Things to Do in Gatesville, TX: Exploring the Heart of Texas

Things to Do in Gatesville, TX
Things to Do in Gatesville, TX

Welcome to Gatesville, TX, a charming city nestled in the heart of Texas. If you’re planning a trip to this vibrant destination, you’re in for a treat! Gatesville offers a rich blend of history, natural beauty, and exciting activities that cater to all interests. Whether you’re a history buff, an outdoor enthusiast, or a foodie looking for some authentic Texan cuisine, Gatesville has something for everyone. In this article, we’ll take you on a journey through the top things to do in Gatesville, TX, ensuring you have a memorable and fulfilling experience.

Things to Do in Gatesville, TX

1. Visit the Coryell Museum and Historical Center

At the heart of Gatesville’s history lies the Coryell Museum and Historical Center. This fascinating museum showcases the region’s past, displaying artifacts, photographs, and exhibits that provide insights into the area’s Native American heritage, frontier days, and military history. Immerse yourself in the past as you walk through time and learn about the pioneers who shaped the city we know today.

2. Explore the Mother Neff State Park

Nature enthusiasts will find solace in the breathtaking beauty of Mother Neff State Park. Named after Isabella Eleanor Neff, the first woman to hold the title of “Mother of Texas,” this park offers a perfect blend of natural wonders. Hike along the trails, set up a picnic under the shade of ancient trees, or simply relax by the Leon River. The park also provides excellent opportunities for birdwatching and wildlife photography.

3. Unwind at the Last Drive-In Picture Show

For a touch of nostalgia, head over to the Last Drive-In Picture Show. This iconic drive-in theater has been entertaining locals and visitors alike since 1950. Grab your popcorn, tune in to the radio frequency, and enjoy the latest blockbuster or a classic film under the starry Texan sky. It’s an experience you won’t soon forget!

4. Attend Events at the Gatesville Country Music Hall of Fame

If you’re a fan of country music, a visit to the Gatesville Country Music Hall of Fame is a must. This venue pays homage to some of the greatest country music legends, both local and national. Catch live performances, tribute shows, and events that celebrate the rich musical heritage of Texas.

5. Discover the Historic Downtown District

Stroll through the Historic Downtown District, where you’ll find an eclectic mix of boutiques, antique stores, and charming cafes. The well-preserved architecture and quaint atmosphere take you back in time, creating a delightful setting for a leisurely afternoon walk or some retail therapy.

6. Experience Thrills at the Copperas Cove Water Park

When the Texas heat becomes too much to handle, head to the Copperas Cove Water Park for a refreshing day of fun. The park boasts thrilling water slides, lazy rivers, and splash pads, making it a great destination for families and friends seeking some aquatic excitement.

7. Take a Tour of the Prison Museum

For those intrigued by the history of law enforcement and correctional systems, the Prison Museum is a fascinating place to visit. Gain insight into the history of the Texas prison system and the lives of inmates through captivating exhibits and interactive displays.

8. Enjoy Nature at Raby Park

Raby Park is a serene and picturesque spot to unwind and enjoy nature’s beauty. Whether you want to have a relaxing picnic, play a game of frisbee with friends, or take a leisurely stroll, this park offers a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life.

9. Savor Texas BBQ at Local Eateries

No visit to Texas is complete without indulging in some mouthwatering barbecue, and Gatesville has no shortage of exceptional BBQ joints. Treat your taste buds to some smoky goodness at local favorites like the Gatesville Country Cafe and The Feed Mill Restaurant.

10. Camp Under the Stars at Mother Neff State Park

Experience a night under the stars at Mother Neff State Park by camping at one of the well-equipped campsites. Roast marshmallows around a campfire, share stories, and let the peaceful ambiance of the park soothe your soul.

11. Explore the Topsey Exotic Ranch and Drive-Thru Safari

Embark on an unforgettable adventure at the Topsey Exotic Ranch and Drive-Thru Safari. Encounter exotic animals from around the world as you drive through the safari, making for an exciting and educational experience for all ages.

12. Learn About Local Wildlife at the Coryell County Forestry Museum

Delve into the diverse flora and fauna of the region at the Coryell County Forestry Museum. The museum showcases the natural wonders of the area, making it an excellent educational stop for nature enthusiasts.

13. Play a Round of Golf at the Gatesville Country Club

Golf enthusiasts can perfect their swing at the Gatesville Country Club. This well-maintained golf course offers stunning views and challenging holes, making it a must-visit for any golfer.

14. Attend the Gatesville Rodeo

If you happen to visit during the right time, don’t miss the renowned Gatesville Rodeo. Witness the skill and bravery of cowboys and cowgirls as they compete in various rodeo events, showcasing the true spirit of Texas.

15. Explore the Historic London Museum and Drag Boat Races

The Historic London Museum preserves the history of a once-thriving community, showcasing artifacts and stories from a bygone era. Additionally, if you’re visiting in June, catch the thrilling Drag Boat Races held on the nearby Lake Belton, a favorite event for locals and visitors alike.

16. Visit the Fort Hood Army Base

Gain an appreciation for the men and women in uniform by visiting the Fort Hood Army Base. While public access is limited, taking a guided tour can provide valuable insights into the life of soldiers and their contributions to the nation.

17. Get Adventurous with the Spur Ranch ATV Park

For adventure seekers, the Spur Ranch ATV Park offers an adrenaline-pumping experience. Ride through challenging trails, muddy terrains, and forested areas, creating memories of a lifetime.

18. Discover History at the Bell County Museum

Although slightly outside Gatesville, the Bell County Museum is well worth the visit. Explore the region’s history through various exhibits and displays, gaining a broader understanding of Central Texas’s cultural heritage.

19. Enjoy Water Activities at Lake Belton

Lake Belton is a popular destination for water enthusiasts. Whether you love fishing, boating, swimming, or simply relaxing by the shore, this reservoir offers plenty of opportunities to connect with nature and enjoy the great outdoors.

20. Attend the Gatesville Farmers Market

For a taste of the local culture and fresh produce, visit the Gatesville Farmers Market. Open on selected days, this market showcases the best of local fruits, vegetables, crafts, and handmade goods.

21. Wander Through Faunt Le Roy Park

Take a leisurely stroll through Faunt Le Roy Park, a charming green space that offers a perfect retreat for nature lovers and families. The park’s well-maintained walking trails and playgrounds are ideal for a day of fun and relaxation.

22. Soak in History at the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum

Venture to nearby Waco to visit the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum. Discover the legendary Texas Rangers’ stories and their significant contributions to law enforcement and Texas history.

23. Shop at the Gatesville Antique Mall

Antique enthusiasts will be delighted to explore the treasures at the Gatesville Antique Mall. From vintage furniture to unique collectibles, you’re sure to find something that catches your eye.

24. Taste Local Wine at Homestead Winery

Indulge in a wine-tasting experience at Homestead Winery, offering a selection of delightful wines made from Texas-grown grapes. Savor the flavors while learning about the winemaking process and the region’s viticulture.

25. Relax at the Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue

For an unconventional and heartwarming experience, visit the Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue. Interact with rescued donkeys, learn about their care, and support this noble cause.

FAQs about Things to Do in Gatesville, TX

Q: Are there any free things to do in Gatesville, TX?

A: Yes, there are several free activities you can enjoy in Gatesville, such as exploring Raby Park, visiting the Coryell Museum and Historical Center, and attending the Gatesville Farmers Market.

Q: What are the best outdoor activities in Gatesville, TX?

A: Gatesville offers an array of outdoor activities. Some of the best include hiking at Mother Neff State Park, camping under the stars, and taking an adventurous ride at the Spur Ranch ATV Park.

Q: What’s the best time to visit Gatesville, TX?

A: The best time to visit Gatesville is during the spring and fall when the weather is pleasant, and outdoor activities can be enjoyed comfortably.

Q: Can I go fishing at Lake Belton?

A: Absolutely! Lake Belton is a fantastic spot for fishing. Whether you’re an experienced angler or a beginner, the lake offers opportunities to catch a variety of fish.

Q: Are there any annual events or festivals in Gatesville, TX?

A: Yes, Gatesville hosts various events throughout the year, including the Gatesville Rodeo, Drag Boat Races on Lake Belton, and the Gatesville Country Music Hall of Fame ceremonies.

Q: Where can I find the best barbecue in Gatesville?

A: For mouthwatering barbecue, head to the Gatesville Country Cafe and The Feed Mill Restaurant, where you’ll savor some of the best Texan flavors.


Gatesville, TX, is a hidden gem in the heart of Texas, offering a diverse range of activities for every type of traveler. From immersing yourself in history at museums and parks to embarking on thrilling adventures, Gatesville promises an unforgettable experience. Whether you’re here for a day or a week, the city’s warm hospitality and exciting attractions will leave you longing to return. So pack your bags, venture into the heart of Texas, and create memories that will last a lifetime.

trevor harvi

Trevor Harvi is an experienced digital marketer and writer with over a decade of experience in writing and marketing for startups. Trevor also runs his own business as a freelance editor and virtual assistant for other business owners.