Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Denton County, TX

  • Published 2023/05/20

Established in 1846, Denton County got its name from John B. Denton, a lawyer and pioneer preacher who was killed in an Indian fight in 1841.

This county in Texas is the seventh most populous county in the state, with over 906,000 people based on the 2020 census.

Its county seat, Denton, and other cities and communities offer a selection of tourist attractions, including museums and parks.

Inject fun into your memorable vacation away from home by discovering the wondrous spots in the county.

Check out this list of the best things to do in Denton County, Texas.

Tour the Denton County Courthouse

Exterior of Denton County Courthouse

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Stop by the historic 1896 Denton County Courthouse, the centerpiece of the downtown square of the city of Denton, the county seat.

This former courthouse of Denton County is home to the Courthouse-on-the-Square Museum, operated by the Denton County Office of History and Culture.

It is also the final resting place of John B. Denton, the city’s and county’s namesake.

Besides its historical significance, this place is also beautiful architecture-wise, featuring a blend of Romanesque Revival and Second Empire styles designed by W.C. Dodson.

Front view of Denton County Courthouse

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The stunning building was constructed of limestone, red and tan sandstone, and pink granite.

Tour the museum courthouse, see exhibits, and attend lectures to glimpse a piece of the county’s history.

Also, check out the events hosted here throughout the year, including concerts.

Clock tower of Denton County Courthouse

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Bring Back Childhood Memories at Andretti Indoor Karting and Games

Bond with your loved ones at Andretti Indoor Karting and Games, the leading family entertainment and event destination in The Colony.

Relive your childhood memories and let your kids experience awesome things by trying several attractions under one roof.

Feel the rush on their electric go-kart tracks featuring the best electric kart model available, the Biz Kart Ecovolt NG.

Four to seven-year-old drivers can go with Mini Mario karts at Andretti Indoor Karting and Games.

Besides riding go-karts, get your heart pumping by having a friendly competition in the two-story, 4,000-square-foot laser tag arena.

Try playing other fun games like arcade, duckpin bowling, and immersive virtual reality attractions like Hyperdeck and Hologate.

Afterward, perfect your day with family, kids, and friends by heading to their grill to fuel up with freshly served delicious food and drinks.

Go Kayaking at Little Elm Park

Spend quality time with friends and family at Little Elm Park, one of the major community parks in Little Elm.

This lovely park on Lewisville Lake offers scenic water views and exciting activities that locals and visitors enjoy, especially in the summer.

Picnic here, swim at the beach, play volleyball or soccer, ride a bike or hike on the trails, and let the kids enjoy the playground.

Kayak and paddleboard rentals are available for those who want to try kayaking and paddleboarding.

The lakefront park also hosts several events like Brew and Que, Autumn Fest, and the July Jubilee, a 4th of July celebration featuring music, fireworks, and more.

Other amenities at Little Elm Park include tent camping, an amphitheater, a concession stand, restrooms, and parking.

Cross the Historic Old Alton Bridge

Pathway of the Historic Old Alton Bridge

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Walk across the beautiful Old Alton Bridge, a historic iron truss bridge approximately 145 long, built in 1884.

This bridge once connected the city of Denton and the town of Copper Canyon, carrying horses and later vehicles across Hickory Creek.

It remained heavily traveled until 2001, when a replacement bridge was constructed nearby.

Today, this national historic site is only used for foot traffic and offers visitors picturesque views around it.

Surrounding the bridge are trails you can hike and explore, such as Old Alton Bridge Trail, Pilot Knoll Hiking, and Elm Fork Trail.

Historical marker of the Historic Old Alton Bridge

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Locally known as Goatman’s Bridge, it got its nickname from a famous local ghostlore story saying it is haunted by a half-man half-goat figure called Goatman.

This legend is about a successful African American farmer named Oscar Washburn, who was hung by the Ku Klux Klan in 1938 on the bridge.

If this place is right up your alley, visit Old Alton Bridge just a mile north of Copper Canyon and 15 minutes south of the city of Denton’s downtown area.

Keep Cool in the Summer at Hawaiian Falls Roanoke

Hawaiian Falls Roanoke is an awesome waterpark with plenty of exciting attractions to offer the whole family fun.

It is home to Mega WaterWorld, the world’s largest aquatic play structure with body slides, a three-line racer, a family raft ride, dump buckets, wheels, and other water features.

Also, enjoy other thrilling attractions like Beach Blasters, Hightide Whirlpool, Rainforest River Adventure, Breaker Bay, and The Rush.

To complete your summer trip here, try delicious treats like yummy burgers, chicken dippers, pizzas, sweet mini-melts, and refreshing fruit slushies.

If you’re looking for a waterpark in Denton County, Hawaiian Falls Roanoke is the place to be.

Explore the Natural Wonders at Arbor Hills Nature Preserve

Relieve your stress and embrace the beauty and serenity of nature at Arbor Hills Nature Preserve, one of the top attractions in Plano.

This nature preserve stretches 200 acres of forests and parkland with several amenities that provide relaxation and enjoyment.

There are picnic pavilions for morning or afternoon gatherings with your family or group, playgrounds for the kids to have fun, and restrooms for your convenience.

Explore the area by walking your pet, biking, jogging, or hiking on miles of trails that include off-road, paved, and unpaved.

Arbor Hills Nature Preserve is also home to various wildlife and beautiful scenery, making your visit truly worthwhile.

Make your way to the observation tower atop a hill to reward yourself with amazing views of the preserve and the surrounding city.

Spend the Day in Nature at Ray Roberts Lake State Park

Sunset at Ray Roberts Lake State Park

NPF Photography /

Plenty of things to do and see await nature lovers at Ray Roberts Lake State Park, making it one of the top tourist attractions in Denton County.

It has nine units, including Isle du Bois in Pilot Point and Johnson Branch in Valley View.

This stunning state park has many amenities that offer pure relaxation and fun recreational outdoor opportunities.

Hike, bike, or ride a horse on various trails, camp all night on one of the many campsites, and picnic with your family and friends.

Likewise, the park surrounds the beautiful 29,000-acre Ray Roberts Lake, offering scenic views and fishing, paddling, and boating trips.

You can also swim at one of the beach areas here.

The park also provides diverse habitats for a wide variety of plants and animals, such as oak trees, wildflowers, mammals, reptiles, fish, and birds.

Because of this, you’ll enjoy photography and observing nature and wildlife.

Whether you just want to relax or tire your energy in exciting outdoor activities, there is something worthwhile for all at Ray Roberts Lake State Park.

Cycle through Northshore Trail

If you’re seeking a great place to go biking in Denton County, head to Northshore Trail, one of the most popular and best mountain biking trails in North Texas.

This moderately challenging trail in Flower Mound spans over 20 miles with technical sections, rocky terrain, and elevation changes.

The trails are divided into east and west sections, with the east being recommended to riders for the first time before doing the west side, which is more difficult.

Enjoy a nice ride in the woods and the spectacular views of the lake where the trail passes by at times.

You can start from any of the multiple locations, including Twin Coves Park, MADD Shelter, Murrell Park, and Rockledge Park.

While it is mostly used for mountain biking, Northshore Trail is also ideal for hiking, but watch out for the bikers speeding around here.

Try Skating at Interskate Roller Rink

Skate to your heart’s content at Interskate Roller Rink, a roller skating rink that draws locals and visitors alike.

Bring your skates or rent a pair at the facility to practice or enhance your skating skills and get some exercise while having fun.

There is an open skate session with vending machines for snacks and drinks and a regular session with an open snack bar and live DJ.

You can also check out events hosted here, learn skating lessons if you’re new to this pastime or sport, or rent the rink for your kid’s next birthday party.

Interskate Roller Rink in Lewisville provides roller skating fun for all ages, so this is a fantastic addition to your Denton County adventures.

Watch a Heart-Pumping Race at Texas Motor Speedway

Signage of Texas Motor Speedway

University of College /

Opened in 1996, Texas Motor Speedway is an expansive 1.5-mile race track and arena in Forth Worth’s northernmost portion that is part of Denton County.

Famously known as “The Great American Speedway,” it can accommodate over 180,000 spectators, making it one of the largest motorsports venues in the United States.

Aside from that, it is also home to the nicknamed “Big Hoss,” the world-class high-definition video screen.

Watch many national events hosted here, including IndyCar Series and NASCAR Cup, Xfinity, and Craftsman Truck Series.

Race cars at Texas Motor Speedway

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Choose from different camping options and reserve a spot if you want to camp out there.

Likewise, drop by the gift shop to purchase merchandise like shirts and hats.

If you’re a motorsport fan, Texas Motor Speedway is a fantastic popular attraction you’d never want to miss.

Pit stop at Texas Motor Speedway

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Test Your Golfing Skills at Frisco Lakes Golf Club

If you want to enjoy golfing, head to Frisco Lakes Golf Club, located within Del Webb Frisco Lakes Community in Frisco.

Players of any skill level will enjoy a challenging game in their 18-hole, par 72 championship golf course featuring stunning scenery and excellent amenities.

It includes a clubhouse with a full-service restaurant and bar so you can hang out with your family or friends with delicious food and drinks.

This golfing destination also organizes tournaments and offers lessons for beginners and those who want to improve their swing.

Visit Frisco Lakes Golf Club and discover why it is one of the top luxury public golf clubs in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Discover Unique Art at the Barney Smith Toilet Seat Art Museum

For your dose of art, visiting the Barney Smith Toilet Seat Art Museum in The Colony is well worth your time.

This art museum showcases a striking collection of over 1,400 uniquely designed toilet seats produced by a retired master plumber and artist Barney Smith over many decades.

Barney created the original museum in a huge garage in his backyard in 1992.

His museum earned rave reviews from San Antonio residents and tourists, garnering attention globally.

If you love to see some artistically unique, quirky, and enchanting pieces, go to the Barney Smith Toilet Seat Art Museum.

You can even host your private event in the museum, accommodating up to 60 people.

Enjoy Boating in Lewisville Lake

Sunny day at Lewisville Lake

Trong Nguyen /

Lewisville Lake is one of the largest lakes in North Texas, stretching nearly 30,000 acres with 233 miles of shoreline.

Besides dealing with flooding and a water source for Dallas and its suburbs, this reservoir is also a great recreational destination.

The lake offers amazing opportunities to relax by the shore, go boating, skiing, fishing, kayaking, and swimming in the shallow areas.

There are many little coves to explore, such as Party Cove, well-known for its rowdy scene featuring party music, alcohol, and fun!

Geese at Lewisville Lake

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Likewise, numerous beautiful parks sit along the banks of the lake, including Hidden Cove, Wynwood, Westlake, and Stewart Creek.

Campgrounds, golf courses, trails, marinas, and restaurants are also available if you’re looking for other things to do.

Lewisville Lake is situated north of Lewisville and can become extremely crowded in the summer.

Sunset over Lewisville Lake

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Get a Fun Fright at the Parker House Haunted Attraction

Experience thrills, chills, screams, and fun with family or friends at the Parker House Haunted Attraction in Denton.

It has three main attractions that you can explore: The Parker Plantation, The Parker’s Mortuary, and Ratliff’s Sanitarium.

One of the exciting things visitors seem to like the most in the house is the zombie ride, where you can shoot the approaching monsters with paintballs.

This place offers an immersive haunted experience from good and scary actors to a creepy setting.

Add the Parker House Haunted Attraction to your itinerary if you’re the spook-seeking type.

Relax at Doubletree Ranch Park

Doubletree Ranch Park in Highland Village is another lovely park where you can get in touch back in nature.

It has a pavilion, grand lawn, and picnic tables where you can eat snacks with your loved ones.

There are benches to sit on and trails you can leisurely walk, jog, and explore for some fresh air.

Team up with friends and have fun playing a soccer game or let your kids enjoy the playground and splash pad.

Also, check out family-friendly events hosted at Doubletree Ranch Park, such as concerts and movies.

Other amenities at the park include a parking lot, restrooms, a barn, a fishing pier, and meeting rooms.

Final Thoughts

Denton County is undoubtedly one of the great places to explore in America, brimming with fantastic tourist attractions.

Whether you’re interested in history, art, nature, and entertainment, Denton County has something for all.

Enjoy the lakes, parks, museums, and other attractions in this list of the best things to do in Denton County, Texas!

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