Gainesville Travel Guide

  • Cooke County Courthouse
    Cooke County Courthouse
    by Basaic
  • Gainesville Historic District
    Gainesville Historic District
    by Basaic
  • Morton Museum
    Morton Museum
    by Basaic

Gainesville Things to Do

  • The Lavender Festival at Lavender Ridge...

    I can't resist the sweet scent of lavender and there was plenty of it at The Lavender Festival* held over Memorial Day weekend. Although it was a typically hot Texas day, many had traveled to Gainesville on the interstate, then traversed a dusty backroad to reach the festival.After winding our way up the long, narrow, dirt driveway, we squeezed...

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  • The Sam Rayburn Home

    The Sam Rayburn Home museum is actually about 35 miles from Gainesville. However, since I don't have a page on this particular town I am including it here. Bonham, Texas was an easy drive from Gainesville.Mr. Sam Rayburn was a native son and one of Texas' 'best know statesmen*', serving 24 terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, an illustration...

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  • Morton Museum of Cooke County

    We obtained a walking tour map from the Santa Fe Depot, determined to find as many historical buildings as possible before it grew too dark. The Morton Museum was closed, but we're hoping to see it another time since we usually make it a point to tour a museum or two when we travel. This building that now houses the Morton Museum was once...

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  • The Harvey Girls

    After browsing through the Santa Fe Depot, be sure to travel upstairs to see the Harvey Girls living quarters. Their quarters may seem austere, but they included all a tired girl required: a comfy bed, a stand for washing and holding a few articles of clothing, perhaps room enough for a small bedside table and an empty corner for a trunk. Ah, it...

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  • The Santa Fe Depot Museum

    If you happen by Gainesville, try to stop at The Santa Fe Depot. A guide was more than happy to explain the history of the train station, which was constructed in 1902 and included baggage, express and passenger waiting areas. The Harvey House, which was a restaurant chain located in depots along the rail system, had a lunch counter in the...

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  • Historical Neighborhoods

    South of the town square lies Gainesville's most prominent historic neighborhood. Guided by posted signs through the historic quarter, one is treated to a variety of Victorian and other architectural splendors. The well-to-do in the days of construction kept their residences close to the center of town and the action. Today's owners preserve the...

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  • Santa Fe Depot

    For anyone who has visited my other rural America pages, there tends to be a Carnegie library and Santa Fe depot on every one. No different in Cooke County and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the depot is cut from the same mold as other depots around the country. Though its use has been much curtailed with the national highway...

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  • St Paul's Episcopal Church

    This thoroughly modern-looking church on the main drag through town is actually fairly old. The first congregation gathered here in the 1880s and the church was finished in its present form some years later. Though Gothic in some aspects and with a large stained-glass window, the red brick somewhat loses the Gothic mantle but the church is still a...

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  • Cloud-Stark-Jones House

    A few blocks south of the county courthouse is the Cloud-Stark-Jones House, another listing on the National Register of Historic Places for its impressive architecture. Now part of a neighborhood of similar Victorian-era homes, this landmark would have been the second most prominent building in town at the time of its construction (1884) behind the...

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Gainesville Hotels

Gainesville Restaurants

  • For Fried Pie!

    UPDATE: Memorial Day weekend gave us the opportunity to drive through Gainesville and we did not miss the opportunity to sample the famous pies of the Fried Pie Cafe*. Choices were blueberry, dutch apple, pineapple, strawberry, coconut, cherry, pecan and others (pics 2 & 3). After smacking our lips in pleasure, we wondered what had taken us so long...

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  • Simple, but Delicious Fare

    As we progressed from house to house on the Christmas Home Tour, we found ourselves getting hungry, so asked for a recommendation on where to eat dinner since it was pushing 8:30 pm. We were directed to The Main Street Pub and Eatery. We bumped into some very nice folks we met while touring the homes and were invited to join their table. It was...

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  • Gainesville Hotels

    5 Hotels in Gainesville

Gainesville Shopping

  • Home Accents, Gifts, Bath & Body

    Ananas is located near the Gainesville town square. It's a treat visiting the shop to discover all the lovely home accents, breathe in wonderful scents and find luscious soaps and body cremes. Floral arrangements punctuate the shop in all colors and textures. I had my eye on these!I think you would enjoy browsing through Ananas for that special...

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  • A Nice Assortment of Antiques and...

    Memory Lane was the sort of antique shop I love--full to bursting with collectibles and the occasional unique antique. I was overjoyed to find mini-tomato salt and pepper shakers. I've been collecting "tomato" pieces for a few years, so try to jump on those items when I see them.The store was nicely laid out and neatly arranged. You'll find...

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Gainesville Local Customs

  • VeronicaG's Profile Photo

    by VeronicaG Updated Dec 30, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    When we were told of the Candlelight Christmas Tour, we marked it on our calendar and cleared our schedule. We were going,no doubt about it!

    Gainesville has a wonderful district where you'll find streets lined with nicely restored Victorian homes. It's even more beautiful to drop by in December, when house after house pulls out all the stops and decorates from porch to rooftop for Christmas.

    Six homes were especially gussied up for the $8 tour, which also included a live nativity at the Baptist church. Donkeys, a goat and sheep were brought into town to play their part in baby Jesus' birth. Townspeople costumed as the Holy Family, shepherds and the Magi posed in a rustic stable. It's been years since we've seen a live nativity!

    Wagon and carriage rides were available for just $2--some of the homes open for tour offered hors'd oeuvres or cookies and punch. For a hearty dose of Christmas spirit, visit Gainesville for the next Candlelight Christmas tour.

    "Picture Upcoming"

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Seniors
    • Historical Travel

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Gainesville Favorites

  • The Butterfield Stagecoach Service

    Gainesville was not only the hub for railroads at one time, but it was also located between two major cattle drives and on the route for John Butterfield's Overland Mail Company stagecoach service. I found the information concerning this stagecoach company interesting. The coach service traveled with usually 9 passengers and a conductor and driver....

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  • The Gainesville Community Circus

    When the circus came to town...it WAS the town!The Gainesville Community Circus operated for over thirty years, from 1930-1964. What made it unique is that residents performed in it. Everyday people flung caution to the wind to participate in this event.While visiting the Santa Fe Depot, we viewed a two-minute film on the Community Circus, produced...

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  • Railroading in Gainesville

    We were poking around the depot grounds when this train came by. It lent a nice touch to our visit to the depot museum!The railroad arrived to the area on June 22, 1878 when the workers of the Denison & Pacific Railway laid the first rails and crossties of a new extension meant to extend from Denison to Gainesville. The town of Woodbine in Cooke...

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