Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Cisco, TX

  • Published 2022/09/24

Cisco is situated in the middle of vast Texas’ big country flatlands, with neighboring towns and cities far from each other.

Being part of Eastland County, Cisco is situated on the crossroads of Interstate Highway 20 and Highway 183, with the nearest city, Eastland, about 12 miles away.

Despite being far from major cities like Dallas, Fort Worth, and San Antonio, Cisco has thrived independently.

It’s your go-to place if you’re looking for a travel destination that offers you a small-town experience.

This unassuming and sleepy Texan city has a rich and colorful history.

Cisco became famous in the late 1920s because of the Santa Claus Bank Robbery and being the first location of a global hotel chain.

There is more to this city than meets the eye.

So, explore the best things to do in Cisco, Texas!

Uncover the Rich History of the Mobley Hotel

Facade of the Mobley Hotel

Renelibrary, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Located on Conrad Hilton Boulevard, the Mobley Hotel will likely be the first place you visit upon arriving in Cisco.

This hotel along Conrad Hilton Avenue is not your average lodging.

It was Conrad Hilton’s first ever hotel before he became a hotel magnate and owned the famous Hilton Hotels chain.

This hotel opened in 1919 and flourished during its time.

On the other hand, Hilton continued to purchase and build hotels throughout Texas from the 1920s to the 1930s until becoming famous.

History plaque of the Mobley Hotel

Billy Hathorn, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Today, the Mobley Hotel serves as a museum called the Conrad Hilton Center.

It’s a multifaceted historical attraction displaying various exhibits.

Visiting the Conrad Hilton Center is a fascinating experience, given its relevance to the city of Cisco and Hilton himself.

While touring, you can visit the Cisco Museum, Innkeeper Gallery, Walls of Fame, the Santa Claus Bank Robbery exhibit, and the Cisco Pictorial.

Exterior of the Mobley Hotel

JERRYE & ROY KLOTZ MD, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Show Off Your Angling Skills at Lake Cisco

Lake Cisco is one of the top fishing spots in Eastland County.

This cross-shaped man-made lake is still part of the city, although it’s situated outside a few miles north.

The lake spans over 1,000 acres of surface area with a depth of 70 feet.

One of the best ways to enjoy Lake Cisco is fishing.

It’s famous for its abundance of largemouth bass, channel catfish, white crappie, and red ear sunfish.

Besides fishing, you’ll also enjoy kayaking or boating at Lake Cisco, especially if you bring your loved ones or travel buddies.

When planning a trip to Cisco, don’t forget to pack your fishing gear because you’ll likely find yourself fishing at this lake.

Breathe the Fresh Air at East Side City Park

East Side City Park is another ideal place to hang out besides Cisco Lake.

You can find this community park along 14th Street, featuring its vast open field and picnic areas.

If you have some spare time, head to this park and chill with your loved ones or travel buddies.

At East Side City Park, you’ll enjoy various outdoor activities such as hiking, picnicking, or letting your kids play at the playground.

At the same time, you can hang around, read a book or pass the time while enjoying its peaceful ambiance.

Nothing can go wrong if you visit this community park, especially if you’re yearning for a break from all the stress you’re having.

Relive the Story of Lela Latch Lloyd’s Life

Lela Latch Lloyd is a famous historian, author, and school teacher in Texas back in the day.

She was known for her literary works and published books, especially “The Best Damn Teacher,” and for her community works in Cisco.

Many of her works and memorabilia are found at the Lela Latch Lloyd Museum inside the Cisco City Hall along West 7th Street.

The memorial also features Lloyd’s porcelain black band and her 1927 radio.

Besides the memorial, other historical artifacts related to Cisco’s history are displayed at this museum, making it a fascinating place for a historical side trip.

Whether you’re a fan of Lloyd’s work or an avid history fan, there is something fascinating waiting for you at the Lela Latch Lloyd Museum.

Experience Top-Notch Entertainment at Crawford Theatre

The Crawford Theatre, located on the Cisco College campus, is renowned for its quality live performances.

This theater hosts the Cisco Junior College Theater department, which regularly performs there for the public.

Most of the time, the theater hosts various performances such as concerts, musicals, plays, and comedy shows.

At the same time, it also hosts movie nights, community events, and art exhibits, making it a must-visit place in the city.

You don’t need to look elsewhere to find quality entertainment in Cisco because the Crawford Theatre has year-round shows.

One of its sought-after events is the annual dinner theater show that features some of the best performers of Cisco College.

So, drop by the Cisco College campus and check out what’s currently showing at this lovely theater.

Join the Feast at the Cisco TX Pie Fest

The Cisco TX Pie Fest is a unique festival in Cisco, happening every October.

The locals close the entire stretch of Conrad Hilton Boulevard to traffic to make way for this fun-filled festival.

This old-fashioned festival celebrates Cisco’s fondness of pie through various activities, games, and pies served to everyone.

During the festival, you’ll enjoy various wholesome games, pie-eating contests, pie-baking contests, arts and crafts, and lots of food and drinks.

It’s the only festival throughout Texas where you can taste different pie variations and flavors, making it a fascinating and must-attend event.

So, bring your family to Cisco in October to join the fun at the Cisco TX Pie Fest.

Step Back in Time at the First Baptist Church of Cisco

Exterior of the First Baptist Church of Cisco

Billy Hathorn, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The First Baptist Church of Cisco isn’t just the cradle of faith in the city; it’s also the oldest church you can find there.

This church is situated along West 9th Street, featuring gorgeous red brick colonial-style architecture.

Historically, the Red Gap Baptist Association founded and constructed a church house in 1881 along 10th Avenue East.

However, the group suffered numerous setbacks in the following decades, including a tornado that struck the church in 1893.

At the same time, the new church suffered extensive damage from a fire in 1924.

A massive restoration followed to repair and strengthen the church’s structural integrity.

Today, the First Baptist Church of Cisco remains influential to most of the city’s people.

You can visit and take photos of the church’s gorgeous architecture or perhaps go inside and have a solemn time alone or with your loved ones.

Indulge in Fine Wines at Blue Duck Winery

Despite its size, Cisco is also home to a charming winery where you can indulge in good wine and excellent food.

Head to Blue Duck Winery if you’re yearning for unwinding and wine-drinking sessions by yourself or your loved ones.

You can find this winery along Conrad Hilton Boulevard.

This winery sourced its grapes from a vineyard in Cottonwood Springs to make different wine variants.

Visiting this winery lets you taste various wine flavors and pair them with gourmet treats such as pizzas and bite-sized entrees.

For a satisfying experience filled with wine, food, and pleasing laughter, drop by the Blue Duck Winery.

See Sports Action at Chesley Stadium

Visit Chesley Stadium for action-packed sports entertainment.

You can find this 3,000-seater stadium along Front Street.

Chesley Stadium is one of the oldest sports venues in the city, opened in 1942.

It’s where Cisco’s high school and college sports teams compete in interschool and intercollegiate meets.

It’s where the Cisco Loboes High School Football Team and the Cisco Junior College Wranglers play regularly.

Visiting this stadium lets you experience how Cisco’s locals cheer for their beloved home teams while getting entertained with thrilling football matches.

Satisfy Yourself at Red Gap Brewing

Located along Conrad Hilton Boulevard, Red Gap Brewing is an ideal place for unwinding and exploring.

Although this brewery is relatively new to Cisco, it has quickly become a favorite watering hole for locals.

It’s where you see locals enjoying a round of beer to relax after a hard day’s work, making it an ideal place to unwind.

Hanging out at this brewery lets you taste various signature craft beers such as 1878 Lager, Big Chief Bock, and Big Daddy Darryl Double IPA.

Overall, Red Gap Brewing Company is an excellent place to drink freshly brewed craft beer to wrap your day in the city.

Wander through the Old Zoo Nature Trail

The Cisco Zoo became one of the top tourist destinations in Eastland County in the early 1920s and 1930s.

At the same time, Cisco became the home of one of the world’s most extensive man-made swimming pools.

However, all of them closed down eventually.

Today, the area is a popular outdoor destination called the “Old Zoo Nature Trail” along Co. Road 112.

The entire trail stretches about 1.4 kilometers and is an excellent location for birdwatching.

Hiking through the Old Zoo Hiking Trail offers not just top-notch sceneries but also the remnants of the old zoo and the old swimming pool.

At the same time, you’re also offered history lessons by your guide about the rise and fall of the famous zoo, making it a must-do activity during your trip to Cisco.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Cisco’s neighboring cities and towns also have unique attractions combining history and recreation.

So, here are some of the recommended spots to check out near Cisco.

Explore Swenson Memorial Museum

Exterior of Swenson Memorial Museum

Larry D. Moore, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Last on the list is Swenson Memorial Museum, renowned for its Beaux Art-Style building constructed in 1920.

You can find this attraction 28 miles north of Cisco in Breckenridge, featuring its traveling exhibits and pioneer artifacts.

This museum offers a historical side trip featuring the neighboring Stephens County, making it an exciting place to visit.

While touring, you’ll see various exhibits that display photos, items, and tools of the pioneers that first settled in Breckenridge.

At the same time, Swenson Memorial Museum has an annex of chronicles of the oil boom in the region.

Above all, you’ll be amazed by the well-preserved building, which is the former First National Bank in the 1920s.

Walk down Memory Lane at the Eastland County Museum

The Eastland County Museum chronicles the entire county’s rich history and houses some fascinating artifacts.

To get to this museum, you must drive roughly eight miles east of Cisco in Eastland City.

Originally, it served as Eastland’s First State Bank, designed by architect Henry T. Phelps in 1920.

Today, it houses various exhibits featuring Eastland County’s history.

Each floor of the museum has various exhibits, such as the traveling exhibits and the permanent displays of each of Eastland County’s towns and cities.

Visiting the Eastland County Museum offers a deeper understanding of the entire county’s backstory, including Cisco’s.

Cruise on Lake Leon

Lake Leon is an extensive 28,000-acre body of water renowned for fishing activities.

You can reach this lake 21 miles east of Cisco, just outside Eastland City’s southern portion.

This lake offers pristine waters and a calm environment, making it a perfect place to cast your line.

According to anglers who experienced fishing at Lake Leon, the most common fish they caught were largemouth bass, sunfish, channel catfish, and white bass.

Besides fishing, you can also hop on a boat and explore the entire lake by yourself or your fellow angler.

Overall, it’s an ideal fishing spot aside from Lake Cisco that won’t require driving too far off your main destination.

Test Your Golf Skills at Shady Oaks Recreation Association

Shady Oaks Recreation Association is an 18-hole semi-private golf course that’s been operating since 1967.

You can find this charming golf course 28 miles west of Cisco in Baird.

Designed by Leon Howard and Dave Bennett, Shady Oaks Recreation Association features a par of 70 with a 6,137 yards maximum distance from the first tee.

To add more of a challenge, they incorporated trees, water hazards, and numerous mounds perfect for both seasoned and newbie golfers.

If part of your itinerary is playing golf, you can play at this course and enjoy its tranquil atmosphere, which is perfect for serious golfers who want to focus throughout the game.

Final Thoughts

If you look at the map of Cisco, you might assume that this small Texan city is barren and has nothing to offer.

However, its rich history makes this city special.

After reviewing this list of the best things to do in Cisco, Texas, which attractions will you be visiting?

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