Just an hour west of Dallas lies Mineral Wells, a small town in Texas' Palo Pinto and Parker counties.
The city gets its name from the mineral wells located in the area, which were very popular in the 1900s.
Mineral Wells is a small but exciting town rich in history, culture, and bold nature.
Mineral Wells is also a great destination to enjoy peaceful, small-town suburbia–a little getaway from the hustle and bustle of the nearby Texas cities.
Here are the 15 best things to do in Mineral Wells, TX:
Explore Nature at Lake Mineral Wells State Park
Located in the eastern part of Mineral Wells, Lake Mineral Wells State Park is a tremendous natural refuge for those seeking both adventure and relaxing leisure.
The park's location was near a once-popular health resort, something Mineral Wells was known for.
There are so many activities for visitors to partake in during their visit – from outdoor activities to relaxing ones.
There’s something for everyone here at Lake Mineral Wells State Park.
Outdoor activities include hiking the park’s trails, spanning 13 miles, including the lakeside and Cross Timber Trails.
You can also go camping in various pockets of the park.
The lake is also a welcome haven for boating and fishing.
For the more extreme adventurers, you can do rock climbing in select boulder areas of the park.
The Lake Mineral Wells State Park is a great place to bask in nature while having an exciting day outdoors with friends and family.
It's only an hour away from the hustle of big Texan cities, Fort Worth and Dallas.
See a Slice of History at the National Vietnam War Museum
The Vietnam War was a definitive moment in the lives of many Americans.
The National Vietnam War Museum in Mineral Wells is only one of the multiple sites around the United States that commemorates the experiences of Americans who fought in the war.
The museum comprises outdoor and indoor exhibits showcasing different memorabilia dating back to the war period.
The indoor exhibit showcases old paraphernalia, documents, and artifacts used in that era, with the history and information behind it detailed in writing.
The outdoor exhibits include models of old tanks and choppers used during the war.
There is also the Vietnam Memorial Garden, with a stone wall containing the different names of the soldiers who served in the war, including foreign soldiers.
In addition, there are four other memorial landmarks on-site: the Semper Fi Garden, Contemplation Garden, Meditation Garden, and Rock Creek Trail.
See the Beauty of Clark Gardens
South of the Lake Mineral Wells State Park lies Clark Gardens, an idyllic garden in Mineral Wells.
Clark Gardens is an excellent destination for nature lovers, as visitors are treated to over 50 acres of North Texas horticulture.
The garden grounds are a treat for visitors, showcasing different attractions nestled in the beautiful landscape of the natural flora and fauna.
There is a unique G-Scale Model Train that encompasses the entire area of the gardens, with over 700 feet of track crossing the different landscapes of the grounds.
There are also unique scale models of the stations made of natural materials such as poppy seeds, acorns, cinnamon sticks, and pinecones.
Clark Gardens is also home to the Historic Tree Trails, one of the largest in the entire United States.
Over 86 trees stand along this trail, including the Weeping Willow, Sycamore, and Berkley Plantation.
The history of the different trees is highlighted in signs planted on the trail.
Clark Gardens is the perfect destination for those looking for a relaxing experience partnered with beautiful scenery when in Mineral Wells.
Hike to Penitentiary Hollow
Located within the grounds of the Lake Mineral Wells State Park, the Penitentiary Hollow is a popular rock-climbing area in Mineral Wells.
The Penitentiary Hollow location is a beautiful sandstone rock formation, highlighting the nature existing in Mineral Wells’ topography.
The hike one-way from the Lake Mineral Wells State Park grounds to the rock formation is about an hour, with the trails differing in track and difficulty.
Expect to get dirty on this hike as you traverse the rock, soil, and mud.
It’s all worth it to get the beautiful rock formations waiting at the finish line.
Climbing enthusiasts can also try climbing Penitentiary Hollow, a favorite of local climbers.
Take a Pitstop on Your RV Adventure at the Eagle’s Nest RV Park
Taking interstate driving adventures on a recreational vehicle (RV) is typical for Americans, and a pitstop at Eagle’s Nest RV Park is perfect on a trip to Texas.
Far from the usual RV pitstops, Eagle’s Nest offers visitors a lush landscape of trees and greenery, offering RV patrons a relaxing break from their long journeys.
Visitors can park their RVs in the spacious park and can use the amenities to hook up their vehicle facilities, including electricity and water.
Visitors can also have lovely picnics in different areas of the park.
The location of the RV park is also near the prominent hotspots in town, including the Clark Gardens and the Lake Mineral Wells State Park.
Uncover Military History at Fort Wolters
Fort Wolters holds a deep history as a military ground in Texas and is an exciting place to visit when you’re in Mineral Wells.
The site was an army camp from 1925 to 1946.
After World War II, Fort Wolters was abandoned before reopening as an Air Force base in 1951.
Eventually, the grounds were deactivated altogether in 1973.
At present, it is the home of the Texas Army National Guard.
It is also an industrial park and a popular site for a summer camp for local students.
Fort Wolters is also the home ground of the Fort Wolters Helicopter Heliport, an aviation business.
Military and history enthusiasts can get a crack out of enjoying all the memorabilia from the days of the war.
A visit to Fort Wolters is fun for history enthusiasts or those just curious about life in Texas during the war.
See the Texas Frontier Trails Western Heritage Park
Located within the expanse of Pollard Park, the Texas Frontier Trails Western Heritage Park is an easy, relaxing hike in the northern part of Mineral Wells.
The trail itself is over a paved one-mile expanse spreading throughout the area.
The little stories posted along the trail engage travelers on a visit here, making the walk an educational journey for locals and visitors alike.
The different landmarks tell the stories of pioneer cattle drivers Charles J. Goodnight and Oliver Loving, who got their start in the trade near the park.
The story dates back to the 1800s when Loving moved from Kentucky to Texas.
A visit to the Texas Frontier Trails Western Heritage Park is relaxing and educational.
Have a 50s American-Style Meal at Happy Days Diner
Located in the bustling downtown district, Happy Days Diner brings back the nostalgia as you eat American comfort food favorites in a vintage 50s setting.
The diner's interior looks like an old-fashioned diner of the 50s, complete with checkerboard floors, vinyl seats, and old-school ads plastered on the walls.
Even old cars are fashioned as seats to channel the vintage vibe fully.
Visitors can enjoy classic American favorites such as hotdogs, hamburgers, and milkshakes.
A visit to Happy Days Diner is a treat for the family in Mineral Wells!
Buy Organic Goods at Farmer Dell Organic & Aquaponic Greenhouse
In a humble shop is Farmer Dell Organic & Aquaponic Greenhouse, a trusted market for all things fresh and organic in Mineral Wells.
Visitors can look at the greenhouse housing the aquaponic vegetables and herbs, which are completely 100 percent pesticide-free.
There are also pocket tours available for those interested to know more about the process of hydroponics.
Visitors can also shop for fresh produce and some locally-sourced and produced products from local Texan vendors.
A tiny restaurant also selectively serves fresh and healthy dishes, all made organic with the aquaponic crops.
Experience Healing at the Famous Mineral Water Company
Known many years ago as the “South’s Greatest Health Resort” due to its numerous mineral wells in the 19th century, the Famous Mineral Water Company is a great spot to experience the town’s infamous water resources.
At present, the Famous Mineral Water Company is the only business left that provides customers with “magic” water from the town’s mineral wells.
Famous Mineral Water Company has served Texans and tourists for over 100 years and is best known for its top-selling product, “Crazy Water.”
Crazy Water comes in four different mineral levels – with the pH levels going up to 8.2.
Visit the Famous Mineral Water Company and determine if the famed Crazy Water healing powers are genuine.
Unearth Your Inner Archeologist at the Mineral Wells Fossil Park
The Mineral Wells Fossil Park is a unique destination for enthusiasts and curious visitors.
Located along Indian Creek Road, the park exists due to 20 years’ worth of erosion of the old city landfill borrow pit, which closed in the 90s.
The park has become a perfect place for enthusiasts to hunt for unique fossils – some dating back to over 300 million years.
The abovementioned erosion also resulted in fossils of ancient sea species such as sea lilies, urchins, clams, oysters, and arthropods.
Visitors can collect and take selected home fossils out of the park for personal use, something you can’t do in other similar locations.
The Mineral Wells Fossil Park is a one-of-a-kind destination and experience that you can only find in Mineral Wells.
Enjoy a Meal Fit for a Cowboy at Woody’s Bar & Grill
When in Texas, eat as the Texans do!
A visit to Woody’s Bar & Grill should be on your list when traveling to Mineral Wells.
Located along Highway 180, Woody’s is a favorite joint of comfort food and ice-cold beer for local patrons.
The menu is humble, serving up burgers, fries, chips, and beer on tap.
But of course, everything is bigger in Texas!
You can get the burgers with a single patty, or a 4x4, with four patties in a burger.
You can also add additional toppings to your burgers like grilled onions, bacon, and pepper.
Drop by Woody’s Bar & Grill for a taste of filling but straightforward Texan comfort.
Wander Downtown Mineral Wells
Downtown Mineral Wells is a gem of a destination.
Walk along its streets and go back in time, as most of the buildings have retained the old West architecture.
The downtown area also has a little something for everybody, with various shops selling everything from antiques to clothing, art, and specialty items.
There are also spread-out murals throughout downtown done by local Mineral Wells artists.
If you ever get hungry, there are many local mom-and-pop restaurants to satisfy your cravings.
Downtown Mineral Wells is a not-to-be-missed destination when in Mineral Wells!
Uncover the Town’s Mysteries at the Haunted Hill House
Mystery and horror fanatics will have a great time at Haunted Hill House, an attraction located downtown on NE 1st Street.
The building itself has a creepy history, being the former site of the Baker Hotel in 1929.
The hotel was supposedly a secret brothel back then.
Since then, supernatural occurrences have reportedly happened in the house.
In 2017, the married couple Katy and Sonny bought the house.
They turned the house into a “real” haunted house attraction, where visitors can explore the different areas and test their fortitude.
It’s even more of a challenge to do the tour at night!
Better hope you don’t see something terrifying.
Tee Off at the Holiday Hills Golf Course
Golf enthusiasts rejoice as the Holiday Hills Golf Course is a great place to visit in Mineral Wells.
Located east near Lake Mineral Wells State Park, the golf course is a relaxing place to play a game of golf or enjoy the tranquil nature of the city.
The course’s layout is wide and spacious, spanning over 6,169 yards.
It accommodates any skill level, from beginners to pros.
The grounds are a relaxing place to hang out for those who aren’t into the sport that much, with the Holiday Hills Club Lake close by as a perfect spot to sit and watch the golfers do their swings.
With its rich history and strategic location, Mineral Wells offers visitors a rich history and lush natural landscapes.
There is more to Texas than its big cities, and Mineral Wells is a humble but surprising destination to put on your list.