Glen Rose Weekend - The Retreat Golf Course, Fossil Rim Wildlife Center, and Dinosaur Valley State Park

After parking the motor home in our campsite at Tres Rio Campground, we headed out for dinner in Glen Rose at Julianys Italian Restaurant and were pleasantly surprised.  The entree was excellent, the bread was very good, and the salad was cold and fresh.  I had the Chicken Arabiata which is chicken sautéed with mushrooms, onions, green and red bell peppers, capers, black olives, and jalapenos with white wine in a spicy marinara sauce – plenty of food, for only $8.95, and delicious!  They offer home made pastas, veal, a wide variety of chicken specialties, shrimp, and fish.  Plus they have some excellent lunch specials Tuesday through Friday for only $5.95.  Based on our sample, I would rate Julianys a very solid 4 out of 5 stars. 

We camped at Tres Rios (three rivers), which is situated on property that is at the intersection of the Brazos, Paluxy, and Squaw Creek rivers.  Tres Rios has a wide variety of accommodations including RV sites (30 and 50 AMP), primitive sites on the banks of the rivers, efficiency rooms, and cabins.  They are also home to some great music concerts under a large pavilion. Click here to read the Texas Outside Tres Rios Review and find out more about Tres Rios.

One of serveral types of cabins at Tres RioSome of over 250 RV sitesTent camping at Tres Rios

After breakfast we drove to downtown Glen Rose and walked around the square and took in some of the quaint shops.  Downtown is an easy bike ride from Tres Rios.  On the way home, stop at city park and climb among the rocks, hike along the river banks, or cool off in the Paluxy River.

Glen Rose City Park -- Paluxy RiverDowntown Glen RoseClimb among the rocks

It doesn’t take long to explore downtown Glen Rose, so we headed south about 10 miles to just outside of Glen Rose. Fossil Rim is a 1650-acre wildlife preserve with over 100 exotic, threatened and endangered animals that roam freely in the Wildlife Center pastures.The self-drive through the preserve is up to 9.5 miles long and can take three hours to complete.  You will experience some close encounters with a number of species of exotic wildlife including turkeys, zebras, Oryx, antelope, ostrich, gazelles, and giraffes.  Make sure you grab some wildlife food at the admission center and take plenty of film.  Halfway through the drive you will arrive at the Overlook, which as the name implies has a magnificent view of the Fossil Rim Wildlife pastures, some of the animals, and the surrounding county side.  The Overlook also has a store, petting area, restaurant, and picnic area.   Bring a lunch and plan on spending an hour or so here.   The kids (and you skeptics) will enjoy this excursion and it is well worth the price of admission.  If you really want an up close encounter with the wildlife, take the tour in the back of a truck or convertible – don’t forget to get some animal food at the entrance. We would rate Fossil Rim a 4 out of 5 stars.

Big GiraffeFossil RimUp close & personal

Ranch House Bar-B-Que

Lunch was at the Ranch House Bar-B-Que in Glen Rose.  Ranch House is recognized by Texas Monthly Magazine as one of the “Best Bar-B-Que” restaurants in Texas.  And rightly so, we tried the brisket, ribs, and two types of sausage for lunch and found them all delicious – a lot of food for a reasonable price.  Rocky’s jalapeno potato salad is outstanding and the pecan pie is to die for!  Make sure you meet Rocky, the owner,who is a little dynamo and will go out of her way to make your dining experience a pleasure.  Texas Outside rating of 3.5 out of 5 stars.

After lunch we headed out to chase that little white ball around The Retreat in Cleburne.  What a great course and it quickly joined the Texas Outside Favorite Courses List  -- 9.3 stars.  The bad news is that this is a private course, so you need to buy some property, join the club, or quickly make a member one of your best friends.  Read the review of The Retreat here.

The RetreatHole #17The Retreat Golf Course


After golf, we took a dip in the huge Tres Rios pool and then walked over to Taylor’s Turn-N-Burn Café that is in a neat building within Tres Rios Park.  Mary Simpson, the owner, is an excellent cook and our meal was superb.  The salad was tasty, the prime rib was huge, cooked to perfection with plenty of au juice, and a big baked potato.  The hamburger steak and fries were also excellent – very tasty meat smothered with onions.  Mary is Italian and says her Pizzas and meatball sub are to die for!  Turn-N-Burn is only open Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 11 to 9.  You may also find some live music on some of the weekends, call to find out who is playing.

Glen Rose is in a dry county and we couldn’t find a fun place to hang out on Saturday night, so when you come to Glen Rose bring your own evening entertainment. 

Sunday morning we headed to Dinosaur Valley State Park to bike some of the trails within the park.   We rode the white trail, which is a fun ride, somewhat strenuous in parts (including carrying your bike), with some great views of the valley.  We started to ride one part of the blue trail along the river and quickly found that we were carrying bikes more than ridding them.  After the trails, we rode over to Blue Hole and took a quick dip in river before heading back to Dallas. Read the review of Dinosaur Valley State Park to find out more about what there is to do in the park.

Campsite at Dinosaur Valley State ParkDinosaur Valley State ParkBike Trail

We left early Sunday afternoon so we could catch Max Stallings at Texas Love & War in Plano.  Max and Texas Love & War are a couple of Texas Outside Favorites.  On Sunday afternoon until about 8, Texas Love & War has outstanding live country music on the patio – a great setting, cold beer, excellent margaritas, outstanding chicken fried steak, and kid friendly.  Can’t beat that! 

Max StallingShiner Sunday during the SummerLove & War in Texas Patio


Very fun weekend.

Here are some other things to do in Glen Rose:

  • Barnard’s Mill & Art Museum – 12 rooms of original art and artifacts
  • Comanche Peak Information Center – learn about the generation of electricity using the atom
  • The Promise – a seasonal (June to October) epic musical drama of the life of Christ
  • Somervell Expo Center & Texas Amphitheater – equestrian events, rodeos, and special events
  • Somervell Country Museum – items depicting local history, fossils, relics, and dinosaur bones
  • Squaw Valley Golf Course – 36 holes of some great golf, read the Texas Outside review of Squaw Valley
  • Brazos and Paluxy Rivers for swimming, fishing, kayaking, tubing, canoeing, fishing and camping
  • Canoe and Tube Rentals – enjoy a carefree day exploring the Brazos River by Canoe or Tube, you can rent from Rhodes Canoe Rental
  • Rough Creek Lodge - an upscale and fantastic resort just outside of Glen Rose
  • Glen Rose Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Glen Rose web site – info on lodging, restaurants, events, and more

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Texas Outside has been alive & well since 1996 - that's ancient by today's internet standards! Texas Outside was originally developed by Lone Star Internet which is an Austin based web development company with an excellent reputation & client base. In March of 2006, we purchased Texas Outside & made a commitment to add new, exciting, & informative content on Texas outdoor activities & fun things to see & do.

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