16 Best Things to Do in East Texas

Tyler State Park, East Texas
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East Texas offers a wide range of enjoyable indoor and outdoor environments, attractions, and activities for families and friends who are visiting the town.

East Texas, often known as the Piney Woods area due to its tall trees, features a range of natural wonders which attract visitors from all over the country.

Even though the boundary of East Texas or West Texas is mainly cultural and environmental rather than geographical, it broadly refers to areas in between the Texas border to the west and the Trinity River and Interstate 45 to the northwest.

The towns of Texas, Tyler, Beaumont, Lafayette, Paxton, Palestine, Gilbert, Jacksonville, plus Mount Pleasant are all part of the region, which spans 41 counties.

In addition to the area's beautiful nature, East Texas is home to Nacogdoches, Texas' largest town, historic Texas State Railroad, as well as a variety of heritage sites and also a variety of family-friendly attractions.

In this article, we will be mentioning everything you need to know regarding things to do in East Texas. Keep reading for more details.

Things You Can Do In East Texas

Are you planning your next trip to East Texas but are unsure about what things to do? No worries, we got you covered!

There are many things that you can do during your visit to East Texas, and we are listing the best of them below:

Enjoy the breakfast at Mi Casita

What do you start your day with? Breakfast, of course.

Also, what’s a better place to have breakfast than Mi Casita?

Mi Casita is a tiny, locally owned restaurant in Longview that provides Tex-Mex meals all day.

Their breakfast burritos and tacos are amazingly tasty and their top best tacos include egg, butter, cheese, and potatoes.

All of their pasta dishes are made fresh, and the fruit of habanero salsa is delicious.

The breakfast and evening meals are excellent and we'd definitely recommend giving this place a try.

Enjoy A Hot Air Balloon Ride

Longview Hot Air Balloon Ride
JiroTX / Shutterstock.com

Longview hosts the Great Texas Balloon Competition every summer.

Every year, the competition attracts hundreds of balloon pilots who participate in a number of trials stretched out over a few days.

Dr. Bill Bussey of Longview, who still runs Balloon Adventures USA, started the event.

Longview is also an excellent place to go if you've always wanted to ride in a hot air balloon.

Riding in a hot air balloon with relatives, friends, or colleagues is a fantastic way to have a fun time together.

It's an experience that gets you closer to both yourself and your friends and family.

Visit The World's Richest Acre

Kilgore "The World's Richest Acre"
LMPark Photos / Shutterstock.com

Kilgore is a tiny town located 15 minutes from Longview.

During the nineteenth-century oil boom, Kilgore was fully covered in oil wells, and at one stage, the little town had much more than 1,000 oil wells, making it the world's largest number of oil wells.

The land was dubbed "The World's Richest Acre" as a result of this.

Several replica derricks exist today to remember Kilgore's heritage, and when you're already in the neighborhood, it's a fun educational stop.

Tyler's Azaleas Bloom Trial Is A Lot Of Fun

Tyler's Azaleas bloom trail
Becky Sheridan / Shutterstock.com

Tyler's Azaleas bloom in stunning colors of pink and crimson every spring.

Tourists can follow a "trail" constructed by the city to witness a few of the most beautiful flowers outside of a few of the city's most beautiful homes.

Several homeowners also welcome guests to their private gardens.

The most visited is the Pyron garden because there's a shuttle that will take you along the route.

The Azalea Belles are a unique custom associated with the Azalea Trail.

All of those are secondary school girls who apply and are interviewed in order to serve as the Azalea Trail's ambassadors.

Several of the garden and homes along the walk have them adorned in debutante-style gowns along with parasols.

They are willing to pose for pictures and answer whatever questions tourists may have regarding the Azalea Trail and Tyler.

The Butcher Shop Is A Great Place To Eat

The Butcher Shop is another independently run business.

It began as a bakery and has become a burger institution in Longview.

Meals are served on plastic trays like in a cafeteria, and also there's a "fixing" bar in which you might add everything, including pickles to chili to your burger or even fries.

The bakery, and specifically the pies, are the real stars here.

They feature a wide range of flavors, from lemon-lime to raspberry cream, all of which are fantastic.

Find Out More About Tyler's Historic Homes

Goodman Le-Grand Home and Museum
Michael Barera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Most of Tyler's historic old homes are available to the public on a daily basis, but most of them are not.

However, the Goodman Le-Grand Home and Museum is a great place to visit if you really want to get a glimpse of Old Tyler.

After the loss of Sally Goodman-LeGrand in 1938, this home was gifted to the city by the Goodman family.

Sally wished that the house, which was constructed in the 1800s, remains open to the public and that all of her family's belongings should stay on display.

Having a tour there is like taking a moment in time, and you'll get a complete idea of the family which used to live here.

Have a Better Understanding Of Rose Loyalty

Rose Park in Tyler
Donna Chance Hall / Shutterstock.com

East Texas is more well-known for its roses. Tyler is known as the "Roses Capital of the World" because of the significant number of rose plants processed there.

The city also holds the biggest rose garden in the United States and also the Texas Rose Show every year.

The Texas Rose show is a lavish affair with drama and circumstance and lavish costumes for the Rose Queen, which is usually a Tyler college student and the Rose Courts.

A few of these amazing costumes can be seen in a small gallery at the Tyler Rose Garden.

Every year in October, the Rose show takes place, so keep a close watch out for the huge parade if you're in the city.

East Texas Historical Site

McFaddin-Ward House
Larry D. Moore, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The town of Beaumont, situated 85 miles in the east of Houston, is the home of Texas' greatest oil discovery, as well as various other famous sites and lots of outdoor activities such as hunting, boating, hiking, and dealing with real alligators.

The Beaumont Botanical Gardens, the Texas Energy Museum,  the McFaddin-Ward House, the Texas Wildfire Museum, as well as the Saint Anthony Church are all popular tourist sites in Beaumont.

While you're there, check out Beaumont's vibrant cuisine scene, which combines Louisiana maritime specialties like shrimp with Texas favorites like barbecue and American fried steak.

Do Trade Days Shopping

Trade day in Canton
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The very first Monday Trade Days, which is held on the Thursday to Sunday before the first Monday of each month, is the country's biggest public flea market.

This prominent flea market, situated in Canton, is around 60 kilometers south of Dallas on Highway 20.

It attracts over 100,000 consumers throughout the four-day weekend and offers room for above 6,000 sellers in over 1 million square feet of shaded shopping areas.

Tourists can shop straight from a variety of home design and furnishing retailers, as well as jewelry producers, antique dealers, clothes stores, and much more.

Pay A Visit To The Hall Of Fame

Texas Country Music Hall of Fame
Michael Barera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Texas Country Music Hall of Fame, which is located in Carthage, honors the achievements of Texans to folk music.

This unusual gallery and concert space has now become a great attraction for followers of the genre since it was found in 1998.

The Texas Country Music Hall of Fame, as well as the neighboring Tex Ritter Museum, hold a number of events and festivals every year, which includes the Classic Country Music Concert and the Tex Ritter Tribute Concert in August.

Take A Look Around In Henderson

Downtown Henderson
Billy Hathorn, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Henderson, which is located halfway from Tyler and Carthage, is full of art, history, and outdoor experiences.

The vibrant Henderson Main Street System includes a number of historic merchants and historical landmarks in the Central Historic Square as well as premium shopping, eating, and entertainment venues around the city.

Henderson hosts a variety of events every year, such as the Historic Syrup Festival on the first Saturday in October, the Historic Tractor Exhibition, an annual Fourth of July Celebration, as well as the Downtown during Christmas Fest in December.

Fly In The Air With A Zipline Adventure

The East Texas Zipline Adventure is a great way to see the Piney Woods portion of the state, situated southeast of Athens inside the unincorporated locality known as New York.

Each tree canopy tour lasts from one or two hours and includes six to seven zipline courses.

It also includes a 1,500-foot track featuring two cable sky bridges leading up to a 40-foot zipline tower.

Explore The Cultural Capital Of The World

Harrison Courthouse
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Marshall, which is located east of Longview and west side of the Louisiana borders, is recognized as the Cultural Capital of East Texas because of its strong support for the arts and historic protection of its many sites and structures.

The Harrison Courthouse, national Michelson Museum, and Visual Art Gallery, as well as the Marshall Station, which contains the Texas and Pacific Railways Exhibition, Amtrak Bus Terminal, and the Texas and Western "Train of Fame" display, are all located in Marshall, which was founded in 1841.

Horse carriage rides, tour buses, and more than 150 historical monuments and medallions are among the town's highlights.

During the Christmas season, the city hosts "Wonderland of Lights," the country's biggest light festival and the traditional and oldest Christmas event in Texas.

Discover The Lakes

Lake Caddo State Park
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The town of Unpredictable, which is situated in Harrison County all along the beaches of Lake Caddo, is known as Texas' "Better Kept Secret" because of the diversity of attractions available. Shreveport Lake State Park and the Caddo Lake National Wildlife Refuge, and also the communities of Beaumont and Marshal, Texas,  Shreveport, are all within driving distance.

You may go fishing on the pond, duck hunting from a duck blind, or sailing among the cypress woods here.

There are also beautiful log houses and various beds & meals to choose from in this smallish village surrounded by woods.

Spend Time With Your Family In Palestine

Museum Of East Texas Culture
Michael Barera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The city of Palestine, which is full of history, is a terrific place for family enjoyment in East Texas. The Texas State Railway, the Museum Of East Texas Culture, and Dogwood Junction Fun Family Park, which features mini-golf, go-karts, as well as a number of other family entertainment options, are all located approximately 35 miles south of Athens.

You can also visit the Curious Museum, which is modeled after San Francisco's famed Exploratorium that features displays on forces and movement, magnetism, lightning, geometry, color, and life.

The Texas State Railroad Is A Fun Ride

Texas State Railroad in Palestine
Donna Chance Hall / Shutterstock.com

The Texas State Railroad, which runs between Palestine to Rusk, has been using steam engines to drive the rails since 1896.

Rather than transporting lumber and other commodities, the Texas State Railroad now transports passengers on a beautiful ride across East Texas' Piney Woods.

The Texas State Railroad offers tours throughout the year, but they are especially popular in the springtime when the blossoms are in full bloom.

The Texas State Railroad is, in reality, an official and crucial part of the yearly Dogwood Trails Festival.

A trip to the Texas State Railroad is the focus of any East Texas trip because of the nostalgia, natural landscape, and historic charm.

East Texas is a wonderful destination to visit due to its history, unexpected attractiveness, and natural beauty.

The food here is also delicious and will make you want to come back for even more. In addition, there are a variety of activities that you can do with your friends and family in East Texas - there’s something for everyone.

If you are planning your next trip to East Texas and looking for fun activities to do there, consider the things listed in this article!