About 20 years ago, the only reason to stop in Mineral Wells was to gawk at the dilapidated old Baker Hotel while filling up your gas tank on the way to somewhere more fun.
Today, amid a decades-long community effort to resurrect Dallas-Fort Worth’s favorite spa town, Mineral Wells is back on the map and more than ready to show visitors a good time.
With a charming downtown full of new restaurants and boutiques, Mineral Wells is the perfect destination for North Texans looking to explore the natural beauty of Palo Pinto County.
Where to stay
The iconic Baker Hotel isn’t slated to reopen in 2024, but until then, Mineral Wells has multiple lodging options available. With the opening of the Crazy Water Hotel in 2021, you can now book suites at the downtown hotel through its website, crazywaterplaza.com and on AirBnB. For bed and breakfast fans, Magpie Inn has five charming rooms available for rent and offers chef-prepared breakfasts. Visiting families and groups can rent a recently renovated downtown house through Lofts & Hospitality, an AirBnB option that accommodates four guests and is managed by Brazos Market and Bistro co-owner Perri Leavelle.
Explore downtown Mineral Wells
Less than an hour from Fort Worth, downtown Mineral Wells stretches north along Oak Avenue where dozens of historic red brick buildings line the street. In the lobby of the Crazy Water Hotel, visitors can shop at Sensology, which carries clothing, bath products and jewelry from vendors around the state. Sensology grew out of Market 76067, another must-see shop and an anchor in the city’s revitalization. It sells the wares of hundreds of artisans who sell everything from Palo Pinto County-themed home decor to children’s toys.
Don’t miss the murals around town, including the vintage Coca-Cola advertisement on First Street. On the Visit Mineral Wells website at visitmineralwells.org, you can find a map of the town’s more than 20 public murals.
Happy hour at Coffee and Cocktails
Begin your evening with a drink from Coffee and Cocktails, which is adjacent to Market 76067. The menu features Mineral Wells-themed beverages, like an “Old Baker” and a “Clark Garden Elixir.” Check out the bar’s Instagram account for special events like open cornhole tournaments, open mic nights and karaoke.
Dinner at Pastafina
Fuel up for tomorrow’s active day with Italian cuisine from Pastafina at 201. N. Oak Ave. The restaurant sells hand-tossed brick oven pizza, specialty pastas, soups and salads.
Nightcap at Auto Pro Shop
The opening of new businesses in Mineral Wells inspired Auto Pro Shop owner Jeff Smith to rethink his business model. After hours, the lot of the old-school auto body shop comes alive with music, pool-playing and barbecue freshly prepared on Smith’s smoker.
On weekdays, visitors can start their days at the Crazy Water Hotel’s coffee bar in the lobby of the hotel. Coffee and Cocktails also sells coffee, obviously, and grab and go breakfast items.
Hike Palo Pinto County
There’s an outdoor activity for everyone in Mineral Wells. When driving into town from Dallas-Fort Worth, visitors will pass Lake Mineral Wells State Park just before the city limits. Visitors can hike along the Penitentiary Hollow Trail or bike the 20-mile Lake Mineral Wells State Trailway. Those willing to trek a bit farther from town can check out Possum Kingdom Lake, which offers hiking and biking trails, kayaking, rock climbing and boating. The county will have even more outdoor offerings in 2023 when Palo Pinto Mountains State Park opens.
Unwind at Crazy Water Bath House
At the Crazy Water Bath House, visitors can unwind after a long day of outdoor activities and experience Mineral Wells’ healing mineral baths. The Bath House offers different types of massages. It is in a quaint stone home adjacent to the Famous Water Company Pavilion, where visitors can fill jugs of mineral water and purchase Crazy Water souvenirs.
Dinner and drinks at the Bistro
Grab dinner at Mineral Wells’ favorite cafe, the Brazos Market and Bistro, the restaurant where co-owner and Mineral Wells Mayor Regan Johnson jokes she “taught Mineral Wells to eat their vegetables.” In the warm months, the patio behind the Market opens as Hole in the Wall Bier Garden. In the shadow of the Baker Hotel, visitors can enjoy a brew and the view while sitting on a swing.
Classic diner breakfast
Before you head back to Fort Worth, stop for breakfast at Happy Days Diner on the corner of Oak Avenue and Third Street. The retro diner offers staples like burgers and pancakes and sells homemade ice cream.