Take A Day Trip from Dallas to Dublin, TX
September 12, 2020
Dublin, Texas is a small town located 2 hours from Dallas and was named the ‘Irish Capital of Texas’ in 2005 by governor Rick Perry. It is said to be home to many people of Irish descent, but the evidence for this fact is sparse. This article is all I could find on the subject, stating that 11.9% of the population in 2017 was of Irish descent. The town's founder, A. H. Dobkins, was actually Scottish and the town was likely named after the town’s habit of “doubling in,” which meant to prepare the wagons for protection from attack in the late 1800s.
There are shamrocks all over the town of Dublin, they really love to lean into the Irish theme!
While the town likes to play up their Irish roots, I found the Dublin Bottling Works to be the highlight of things to do in town! Dublin is the home to the original Dr Pepper bottling plant, which continued to bottle Dr Pepper with the original cane sugar recipe until 2012. You can also visit a working cheese farm and drink delicious wine while visiting Dublin!
I recommend visiting Dublin as a day trip from Dallas or Forth worth, or making a stop here while visiting other nearby towns like Glen Rose and Hico. (check out my guides to Hico and Glen Rose and combine the trips!)
Grab coffee or breakfast at the newly opened Blackjack’s Coffee Shop. This place serves up breakfast burritos, pour overs and lots of local goodies!
If you are visiting on a Saturday, start your day with a tour of the Veldhuizen Farm! They offer farm tours and cheese making tours, normally starting at 10:30am on Saturdays, check their website for up to date schedules. The farm began as a family run business in 2000 and now offers 20 varieties of artisan raw milk cheeses. On the tour, you’ll get to see the Cheddar Cheese cave, friendly farm animals and more of the cheese making process. If you visit outside of tour hours, you can still check out the shop and try a selection of cheeses paired back to wine.
The staff is very friendly and will let you try any cheese before buying!
There are three main parts of Dublin Bottling Works; the Bottling Plant, Old Doc’s Soda Shop and the Dr Pepper Museum. You can take a guided tour of the Bottling Plant, a self-guided tour at the Dr. Pepper Museum and enjoy ice cream, soda or a sandwich at Old Doc’s Soda Shop.
There used to be a huge yearly Dr Pepper festival where they temporarily renamed the town to Dr Pepper for a week!
During a tour of the bottling plant, you’ll learn all about how this was the first place to ever bottle Dr Pepper. They began bottling Dr Pepper in 1891, not long after it was first invented in Waco. As Dr Pepper grew in popularity and switched from cane sugar to high fructose corn syrup, the Dublin Bottling Works continued to produce the original cane sugar recipe for local distribution, dubbing the drink “Dublin Dr Pepper.” Unfortunately, Dr Pepper sued Dublin Bottling Works in 2012 over the Dr. Pepper name and Dublin Bottling Works was forced to cease production of Dublin Dr. Pepper. Today, Dublin Bottling Works has their own collection of soda flavors that you can try on tap there and take home in bottles.
In Old Doc’s Soda Shop, they serve all of their sodas on tap. They can mix them together or make them exactly as sweet as you’d like. I loved the Tart ‘n Sweet Lemonade!
On a guided tour of the plant, you can see how the old bottling line works and see the largest collection of Dr Pepper memorabilia in the world, collected by former owner Bill Kloster. Kloster was known as “Mr. Dr Pepper” for good reason. He collected anything and everything Dr Pepper and famously drank around a dozen Dr Peppers every day. There is so much to look at! After the tour, be sure to enjoy a soda, an ice cream cone (Blue Bell Ice Cream!) or a sandwich in Old Doc’s Soda Shop.
Old Doc’s Soda shop gives off retro vibes with red booths and striped walls with murals. If you don’t have time for the tour, you should still check this place out for soda or ice cream.
Be sure to check out the shops and museums in charming downtown Dublin. Things Celtic has all things Celtic - food, gifts and more. They even had ‘Irn-Bru,’ a soda I’ve only ever seen in Scotland! It’s technically Scottish, not Irish, but still surprising to find in the middle of Texas. They also had an assortment of British and Irish snacks and candies for sale.
There are a few other museums within walking distance. The Rodeo Heritage Museum tells the story of the modern rodeo. The Dublin Historical Museum has a large collection of Dublin history, such as wagon wheels, old photographs and a wide assortment of other items. Finally, if you are a golf fan check out the Ben Hogan Museum. The famous golfer Ben Hogan was from Dublin and the museum tells the story of how his upbringing led to his golfing career.
I enjoyed strolling around the small downtown area. The Downtown Dublin Park has a little pond and beautiful benches covered in vines. It’s a nice area to sit and relax.
End your day with a visit to Lucky Vines Winery. This winery is relatively new (opened in 2018) but has a great selection of wines in a bright and airy space. Enjoy wine, cheese and fruit-infused water in a room full of windows or on their outdoor patio.
A lot of businesses close or limit their hours on Sunday - I recommend visiting on a Saturday! At this writing, the Veldhuizen Cheese Shop, Lucky Vines Winery and Blackjack’s Coffee Shop are all closed on Sundays.
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