Browse the boutique stores in Denton’s historic downtown; savor a craft beer at a local brewery; or catch a play at the Campus Theatre, once visited by Hollywood A-listers like John Wayne and Warren Beatty. Denton’s combination of history and culture, along with its convenient location just 40 miles north of Dallas, makes it a compelling travel destination for just about anyone.
The city of Denton was formed in 1857 to be the seat of Denton County, and its growth was largely influenced by its role as an agricultural trade center and the arrival of the railroad in the 1880’s. What set Denton apart from other rural county seats was the establishment of the North Texas Normal College (now known as the University of North Texas) in 1890, and the founding of the Girls’ Industrial College (Texas Woman’s University) in 1901. The presence of both colleges would have a profound impact on the town’s culture and economy that is still apparent to this day. You can learn all about its history by visiting the Courthouse Museum-on-the-Square, located on the first floor of Denton’s picturesque courthouse.
Denton’s live music scene has been largely influenced by the colleges as well. After all, it was the Jazz Studies program at the UNT College of Music – the first of its kind in the nation – that has influenced numerous high-profile singers, songwriters, and composers. What does that mean for you? It means that Denton is loaded with plenty of up-and-coming talented musicians, some of whom perform venues around town. The best example of this is UNT’s famed One O’Clock Lab Band, a world-renowned jazz band that performs at the state-of-the-art Murchison Performing Arts Center. In addition to the standard weekend concerts, Denton also hosts a few of the top music festivals in North Texas, such as the Denton Arts & Jazz Festival and the Denton Blues Festival.
"Li'l d’s" history with cinema is as profound as its musical heritage. The aforementioned Campus Theatre hosted the world premiere of 1967’s Bonnie and Clyde, and in its heyday it screened many of Hollywood’s iconic films. Denton’s cinematic history lives on at the Campus Theatre in a variety of ways. Catch a performance by the Denton Community Theatre or the Music Theatre of Denton, or attend one of the two film festivals hosted in the theater (Denton Black Film Festival and Thin Line Film Fest).
Denton’s thriving music scene, unique culture, and small-town charm make it a fantastic place to visit.
© 2016 TourTexas.com / AJR Media Group