Graham is a small town (pop. 8,903 in 2010) in rural north Texas and is the county seat of Young County. Graham sits about 90 miles west of Fort Worth. It resides in the heart of what many of the locals call "Lake Country" due to its proximity to several lakes including Possum Kingdom Lake, Lake Edleman, and Lake Graham.
Graham is a small town where most of the citizens have a traditional and generally conservative outlook on life. This is a good thing in the sense that if you are a friendly person who is willing to openly converse in a jovial manner, you will have no problem meeting like-minded friendly people and your stay in Graham will be a happy and memorable one.
Graham, not unlike many small communities in Texas, is known for its friendly citizens and a certain "down home" Texas-Americana feel. Outsiders are often surprised (and oddly enough, sometimes offended) at the amount of hellos, howdys, and hat tips a person may receive for merely crossing paths with a local. If it gets weird, and indeed it might, just roll with it, return the gesture, and be friendly.
Graham lies on the eastern edge of the Texas Panhandle and at the southern end of the infamous Tornado Alley. It is wise to pay attention to weather reports during the spring storm season, which runs generally from March through early June.
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Coming into town from the east and the north is US Hwy 380, which is the biggest highway running through Graham. Entering Graham from the west are two Farm-to-Market roads, FM61 and FM209, and also State Hwy 67, from Breckenridge. Hwy 16 runs up and through town from the south. Graham is no where near any major interstate, so a trusty map or a reliable GPS is a must if you've never traveled the area.
There is a small municipal airport on the eastern side of town.
The only place truly accommodating to walkers is the downtown square, which Graham boasts as the biggest in the USA. There are a couple of small eateries on the square, but most of the restaurants in town can be best reached by car. There are no taxi services or public transportation of any kind so knowing a few locals, and riding around with them, is always your best bet.
- Graham Drive-In, Old Jacksboro Highway, ☎ +1 940 549-8478. One of only a few Texas drive-in theaters still in operation.
- Historic Downtown Square. Graham's downtown square is the largest city square in the USA. Graham's original courthouse, built in 1884, was destroyed in a fire in the 1930s. The original arched stone door frame still stands in the center of the town square and has become a symbol of the community. Also inside the square, on the northeast lawn of the courthouse, sits a gazebo which serves many functions for the citizens of Graham. It is not uncommon for the gazebo to be in use on any random Saturday morning for events like political rallies, presentations, or band concerts.
It should be noted, however, that Graham's claim to having the largest downtown square in America is disputed by some communities, notably Iola, KS. Since Graham's square is so large that it needs a road running through the center of it (home to the aforementioned stone doorway), Iolans consider this non-traditional; therefore, they believe their "unbroken" town square should be considered the biggest in the country.
- Fireman's Park. A very large public park with many roads and trails, hiking paths, restroom facilities, and sets of playground equipment. It can be found on the northwest side of town.
- Old Post Office Museum & Art Center, ☎ +1 940 549-1470. This museum sits inside of the town square, just south of the courthouse. It served as Graham's U.S. Post Office for many years until a newer, more modern facility was built on the north end of town. Today, it is an art museum, specializing in western art and is a Texas Historic Landmark. It is open Wednesday through Saturday, 1PM to 4PM.
- High school football in Texas is huge. If you're in town during football season on a Friday night while there's a home football game, you should head to Newton Field and watch the Steers battle it out!
- Lakes, because after all, you're in the Lake Country! Lake Graham and Lake Edleman are the closest to town but the lake in the area that draws the most visitors by far is Possum Kingdom Lake. "PK," as it's called in the area, resides about 20-30 miles SSE of Graham and has everything you'd want when it comes to lake activities. There are many excellent restaurants along its shores, golf courses, and marinas.
- The National Theater in Graham is a favorite with both locals and newcomers. There is an attached pizzeria and patrons are more than welcomed to order a box of made-to-order pizza and bring it into their movie. They also offer mini-golf and a video arcade.
Graham has several antique stores that some visitors might find appealing.
- Fourth St Antique Mall, 336 4th St, ☎ +1 940 549-0012.
- Jailhouse Boutiques, 519 Elm St, ☎ +1 940 549-0500.
- Mark's Gallery, 523 4th St, ☎ +1 940 549-7288.
- Our Neck of the Woods, 608 4th St, ☎ +1 940 521-0521.
- Vogue, 504 Oak St, ☎ +1 940 549-0020.
When compared to larger communities, Graham's options as far as food and drink may seem limited. It's almost imperative to find and meet up with locals. Most are very friendly and accommodating and the backyard Texas BBQ is always much better than anything you can find in restaurants inside the city limits.
- Chicken Express, 1901 Hwy 16 S. One of the more popular restaurants with young people. The employees at Chicken Express pride themselves on the fact that their fried chicken is never frozen and always hand-breaded. Be sure and get some freshly fried jalapeno poppers and a few packets of "serendipity" seasoning to sprinkle on your chicken. They are also famous for their unbelievably sweet sweet-tea.
- Foy's Steaks & Seafood, 400 Elm St. Offers what many locals agree is the best steak in town. You will pay for quality, but here, it's worth a little extra. They also have seafood and Foy's is one of the few places in town to get an alcoholic beverage with your meal.
- Vetoni's Italian Restaurant, 1111 Hwy 16 S. Makes fresh pizza from scratch. Don't miss the bar accessible through the back parking lot for an ice cold draft beer!
Graham has been recently reestablished by the voters of the community to a completely dry town. There is no beer, wine, or spirits sold anywhere in the town, aside from a few choice restaurants. There are beer and liquor stores outside of town about 15-30 miles to the south (Hwy 16), the north (in Newcastle), and to the east (in Bryson). It's always a good idea, if you plan on having a few drinks during your stay, to stop at one of these stores on your way into town. It'll save you a 45-minute round-trip to get alcohol later on during your visit.
- The Wildcatter Ranch. A few miles south of town off of HWY 16, is one of the most popular places for the locals to enjoy live music and cold drinks.
- Elm Street Bed & Breakfast, 830 Elm St, ☎ +1 940 362-4262. Accommodation in a well-furnished 1906 Victorian home.
- Executive Inn, 1919 Highway 16 S, ☎ +1 940 549-8320.
- Oak Garden Inn Bed & Breakfast, 817 Oak St, toll-free: +1-888-625-1466. Beautiful 1925 home on one acre of gardens.
- Wildcatter Ranch, 6062 Hwy 16 South (about 7 miles from downtown). Guest ranch accommodation which offers a range of outdoor activities including canoeing, hiking, and fishing.
Cell phone signal can be sketchy at times. However, the Graham area now supports cell technologies such as LTE. Approaching town is another story. It is not uncommon for one to completely lose all usable cell signal in the surrounding areas outside of town.
Residences and businesses in Graham have access to high-speed Internet, but, the only public access to said Internet connection is probably at the Library of Graham. The library is on Cherry Street.
- Possum Kingdom State Park (940) 549-1803. Located 30-45 minutes due south of Graham, this state park on the banks of Possum Kingdom Lake, has a lot to offer in lakeside activities like fishing, boating, water skiing, hiking, and biking.
- Wichita Falls, a much larger community, can be reached leaving Graham northbound on Hwy 114. Your trip from Graham will take about an hour. They offer a very popular shopping mall, a state-of-the-art concert hall, several golfing options, and many restaurants and bars. Wichita Falls, or simply "Wichita," as the locals call it, is also home to Sheppard Air Force base, one of the largest bases of its kind in the USA.
|Routes through Graham|
|Post ← Jct N S ←||W E||→ Bridgeport → Denton|