With a bustling economy, Kaufman County in Texas is an ideal destination for those who love both water and inland attractions.
The county had a total population of 145,310 as of the 2020 census.
It was established in 1848 and was named after politician and diplomat David S. Kaufman, who also served in the military during the Texas-Indian Wars.
The county has several cities that are shared with other counties, including Dallas, as well as thriving cities, towns, and villages.
For travelers, the county offers a lot of engaging activities both indoors and outdoors with unparalleled hospitality.
Soak up nature, learn history, dine at a local restaurant, or share a picnic with your family and friends.
Here are the best things to do in Kaufman County, Texas:
Get Closer to Wildlife at the John Bunker Sands Wetland Center in Combine
Nestled on 2,000 acres of man-made wetland, the John Bunker Sands Wetland Center offers wildlife viewing and walking trails.
Home to diverse flora and fauna, you can see bald eagles and over 270 species of birds, as well as native plants and wildflowers.
You'll also see raccoons, beavers, minks, bats, river otters, coyotes, opossums, gray foxes, bobcats, rodents, and more.
Stay on the designated paths and respect the animals so they don't bother you.
The John Bunker Sands Wetland Center was founded in 2010 and was named after the late John Bunker Sands, an environmental advocate.
It's located on Martin Lane in Combine.
Go Diving at The Scuba Ranch in Terrell
About 22 acres of a diving spot at The Scuba Ranch is a perfect destination for divers and water lovers traveling to Kaufman County.
Offering freshwater dives, the spring-fed lake sans chemicals features gorgeous underwater attractions that are among the best in Texas lakes.
Look out for turtles, fish, harmless jellyfish, sunken boats, planes, and the facility's icon, Sisco the Shark underwater—or inland too!
The Scuba Ranch is also a go-to spot for those who are aiming at completing their open-water scuba certification.
It also offers scuba diving gear rentals, and you can bring a picnic and use the facility's picnic tables and grills for barbecues.
You can swim in the designated areas although you can only do so if you're there to mainly dive, or when you're with someone who will go diving.
The Scuba Ranch is located at County Road 346.
Try the Famous Chicken Wings at Wings Over Kaufman
Located in the City of Kaufman, Wings Over Kaufman is popular among locals and tourists for its mouthwatering chicken wings.
The restaurant has been serving delicious chicken and the best in the region for more than 20 years, made fresh with signature in-house sauces.
Its chicken wings are what keep people coming back, along with its cold beers and margaritas at the bar.
But apart from wings, people also rave about the restaurant's chicken sandwich, onion rings, catfish, fried mushrooms, and fried pickles.
Wings Over Kaufman also has branches in Fort Worth, Frisco, and Seagoville.
In Kaufman, you can find it at East Mulberry Street.
Befriend the Animals at the Gentle Zoo in Forney
Animals love to be fed and cared for, which is what the Gentle Zoo has been doing.
The animals at the zoo are mostly rescued, making them more vulnerable.
It's mostly a children's zoo, although many adults enjoy the site too.
Also known as the North Texas Animal Connections, the zoo cares for more than 90 rescued animals.
It offers animal-assisted therapy programs for people who are physically, emotionally, and mentally stressed, which is also therapeutic for the animals.
You can also adopt or sponsor an animal at the zoo, which is a yearly subscription to care for the animals, which includes their food and other maintenance.
The Gentle Zoo also has fun activities for the kids, including a short train ride, maze, trampoline, sand pits, and more.
You can find it at FM 2932.
Honor the War Heroes at the Kaufman County Veterans Memorial Park
Pay tribute to war heroes who put themselves on the line for everyone's freedom at the Kaufman County Veterans Memorial Park.
You can find more than 5,000 names of war heroes at the memorial.
The Kaufman County Veterans Memorial Park now serves as a teaching tool for many local schools—a popular attraction for those who want to honor the heroes—and the county's homage to those who risked their lives in the line of duty.
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall replica is also erected at the park.
Get the Sweetest Peaches at Ham Orchards in Terrell
Open during the peach season from May to August, Ham Orchards offers fresh and the sweetest peaches in the region.
The orchard hand-picks the peaches with more than 30 varieties to ensure the highest quality when they're sold at the farm market store.
Ham Orchards operates five orchards with about 10,000 trees, which are harvested between May and August.
At the store, you can also find other goods like jams, jellies, butter, salsas, canned veggies, salad dressings, fresh produce fruits and vegetables, and more.
If you're traveling around Kaufman County, make Ham Orchards one of your pit stops!
It's located in Terrell on County Road 309.
Join the Heart-Pounding Terrell Ghost Walk
Learn local history through paranormal experiences offered by paranormal experts at Terrell Ghost Walk, which is a popular attraction in the city.
Founded in 2014, the tour offers two kinds of walks—one through the Old Town Terrell and the other through an enclosed courtyard.
Listen to the stories about each haunted structure and learn about their history.
Wear comfortable walking shoes, bring your favorite drink, and enjoy the Terrell Ghost Walk.
The walk starts at West Moore Avenue.
Ride a Horse at Broken Bow Ranch in Seagoville
Do you love riding horses?
Look no further than Broken Bow Ranch, which offers trail rides for those who love both equines and nature.
Encompassing about 117 acres of a horse ranch, you get to enjoy the scenic ride with one of its registered American Quarter Horses.
Ride through the beautiful off-the-beaten paths with great views of the plains at the ranch.
The ranch also offers riding lessons, special events, and summer horse camps.
Broken Bow Ranch is located on East Malloy Bridge Road.
Wander around Downtown Kaufman
Filled with eclectic shops, boutiques, and restaurants, Downton Kaufman is worth checking out while in the city.
You can check out the charming boutiques for a good purchase, buy artwork at an art gallery, or simply explore.
You can also look out for local events happening in the downtown area, which are free for all tourists and locals.
Downtown Kaufman is a great venue for shopping and dining, especially when you're doing some errands while on a trip.
It's located in the heart of the city on South Washington Street.
Buy Fresh Produce at Terrell Farmers Market
On your road trip around the county, make a quick stop at Terrell Farmers Market to get some fresh produce.
It's family-owned and offers locally farmed fruits, vegetables, and plants, as well as pecans, honey, and frozen peas, among others.
You can also enjoy jarred sweets like jams, jellies, butter, peach goodies, and more.
All these are from East Texas farmers and nearby areas of Kaufman County.
If you love fresh produce, visit Terrel Farmers Market on North Virginia Street.
Celebrate with the Locals at the Kaufman Harvest Festival
Happening in October each year, the Kaufman Harvest Festival celebrates all things harvest and fall, showcasing the tradition and cultural heritage of the city.
The all-day festival features many family-friendly activities and attractions, including a grand parade, live music, a farmers market, a car show, games, a petting zoo, and a nursery.
There are also food vendors that sell locally-made meals with delicious drinks.
Local artisans also grace the festival, selling their handmade pieces and unique products.
Look out for Texas musicians gracing the stage and enjoy the show!
The Kaufman Harvest Festival happens downtown with live performances at the Kaufman Sports Complex.
Shop for Antique Items at Caspar & Gerard’s Antiques in Forney
Many vintage and antique finds are collected by Caspar & Gerard's Antiques for all lovers of period pieces.
You'll love its variety of antique home furnishings, woodcraft items, collectibles, kitchenware, jewelry, and many vintage country items.
Brothers Caspar and Gerard De Ridder have been in the antique business since the 1970s.
It's a huge warehouse where you can browse and find something for your loved ones back home.
Caspar & Gerard’s Antiques is located at Reeder Road.
Explore the Kaufman County Poor Farm
When the Civil War ended, many indigent people sought refuge in Kaufman, which pushed the county to buy a property close to the courthouse square.
For history buffs, the Kaufman County Poor Farm is a great spot to learn history, especially about the aftermath of the war.
At the farm, indigent persons settled at the erected buildings, where they raised and farmed animals to support themselves until they were financially stable to leave or even until they took their last breath.
The farm also housed smallpox patients in 1900 when it became an epidemic, as well as typhoid fever patients in 1871.
A cemetery was also built on-site where the dead were buried, which remains for the indigent people to this day.
Due to its historical significance, the Kaufman County Poor Farm was designated as one of Texas’ Most Endangered Historical Sites.
See the site's stock pond, vintage farm equipment, 19th-century buildings, and more.
You can find it at South Houston Street.
Bring a Picnic to Ben Gill Park in Terrell
Share a delicious picnic and lots of memories with your loved ones at Ben Gill Park, where you can use the picnic tables in the covered area.
Of course, after sharing a nice lunch together, you can explore the park, especially its beautiful walking trail with small native wildlife.
There's also a pond with fish and turtles, as well as geese, ducks, and birds.
The park also features sports fields for those who play baseball, soccer, and basketball.
If you're here on the 4th of July, the park has a fireworks display, which is popular along many locals and tourists.
Ben Gill Park is located on 9th Street.
Get Your Coffee Fix at Higher Grounds Coffee Shop in Forney
Higher Grounds Coffee Shop is a quaint, little coffeehouse in Forney that is popular for its signature espresso drinks, drip coffee, Americano, and teas.
Other drinks without caffeine are also served at the coffeehouse such as frappes and smoothies, perfect if you're taking your little ones with you.
The atmosphere is relaxing and the warm smiles served with your coffee are a plus!
Higher Grounds Coffee Shop is nestled on the First Baptist Church in Forney on College Street.
A trip to Kaufman County is made more memorable with its interesting attractions and activities.
Here, you can learn about local history, attend fun events, and explore natural and historical sites.
Take advantage of the best things to do in Kaufman County, Texas, and enjoy a unique experience on your trip!