Denton as a Destination??

It occurred to me that, if you decide to drop off in Denton, Texas, you might want to do more than just go to a vintage clothing store (see my post on Circa 77). I often find that when I visit a small town I don’t find half of the strange little shops that I had hoped. That’s because I don’t know where to look.

In Denton, it is obvious…the courthouse square. Yes, out on Loop 288 you can find the chain stores by the score. But, most of the really funky shops are in town. You don’t want to drive near the malls anyway, because of the highway construction.

If you want to spend the night in Denton, there is a lovely bed & breakfast with three historic houses from which to choose. The Heritage Inn is located within walking distance of the square.

You could spend a full day shopping Denton without leaving the square, but the town has other shops that might intrigue you. If you need another reason to visit, there are two festivals coming up this spring that could draw your attention:

  • Denton Arts & Jazz Festival
    Texas Storytelling Festival
  • The Greater Denton Arts Council at 207 South Bell has an exhibit each year called Materials: Hard & Soft that has gotten national attention, and will surely be worth a look. You can visit their web site to see the types of artwork displayed in past years.
  • Just off the downtown area is a house that became a quaint little museum. TheBayless-Selby House Museum at 317 W. Mulberry Street is open Tuesday – Saturday from 10:00 a.m. – Noon then from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. Admission is free.

As for the shops and eateries I would make sure to see…here is a partial list. Remember I have eclectic tastes…some would say “odd.”

  • On the square there are several antique mini-malls and antique stores.
  • There is also The Candy Store,
  • Beth Marie’s Ice Cream
  • Jupiter House Coffee (which has wireless internet access)
  • la di da (which sells high end clothing)
  • Elements of Design (designer gifts)
  • and a couple of wine shops which offer wine tastings.
  • The vintage clothing store I like, Circa 77 is just off the square.
  • Next to it is a restaurant/bistro I highly recommend called Banter. It has an art gallery on the walls, excellent coffee, delicious sandwiches, hummus, and tapas. It also has wireless internet access, books and games for those interested, and has live entertainment in the evenings.
  • While you are in the area, check out Recycled Books…the big pink building on the northeast corner of the square. It has miles of books in a labyrinth of shelves!
  • If you drive down by North Texas State University on Hickory Street, you’ll discover some more wonderful shops. I don’t travel there much, but I enjoy Voertman’s at 1314 W. Hickory for gifts, cookware and art supplies.
  • Giuseppe’s Italian Restaurant at 821 N Locust St.( a part of the Heritage Inn complex) has tastefully prepared food. Don’t miss out on the Chicken Parmesan or the Tiramisu.
  • Sleeping Lizzards, is a collection of odd little gifts, jewelry, etc. at 424 N Elm St.
  • Ravelin’s Bakery at its new location 416 S. Elm St. has delightful pastries and the best sourdough bread I can remember having.

Get in your car for some exploring to the following:

  • International Food of Denton, has wonderful Mediterranean style food at 609 Sunset St.
  • Yummy’s Greek Restaurant at 210 W University is indeed…yummy, that is. And I think you can smoke a hookah there if it appeals to you…
  • Rose Costumes is fun. It’s on Interstate 35 north of Denton (95800 N. Interstate 35 ) in what had aspired to be an outlet mall. That venture fell apart, but it still has several shops. There are 2 or 3 antique stores and Rose Costume (also a Good Eats Restaurant). Even if you don’t need a costume, this humongous store is fun to explore. The dressing rooms are each decorated in a different way. You can try on a costume in a booth that looks like a Gypsy fortune teller’s booth, or Grandma’s kitchen, or the shower stall from “Psycho.” If you go there, make use of the restroom facilities…I’m not kidding. They decorated the room to look like Sherlock Holmes’ study (with a “loo” in it).

There’s plenty more here in Denton, but these are ones that make it worth the drive.”

  6 comments for “Denton as a Destination??

  1. Anonymous
    January 12, 2007 at 9:34 am

    Wish I had read This Eclectic Life before moving here from California! I was prepared for small town thinking and drab days compared to Bay area, and instead found Denton to be a funky oasis in Texas….

  2. Shelly
    January 13, 2007 at 6:31 pm

    This Eclectic Life wasn’t here before you moved from California. Denton is a funky oasis, but there are those who still don’t like it. As for the Bay area, I’ll go there in a heartbeat…as soon as I win the lottery. Oh yeah, I have to buy a ticket.

  3. sir kero
    April 25, 2008 at 11:32 am

    You missed a couple of my favorites so I’ll tag them on here:

    Art Six – A Coffee Shop and Art display owned and operated by UNT alumn. The art (also by students) is for sale and cycles out fairly often. Great cozy atmosphere in spite of the location’s murder-mystery past. Oh, great coffee too! Located on the corner of Byran and Scripture, two blocks North of UNT campus.

    El Guapos – Awesome Tex-Mex restaurant (best in town IMO). Ex-Tia’s manager decided he could do better and proved himself very very right! everything is good, especially the homemade tortillas. Nestled between Elm and Locust st, just across from Ravelin.

    Mr. Chopsticks – Asian hodge-podge cuisine with recipes from across the globe. Their menu is friendly to vegetarians and carnivores alike. Be sure to try… anything! I haven’t found a single dish I didn’t love. Spice can be kicked up or down by request. New location at 1633 Scripture since Fry St was destroyed.

    Naranja Cafe – Boba tea, Smoothies, and more! If you haven’t had boba/bubble tea before, be sure to give it a try. If you’re already a fan, these guys do it best. (Too many) Flavors can be mixed to your liking. Boba or Jelly can be added to almost anything on the menu. Another Fry St refugee, currently residing at 2416 Lillian Miller, near Red Lobster.

    I think that’s enough for now… wait, that’s all food and bev. Is eating all I do??

    Excellent choices to add! I don’t know of the murder mystery at Art Six!! Of course there are many more places, but in one blog post, there is so little space (and I fill it up so quickly). Thanks for the additions. I dunno, IS eating all you do?? 😆

  4. March 13, 2009 at 9:02 pm

    I’ve honestly not heard of Denton, TX, before rading this post, but there’s some good infomation here and it’s something I might consider taking a day trip for.

    Julies last blog post..Small Apartment Leases and Summer Lodges on the New Jersey Shore

    It’s definitely worth a day trip, Julie … and if you want to stay overnight the bed and breakfast inn is delightful! Holler if you are in my neck of the woods!

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