Searching for a daytrip destination that's close to the big city, but far enough out to feel like you're getting away from it all? Look no further than Graham - a hidden gem of a town about 95 miles west of DFW. Whether you're looking to get out on the lake, to learn some Texas history, or to eat some great food, Graham has what you need.
Young County Square
Everything is bigger in Texas, but Young County boasts that not only do they have the biggest town square in the state, they have the biggest in the country! Just…don’t double check our math on that one. While you’re here, make good use of all those steps you’ll be taking by touring the courthouse, doing a little shopping, and meeting the friendly people of Graham.
Before Graham existed, there was Fort Belknap. For a glimpse back in time, visit the historic fort and museum, where you can learn about the complex cultural realities of the Texas frontier in the 1850’s. If you’re a John Wayne fan, Fort Belknap should definitely be on your must-see list, since the events that inspired The Searchers and The Sons of Katie Elder actually happened there! It’s also very near the beginning of the historic Goodnight Loving Trail, which heavily inspired what is arguably the most well-known western of all: Lonesome Dove.
Marlene's @ The Big Chill
While you’re exploring the square, make sure you don’t miss a meal (especially their tasty homemade bread!) at Marlene’s @ The Big Chill. Marlene and her staff have been serving up delicious breakfast and lunch items for over 20 years for the people of Graham, and according to the woman herself, if you’re not smiling when you come in, you’ll be smiling by the time you finish your meal.
Sadly, Brothers Smokehouse has closed since we filmed this episode.
Standpipe Mountain overlooks the city of Graham, which is part of Texas’ hidden Hill Country. It even has its own mountain range! The hike is an easy one, so make the trek up for one of the best views Graham has to offer.
Possum Kingdom Lake
Cool off at Possum Kingdom Lake, also known as PK! The lake is big, beautiful, and not overly crowded. The cliffs are unrivaled, especially one formation called Hell’s Gate: two sheer walls of rock that beckon all who dare to enter. While diving from Hell’s Gate and all other cliffs higher than 20 feet is illegal (and dangerous!), jumping from smaller cliffs is both permissible and fun.
Get back in the saddle again at Wildcatter Ranch, an 1100 acre ranch tucked high in the cliffs above the Brazos River. There’s plenty of space for you to get out and roam – on horseback or on foot – or you can soak your cares away in the pool. If you want to extend your daytrip into an overnight getaway, Wildcatter has a stunning lodge (with restaurant!) where you can rest your head in comfort.