Fort Worth, Texas offers something fun and exciting for everyone. Occasionally, you might want to escape the big city to spend a few days hiking or biking on country roads. Situated within a few hours’ worth of driving, there are a variety of small towns that offer a unique atmosphere and attractions. Designate a cozy Fort Worth vacation rental as your home base, then take a weekend retreat in a nearby city or town. Here’s a quick glance at the seven best weekend getaway spots from Fort Worth.

1. Glen Rose

Source: Flickr/Benny Mazur

Go prehistoric with a visit to Glen Rose. After you settle into your vacation rental, take the family to Dinosaur World. This park has 150 realistically sized dinosaurs. You can name each dino as you see it tucked away in the wooded area from the park’s walking path. The park also offers a fossil digging area, playground, and museum to learn more about the dinosaur footprints found in the area. See actual dino footprints at the Dinosaur Valley State Park. Before setting out for a hike in the park, stop by the interpretive center to learn more about the discovery of the prints and the types of dinos that once made this area home, as well as to get a trail map.

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2. Denison

Source: Flickr/Jim Bowen

Spend a weekend in the birthplace of former U.S. president Dwight D. Eisenhower. IThe Eisenhower Birthplace State Historic Site is in Denison’s downtown. After seeing the plaque dedicated to Eisenhower, take a tour of the home where he was born. While away the afternoon meandering through the historic downtown area that covers 30 blocks. Check out some of the eclectic shops, such as Southern Bling Boutique and the Blue Moon Antique Mall, which includes the wares of at least five vendors. In Eisenhower State Park, Lake Texoma is a great place for fishing, boating, and swimming. Rent a boat to take out on the lake from the Eisenhower Yacht Club for an afternoon.

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3. Terrell

Source: Flickr/Rheba

The town of Terrell, which sprang up at the same time that the railroads began running through this area, has a rich history. In the early evenings, take a stroll through the downtown area and smaller neighborhoods to see the gorgeous Victorian and Revival era homes. Learn more about the history of the area, and especially World War II history, at the Terrell Heritage Museum and the British Flying Training School. Indulge your need for retail therapy while saving money at the Tanger outlet mall with stores that include Gap, Old Navy, and OshKosh B’gosh. When you first arrive, stop by the visitor’s center to sign up for one of the walking tours offered by the city.

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4. Pilot Point

Source: Flickr/jeiline

Take a tour of the local botanical gardens, Tulip – Texas, when you visit the small town of Pilot Point. While touring the tulip gardens, your small entrance fee gives you permission to pick some of these delicate flowers. Blooms include all of your favorite shades, and some you wouldn’t think of, including black. Kids also enjoy walking or riding the tram at the Sharkarosa Wildlife Ranch. This small park covers 126 acres and hosts a variety of exotic animals; you can opt to enjoy some one-on-one time with a young animal. In the evenings, enjoy a family meal together at Pedro’s Tex-Mex and Grill.

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5. Jefferson

Source: Flickr/Nicolas Henderson

Feel like you’ve stepped back in time with all the historic homes and buildings that you find in Jefferson. This small town is located on the Big Cypress Bayou. Find out more about the ecosystem of the bayou, and see all the best sites with an afternoon spent with Captain Ron’s Swamp Tours. In the evening, take older family members on the Jefferson Ghost Walk. It’s a walking tour where you hear all the local legends of murder, ghosts, and mayhem. What do timepieces and salt and pepper shaker sets have in common? You can see some pretty cool ones at the Museum of Measurement and Time.

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6. Frisco

Source: https://www.visitfrisco.com

Frisco is the place to go for a family with younger children. At Hope Park, your kids can spend the entire day playing on the fort style playground that has something for kids of almost every age. Watch as your kids cross wooden bridges, climb towers, swing, and slide down twisty slides. The Play Street Museum teaches children about civics through play. They can ring up groceries or become entrepreneurs at their own lemonade stand. Take a tour of the National Videogame Museum to see the evolution of the games, and take a stroll down memory lane when you see throwbacks from the 70s, 80s, and 90s.

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7. McKinney

Source: Flickr/~Ealasaid~

Spend a weekend in small-town America with a vacation rental in McKinney. The downtown historic area is a great place to stroll around on a warm afternoon to see the old buildings and do a little shopping. Some of the cutest stores include Fair and Square Imports and Crystal Cloche. Put on good walking shoes to hit the trails at the Heard Natural Science Museum and Wildlife Sanctuary. Enjoy a tour of the sanctuary to see some of the woodlands animals, including deer, raccoons, and squirrels.

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