Waxahachie is a delightful North Texas town full of enchanting historic homes and buildings, a thriving cultural scene, and an abundance of ways to enjoy the great outdoors. The star of the show is the Ellis County Courthouse, a magnificent 19th-century structure surrounded by beautifully-restored buildings home to unique boutique shops and memorable restaurants.

In addition to its charming downtown, Waxahachie boasts one of the best fishing lakes in the region, as well as a community theater group, and a symphony association that brings top-class musicians to town. Not only that, but its compelling year-round events – such as the Scarborough Renaissance Festival – means there’s always something exciting happening. All of this is located just 30 minutes south of downtown Dallas, making Waxahachie a convenient and compelling place for your next weekend getaway.

The city of Waxahachie began as a small agricultural village built on the banks of Waxahachie Creek in an area that was once home to several Native American tribes. It was these original inhabitants that named the creek that gave the town its name, which in English means “Buffalo Creek.” It wasn’t long after Waxahachie became the seat of Ellis County in 1850 that the town developed into a major North Texan commercial hub that specialized in producing cotton. Like many places, the town hit hard times during the Great Depression. The advent of the motor age and the city’s location near several major highways has kept it prosperous. All of Waxahachie’s history is recounted at the Ellis County Museum, where you’ll see photographs, artifacts, and more within a beautifully-restored building on the courthouse square.

If you’re looking for some big-city entertainment while you’re in Waxahachie, you’re in luck. Start at the Ellis County Art Museum, where you’ll find paintings, illustrations, sculptures, and more works crafted by local artists. This happens to be the place to go if you want to learn a new skill or brush up on ones you already have thanks to its workshops, held nearly every day. For more art, find your way to the Webb Gallery, a private collection of self-taught and vintage art and other unique knickknacks. In addition to browsing the town’s art galleries, catch a musical or a play produced by the Waxahachie Community Theatre, or attend a world-class performance organized by the Waxahachie Symphony Association.

Of course, these aren’t the only cultural things to do in Waxahachie. Indeed, the town possesses several notable annual events that are well worth checking out. A great example of this is the Scarborough Renaissance Festival, one of only a few of its kind in Texas. There’s also the Crape Myrtle Festival, a dual celebration of the tree’s blooming flowers and the blossoming of this country’s freedom. During Veterans Day/WWII Weekend, you’ll see military vehicles and equipment from the Second World War, and historical reenactors dressed in period attire.

All this cultural stuff is great, but what if you want to enjoy Texas’ scenic beauty? Head to Lake Waxahachie, a more than 650-acre lake situated a few miles south of the downtown area. In addition to all the space for boating, kayaking, and swimming, the lake is known as one of the best places to fish for bass and catfish. Back in town, you can work up a sweat on the four-mile Waxahachie Creek Hike & Bike Trail or play a few rounds at the 18-hole disc golf course at Brown-Singleton Park.

If you’re interested in historic architecture, great shopping and dining, or some of the best fishing around, then you owe yourself a visit to Waxahachie.

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