20 Best Things to Do in Tyler, TX

Tyler, TX
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Tyler, also known as the Rose Capital of the World, is a vibrant city in Texas.

If you are looking for a colorful place to check out, Tyler has the best amenities just for you.

Filled with natural scenic beauties and rose gardens, this city is perfect for travelers of all ages.

Visit Tyler and witness stunning wildlife, surround yourself with breathtaking nature, and immerse yourself in rich history.

Want to find out what else you can experience in this city?

Here are the best things to do in Tyler, Texas:

Take a Look around Tyler Rose Garden

Colorful roses at Tyler Rose Garden
Robert Nunnally from Allen, TX, USA, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons


When in Tyler, it's essential to visit one of the most beautiful rose gardens in the US.

Tyler Rose Garden houses more than 500 different types of roses, and it is estimated that the garden has 35,000 bushes—imagine that many roses accumulated in a single garden!

Archway of Tyler Rose Garden
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Not only home to roses, the garden also boasts stunning lilies and camellias.

You can find a lot of other themed gardens inside.

It will take you an entire morning to go through all the beauty Tyler Rose Garden offers.

Sunny landscape of Tyler Rose Garden
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Explore Tyler State Park

Two dogs at Tyler State Park
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If you want to venture a little out of town and enjoy the outskirts, there is a pretty place to enjoy to your fullest.

Tyler State Park will take you on a fantastic journey to soothe your soul.

When you get to the park, the lake is the first thing you'll see.

People swimming at Tyler State Park
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It is an object of immense beauty.

The ambiance is lovely and soothing and is perfect for sitting and taking in gorgeous nature views.

You can go fishing, swimming, and camping here.

Forest area of Tyler State Park
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Visit the Animals at the Caldwell Zoo

Lion at Caldwell Zoo
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The Caldwell Zoo is one of the most famous zoos in Texas.

If you're looking for some fun-filled activity to indulge in with your little ones, the Caldwell Zoo is the perfect location.

Parakeets at Caldwell Zoo
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The best place to check out on a lazy Sunday, it's quite a nice place to get to know about some rescue animals and local species.

David King Caldwell founded this zoo to save animals in danger; all the animals brought here are rescued species.

The zoo is interactive, so kids can interact with cute little mammals and birds if they wish to.

A cute fox sleeping on a rock at Caldwell Zoo
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Take a Look at the Whitaker-McClendon House

Exterior of Whitaker-McClendon House
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The Whitaker-McClendon House is a worthy example of fine architecture.

The house has a museum built inside it.

One of the best things about the museum is that it is filled with the rarest artifacts and documents that date back to the Antebellum period.

The famous personality Sarah McClendon was born in this house.

This house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Meet the Wild Cats at Tiger Creek Wildlife Refuge

When you are in Tyler, you need to see some wildlife.

Tiger Creek Wildlife Refuge is the best place to do some exploration.

It is like a sanctuary that takes care of all the endangered species from the cat family—lions, leopards, and tigers are all found aplenty here.

They all have been rescued and brought here to live a better life.

These cats had previously been abused and are finally given some much-needed care.

Visit the Azalea Residential Historic District

Vibrant flowers at Azalea Residential Historic District
Becky Sheridan / Shutterstock.com

If you want to see how Tyler looked back in the day, head over to Azalea Residential Historic District.

There are not a lot of historic districts left in the city, but Azalea Residential Historic District happens to be one of the best places to go back in time.

It still has some houses that boast the old style of architecture.

If you have some knowledge of the subject, you'll surely notice the different styles of architecture from previous eras.

Admire Amazing Works of Art at the Tyler Museum of Art

Exterior of Tyler Museum of Art
Michael Barera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Want to take a break and look at some of the art of Texas?

In the Tyler Museum of Art, you can see a lot of artwork by local and international artists.

The primary purpose of the Tyler Museum of Art is to encourage young and upcoming artists.

It shows the local talents beautifully and encourages those who aspire to take up art as a part of their lives.

This award-winning museum encompasses a vast space of almost 17,000 square feet and boasts some of the best art in Texas.

Visit the Historic Goodman-LeGrand House

Exterior of Goodman-LeGrand House
Michael Barera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Goodman-LeGrand House is a historically significant attraction in Tyler that dates back to the Civil War.

Built in 1859, it still stands proudly, inviting many tourists to come and take a look at its architecture and contents.

Interior of Goodman-LeGrand House
Michael Barera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

With its name listed on the iconic National Register of Historic Places, the Goodman-LeGrand House is a must-visit when you are here.

It was built in an exquisite style for the wealthy owner Samuel Gallatin Smith but ultimately ended up being a place where refugees and the victims took shelter.

The Goodman family bought this property much later.

The guest room of Goodman-LeGrand House
Michael Barera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Get to Know History at Camp Ford Historic Park

Did you know that this place held more than 5,000 prisoners during the Civil War?

Camp Ford Historic Park has a terrible past of extreme historical significance.

Now, it stands there as a memory of what happened in the old days.

You can head over to the place with your family and learn a bit more about the war that took place here.

Taste the Spirits at Kiepersol Estates Vineyards and Winery

If you want to try the finest wines in Texas, this is the right place.

Kiepersol Estates Vineyards and Winery knows exactly what they are doing and takes pride in their business.

The estate consists of several acres of vineyards and is run by the family that owns it.

Their white and red wines are said to be of the finest quality.

There is a tasting room where you can sample wines and tour around.

Get the Full Texas Experience and Ride a Horse at Texas Rose Horse Park

Texas and horses kind of go hand in hand.

No trip to the state is complete without visiting a ranch.

The family-owned Texas Rose Horse Park hosts many exciting events like horse-riding competitions.

There is even a Grand Prix Jumper Ring here, along with ceratin indoor arenas for the different events.

Visit Texas Rose Horse Park, look around, and have a pleasant time with all the horses.

Catch a Show at Liberty Hall

Exterior of Liberty Hall
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How about you take a quick break from sightseeing and make your way downtown?

After eating some of the local delicacies, head over to Liberty Hall to lighten your mood and enjoy some entertainment.

Front exterior of Liberty Hall
Michael Barera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Known for hosting some of the best musicals, live performances, and shows, Liberty Hall is one of the top entertainment hubs in Tyler.

This theater has been serving the people of Tyler since the 1930s.

Head to Lake Tyler and Take in Breathtaking Scenes

Scenic sunset at Lake Tyler
Carly Forever / Shutterstock.com

There are two Lake Tylers in Tyler—one in the east and one in the west.

They are separate waterbodies joined together by a narrow canal.

The lakes lie in a secluded area in the city's eastern part.

Warm-colored sunset at Lake Tyler
Troy Hayes Photography / Shutterstock.com

If you want to enjoy good scenes and gorgeous waterfront views, this is the place to check out.

The lakes also offer boating as well as fishing opportunities.

If you are up for more fun, you can go water-skiing here, too.

Treat Your Kids to a Fun Day at the Children's Park

Nowadays, it is very rare for kids to play in the midst of nature, as most of them are usually on their phones or playing video games.

The Children's Park of Tyler lets them play outdoors and get all the fresh air they need.

There is a butterfly garden within the park which the children enjoy.

You can see waterfalls that mix with a pond filled with small fishes.

You can relax for a bit while letting your children enjoy nature.

Gaze at the Beauty of Chamblee's Rose Nursery

Flowers at Chamblee’s Rose Nursery
Billy Hathorn, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Chamblee's Rose Nursery is a place for nature lovers, built by someone with an immense love for roses and an understanding of how precious they are.

This is a nursery where you shall find over 200 rose variants.

Buy some roses from here, for Tyler also happens to be the Rose Capital of the US.

Explore Aircraft History at the Historic Aviation Memorial Museum

An aircraft displayed on the grounds of Aviation Memorial Museum
Michael Barera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Historic Aviation Memorial Museum (HAMM) is housed in Tyler Pounds Regional Airport's former passenger terminal building.

It houses an impressive collection of military aircraft and aviation artifacts.

Fighter jet on the grounds of Aviation Memorial Museum
Michael Barera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The HAMM hangar serves as a home for both restored and operational aircraft.

The museum often holds elevated airshows and air displays for the general public to enjoy.

The Historic Aviation Memorial Museum also provides educational activities, a multimedia theater, a library, and a small gift store selling books and memorabilia.

Interior war exhibit of Aviation Memorial Museum
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Travel Back in Time through the Smith County Historical Society Museum

Entrance doors of Smith County Historical Society Museum
Billy Hathorn, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Many artifacts from Smith County's past are displayed at the Smith County Historical Society Museum.

There are dioramas tracing history from the Caddo Indians through 20th-century civilization in the Carnegie History Center.

The center used to be the Carnegie Public Library before being renamed.

On top of it, the museum houses the Payne Auditorium, where the Smith County Historical Society has monthly meetings to gather and preserve Smith County's history.

An educational program for the general public and archive materials and displays for future generations are also available.

Learn about the Region's Trade and Commerce History at the Cotton Belt Depot Museum

Exterior of Cotton Belt Depot Museum
Michael Barera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Cotton Belt Depot Museum is committed to preserving the heritage of the Saint Louis Southwestern Railroad via exhibits and displays.

Cotton Belt, a small gauge railroad line that started in Tyler, Texas, as the Tyler Tap, was created to carry cotton and vegetables to the town of Big Sandy.

Interior of Cotton Belt Depot Museum
Michael Barera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

It served as a train passenger stop for much of its first half-century of operation.

The depot now serves as a museum that takes visitors back to the golden age of railroad travel.

The Cotton Belt Rail Historical Society operates the museum, an excellent model train collection provided by Clyde Bragg and his wife, among other displays.

Railway model in Cotton Belt Depot Museum
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Explore Outer Space at the Center for Earth & Space Science Education

Exterior of Center for Earth & Space Science Education
Michael Barera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

This is one of the state's biggest planetariums.

Tyler Junior College's Center for Earth & Space Science Education aims to spark and cultivate students' enthusiasm for science.

Sundial in front of Center for Earth & Space Science Education
Michael Barera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The planetarium's state-of-the-art technology provides immersive, full-dome video experiences, which allow viewers to experience real-time space journeys and numerous places across the globe.

Exhibit spaces with plasma screens showcasing NASA and real-time footage from Space Telescope Science Institute are also available in the planetarium.

The Science Center also provides Education-based outdoor play spaces.

Solve Mysteries at Escapology Escape Rooms Tyler

Escapology Escape Rooms invites you to come and see whether you have the guts to escape a sticky situation within a given period.

Each of the intricately designed escape rooms provides an hour of entertainment and mental challenge.

These rooms will test your team's resourcefulness and problem-solving abilities.

You may take on the COD 3 criminal adventure room, the family-friendly Scooby-Doo Adventure, or the pressing Mansion Murder level.

The escape rooms also cater to parties and team-building activities.

Final Thoughts

Tyler isn't dubbed the "rose capital of America" for no reason.

The city is more than just its enticingly scented shrubbery.

Experience Tyler's fascinating history and world-class zoo while you're here!