21 Best Things to Do in Wylie, TX

Wylie, TX
NicholasGeraldinePhotos / Shutterstock.com

Wylie is a city in Collin County, Texas.

It's a rapidly growing suburb of Dallas and home to just over 41,000 residents.

Its former name was Nickelville, thanks to the first shop established in the city.

In 1887, it changed its name in honor of Colonel William D. Wylie.

He was a landowner, Civil War veteran, and right-of-way agent for the railroad.

Colonel Wylie also insisted that the railroad track of Santa Fe and Colorado be routed through Wylie instead of nearby Plano.

Incorporated in 1887, the city of Wylie took advantage of the new railroad to become an agricultural hub, with onions as its primary crop.

The onion industry earned Wylie the nickname "Onion Capital of the World."

During the 1940s-50s, the city was also known as Wide Awake Wylie because it stayed awake until the wee hours of the morning.

Citizens and businesses continued their activities long after other cities had gone to sleep.

Today, Wylie is a thriving community with a small-town feel, yet it retains its agricultural roots.

Located 24 miles northeast of Dallas, the city has grown in recent years and shows no signs of slowing down.

Here are the best things to do in Wylie, TX:

Breath in the Marvel of Lake Lavon

The waters of Lake Lavon
NicholasGeraldinePhotos / Shutterstock.com

Just a few minutes from Downtown Wylie is Lake Lavon, one of the largest reservoirs in Texas.

They created the lake in 1953 to supply water to the growing city of Dallas, and today it is a popular spot for fishing, swimming, boating, and camping.

Nine parks around the lake offer plenty of opportunities for picnicking, hiking, and biking.

Dried trees on the shore of Lake Lavon
NicholasGeraldinePhotos / Shutterstock.com

For those looking for a more adventurous experience, Lake Lavon is also an excellent spot for scuba diving, with clear waters and an abundance of fish.

For your fishing needs, there's Collin Park Marina, where you can rent a boat or buy bait and tackle.

Visitors can also pitch tents at campgrounds around the lake or stay in one of the many available cabins.

Lake Lavon is a beautiful spot to relax and enjoy the outdoors, with plenty of activities to keep everyone entertained.

Go on an Adventure at Historic Downtown Wylie

The Historic Downtown Wylie used to be a gathering place for citizens every Saturday to catch up, hear music, and shop for the day.

Today, Downtown's main street, Ballard Avenue, is home to quaint shops, restaurants, a brewery, and businesses that have operated for decades.

If you want to start with coffee, you may visit Shoemaker & Hardt, a local coffee shop located in an old-time general store.

This building has been around since 1898 and used to be a grocery store before they converted it into a coffee shop.

Wylie Flower & Gifts is the oldest business downtown, which can handle all of your floral needs, from simple bouquets to weddings.

For a bite to eat, stop by the Ballard Street Café and Grill, offering the best chicken fried steak in the city.

If you're looking for something to do on a Saturday morning, the Wylie Farmer's Market opens at the Historic Downtown every Saturday.

It offers fresh produce and handcrafted goods from local vendors.

Downtown Wylie is still a great place to shop and people-watch, but an exciting new adventure awaits you.

Discover the Charms of the Thomas and Mattie Brown House

One of the highlights in the Historic Downtown Wylie is the Thomas and Mattie Brown House.

It's also a perfect example of a Victorian-era home.

Thomas and Mattie moved to Wylie during the early years of the city's development, and their house was one of the first in the new town.

Built in 1895, the two-story frame house is one of the oldest structures in Wylie, sporting a Queen Anne style with Eastlake influences.

The elaborate roof of the house, with its decorated gables, bay window, and wrap-around porch, make it a standout among the other homes in the area.

The house's interior was meticulously restored to its original glory, with beautiful stained glass windows, hand-carved woodwork, and period furniture.

In 1992, it became a Texas Historic Landmark.

Today, the Wylie Heritage Association manages the house as a museum.

A visit to the Thomas and Mattie Brown House is a step back in time to the Victorian era and a chance to learn about the early days of Wylie.

Make Your Way to the Olde City Park

The Olde City Park near Veterans Memorial is a 12-acre park that has served the community since 1976.

The Olde City Park is usually the venue for concerts, awarding ceremonies, and events like the Wylie Opry.

The park also has a covered playground with equipment for older kids or younger tots.

The pavilion can accommodate up to 250 people and is an excellent place for a family reunion, class reunion, or wedding reception.

The park is perfect for a family picnic or a leisurely walk on a beautiful day.

Meet Rescued Animals at the In-Sync Exotics Wildlife Rescue & Educational Center

Established in 2000, In-Sync Exotics Wildlife Rescue & Educational Center is a nonprofit organization dedicated to rescuing, rehabilitating, and educating captive exotic felines.

The center is home to over 50 big cats, including lions, tigers, leopards, cougars, and bobcats.

In-Sync Exotics Wildlife Rescue & Educational Center offers tours of their facility, allowing visitors to learn about their work and the animals they care for.

The center also offers educational programs and internships, allowing people to learn about exotic animal care.

In-Sync Exotics Wildlife Rescue & Educational Center is a unique place that allows visitors to get close to some impressive animals.

Learn the story of each rescued cat as you view them in their enclosure and how the center ensures their safety and well-being.

Have Pure Fun at Wylie Skatepark

Previously known as Birmingham Park, the Wylie Skatepark is a great place for skateboarders, BMX riders, and inline skaters of all levels.

It's at the Joel Scott Memorial Park.

The park features several obstacles and challenges for riders to enjoy, including a street course, bowls, and a snake run.

Named after Joel Scott, the first elected councilman in Wylie, the memorial park is a great place to learn new tricks or practice old ones.

A flat grassy area is available for those who want to play catch with friends or a game of frisbee.

The Wylie Skatepark also features a walking trail, a playground, picnic tables, benches, and a pavilion, making it the perfect place to spend a day with family and friends.

The park is free to use and is open from dawn to dusk.

Have Family Fun at the East Fork Park

The waters of East Fork Park
NicholasGeraldinePhotos / Shutterstock.com

East Fork Park is a great spot for families, with plenty of activities to keep everyone entertained.

The park features 50-amp electricity, the only electricity hook-up among the campgrounds in Wylie.

For those looking to cool off, East Fork Park has a swimming area with a diving board and a sandpit.

The park also offers canoe and kayak rentals to explore the beautiful East Fork of the Trinity River.

East Fork Park is the perfect spot for a family camping trip if you want to spend a day or two in Wylie.

Sip Fine Wine at the Landon Winery

The Landon Winery in Downtown Wylie is in a perfect little spot, with a patio that overlooks the charming Ballard Ave.

The winery offers a wide variety of red and white wines, fruit, and sparkling wines.

There's also a selection of cheese and chocolate to pair with your wine, making it the perfect place to relax and enjoy a glass (or two) of your favorite vintage.

The Landon Winery also hosts events throughout the year, including live music on the patio, wine tastings, and holiday parties.

The Landon Winery also offers the wine-tasting package, which includes six wines for $10.

Whether you're looking to try something new or want to enjoy a glass of your favorite wine, the Landon Winery is the perfect spot.

Established in 1997, the Wylie Art Gallery is a great spot to see some of the best local art in the area.

The gallery features artwork from more than 40 established and up-and-coming artists, so visitors will have something new to see every time they visit.

Located in the famous Downtown Wylie, the Art Gallery features artworks made of oil, ceramics, and any other medium you can think of.

The gallery also offers several classes and workshops for those who want to learn more about art or try something new.

Whether you're an art lover or just looking for something to do on a rainy day, the Wylie Art Gallery is worth visiting.

Enjoy the Music at the Wylie Opry

The Historic Downtown is also the location of the Wylie Opry, a live music venue that hosts performances by local and regional talent.

Established in 1982, the Wylie Opry is one of the most popular spots in town, with various music genres being performed.

The venue also has a restaurant and bar, so you can enjoy a meal or a drink while listening to some great live music.

Wiley Opry was first located near the rail tracks in a warehouse on Cooper Street.

However, it transferred to the middle of Downtown Wylie, so visitors could fully appreciate the music in the Wiley Opry.

Friday nights feature Gospel music, while Saturday nights are more country-oriented.

The Wylie Opry is the perfect spot to enjoy live music and taste the local culture.

Enjoy the Great Outdoors with Your Kids at the Founders Park

The Founders Park, located at the back of ISD Wylie Football Stadium, is an excellent spot for families with kids.

The park features a playground, a basketball court, eight tennis courts, and a pavilion.

The park also has several walking trails so that you can explore the beautiful nature surrounding the city.

The park's main attraction is the Pirate Cove Playground, a castle-like playground with a slide, a swing, and a climbing wall.

Benches are available throughout the 65-acre park, so you can sit back and relax while your kids play.

The Founders Park is the perfect spot to enjoy a day with your family.

Play a Round of Golf at the Woodbridge Golf Club

The Woodbridge Golf Club is an excellent spot for those who love golf.

The club features an 18-hole course perfect for beginners and experienced players.

The Woodbridge Golf Club is equipped with Tif-Eagle Bermuda Green, which provides a great playing experience.

There is also a driving range and a putting green, so you can practice your swing before hitting the course.

If you're looking for a challenge, the Woodbridge Golf Club is the place for you.

Visit the Rita & Truett Smith Public Library

The Rita & Truett Smith Public Library is an excellent spot for those who love to read.

Rita and Truett Smith built the library in 1970.

It was first housed in a local bank building and then moved to its current location in the Municipal Complex in 1984.

The Library features a wide variety of books, magazines, and other materials, making it the perfect spot for those who love to read.

The Library features an area for kids that features puzzles, toys, movies, and audiobooks to keep children entertained.

The Smith Public Library also organizes several events so that you can participate in the community.

The Smith Public Library is the perfect spot for those who want to enjoy a quiet day with a good book.

Visit the Stunning Avalon Park

Avalon Park is a generally peaceful and beautiful park located in the south part of Lake Lavon.

The park features walking trails that wind through the woods and offer stunning views of the surrounding area.

The park also has picnic tables, so you can enjoy a meal while admiring the beautiful scenery of the lush forest and sparkling water surrounding you.

Avalon Park also has a boat ramp for those who want to enjoy a day on the water and go boating or fishing.

Visitors can also dip in the water and bond with friends and family.

The park is also great for birdwatching, as it is home to different species of birds.

Have a Blast at the Murphy Play Street Museum

The Murphy Play Street Museum is an excellent spot for those who want fun.

It features several interactive exhibits perfect for kids and adults.

The museum also has educational programs and toys that stimulate the senses and the children's imagination.

Children can play pretend at the museum, grocery store, or doctor's office.

Likewise, the museum organizes events for the community; book a party at the Murphy Play Street Museum for a special occasion.

Play Frisbee at Oncor Park

If you're into Frisbee, the best spot to play is Oncor Park; a small and fun 9-hole disc golf course.

It's nicely laid out and all tees are all par-3, and some can be also challenging for beginners, especially with tree hazards and wooded holes.

However, its full-flight unique shots make it a great spot for any skill level, but most are straight shots, and some are through trees.

Look out for some small wildlife, including armadillos and birds.

You can find Oncor Park at East Brown Street.

Grab Some Gifts and Souvenirs at the Ole Back Porch

Get your loved ones something special from Wylie before heading back home at The Ole Back Porch.

This quaint little gift shop features unique items, including collectibles, candles, kitchen stuff, home decor, memorabilia, vintage finds, and souvenirs on display.

Also, most locals and tourists are raving about its handmade fudge, lemon curd, butter, seasonings, and many other specialty jams.

You can browse all these items at the gift shop, and find unique items for your family and friends and for yourself.

Buying here also means supporting small businesses in Wylie!

The Ole Back Porch is located off North Ballard Avenue.

Dine at Cotton Patch Cafe

Whether you're having lunch or dinner, one of the best restaurants in town is Cotton Patch Cafe.

The restaurant specializes in hearty  Southwestern fare made from scratch and is popular for its chicken fried steak, cornbread, meatloaf, homemade American chicken and dumplings, and many more.

All these are served in a family-friendly setting with a warm atmosphere.

Lawrence E. Marshall and Michael Patranella established Cotton Patch Cafe in 1989 in Nacogdoches, Texas, and now has locations across the state, as well as in Oklahoma and New Mexico.

You can find it in Woodbridge Crossing on FM 544.

Hike the East Fork Trail Head

For the love of the great outdoors, you can get closer to nature and hike the East Fork Trail Head.

It's an 8.3-mile out-and-back trail through the 25.5-mile Trinity Trail, which passes through different terrains such as some high areas offering terrific views of Lake Lavon.

Look out for lovely small hills and countryside spots for a more relaxing hike through the woods.

Also, the East Fork Trail Head is the only trail in the Trinity Trail system that offers camping with horses.

You can find the East Fork Trail Head on Skyview Drive.

Hang Out at Tailgaters Wylie

After a long day in Wylie, you can hang out with your family and friends, and even with other locals at Tailgaters Wylie.

The sports bar features over 20 HDTVs to watch your favorite sports, a pool for billiards, Golden Tee, and darts.

It's popular for its award-winning wings, which are a perfect pair for a pint of your favorite drink.

Tailgaters Wylie also creates more than 20 types of signature sauces.

Try its mouthwatering appetizers, burgers, vegetarian fare, and many other options for meat lovers.

Enjoy your food and drinks, and strike up a conversation with other guests for a fun night!

Other Things To Do Nearby

Go Hiking at Breckinridge Park

A river at Breckinridge Park
Dogfort04, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Breckinridge Park is an excellent spot for those who love to hike.

It's in Richardson, Texas, 11 minutes from Wylie.

The park features several trails that range in difficulty to fit your skill level.

The pond in Breckinridge Park is also the perfect spot to gaze at the sunset.

A bird on a tree at Breckinridge Park
Manjith Kainickara from Dallas, Texas, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Breckinridge Park also has picnic tables, so you can enjoy a meal while enjoying the beautiful scenery.

The park also has a playground so that you can bring your kids along for a day of fun.

Final Thoughts

Wylie is a great place to live, work, and play, as evident by its being named one of the best cities to live in Texas.

The city offers a lot, from excellent schools to beautiful parks and recreation areas.

You can always find something to do, whether looking for a quiet day or an adventure.

So, what are you waiting for?

Come and visit Wylie today!

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