Gainesville, Texas


2013 Best Small Towns in America

Contest ends:  September 3, 2013

9 Votes - "Most Patriotic"
1 Votes - "Friendliest"


Named after Edmund Pendleton Gaines, Gainesville is a town deeply rooted in its past with historic homes, traditional events and long standing educational institutions. The town is home to North Central Texas College and North Texas Medical Center and has the largest school system in its county. It most notably plays host to the Medal of Honor program, welcoming every recipient in the nation.

Gainesville’s derives historic relevance from World War II when it was home to Camp Howze, one of the largest replacement training centers. The local train station was used by the Amtrak Lone Star, which stopped operating in 1979. The station’s reopening in 1999 brought a renewed prosperity to the town. One of Gainesville's noteworthy events is the annual Depot Day. Every October the town celebrates railroad history with a car show, an art show, and other entertainment.

Visit the Morton Museum to get a glimpse into the town’s history. This building originally housed Gainesville's city hall, fire station, and jail. Now you can research genealogy or take a tour of the historic downtown and sites in the area including two theatres and a performing arts center.

Families will particularly enjoy Frank Buck Zoo. The zoo was originally on the grounds of the former Gainesville Community Circus, which helped bring tourism to the town in the 30s and 40s. The zoo’s current location is in Leonard Park. For more on 2012’s Most Patriotic Town, check out its reviews.

It was such a pleasure to share our town with Rick & Sandi of Midlife Road Trip and to make them part of our giant patriotic family.
Reviewed by pagina
on July 16, 2012
Patriotism runs amuck in Gainesville, Texas - a Medal of Honor Host City, with a historically consistent atmosphere of patriotism and respect for our country's roots. Here, at the edge of the West, we fly our American flags proudly. Our little town is full of the history that made our country great, including the old Carnegie Library, which now houses the Butterfield Stage theater. Gainesville restored our Santa Fe Depot, creating museum displays of the Harvey Girls who served weary travelers for years, and the Gainesville Community Circus, which featured trapeze artists, animal tamers and many other entertainers from the Gainesville area. Camp Howze was a military training camp near Gainesville during WWII. Our town served host to thousands of GIs during the War. Many families opened their homes to servicemen and their families by remodeling, so these men and women could have a little home of their own while serving their country, proving that patriotism has long been a part of our culture. Our own Morton Museum features tales and photos of life during Camp Howze, and also features the history of the Old West settlers and cowmen who drove cattle through our area to join the nearby Chisholm Trail.The Medal of Honor mission statement reads, "It shall be the privilege and responsibility of the City of Gainesville Texas to welcome our Nation's Medal of Honor Recipients at every opportunity. In so doing we pay homage to the principles which the Medal of Honor represents...Duty, Honor, Country." Gainesville opens her doors and her heart to the Recipients every spring, with activities several days in a row, culminating in a parade at the end of the week. Schoolchildren have an opportunity to ask questions, and the public has an opportunity to sit down to a meal with the Recipients. Many of the Recipients themselves have called Gainesville, Texas "the most patriotic town in America". A video featuring the Medal of Honor program can be seen at
Reviewed by SandiDeMent
on July 16, 2012
The Medal of Honor Host City Program is an annual event, but it defines the year-round patriotic spirit of Gainesville. All American! Most patriotic!
Reviewed by
on July 16, 2012
Gainesville, Texas honors the national Medal of Honor recipients in a glorious way each April! The events to honor these great men are a wonderful tribute to let them know how we appreciate their service to our country. The moving parade with military and civilian bands, as well as a very moving fly-over, is unsurpassed. Flags fly throughout our community all week, and the celebration is so effective in stirring the emotions of patriotism. Gainesville is definitely deserving of this award!
What a wonderful place to live!
Reviewed by marjo7
on July 16, 2012
Glad to call Gainesville home...All American town!
Reviewed by ndempsey
on July 16, 2012
Showing 11 through 15 of 290 reviews



Add a Photo

You must be logged in to add photos.

Write a Review

Close ×

Vote for

You can only vote once for each town every 24 hours. You can vote again in

Vote for 2013 Best Small Town


Are you a DMO or CVB?
Explore "Best Town Travels" – Rand McNally’s new map-based digital travel guides for your website plus an iPhone and Facebook app! Learn More


Thank you for Voting!

Promote , by sharing your vote or writing a review.

Share to Facebook Share to Twitter or Write a Review