Gainesville Visitors Guide

Known as “The Front Porch to Texas,” you’ll feel right at home when you visit Gainesville.

Home of the world-renowned Frank Buck Zoo, Gainesville offers many exciting exhibits and daily giraffe feedings and is centered in Leonard Park, which features a community playground, park pavilion, pool and train rides. One of the largest collections of Victorian homes and architecture in North Texas is nestled in the South Gainesville Historic District. Homes built in the late 1800s and early 1900s still stand and are home to many local residents. Take a self-guided tour of the neighborhood either by car or on foot.

Gainesville’s historic square is full of a variety of shops, boasting everything from antiques, art galleries, jewelers, unique gift items, clocks, interior decor and apparel. Enjoy a selection of tearooms, hometown diners, casual restaurants and the famous Fried Pie Co. on the square. Make sure to tour the Santa Fe Depot Museum via the Amtrak Heartland Flyer; enjoy local entertainment at the Butterfield Stage Playhouse, a former Carnegie Library; catch a performance at the restored State Theater and celebrate our nation’s heroes during Medal of Honor week in April. Just north of Gainesville, enjoy the Winstar World Casino.

Things to do in Gainesville TX

  1. Visit the Frank Buck Zoo – a small zoo with a variety of animals, including giraffes, zebras, and big cats.
  2. Explore the Morton Museum of Cooke County – a local history museum with several exhibits and artifacts.
  3. Take a walk through the Leonard Park – a beautiful park with several playgrounds, picnic areas, and walking trails.
  4. Go shopping and dining in the historic downtown area – a charming area with several shops, restaurants, and historic buildings.
  5. Visit the Santa Fe Depot Museum – a museum housed in an old train station with several exhibits on local history.
  6. Attend a performance at the historic State Theater – a restored theater with several events and shows throughout the year.
  7. Explore the Frank Buck Birthplace and Museum – a museum showcasing the life and work of famous adventurer Frank Buck.
  8. Go fishing or boating at the nearby Moss Lake – a beautiful lake with several recreational activities.
  9. Visit the Gainesville Civic Center – a community center with several events and activities throughout the year.
  10. Take a drive to nearby WinStar World Casino and Resort – a popular casino and resort with several dining, entertainment, and gaming options.