So it’s about the time in the semester when people are starting to stress out and could really use a weekend away but don’t have time to go all the way home, wherever that may be. Well, I have a great weekend get away for you to think about doing with a group of friends to unwind.
There is a small town about 40 minutes northwest of Waco on Highway 6 called Clifton. The Norwegian Capital of Texas, with a population of 3,442, may not sound very big but is definitely worth a second glance.
The first thing that makes the trip worth it is a little theater there called the Cliftex. It is the oldest continuously operating movie theater in Texas. The theater was opened in 1916 and remains open on the weekends to this day. The owners have done their best to make sure the Cliftex keeps its old look as much as possible. Up until 2011, the Cliftex still showed its films on 35 mm film equipment. Even though they ended up replacing the film equipment, the theater has kept the intermission that used to occur at the changing of filmstrips. There is even a story about how there is a bullet hole in the side of the building from Bonnie and Clyde. The entire theater is filled with history.
After watching a movie, I would highly recommend going down the street to a restaurant called Mitchell’s Grill. Coming from a person who has traveled all across the country and several European countries, this restaurant ranks in my top ten top favorites and is easily my favorite place near Waco. Mitchell’s has food to die for. The time I went, I had a sirloin, and it was a beautiful cut of meat cooked to perfection. While the desert was delicious, it was difficult to bring myself to eat it because of how masterfully it was plated. It was gorgeous. Mitchell’s Grill is also visited by local celebrities such as Ted Nugent and Chip and Joanna Gaines from the hit HGTV show “Fixer Upper.”
Lastly, there is a one-room hotel there called The Cell Block, which was a two-cell jailhouse in the 1920s era. Most of the people it housed were just those who had too much to drink and had to serve some time due to Prohibition. Think about the jailhouse from “The Andy Griffith Show” in Mayberry where Sheriff Taylor worked, but smaller. Well, this little jailhouse was cleaned up and converted into a one-bed, one-bath hotel room, certainly a unique way to spend a night. It even has a rooftop lounge area to hang out and talk with friends.
Now I assure you there is more to do in Clifton than the three things I have listed; they just happen to be what I think are the coolest. All in all, Clifton is a great place to let out some steam as we roll into the end of the semester.
Richard Hirst is a senior journalism major from Durant, Okla. He is the photo editor for the Lariat.