Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Vernon, TX

  • Published 2022/08/15

The Real West begins at Vernon, Texas.

This city, roughly halfway between Amarillo and Dallas, is the seat of Wilbarger County.

It’s also a great place to vist for the best Texas experience you’ll ever have.

Its beginnings start as early as 1880, but it officially used the name Vernon a year after, when it also celebrated its first post office.

Besides many ranches and wildlife, Vernon also excels in cultural excellence.

You are in for a good ride everywhere you go in this city.

Here are some of the best things to do in Vernon, Texas:

See the Exquisite Animal Collection at the Red River Valley Museum

Vernon’s colorful history comes vividly to life in the Red River Valley Museum at College Drive.

This historical landmark tells the story of Vernon’s culture, art, and science through its vivid exhibits and tours.

It officially started its operations in 1963 in the County auditorium with only a few artifacts for display.

By 1987, the museum experienced a transformation in its halls and exhibits to better offer its expertise to the public.

Currently, it houses various gallery exhibits, with a distinct theme and timeline.

The Red River Valley Museum’s most infamous displays include the rotating space of Wright Art Gallery and the Berry History and Science Gallery.

The William A. Bond Trophy and Game Gallery is also among the best exhibits in the museum.

The vast array of animal statues in its collection attracts several visitors.

Discover more exciting facts about Vernon, its most notable artists, and other exclusive city-focused knowledge at the Red River Valley Museum.

Sign up for an art show and watch as your artwork gets displayed for public viewing.

Observe the Antiques at Wilbarger County Historical Museum

Vernon is a multicultural city that never runs out of history retellings.

Wilbarger County Historical Museum is proof of this.

This museum presents the local history of Vernon and offers a unique perspective through its display of artifacts.

This place keeps Vernon’s past eras shining, from sports memorabilia to music souvenirs.

The trove of historical antiquities stars in meaningful displays, making it all the more intriguing.

Take a trip down history lane through the vibrant stories of Vernon’s old days.

Take a personalized tour at the Wilbarger County Historical Museum.

Book a Room at the Lone Star Inn

The Lone Star Inn gives a homely, modern feel of county living for that ideal Vernon stay and relaxation.

Its spacious “Texas Size Rooms” keeps visitors coming, ready to end their Vernon tour at this inn.

The inn has free WiFi and safe lockers for every guest.

Enjoy your day with a coffee using your room’s coffee makers.

If you’re tired of going outside to munch on snacks, this inn also has a vending machine that can cater to your taste.

Start your day right with the inn’s complimentary hot breakfast.

The Lone Star Inn sits across a Japanese restaurant in the grasslands of Highway 287.

Enjoy the Latest Movies at Vernon Plaza Theater

Who says watching your favorite movies can’t be a historical excursion?

When you see a movie at the Vernon Plaza Theater, you’re also reconnecting with history.

After all, it’s the oldest movie house in Vernon.

This state-of-the-art cinema opened in 1953, and become one of Texas’ first movie theaters to screen 3D movies.

The storefront of this cinema also opens to the bustle of Cumberland Street.

With its charming vintage-styled marquee and ticket booth, you get a glimpse of its popularity in recent years.

The locally-owned and operated Vernon Plaza Theater can leave you winded as if you’ve stepped back in time.

Take a Quick Break at the Gazebo at Orbison Park

Orbison Park offers a mixture of respite and outdoor glamor that completes your sightseeing needs.

This park operates under the management of the Vernon Parks Department.

Its vast expanse of garden land and athletic fields keeps the park lit, which draws plenty of visitors.

It also hosts playdates and planned class trips, since its family-friendly amenities make it safe for the little ones to explore their creativity.

Likewise, it’s a prominent place of refuge for those needing a break from the stresses of city life.

Bring a good book or journal while sitting in the gazebo on a peaceful day.

While a perfect venue for lounging and enjoying the breeze, it’s also famous for hosting special events and gatherings.

A trip down Sand Road can take you to Orbison Park.

Host a Pool Party at Orbison Aquatic Center

This aquatic recreational spot joins this list close to Orbison Park.

Orbison Aquatics Center is an extension of the outdoor fun that its park and Orbison Clubhouse promises.

It features island-shaped swimming areas and lounge chairs to prepare you for that summer tan.

The center also allows party rentals, whether during its regular hours of operations or right after.

Waddle your way around the pool and test your superior swimming skills with friends.

Make your swimming entrance more exciting by going on top of the diving board or the center’s twisty slide.

Beat the heat at the Orbison Aquatics Center!

Upgrade Your Golf Skills at Hillcrest Country Club

Hillcrest Country Club has everything you need for a fun golf game.

This club offers a straight nine-hole course that can occupy and encourage you throughout tee times.

This center opened in 1937 and features golf season all year round.

Its driving range allows you to bask in the fresh air of the courses within the perimeter.

The luscious green shade of the trees gives you a refreshing physical activity.

Enjoy a meal at the nearby restaurant to complete your golf-centered trip.

Hillcrest Country Club is on the right of Country Club Road.

Take a Refreshing Walk at Christine Lyday Park

Ensure a great day trip at Christine Lyday Park and its natural amenities.

This 2.4-acre park is the ideal venue for a family stroll or some outdoor play with your little ones.

This park is also one of the top five largest parks within the city.

It’s time to rest, relax, and re-energize with nature at this lovely park.

Located at Dawson Street, Christine Lyday Park is within walking distance from First Baptist Church.

Get Custom Souvenirs at the Refinery

For some in-store shopping, drop by the Refinery and get everything you need.

This boutique aims to gather women in empowerment and fellowship.

At the same time, the store brims with unique, handmade arts and crafts that everyone of all ages can cherish.

From home goods to decor and other memorabilia, you should find extraordinary items while going through the displays.

The store also proudly displays custom products.

If you’ve allocated time for some souvenir hunting and gift shopping, you know where to look.

The Refinery is at Main Street.

Marvel at the Vintage Collection at the Pendleton

The Pendleton in Vernon should be at the top of your list regarding vintage shopping.

Do you want to know an interesting fact about this vintage and consignment shop?

Its former name is the Vernon Drugstore, in the west of Vernon square.

It’s not only a modern shopping center; it’s also a site with a lot of history and past.

Built in 1901, this center specializes in antiques, furniture, and more.

It also resells home accessories that could be the perfect addition to your home.

Find your next thrift buy at the secondhand items at every corner of the Pendleton.

Get Your Jewelry Engraved at Balser Jewelry

What better way to improve your Vernon tour than to buy a piece of jewelry to commemorate the trip?

Balser Jewelry in Fannin is your one-stop shop for the best gemstone jewelry collection all over the city.

If you prefer ready-made designs, explore the displays of jewel crafts and find yourself amazed.

However, you can also get a custom piece if you prefer a more personalized approach.

Owner Larry takes a hands-on approach throughout the custom jewelry process, from sketching and hand carving to waxing and polishing.

Gift a loved one with a pendant necklace or ring you’ve purchased from this store.

Better yet, transform your jewelry into a timeless masterpiece by using the store’s engraving services.

Find your next gift at Balser Jewelry!

Go on an Outdoor Retreat at Wright’s River Retreat

Camping in Vernon is always a one-of-a-kind experience.

Take an exceptional serene cabin retreat at Wright’s River Retreat.

It sits along a dirt road, away from the city buzz.

This cabin is near the Red River, offering a frontage view of the valley and wildlife aesthetic.

Besides respite, this place is also appropriate for events, as it can accommodate 25 or more guests.

Stretch your legs around the outdoor patio or warm yourself near the firepit.

A barbecue grill is also ready for use for that immersive deep-in-the-forest living experience.

If you don’t know how to fish, staying at this cabin can help you finally learn this hobby.

Stay Overnight at Vernon RV Park

Your journey to find your home away from home in North Texas begins at Vernon RV Park.

The grounds offer full hookups and an overall tranquil atmosphere for maximum relaxation.

Its open space allows you ample breathing ground to finally sneak in a lot of naps amidst your packed schedule.

Whether you plan to stay short-term or overnight, this campground brings you the best of both, so you stay secure and comfortable.

This campsite has more to offer, too!

Take your camp stay to the next level with Vernon RV Park’s event hosting services.

Staying in this central part of Vernon also gets you closer to several attractions within the city.

This RV and trailer campsite is right along Commerce Street.

Other Things to Do Nearby

There’s so much to see and do at Vernon.

If you’ve gone through each possible tourist site in Vernon, though, here are some things you can do near this city.

Know More about Deer at Diamond P Ranch

Only 28 minutes from Vernon in the city of Crowell is Diamond P Ranch.

This hunting preserve gets you ready for an adventure of a lifetime.

Among its services include lodging and taxidermy to prepare you for a Texas-style hunting trip.

A lot of deer roam around the vicinity.

And with the guides on site, this gives you the chance to upgrade your deer knowledge.

Alongside deer knowledge, the place is also known for its dove hunting specialties.

Take time to rest at your chosen lodge, surrounded by nature.

At this hunting ranch, you are sure to have a fun time!

Watch the Sunset and Sunrise at Back Forty RV Park

For your full RV camping experience, Back Forty RV Park is the place to go.

On Highway 287 in Quanah, this locally-owned park features an array of amenities and equipment to complete your camping stay.

It has an on-site store, a dog park, patio areas, and fire pits.

So, you have all the essentials you need without going too far.

It sits on 40 acres and is a convenient rural Texas open space with the best views of the sunset and sunrise.

Take a photo of the glorious sky during the peak hours of sunset to take home with you as a souvenir.

This park’s long history started in 1972 when it was only just a family farmhouse.

Now, it is both a friendly park and a place of inspiration for the patriarch of the family owning the land.

Back Forty RV Park is only 29 minutes from downtown Vernon.

View the Gardens and Exhibits at Pioneer Heritage Townsite Museum

Pioneer Heritage Townsite Museum takes you on a historical ride of the city of Frederick, Oklahoma, 29 minutes from Vernon.

This townsite museum features a 1920 historical representation.

Its authentic history shows through the standing architecture and buildings within the area.

These buildings include a 1924 church, the 1901 Frisco Depot, and the 1902 Horse Creek School.

Visiting these buildings will engage you as you learn more about the rural township in the 20s.

To beautify the site, it also has seasonal gardens for viewing.

Likewise, it celebrates various events throughout the year to keep the memories of this place alive and burning.

Final Thoughts

Vernon gets its charm from its wide selection of sites brimming with history, art, and outdoor recreation.

This city combines the spirit of adventure with rich heritage through its museums, recreational centers, and antique shops.

Book your trip today and discover the best things to do in Vernon!

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