15 Best Things to Do in Paris, TX

Paris, TX
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Yes, this city was named after Paris, France.

It was named so by one of George W. Wright’s employees, Thomas Poteet, after he founded the city.

It is the county seat of Lamar County and has deep ties to the railroad industry.

You’ll find that this city is filled with historic locations and holds tons of fun and exciting events throughout the year, so take the time to explore this magical place.

If you want to experience all that it has to offer, check out the best things to do in Paris, Texas.

Stop by and Take Pictures beside the Eiffel Tower

Front view of the Eiffel Tower with a red hat on top.
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You don’t have to go out of the USA to take a picture beside the Eiffel Tower, as this city has its own, albeit with its own character.

On top of the 65-feet-tall structure, you’ll find a three and a half-feet-tall Stetson cowboy hat, so you know that you’re in Texas.

You can visit at any time of the day, as it is open for 24 hours.

Closer view of the Eiffel Tower with a red hat.
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Also, it transforms into a bright spectacle at night, lit up by LED lights.

The tower was erected in 1993, but it didn’t have a cowboy hat then.

The hat was only added after Las Vegas built its own Eiffel Tower.

You can also bring your pet here.

Yellow lights on the Eiffel Tower of texas.
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Compete with Other Bikers on the Tour de Paris

If you love cycling or just want a lively atmosphere, you can attend the Tour the Paris.

It is held annually and takes bikers across Lamar County’s landscapes.

Watch the gravel grind challenge that takes place during the event as well.

If you’re an avid cyclist and want to challenge yourself, you can try out the European Tour of Texas, composed of four community bike rides that include the Tour de Paris.

You will also get a limited-edition jersey if you register.

Dive into the City’s History in the Lamar County Historical Museum

Exterior of the Lamar County Historical Museum.
Michael Barera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Take a step back in time at the Lamar County Historical Museum, where you can experience the city as it was before and after the 1916 fire.

The 1916 was a 10-hour-long fire that ravaged the city and damaged multiple buildings.

Take a look at the old photographs of the city.

There are multiple artifacts here, ranging from commonplace items to collections.

A blacksmith shop exhibit at Lamar County Historical Museum.
Michael Barera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Check out the shoe collection, with shoes for men and women, to see the designs in the past.

Visit the blacksmith shop or the military room.

There’s also an African-American history room where you can learn about the people who have made an impact in the city.

The Biard Cabin gives you a glimpse of what day-to-day life was in the past.

Military room inside Lamar County Historical Museum.
Michael Barera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Watch the Huge Hot Air Balloons at the Paris Balloon and Music Festival

The Balloon and Music Festival offers days of fun and excitement, with large hot air balloons.

There are colorful balloons and even themed ones, creating gigantic spectacles.

Enjoy the view with some music and snacks from the food truck vendors.

Check out the market vendors as well.

During the event, a live art competition will be held, showcasing the talent of the locals.

And, if one catches your eye, you can buy any of the artworks after the competition.

This event is managed by the Paris Balloon and Music Association, an organization of volunteers, and is sponsored by local establishments.

Learn about Sam Bell Maxey’s Life in the Sam Bell Maxey House State Historic Site

Exterior of the Sam Bell Maxey House State Historic Site.
Adavyd, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

If you’re interested in learning about Sam Bell Maxey’s life, take a look around the Sam Bell Maxey House State Historic City.

A Mexican War veteran, Confederate general, and senator, Sam Bell Maxey’s life was truly remarkable.

Before he was a senator, he stayed in this newly built house with his family in 1868.

Stairs inside the Sam Bell Maxey House State Historic Site.
Michael Barera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Its interior was restored, preserving various items and furniture that belonged to the family.

The house is chic and well-designed, incorporating a High Victorian Italianate style.

You’ll be greeted by a front porch with columns and inside, you’ll find multiple fireplaces, chandeliers, and stylish carpets.

A library inside Sam Bell Maxey House State Historic Site.
Michael Barera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Catch an Event at the Red River Valley Fair

The Red River Valley Fair hosts a wide variety of events throughout the year.

Its longstanding event, named after the fairground, allows visitors to engage in family-friendly activities.

Watch the participants of the creative arts and crafts showcase, which includes categories like fine arts, clothing, quilts, and more.

Get some home improvement tips while viewing the home and garden showcase.

There are tons of vendors and food concessions, too, so make sure to go around and explore.

There are multiple event spaces available for rent.

The Coliseum is perfect for large-scale bookings, featuring 8,600 square feet of space, tables and folding chairs, and outdoor restrooms.

If you want a spacious indoor venue, the community exhibit center is a perfect choice, offering a kitchen and central heating and air conditioning.

There are smaller spaces as well, like the Building “B” and the Westside Building, both with an ice machine, kitchen, and central heating and air conditioning.

For a more rustic setting, you can make use of the facilities, like a show ring, stalls, and bleachers, at the Livestock Barn.

There are RV hookups here as well.

Enjoy a Play or Musical at the Paris Community Theatre

Exterior of the Paris Community Theatre building.
Kit Leong / Shutterstock.com

The Paris Community Theatre started out as a small group of people conducting plays in the Paris Junior College.

It was only in 1981 when the former Plaza Theatre, which goes all the way back to 1926, was bought and then renovated, making significant improvements to its structure.

Lots of plays and musicals have been held here over the years, and the Paris Community Theatre Association actually produces its own.

Exterior of the Paris Community Theatre.
Adavyd, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

They also have an open call, where they accept and review your submissions.

If you have a love for the arts, this is your time to shine.

You can also attend workshops and classes if you just want to improve on your craft.

Make sure to check out the schedule of shows online before you get tickets.

Side exterior of Paris Community Theatre.
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Look around for Fresh Produce at the Paris Farmers and Artisan Market

Shop around for fresh produce and other local goods at the Paris Farmers and Artisan Market.

Get some quality meat for your next get-together or a bunch of pastries for snacks.

Bring home jams and honey for breakfast or vegetables and fruits for dinner.

In addition to food, they also offer personal care items like lotions and soaps.

Buy a piece of jewelry for your significant other.

You’ll be sure that the arts and crafts sold here to meet a certain standard since they are checked before they can be set up at the market.

Have a nice, laid-back afternoon shopping in the open air with the smell of natural produce.

Make sure to check the schedule of the farmers' market before visiting.

When it isn’t in operation, you can also rent the Market Square.

Follow the Trail de Paris for a Scenic Hike

Trail and name post of Trail de Paris.
Michael Barera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Starting from the city's heart and continuing east to its outskirts, the Trail de Paris allows tourists to have a great jumping point to various attractions while giving them plenty of sceneries to appreciate.

It spans three miles and offers a paved path lined with lush trees.

You’ll cross bridges and pass by iconic tourist destinations, like the Eiffel Tower and a war memorial.

You can also access a butterfly garden and parks.

Also, it will go parallel to the tracks of a former railroad right-of-way at one point.

As its path is paved, it’s a popular spot for hiking and biking.

If you need to rest, you’ll pass by benches, too.

You can even stop by the viewing platforms to get a nice view of the area or read the interpretive signs.

Paris Fitness and Aquatics

Sweat out your stresses or have a nice workout at Paris Fitness and Aquatics, with over 27,000 square feet of space tailor-made to give you a great exercise.

If you’re looking to build muscles or tone your body, visit the gym.

Drop by any time you want, as it’s open 24 hours a day.

You can try several classes here, including yoga, dance, kickboxing, and more, perfect if you want to feel the energy of a group.

They have two studios available for these.

You can also try out the spin classes, held in a separate room, for an awesome calorie-burning activity.

Cool down in one of the two available pools, or you can go for laps too.

You can also take your kids here or to the Kids Klub, where they will have the freedom to play around in a safe environment.

It even sponsors an annual event, the Turkey Trot, where you can compete with fellow runners for a prize.

Spend a Lovely Afternoon at Pat Mayse Lake

Sunset reflecting on Pat Mayse Lake.
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Watch the gorgeous sunset while waiting for your catch at Pat Mayse Lake.

It’s an ideal location for fishing, with a variety of fish such as largemouth bass, white crappie, sunfish, and much more.

You can also go hunting for whitetail deer, squirrels, rabbits, birds, and more.

Enjoy sceneries of local wildlife playing in the area while having a picnic with the whole family.

If you want to immerse yourself in nature, you can camp out here, too.

Dive into its waters and have a swim.

Or, you can simply launch your boat and have a peaceful time.

Pay Tribute to the Heroes at the Red River Veterans Memorial Museum

Pay tribute to the USA’s heroes at the Red River Veterans Memorial Museum, which serves to honor all veterans and to remind people that “freedom is not free.”

Learn about the different wars that the nation has played a part in.

Marvel at the display of military vehicles, such as a helicopter and an armored personnel carrier.

The War Dog Monument commemorates all the dogs and handlers that served the country, while the Gold Star Family Monument is a homage to gold star family members.

Visit the Ring of Honor, where you’ll see names of the valiant people from Red River, Fannin, Lamar, and Choctaw who gave up their lives in exchange for freedom.

Go around the Establishments near the Historic Downtown Square

Exterior of a shop at Downtown Square.
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Explore all the amazing establishments in the heart of the city – Downtown Paris.

Its Historic Downtown Square is a great base to start your adventures in the city.

You can take pictures of the majestic, well-crafted Culbertson Fountain, made with Italian marble.

Grand theatre building at Downtown square paris.
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It also lights up at night, setting a wonderful mood.

Get some antiques or a painting in one of the shops nearby.

Or, after exploring, dine in one of the restaurants or drink a cold beer.

The Culbertson Fountain of Paris downtown square.
Kit Leong / Shutterstock.com

Pair Delectable Wine with Delicious Food during the Paris Wine Festival

For tourists 21 years old or older, the Paris Wine Festival is an event worth looking forward to.

Savor delicious fare in a festive environment.

Pair them with delectable wines from the different corners of Northeast Texas.

It is held in the Historic Downtown Paris, so you can stop by different establishments around the area during the event.

Look around the shops – the antique shops and boutiques – for great finds.

Grab Some Treats While Enjoying the Activities during the Festival of Pumpkins

Take the whole family to the Festival of Pumpkins and enjoy all the activities.

Get some festival treats and take a bite while you go around the area.

Prepare great costumes and join the costume contest or just watch as the competition goes along.

Of course, the festival wouldn’t be complete without pumpkins.

There’s a pumpkin decorating competition, and a nice prize awaits the winner.

Experience all these and more while live music plays in the background.

Final Thoughts

Take a deep dive into Paris and discover its interesting history and culture.

Check out its information-rich museums or attend one of its many festivals and events, a perfect way to really experience the city for yourself.

For a great guide, check out the best things to do in Paris, Texas, mentioned above.