The Best of Belton

Your go-to guide for the ultimate day in Belton, TX

A Gather Campground operating principle that we use to delight our guests is ‘proactively elevate each guest’s experience.’ One of the ways we do this is by helping personally connect each of our guests with the local people, places, and spaces that make Belton, TX a destination worth traveling to. 

Perhaps you’re just passing through Belton and want to get a sense of this historic town that began its township in 1850 as Nolanville, later to be renamed Belton, when it became the county seat of Bell County.  

To get to know this place, we encourage you to see, read, listen, and taste your way through some of the most special places in Belton, TX. Here goes!

First, fuel up right downtown with a quick pastry, taco, or coffee/tee at Arusha, where the selection of drinks is WIDE (over 100 teas and coffees) and the flavors are big and worldly, including tacos like Tikka Masala, Bulgogi, Southwest chicken, and fish & chips alongside pastries, and cheesecakes. You might want to check out their special of two tacos, queso or salsa and a drink for only $10.99.

Take a walk just one block west to the Bell County Museum for some context on where you are in Texas and how Belton came to be. You’ll enter a historic building that was interestingly first funded by Andrew Carnegie in 1899 and launched as the Belton Carnegie Library in 1905. Inside, you’ll discover the history of this land, the agriculture, ranching, and transportation that originally put it on the map, and the education and culture that’s since developed here. Amazingly, you’ll learn that this area has been home to human beings for over 13,000 years, which is articulated in The Gault Site exhibit. Depending upon the time of year, you’ll also encounter rotating exhibits that range from quilts dating all the way back to the 1800s and historical illustrations of this land across time.

If you finish the museum and want to stretch your legs and take in the fresh air, continue west, across the Leon River to Yettie park where you can enjoy big oak trees, ample seating, and a playground for the kids. We recommend continuing northbound along the river on the Chisholm Trail for half a mile to Harris Park where you’ll likely find families having picnics under a big oak tree and playing in the flowing river. There’s a cool spot to wade, play ball, and relax in the Texas sun (if it’s summer you’ll definitely want to wade in!)

Walk another half mile north on Chisholm Trail and you’re at The University of Mary Hardin Baylor, which began in 1845 as Baylor Female College as a charter from the Republic of Texas before Texas officially became a state. The campus is small and quaint, and if you happen to like live sports, check out one of their 16 collegiate teams.

If you finish the museum and are ready for lunch, we recommend two spots just one block east. La Luncheonette is your go-to for a tasty burger, tostadas, grain bowls, and salads with your choice of protein. We particularly love the Nicoise Salad with Salmon. Being in Texas, you might be hankering for BBQ, in which case Miller’s Smokehouse is a delicious spot. When you show up for lunch, the line might be out the door, but the friendly staff will be happy to serve you any of their fine selection of smoked meats. Fire in the Bowl has blown our socks off. And surprisingly, they have some of the best homemade tortillas we’ve ever had!

Available only in Belton is your chance to shop through the longest standing department store in Texas, Cochran, Blair & Potts, which has been a bedrock provider to this community since its opening in 1869. Also fun shopping right downtown is The Exchange, Lindy Lu’s, and the wild Pink Bulldog Boutique.

Center stage is the Bell County Expo Center, which is just a couple mile drive from downtown and hosts events ranging from No Limits Monster Truck Show, Southern Music Festivals, rodeo and livestock shows, and has even hosted top names like Taylor Swift, Kenny Chesney, and Faith Hill to name a few. Check out their event schedule for more details.

Just northwest of downtown is Belton Lake, where you can take your own boat, rent one from Frank’s Marina, take a scenic hike at Sparta Mountain, fish from the bank at the Belton lake outdoor recreation center or take a nice swim at Temple Lake Park. Belton Lake is so close to Gather Campground, and provides a ton of outdoor activities to enjoy.

By this point, you’re going to be hungry for dinner, and who knows, maybe even ready for a little bit more fun before the evening comes to an end. If you love pizza, like we do, Pizza Pieros is the spot, and their pizza rolls are insane. Plus, they’re connected to Z&H Candy that boasts some 70+ taffy flavors and an old-fashioned soda fountain. If you just cannot get enough barbeque, you’re going to love Scheopf’s, which has some of the best ribs we’ve ever had, and has somehow found the perfect combination of fat and meat in their moist brisket. Be sure to check out their event page for live music shows. Not to be forgotten, and especially if you like beer, Nolan Creek Brewery is a fun spot to hang and grab a bite.

You’ve now gotten a taste of the town, taken in its history and beautiful outdoor amenities, and surely talked to many wonderful locals along the way. Before the night’s over and you head back to our lovely campground in Belton, you might want to kick back for a movie at The Beltonian, or top off your night with a warm cookie.

If somehow you still have energy after that long day, your final stop is Blackbird Books & Spirits, the first-ever bookstore speakeasy in the State of Texas.

Whatever you decide to do in Belton, we’re confident that you’ll finish your day happy that you came through town, and you can be sure that our locals and the entire team here at Gather Campgrounds are grateful and happy to serve you as our guests.  

We hope you created a truly epic day in Belton!

The Gather Campgrounds Team


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