On the Road
Mix museums and must-visit eateries in history-focused Cleburne
Approximately 40 minutes south of Fort Worth, Cleburne is a charming place with a historic downtown along with fun festivals and one-of-a-kind museums and attractions (think blacksmithing at an outdoor ranch and original costumes from Gone With the Wind!).
Here are six things you can only do in Cleburne, Texas.
1. Visit the Gone With the Wind Remembered Museum
Channel your inner Scarlett O’Hara and head to the Gone With the Wind Remembered Museum, one of the most comprehensive and extensive Gone With the Wind collections in the world with more than 6,000 pieces.
Inside are original costumes from the film, Civil War artifacts to highlight the plot, and furniture from the Tara Mansion. And, yes, the iconic armchair where Rhett Butler sat and famously said, “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn,” is there, too.
There’s also a tribute section to Butterfly McQueen and an impressive collection of vintage dolls in Victorian dresses.
2. Tour the Layland Museum
A fantastic way to get a sense of Texas history is to spend an afternoon or longer at Layland Museum. Located in the beautiful, 1904-built Carnegie Library building, the museum has rare artifacts from Native Americans in the region, including a teepee, pottery, and apparel.
Other exhibits include the Gillespie Library, full of rare and first edition books; the Pioneer exhibit, featuring old photographs and clothing items; and the 20th Century Gallery, with an automobile from the 1920s and vintage gas station pumps.
3. Peep historic homes
Keep the history going with a self-guided tour of gorgeous historic houses and mansions. Included in the mix is a local church built in 1871 along with several bungalow and Victorian houses — some dating back 200 years!
There are nearly 100 buildings to see, but most are within close proximity to each other.
4. Visit the Chisholm Trail Outdoor Museum and Big Bear Native American Museum
For a live demo of blacksmithing and to watch re-enactments of how early pioneers lived, the Chisholm Trail Outdoor Museum and Big Bear Native American Museum should be on your list.
While there, you can also explore a one-room schoolhouse, teepees, the original Wardville Courthouse, and a sheriff’s office and jail.
5. Spend time at Lake Pat Cleburne
Get your nature fix at Lake Pat Cleburne, a one-of-a-kind water reservoir that’s ideal for recreational water sports, swimming, and fishing. Bring your own picnic for a relaxing afternoon.
6. Don’t miss small-town flavors in historic downtown
Start your day in true small-town Texas fashion with breakfast at R&K Cafe II. It might not look like much from the outside, but a hearty menu (including the best chicken-fried steak around) and true Southern hospitality are inside.
The Burger Bar is also a must. It’s the local pride and joy and is housed in a 10-by-14-foot building, making the entire restaurant the size of a walk-in closet! But don’t let that fool you. The burgers are big on flavor; they’ve been making them since 1949.
End the day on a high note at Songbird Live! with some local music; the theater hosts concerts from a range of talented artists and musicians.
Learn more about what makes this town a one-of-a-kind destination at Visit Cleburne.