15 Best Things to Do in Stephenville, TX

Stephenville, TX
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The city is no stranger to other thoughtful musings, being a bustling college town of over 21,000 people.

Vibrant with culture and heart, a salt-of-the-earth community radiates the home-loving Texan spirit in Stephenville.

The city is known as the ‘Cowboy Capital of the World’, a host of rodeo champions and ranchers in Stephenville, having shaped the legacy of the sport in the years past and yet to come.

Stephenville prides itself on having more rodeo champions than anywhere else in the world!

The city’s other claim to fame is ‘City of Champions,’ with an enduring love for sports deeply rooted in its citizens.

Situated at the crook of the North Bosque River, Stephenville is surrounded by lakes, rivers, rolling mountains, and vivid timbers, the call of the incredible outdoors irresistible to even the most metropolitan of thinkers.

Ever find yourself wanting to drop by Stephenville?

Take a look at this list of things you can do there, and see how this city is more than worth writing songs about!

Immerse in Some Local Culture at Stephenville Historical House Museum

Stephenville Historical House Museum
Michael Barera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

This museum’s mission and vision center on preserving the rich culture of Erath County (for which Stephenville is the county seat) and the surrounding Cross Timbers region.

The museum has acquired quite the assemblage of artifacts and relics donated from the community.

As a collection of structures on display, the buildings are a heritage exhibit of intersecting stories and histories.

Chapel at Stephenville Historical House Museum
Michael Barera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Berry Cottage, the oldest house in Stephenville, is on display here; others on display are frontier-era log cabin houses, a schoolhouse, and a well-preserved carriage house and blacksmith shop.

The Museum, including the lovely Chapel on the Bosque within, is always available for events and services.

The grounds bloom with native and heirloom plants designed to attract butterflies and hummingbirds.

It’s a charming venue with grounds and trails ripe for the taking of timeless-looking photographs.

Follow the Bosque River Trail

This mile-long trail takes you along wooded areas and opens green lands along the northern bank of the Bosque River.

Walks, hikes, and bike rides abound, with rest stops and markers serving as guideposts along a scenic series of river lookouts.

Quaint animal prints are sandblasted on the track, promising a glimpse of the local wildlife.

There’s always the opportunity to spot wild deer, opossums, armadillos, raccoons, and turkeys along the trail.

The trail runs across the important stopovers of the city, such as the local shopping areas, restaurants, and hotels, as well as the Historical Museum and the City Park.

It’s a popular natural getaway amidst the urban buzz of city life.

Unwind and Exercise at Stephenville City Park

The 112-acre park has numerous amenities, including those for the sportiest of folks.

There’s plenty to choose from: a pool; tennis, basketball, and volleyball courts; baseball, softball, and soccer fields; even a golf course.

The park has eight permanent campsites with electricity and running water and more than 50 temporary sites, all for your overnight camping needs.

There are two group pavilions, picnic areas with grills, and two wide playgrounds for the outdoors-inclined.

Citywide happenings such as concerts, festivals, carnivals, and parades all touch down in the City Park.

Hang on to Your Hats at Captain Hatters

Captain Hatters is a specialty hat shop founded by James Andrae in 2004.

Fresh off hat-making work at other custom places, Andrae tempered his past knowledge with his own unique craftsmanship and equipment and managed to make the shop a success.

Andrae cheerfully believes in tailoring each hat to its owner’s personality.

The store features crisp custom felt hats and the largest local collection of straw hats, along with gloves, tack, apparel, and accessories.

Boot and shoe repair services are also available at the shop.

The owners will be the first to tell you that there aren’t many custom hat shops left, and Capital Hatters is well worth a visit.

It’s just one of a number of cowboy specialty shops found in the Cowboy Capital.

Let the Cross Timbers Fine Arts Council Feed Your Artistic Cravings

The Cross Timbers Fine Arts council is a nonprofit fine arts presenter organization sponsoring and co-sponsoring various artistic events each year, with a goal of cultural enrichment.

As a part of their Art in Public Places program, they have opened a gallery at Clark Field Regional Airport for the enjoyment of their art-leaning visitors.

Other galleries in this program are the Stephenville Senior Citizens Gallery and the Stephenville Public Library Gallery.

They have also dedicated space at their own River North Gallery aimed towards expanding visions centering on the creative process.

Indulge Your Fine Taste at the Bar Ditch Winery

A family-owned vineyard, winery, and event venue, the Bar Ditch Winery promises a sumptuous experience.

The wine, the baked goods, and the service have all gathered rave reviews from previous customers.

The owner believes that natural world flavorings and passionate, hands-on care to the vineyard make the best harvest.

The winery holds wine tastings on Thursdays to Sundays, from 5 pm to 10 pm.

It’s a welcome place and a warm community for those who want to hold special events or simply want to stop by and have a glass of wine.

Drop by the Tarleton State University

Tarleton State University
Michael Barera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Tarleton State University is located right in the middle of Stephenville and provides enriching academic and athletic programs to its student population of more than 14,000.

Myths and legends proliferate about founder John Tarleton who donated $ 85,000 to found the college that would become Tarleton, and his fabled pet duck Oscar P. who followed him everywhere; a larger-than-life statue of the two can be seen on campus.

Tarleton State University
Michael Barera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Tarleton contains a unique sprawl of buildings, parks, sculptures, bandstands, and landmarks.

Athletics ignite school spirit and sportsmanship among the student population.

The Planetarium at Tarleton’s College of Science and Technology is an immersive experience under the stars, with a spectacular dome show displaying the marvels of astronomy to the public.

Tarleton State University
Michael Barera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Give in to the Music at the Music Capital

Another one of Stephenville’s titles is ‘The Other Live Music Capital of the World.’

Thanks to its small acoustic events and large stirring concerts that feature great Texas acts, both local and regional.

Twisted J Live bar and backyard is one the places you can go to hear the biggest Texas celebrities play; the place also holds double feature movie nights where you can relive your favorite classic movies seen back-to-back.

For more relaxing Texas music acoustic events, your best bet is the outdoor dining experience, the Purple Goat or the Bostocks Billiards and Bar, which also holds karaoke and Open Mic nights.

The annual Larry Joe Music Festival is a must-go for a blast of Texas music: 60,000 music fans flock to it every year, holding camping grounds and cookouts under the stars.

Have Fun at Big Axe House

For the Stephenville visitor who’s ready for some zany fun, Big Axe House is here for you!

Big Axe House is an axe-throwing facility that hosts exactly what it says on the tin: a game where one attempts to hurl an axe at a bullseye several meters away.

Along with other safety measures, the guides called Axeperts are also on hand to coach you through your throws and give you the help you need.

It’s definitely not for anyone whose mind is elsewhere!

Along with the axe-throwing in specialized lanes, there are team-building exercises and food and drinks served at the venue.

It’s essentially like an edgier twist to a bowling alley and throwing darts with the excitement of both twined together.

There’s an unmatched thrill to flinging your axe and hitting your very first bullseye.

Stop and Shop at Wagonville

Wagonville is a spot teeming with shopping outlets, outdoor markets, food trucks, video arcades, parties, and other entertainments.

Every third weekend of the month, it holds Trade Days, with vendors hawking their antiques, handmade wares, specialty items, and delicious homemade food.

Other available rarities are jewelry, apparel, wooden items, paintings, books, and yard art.

There’s surely something to be found at Wagonville for every discerning shopper.

Come and See the Sights at the Moo-La Fest

The Moo-La fest kicks off National Dairy Month in Stephenville every first month of June.

The festival is a tribute to the rich dairy heritage at Stephenville.

A popular carnival, merchants, dairy activities, artisan cheeses, and food trucks and vendors all feature at Stephenville City Park during the event.

Musicians play live country music at the local amphitheater and are a great crowd favorite at the festival.

There’s a separate dairy area with dairy-themed activities for the whole family include a fun run and a mobile classroom with a real cow herd.

One of the festival’s highlights is the daytime hot air balloon fly-in, which is complemented by the nighttime hot air balloon glow, in which the balloons are inflated at sunset and glow like colorful lanterns.

Take a Walk Downtown

Cowboy Capital Walk of Fame
Michael Barera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Erath County Courthouse's historic district covers a full 22 city blocks, and the striking city square is paved with the uniquely Texas-made Thurber bricks from the early 20th century.

Sightings of cows, horses, and citizens wearing spurs are very common downtown, reflecting the city’s cowboy culture.

The Downtown Plaza is a park designed to be a breather from the hustle and bustle of the city's shopping areas and business hubs.

In a gazebo area lined with trees, the Cowboy Capital Walk of Fame recognizes the world-famous men and women who have made a lasting impact on the rodeo culture of Stephenville, etching out their honors and accomplishments in inlaid bronze plaques.

The Walk of Fame hosts a cowboy induction ceremony every year.

Fall Into the Fall Season at Lone Star Family Farm

If you’re a great lover of the fall season, Lone Star Family farm is just right for you.

Everyone’s perfect pumpkin is waiting in the pumpkin patch, as well as a hayride out in the fresh countryside air.

There’s so much to entertain everybody, including a gigantic 8-acre corn maze where they hold hide-and-seek flashlight nights every Saturday and Sunday.

The farm offers a plethora of cool activities for individuals and families: playing around a hay bale maze and pyramid, riding around on the cow train and pedal tractors, shooting with the corn cannon, sliding down a hay bale pyramid or the harvester slide, playing with the farm animals, betting on the pig races, and a lot more.

For capturing that Instagrammable fall memory, there are fall-themed backdrops available around the farm for you.

Try the Rodeo Heritage Week

Of course, nothing is as Texan as the rodeo!

And no place in Texas loves the rodeo as Stephenville does.

Rodeo Heritage Week runs in September and features an abundance of rodeo activities for the masses.

A parade launches the celebrations, and riders with their horses march in a line, outnumbering the hayrides, tractors, and parade floats by quite a margin.

World champion rodeo cowboys come in droves to showcase the astonishing talent than Stephenville is famous for.

Cowboys get baptized in sweat, blood, and mud in a thrilling array of rodeo events: team roping, calf roping, bull riding, barrel racing, and so many more.

There’s no truer place to get initiated in the ways of red-blooded Texas rodeo than Stephenville.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Time-Travel at Dinosaur World

At this family theme park, the prehistoric wonder of life-size dinosaur exhibits await.

The park is pet-friendly and also food-friendly, encouraging picnickers to bring their own fare.

You may stroll among the interactive exhibits and mechanical dinosaurs, which are a great deal of fun for kids and adults eager to learn and explore.

Children can go on a dig at the fossil pit (and even take three select fossils home with them), go on an excavation at the mining sluice, or help uncover a giant skeleton at the boneyard.

The dinosaur tours are greatly animated and exciting for the whole family, and there are dinosaur-themed swings and slides ready for your kids’ pleasure at the park playground.

Fossils and information panels are on display for the eager learner at the prehistoric museum, holding thrilling motion-activated animatronic dinosaurs.

There’s a large gift shop with a treasury of educational materials for children and beautiful geodes and jewels for adults.

The park is ideal for rest and relaxation as well, with plenty of well-kept greenery and benches.

Final Thoughts

If you’re stopping by the state of Texas, Stephenville is a worthwhile place to visit.

When exploring the city, consult this list and take note of what you can do while you’re there.

Stephenville is a prominent place in more ways than one, and it’s ready for many a traveler’s wandering feet and amusement-loving mind.