East Texas is a unique and diverse region, with a rich history and culture that sets it apart from the rest of the state. Whether you’re a resident or a visitor, there are plenty of things to do and see in East Texas that will give you a true taste of its one-of-a-kind charm. Here are the 20 best things to do to experience the uniqueness of East Texas.
20 Best Things to Do in East Texas
- Explore the Texas State Railroad. This historic train takes you through the piney woods of East Texas, offering a unique perspective on the region’s natural beauty.
- Visit the historic city of Nacogdoches. Established in 1779, this city is the oldest town in Texas and is known for its rich history and architecture.
- Take a trip to the Tyler Rose Garden. This beautiful garden features over 35,000 rose bushes, making it one of the largest rose gardens in the world.
- Eat frog legs at Big Pines Lodge. This local restaurant overlooks Big Cypress Bayou, with plenty of outdoor seating to enjoy the view. The menu offers unique East Texas foods, like frog legs.
- Learn about the history of oil at the East Texas Oil Museum. Located in Kilgore, this museum tells the story of the oil boom that shaped the region’s economy and culture.
- Visit Caddo Lake State Park. Located on the Texas-Louisiana border, this state park is home to the largest natural lake in Texas and offers scenic views, boating, fishing, and camping.
- Attend a show at the Cowan Center. This state-of-the-art performing arts center in Tyler hosts a variety of events, including concerts, plays, and dance performances.
- Take a hike in the Davy Crockett National Forest. This forest offers miles of scenic trails and opportunities for camping, fishing, and wildlife viewing.
- Visit the historic town of Jefferson. This town is known for its well-preserved 19th-century architecture, as well as its charming downtown district.
- Explore the Cherokee Trace Drive-Thru Safari. This unique attraction allows you to drive through a wildlife preserve while seeing exotic animals up close.
- Visit the Texas Prison Museum. Located in Huntsville, this museum offers a fascinating look at the history of Texas prisons and the criminal justice system. Although it might not be an activity to share with younger grandkids, this museum experience definitely appeals to adult history buffs.
- Go fishing at Lake Fork Reservoir. This popular fishing spot is known for its large bass and scenic beauty.
- Attend the Tyler Rose Festival. Held during the fall, this festival offers a variety of events, including a queen’s coronation and the annual Rose Parade.
- Explore the historic town of Palestine. This town is known for its Victorian architecture as well as scenic railroad tours.
- Visit the store at Rattlesnake Ranch Pecans. Located in Crockett, this store offers a nostalgic country vibe, but you’ll also find a fantastic selection of Texas pecan products.
- Attend a concert at the historic Liberty Hall. This venue in Tyler hosts a variety of live music performances and other events.
- Go bird-watching at the Big Thicket National Preserve. This preserve is home to a diverse range of bird species, including the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker.
- Take a tour of the Blue Bell Creameries. Located in Brenham, this creamery offers tours of its production facilities and free samples of its famous ice cream.
- Eat barbecue at Bodacious Bar-B-Q in Marshall. Another way to experience the uniqueness of East Texas is to try something saucy from this local barbecue joint. When it’s time to head home, be sure to purchase a shaker of their flavorful bean spice to take with you.
- Visit the Rusk County Cowboy Church. This unique church in Henderson offers services in a Western-style setting, while hosting rodeos and other events throughout the year.
In conclusion, East Texas is a truly unique region that offers a wide range of activities and attractions for visitors and residents alike.
So start planning your adventures soon!
Because every Texan should experience the uniqueness of East Texas at least once.
What’s your favorite thing to do in East Texas?
PS: Need more inspiration or ideas for adventuring around Texas? Check out The Ultimate Texas Bucket List series here.