Located just north of Dallas and home to two thriving universities, it’s safe to say that there are plenty of interesting things to do in Denton, Texas.
While both the University of North Texas and Texas Woman’s University call the city home, ensuring that a collegiate culture has a large influence on the city, visitors of all ages will find something fun to see in Denton.
Whether you want to explore the town’s history, seek out quirky attractions, see a show, or go for a hike, here’s what to do in Denton!
Take a stroll through Denton’s downtown square.
Like so many Texas towns, a fantastic way to start seeking out the best Denton attractions is by heading to the central town square, which is dominated by a historic, opulent courthouse in the center and surrounded by shops and restaurants on all sides.
Pay a visit to the Courthouse-on-the-Square Museum.
Curious about the interior of the historic courthouse?
It’s free to visit, and a fun thing to see in Denton. Guided tours are available.
Head over to Ray Roberts Lake State Park.
Popular for fishing, boating, hiking, and even horseback riding, Lake Ray Roberts is a fantastic place to enjoy the great outdoors and one of the best places to visit near Denton.
Tour the Bayless-Selby house at the Denton County Historical Park.
Built in the late 19th century in the Queen Anne style, this beautiful house museum is a fun and interesting peek into the history of Denton.
Peruse Recycled Books.
Spread across three floors and housed in Denton’s historic Wright Opera House, Recycled Books sells (and buys!) used books and beyond.
Bibliophiles will love this expansive shop located right on the town square, and it belongs on any list of what to do in Denton!
See a show at Campus Theatre.
Originally built in 1949 as a movie theatre, Campus Theatre is now the home of many of Denton’s live performances, including those put on by local theater and music groups.
It’s also a fun building to admire as you pass by, and is located only a short walk away from the square.
Visit the Denton County African American Museum.
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Denton was home to a thriving African American community named Quakertown (possibly named for the abolitionist views of Quakers pre-Civil War).
Today, a home from the original Quakertown neighborhood holds Denton’s African American Museum, which tells the story of the community and many of its prominent members.
The museum is free to visit and is open Tuesday-Saturday mornings and early afternoons.
Check out the Little Chapel-in-the-Woods.
Located on the campus of Texas Woman’s University, this beautiful chapel dates to 1939 and was dedicated by Eleanor Roosevelt.
The surrounding gardens, which include many oak trees, are absolutely beautiful–and while the building isn’t technically in a forest, the origin of the chapel’s name is made immediately apparent by the gorgeous surroundings.
Snap photos at the Chairy Orchard.
One of the most whimsical things to do in Denton, this orchard of mismatched, abandoned chairs is located between two unassuming suburban houses, just off of Avondale Park.
Home to a couple of free little libraries, a beautiful oak tree, and an overwhelming number of delightful whimsical details, this unusual place in Denton is absolutely worth a visit!
Go for a hike at Clear Creek Natural Heritage Center.
Featuring more than 10 miles of trails, Clear Creek Natural Heritage Center is free to visit, dog friendly, and a fun way to get outside when visiting Denton!
Look for ghosts on Goatman’s Bridge.
Technically named the Old Alton Bridge, Goatman’s Bridge once connected Denton, Texas to Copper Canyon.
According to legend, as you walk across the bridge, you just might see the ghost of a man with the head of a goat staring at you… or hear disturbing laughter… or hear a splash… or simply see glowing eyes.
The origins of the legend are technically unknown, though many possible origin stories have circulated over the years.
Though spooky, for thrill-seekers, this is definitely one of the best things to do in Denton at night!
Enjoy a performance at the Murchison Performing Arts Center.
Located on UNT’s campus and absolutely unmistakable thanks to its distinct architecture, you’ll find a wide variety of music to enjoy at the Murchison Performing Arts Center throughout the year.
Duck inside the Denton Firefighters Museum.
Housed in Denton’s historic Central Fire Station, artifacts and memorabilia dating back to the 19th century tell the story of the history of firefighting in this interesting museum.
The museum is small but fascinating, and you can even try on a firefighter’s gear while you’re there!