Belton is a small Texas city with an area of 54.75 km2 and a population of 23,973 as of 2021, which is growing at a rate of 2.32% annually. Located off of Interstate 35 between Austin and Waco, it is the county seat of Bell County. View Map



There is evidence pointing to human habitation of Belton and Bell County as early as 6000 BC. Belton became home to tribes including Tonkawa, Lipan Apache, Wacos, Nadaco, Kiowas, and Comanche. Most tribes had been pushed out by settlements by the 1840s.

The first settlement in Belton was in 1850 when the place was called Nolanville, following the name of nearby Nolan Springs which were named for Philip Nolan, the Texan explorer. In 1851, it became the seat of newly created Bell County and changed its name to Belton after Peter Hansborough Bell, the Governor of Texas at that time.

During the Civil War, Belton County’s population became involved in partisan issues. In 1861 Bell County voted for secession. Many residents fought in the Confederate Army.

From the 1880s, the town experienced rapid growth but its population was decimated during the Great Depression. It began to recover in the run-up to World War II. The opening of Fort Hood in 1942 brought a large population and a lot of economic activity to the area. By 1950, the city’s population was back. From then on, Belton gradually grew to what it is now.

City Life

Belton is an amazing town and one of the best places to live in Texas. The sense of community is outrageous as can be observed not only from the Independence parade but even on market days where there is always fun to be had. Belton is a haven for everything – from The Grand Avenue movie theaters that offer wholesome friendly service, grocery stores close by with their wonderful selections of food, and lower costs for everything from housing to groceries.

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What to See and Do

Bell County Museum is a place you can visit if your interest includes culture and history. An award-winning museum, it features the culture and history of Belton Bell County and Central Texas. For concerts, fairs, rodeos, and other large events, the Bell County Expo Center is the place to go.

Belton maintains 13 parks. The largest among them are Heritage Park along the Leon River, Yettie Polk Park that offers a walking trail, and Miller Springs Nature Center with hiking trails along the Leon River below the Belton Lake Dam.

There are two major lakes for recreation – Belton Lake on the Leon River with 11 public access parks and Stillhouse Hollow Lake on the Lampasas River with four public access parks. There are amenities such as picnic areas, boat docks, hike and bike trails, camping sites, marinas, and designated sandy swimming beaches.

Summer Fun Water Park features slides, a lazy river, and other fun water activities.