In a feature showcasing Granbury Ghosts and Legends Tour, a My San Antonio writer mused, "Maybe the connection of the past to the present is stronger in old towns like Galveston and Granbury." Perhaps Granbury, which was founded in 1854, is a paranormal hot spot because it teems with unresolved murders and historic conflict. Legend has it that the infamous outlaw Jesse James died here, and that his final resting place is the grave of an unknown man.
The knowledgeable guides at Granbury Ghosts and Legends—mother-daughter team Coletta and Brandy—explore these centuries-old, supernatural conflicts with their historical tours. Dressed in Civil War period costume, they guide groups through the town square and presumably haunted buildings in pursuit of such celebrated local spirits as the Lady in Red, the Faceless Girl, and Indian Joe. The tour has been named one of the seven best ghost tours in the country by Frommer's.
Party Warehouse provides shindig throwers and goers with a fun-inducing stockpile of party supplies and favors. Delight friends and terrify pets with crooning balloons, Mylar helium containment devices that sing songs ($11.49). Party theme packages lend a jovial verisimilitude to Western-themed tea parties or Dungeons and Dragons–themed dance-offs. Celebrate graduations, birthdays, and baby’s first PhD with festivity-appropriate decorations, personalized cups and napkins, or kids’ party supplies such as the Pooh and Friends party favor pack ($8.99).
The guides at Fort Worth Tours & Trails seek out storied locales and dish out historical secrets of Panther City through the outfit's assortment of tours via bus or by foot. For walking tours, groups gather at one of two locations: the east lawn of the Courthouse for the Hell's Half-Acre to Sundance Square tour or in front of the Visitors' Center on Exchange Avenue for the Stockyards and Historic North Side tour. The former stops at several spots that figured prominently in the downtown area's early development, while the latter combs the brick streets of the historic north side, home to the Cowboy Hall of Fame and the world's only longhorn herd that hasn't succumbed to Internet stardom as a dancing flash mob. On both excursions, tour-goers have the opportunity to hear a plethora of little-known facts and cocktail party-worthy anecdotes from the city's rich history.
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A patio extends from Bluff Dale Vineyards's tasting room, presenting an expansive view of the sun-drenched grapevines and sloping foothills that D Magazine called "impressive." This swath of land grows the succulent grapes used to make the winery's fruit-forward selection of silken reds and aromatic whites. In addition to an oak-aged cabernet sauvignon, crisp chardonnay, and sweet muscat, the tasting room features a Texas cream sherry that is blended with the traditional—and time-intensive—solera system instead of with an industrial-sized cocktail shaker.
Owners David and Theresa Hayes also host live bands at their winery from time to time, inviting visitors to attend for free, bring a picnic, and tap their toes to the melodies of such groups as the Double J-R Band or the jazzy Pearl Street 4.
The flight instructors at Nationwide Aviation take students under their wings and guide them along the skyward path to pilot certifications and instrument ratings. Operating out of Parker County Airport, the company teaches through what it calls the immersion method—a technique that involves placing the student directly into situations that require them to demonstrate ability and improvement. While students log hours in pursuit of their credentials, the instructors stay with them throughout the day, resulting in deep understanding and a personalized approach.