Texas Travel

City Spotlight: Denton

By Kristy Alpert 9.5.16

Denton has been called “Little Austin,” but with its rich and diverse culture and its growing music scene, this truly Texan city of 130,000-plus people is moving out of the dusty shadows and standing on its own.

It sits at the top of what has become known as the “Golden Triangle” — sharing its angular nickname with Dallas and Fort Worth — and is home to both the University of North Texas and Texas Woman’s University.

Yet it’s not just your average college town. “Dentoning” can happen in any part of the city, but you might start near the Downtown Square, where the centerpiece is the Denton County courthouse that dates back to 1896. Visitors can satisfy their sweet tooth at the vintage chic Atomic Candy or the quirky and cool Hypnotic Donuts (originator of the Evil Elvis donut with peanut butter, bacon, banana, and honey).

The square is also home to Texas’ largest independent used bookstore, Recycled Books, and a slew of other unique shops like Sleeping Lizzards — selling handcrafted gifts and jewelry — and the DIME Store, which features only Denton-made art and goods.

You can find original works from Denton artists in the numerous galleries along the square, too, but to get a taste of Denton’s next wave of performing artists (the city gave rise to Norah Jones, Meat Loaf, Bowling for Soup, the Eli Young Band, Don Henley, and more), there’s no better place than Hickory Street for gritty live-music venues or Fry Street for hip nightclubs.

Away from downtown, visitors can put their boots up and enjoy a frothy mug of homemade root beer at the Frosty Drive N, located on Fort Worth Drive on the outskirts of the city.

Check out more Texas travel tips and cool destinations elsewhere on our blog.