it flutters among the flowers, and keep your eyes open for hummingbirds. Take a group photo at the gazebo or in front of the windmill. End your visit with the peacefulness of the meditation garden, where you can reflect on all the extraordinary sights you’ve seen during your trip to Cleburne.
Photo Courtesy of Jhan Beaupre, Roger Jenks, Roger Armstrong and Gwen Rhodes