While in the Denison area visitors should allow time to enjoy its rich heritage and cultural opportunities. Denison's historic downtown arts district is home to many art galleries, international artists and over 82,000 square feet of antique shops, tea rooms, restaurants and boutiques for everyone’s enjoyment.
Denison is known as an “event community” and some of the highlights include the Doc Holliday Festival in April, the July 4th Fireworks Show Extravaganza, the annual FallFest on the first Saturday in October, the Dia de Muertos Festival in November and the Holiday Tour of Homes and spectacular Christmas Parade in December. Live music fills Main Street each Friday night from mid-May through July, and Movies on Main entertains families August through October. Denison on Ice, an outdoor ice skating rink, opens Thanksgiving weekend and runs through the New Year. The Grayson County Holiday Lights are a seasonal favorite each year between Thanksgiving and New Year at Loy Lake Park.
Denison Chamber of Commerce
The Denison Area Chamber of Commerce was established in 1912. The Chamber coordinates businesses and volunteers to work together for the benefit of the community. They keep up to date demographics, provide resources for information, help in research, and facilitate action committees and task forces to identify and address projects for the betterment of Denison.
The Chamber of Commerce, Denison Development Alliance, the City of Denison, Denison Main Street office, along with Denison industry, work together to establish new jobs and investments for the Denison community.
- Lake Texoma
- Dwight D. Eisenhower Birthplace & Museum
- Eisenhower State Park
- Denison Arts & Culture District
- Grayson County Frontier Village
- Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge
This 93,000 acre lake on the Red River is shared by Texas and Oklahoma. It is widely recognized as a top fishing lake, and is one of the most popular recreation destinations in the Southwest. Lake Texoma was built by the Corps of Engineers in the 1940's, and was stocked with black bass and crappie along with the native white bass in the Red and Washita Rivers. Lake Texoma is also known for its excellent striped bass and catfish fishing.
The lake area includes:
- Fifty-four U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-managed parks
- Twelve marinas
- Hundreds of campgrounds
- Personal watercraft
- Power boating
- Power sailing
- Twenty-six resorts
- Two state parks
- Two wildlife refuges
- Variety of excellent golf courses
- Water skiers
- Wind surfers
Consider the lake an excellent place to have fun. Lake Texoma has become a huge sailing center based on the lake's size, depth and miles of sailing shoreline.
Dwight D. Eisenhower Birthplace & Museum
The park features the Birthplace home, visitor’s center, a covered pavilion, restrooms, and an education building. The park offers picnicking, limited hiking trails and landscaped grounds. The visitor’s center contains information and displays related to the late president’s life, such as a bronze bust of Eisenhower, historic photographs of the Denison native and the “Ike Jacket,” the brown short-waisted, tailored wood field jacket sported by the U.S general. In addition, park visitors can view two of Eisenhower’s paintings and photographs documenting his three visits to Denison between 1946 and 1965. The center also has a bookstore and gift shop.
Eisenhower State Park
Eisenhower State Park, with 423.1 acres, is located in Grayson County, northwest of Denison on the shores of Lake Texoma. It was acquired in 1954 by a Department of Army lease and was opened to the public in 1958.
The park was named for the 34th U.S president, Dwight David Eisenhower, as he was born in Denison. In the early 1830s, the area became increasingly important to Anglo settlers, particularly as a route to Texas and the American southwest. Some of the things which add to the history of the area are the American Indian; Butterfield Overland stage routes; Chisholm and Shawnee cattle drive trails; Fort Johnson, established in the area in 1840; and Colbert's Crossing, established on the Red River in 1853 and operated until 1931.
Some of the activities include:
- Boating and boat rentals
- Nature study
- Variety of camping
- Water skiing
- Wildlife observation
Denison Arts & Cultural District
The Denison Arts and Cultural District is all about discovery. With over 30 entities fitting into the Arts and Cultural District framework there is something for everyone to enjoy, plus many great finds just outside the official District including:
- Specialty shopping
- Visual and performing arts
For visitors and downtown residents, Denison is the perfect place for the laid-back small-town lifestyle.
Combine friendly Texas atmosphere with a rich cultural heritage, great recreation, the excitement of an up and coming art scene and the result is a truly unique destination Denison, Texas.
Grayson County Frontier Village
Take a walk back in time to the days when pioneer Grayson County residents used hand tools to shape logs notched together at the corners to form one-room cabins, some with lofts for added space to house families of six or more.
The Village Museum is filled with interesting historical artifacts from years past plus many photos of people, places and events in this area.Located in Loy Park, this pioneer settlement of 17 homes and buildings has been carefully restored to present an accurate portrayal of life in the mid-1800s.
Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge
Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge lies on the Big Mineral Arm of Lake Texoma, on the Red River between Oklahoma and Texas. Established in 1946, the refuge includes 3,000 acres of marsh and water and 8,000 acres of upland and farmland. During fall, winter, and spring, the marshes and waters are in constant use by migrating and wintering waterfowl.
Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1946 as an overlay of a portion of the Big Mineral arm of Lake Texoma. Consisting of about 12,000 acres, the Refuge provides a variety of habitats for birds and wildlife. Canada, snow, white-fronted, and Ross' geese along with pintail, mallard, gadwall and other ducks use refuge impoundments and fields as stop-over and wintering grounds. White pelicans by the thousands can be seen here during their spring and fall migrations. Deer, turkeys, bobcats, hawks, and songbirds are abundant.
Many recreational opportunities are offered at the Refuge. Bird and wildlife observation, an auto tour, hiking trails, fishing, hunting, boating, and paddling are examples of available activities.
Waterloo Pool is a heated, indoor facility designed to service the needs of the community. The pool boasts seven-25 meter lap lanes, a 10 1/2 foot diving well, diving board, slide, children’s play area, and plenty of deck area to lounge and sun bathe.
Known as the “World’s Chief Vineyard Expert,” T.V. Munson’s development of hybrid grape varieties is acclaimed world-wide. Many of the varieties, along with his innovative trellis, are on display on a 5 acre tract on the west campus of Grayson College; includes the T.V. Munson Memorial Vineyard and Viticulture Enology Center, and the new Teaching Distillery.
Golfers enjoy six beautiful courses in the Denison area within 20 minutes. Club houses include restaurants, full service bars, rentals, and more.