Incorporated in 1886, Denton is considered the 27th most populous city in Texas and serves as the county seat of Denton County.
Settlement began as early as the 1800s, and Denton has since gone above and beyond to become a thriving city in various industries.
A bustling business district and top-notch educational facilities are just some things you can enjoy while in Denton.
If you’re working on a tight budget on your trip, you’ll still see a lot of attractions and enjoy new experiences without the hefty price tag.
Check out these 15 free things to do in Denton, Texas:
Cross the Old Alton Bridge
Connecting Denton and Copper Canyon is the historic Old Alton Bridge, an iron truss bridge built in 1884.
The Old Alton Bridge initially carried horses and automobiles over Hickory Creek and was named after the abandoned community of Alton.
Crossing the Old Alton Bridge is more interesting once you find out the story behind it and why it was previously named Goatman’s Bridge.
This Denton attraction carries the Goatman Bridge Legend, which is said to be a half-man, half-goat that was inspired by a black goat farmer named Oscar Washburn.
Once you reach the bridge, you’ll also see a couple of plaques posted on one end and a tranquil sight of a rather secluded area over the creek.
Hang Out By the Chairy Orchard
There are hundreds to do while touring the streets of Denton, but if you’re looking for a unique experience, swing by the Chairy Orchard on Churchill Drive.
Denton’s Chairy Orchard is an open space full of decorated and colorful chairs, forming a unique park perfect to visit on a cool day.
From salon-style dryer chairs and decrepit wheelchairs to rattan and plastic ones, there’s no shortage of chairs in the orchard.
Enjoy your whimsical adventure in the Denton attraction by taking photos that will up your Instagram game.
Also within the vicinity is the Locks Of Love Chairish Wall, where you can secure a lock with you and your loved one’s name.
Check Out the Denton Firefighters Museum
Get a gist of how firefighting action takes place when you check out the Denton Firefighters Museum on Hickory Street.
Embark on a guided tour and explore the museum halls, where you’ll learn the rich history of Denton in the firefighting scene.
Check out historic collectibles dating back to the 1800s, including hose carts, ladder trucks, fire extinguishers, and fire report logs over 150 years old.
The Denton Firefighters Museum also honors some of the city’s bravest firefighters that have served Denton with exceptional efforts.
As you wander the museum, you’ll also see life-like mannequins featuring the evolution of firefighting gear.
Visit the Quakertown House Museum
Along West Mulberry Street is the Quakertown House Museum, one of the best places tourists can visit to learn more about Denton.
The Quakertown House was built in 1904 and serves as a home for Denton County’s African American Museum.
Denton was one of the most populated areas in terms of African American residents during the 1870s, before a huge part of the Quakertown neighborhood was abolished.
The Quakertown House was one of the remaining homes that survived the move to Solomon Hill, and it was built as a three-room home by H.F. Davidson.
You’ll also notice that the home retained a lot of its original design elements, thanks to the efforts of restoration specialist Bill Marquis.
Reconnect with Nature at Clear Creek Natural Heritage Center
Enjoy Denton's relaxing atmosphere while surrounded by nature’s greatest wonders by spending some time at Clear Creek Natural Heritage Center.
Located on Collins Road, Clear Creek Natural Heritage Center covers over 2,900 acres of bottomland hardwood forest and several aquatic habitats you won’t find anywhere else.
Have a peaceful walk around the area, or sit under the cool shade of trees while reading your favorite book.
Denton’s Clear Creek Natural Heritage Center also covers several walking trails you might want to check out.
During your walk, marvel at the bottomland and upland prairie ecosystems surrounding the 10-mile trail across the heritage center.
View the Texas First Ladies Historic Gown Collection
Uncover the grandeur of classic fashion finds in the Texas First Ladies Historic Gown Collection at Texas Woman’s University.
Look at the collection of fascinating gowns worn by the First Ladies of Texas, which symbolizes grace and elegance.
Check out the intricate assorted patchwork of each gown on display, and learn a little history about Texas as you go through each one.
The collection features 46 gowns permanently owned by the university and one gown on loan.
You’ll see a different display each time you visit the university, so you might want to come back a few more times to see all of them.
Wander around the Little Chapel In the Woods
If you ever find yourself touring Texas Woman’s University, check out the Little Chapel In the Woods, a popular attraction in the area.
You’ll feel like you’re walking toward an enchanted place, as the small chapel is surrounded by the woods and sits right in the middle of the secluded space.
Marvel at the stained glass windows and brick archways in this small sanctuary, which is 90 feet long and 24 feet wide.
The chapel has been holding wedding ceremonies since 1939 and was designed by architect O’Neil Ford.
You can explore the small space alone, but if you want to know more about the chapel, you can always book a guided tour.
Check Out the Denton Community Market
Get a good look at the Denton Community Market's local finds, and immerse yourself in the vibrant city life.
The Denton Community Market is located in the Historical Park of Denton County at W Mulberry Street.
It is a producer-only farmers market, which means you’ll get nothing but fresh products sourced from local growers and vendors.
If you’re not looking to buy anything, don’t worry because you can still enjoy the local scene with catchy live music.
You’ll also get to witness the talents of Denton residents in the form of artworks, which are also for sale at the market.
Hang Out at South Lakes Park
Step away from Denton’s busy city life for a few hours, and spend a relaxing day at South Lakes Park on Hobson Lane.
Sip on your favorite drink while resting in a cool spot, or explore South Lakes Park's various amenities.
The park covers nearly 188 acres of land, including areas to relax, exercise, or enjoy the scenery of Denton.
Also located at South Lakes Park is the Eureka Playground, which offers the perfect area where your kids can have fun.
South Lakes Park also has a short walking trail, basketball, tennis, volleyball courts, pavilions, fishing piers, and more.
Drop by the Bayless-Selby House Museum
When you drop by the Bayless-Selby House Museum on West Mulberry Street, you will learn more about Denton's rich culture and history.
The Bayless-Selby House Museum is situated in downtown Denton, telling tourists the stories behind the city’s development and humble beginnings.
This Victorian house takes visitors back in time with the presence of the old music room, vintage dining table, bedroom suite, and other attractions.
The property was originally a two-room farmhouse that sheltered a family of seven before it was sold to the Selby family in 1920.
Aside from the things you’ll find inside the museum, you’ll also be treated to an amazing garden view maintained by the Denton County Master Gardener Association.
Cast Your Lines at Big Sandy Boat Ramp
Go on a fishing trip on Big Sandy Boat Ramp, cast your lines, and have a great time surrounded by the tranquil scenery.
Big Sandy Boat Ramp spans 13 kilometers, giving you ample space to enjoy watersports activities like canoeing and kayaking.
You can also enjoy a lakeside picnic with the waters providing a relaxing backdrop as you enjoy your meal.
Big Sandy Boat Ramp is one of the few places where you can have your thoughts to yourself with its rustic setting, which is perfect for those who want to spend time away from the busy streets.
Big Sandy Boat Ramp is also located near Shayhan Point, allowing you to visit the nearby fishing spot after you’re done.
Check Out the Texas Fashion Collection
Texas is well-known for amazing fashion pieces, so you can’t possibly leave Denton without checking out the Texas Fashion Collection at the University of North Texas.
Witness all kinds of fashion collectibles from the college of visual arts and design, and learn more about the process of producing these kinds of clothing.
Everything and anything related to fashion can be found in this Denton attraction, from dresses and bottoms to shoes, bags, and jewelry.
It will take a while to check out 1,400 pairs of shoes, 2,500 hats, and 750 handbags, along with the remaining pieces in the 20,000-piece collection.
There are also designer labels from Hubert Givenchy, Oscar de la Renta, House of Dior, and Cristobal Balenciaga.
Visit the Courthouse-on-the-Square Museum
If there’s one Denton attraction you should see, it’s the Courthouse-on-the-Square Museum along Hickory Street.
The Denton County Courthouse is one of the most popular sites in the city that was built in 1896 as a centerpiece of the downtown square.
In 2004, the courthouse was restored, following the original blueprints of architect W.C. Dodson.
Limestone, pink granite, red sandstone, and tan sandstone comprise the entire structure, sourced from different regions in the state.
The courthouse stands as a symbol of Denton’s rich history, and you’ll also find a museum featuring exhibits and serving as a venue for lectures.
Take Your Furry Friends to the Wiggly Field Dog Park
If you’re planning on bringing your furry friends to your trip in Denton, you might want to swing by the Wiggly Field Dog Park and have them run around without any worries.
Wiggly Field Dog Park on Denton’s Ryan Road covers nearly 70 acres of land, giving you and your pets enough space to have fun.
But before you swing by the park, have everything you need for your and your dog to stay in tip-top shape.
Bring a frisbee or a favorite tennis ball, and spend some much-needed quality time with your best friend.
You can also explore the walking trails at Wiggly Field Dog Park or spend a few minutes at the nearby playground before taking a break at the pavilion.
Visit the Blagg-Huey Library
Check out the extensive book collection at Texas Woman’s Library when you visit the Blagg-Huey Library.
The university library sports a Georgian architecture style and goes up to three stories, so you’ll be there for a few hours to get a good look at the place.
The library’s classical motifs also bring a refreshing interior for everyone to see, making you feel like you’ve stepped decades back in time.
The Texas legislature designated the Blagg-Huey Library as the state’s official collection on women's history in 1979.
Check out collections on the university’s history, children’s works, World War II archives, and much more.
You’re sure to have a blast touring the streets of Denton, even without shelling out a lot of cash!
The city offers various free attractions, from parks to museums, to natural wonders.
Simply stick to this list of the free things to do in Denton, Texas, and you’re sure to get the most out of your trip.