Lone Star Travel Guide

25+ Exciting Things to Do in East Texas

Whether you’re looking for a short day trip or a fun weekend getaway, East Texas is sure to provide some unique experiences and great memories.

Out-of-staters may associate Texas with West Texas desert landscapes or even the Hill Country, but the beauty of East Texas is best appreciated by locals in the know.

From the peaceful Pineywoods to historic small towns to famous festivals, there are some truly incredible attractions in East Texas.

Here are some of the best things to do in East Texas!

east texas fall colors seen on a small road

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Spend a day at Lake Livingston.

Have some fun in the sun at the beautiful Lake Livingston!

Hike through the winding trails of the Pineywoods, set up camp at one of their campsites or RV hookups.

Full of bird-watching houses and mountain biking trails, this hidden spot of nature is perfect for an East Texas weekend getaway. 

tent on the shores of lake livingston at sunset, one of the best places to camp near houston

Stroll through the beautiful Miza Azalea Gardens in Nacogdoches.

Just outside Stephen F. Austin University, the natural Azalea Gardens provide some of the most unique scenery in Texas. 

This 11-acre plot of land is home to a variety of greenery, ranging from gorgeous shades of bright pink and green. 

Be sure to grab a map at the front entrance to navigate through the trails that hold over 8,500 different flowering plants and trees. 

blooming azaleas in garden, best activities east texas

Get some sun at Galveston Beach.

For one of the most classic things to do in East Texas, take a road trip over to Galveston to enjoy the beach.

Soak up some rays while exploring some of their most popular beaches in Galveston , such as Steward Beach or East Beach.

Be sure to apply that sunscreen as you build sandcastles and capture some picture-perfect moments by the sea. 

aerial view of colorful umbrellas and crowds in galveston, home to some of the best beaches in texas

Explore the Pineywoods via the Texas State Railroad.

An opulently decorated rail car on a steam train and gorgeous Pineywoods scenery out the window–what could make for a more memorable Texas experience?

Enjoying a 4-hour steam train ride from Palestine to Rusk is one of the most unique things to do in East Texas.

Plan to book your tickets early, though, especially if you hope to visit in the summer: not all of the train cars include air-conditioning!

view out of the texas state railroad via a red train

See the sights at Galveston Island Pleasure Pier.

Whether you’re looking for some authentic food or a one-of-a-kind thrill ride, the Pleasure Pier at Galveston Island is home to some of the best family fun in East Texas!

Soar to great heights on the Texas Star Flyer, or cool off with a ride on the Pirate’s Plunge.

For some of the best food around, grab a table at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. or Landry’s Seafood.

Galveston Pier with beach in the foreground where people are swimming. Galveston is one of the best houston day trips

Experience the nation’s Largest Renaissance Festival.

Located in the small town of Todd Mission, Texas, the annual Texas Renaissance Festival is one of the most unique activities in East Texas!

Dress to impress in garments of the Renaissance Era as you walk through over 70 acres of activities and entertainment.

Take a bite of one of their famous turkey legs, or experience their one-of-a-kind pub crawl tour.

The festival has your logging covered with over 200 acres of camping sites and RV hookups to choose from.

knight in armor at a renaissance fair event

Stroll through nature at Beaumont Botanical Gardens.

Just outside of the Louisiana border, the Beaumont Botanical Gardens provides the true beauty of East Texas plant life. 

Walk through the 23 acres of gardens and flower plots, and be sure to stop into one of the conservatories to witness their natural water lily ponds.

Make sure to check their website for any community events that may be held during your trip!

lily pond in texas

Embark on an adventure through Sam Houston National Forest.

Just outside of Huntsville, Texas, the Sam Houston National Forest and Grasslands has some is sure to impress with some of the most authentic nature of East Texas.

Home to their famous 128 mile Lone Star Hiking Trail, lace up your boots as you embark on this journey through the edge of the Pineywoods.

Grab your binoculars as you go bird-watching at one of their many recreational spots, or rent out a canoe or paddleboat for a day out on one of their many creeks. 

Piney woods in Sam Houston National Forest as seen looking up

Add tubing to your list of fun things to do in East Texas.

No trip to East Texas is truly complete without airing up a tube and floating down one of its many beautiful rivers!

The Trinity River winds over 700 miles through the North-East Texas region and is home to a variety of natural life.

Pack an ice chest for the river or picnic to enjoy on the bank as you spend a day in the sun floating down this East Texas river.

overhead shot of a man in an inner tube floating the river texas

Embrace local history at the Museum of the Gulf Coast.

The Museum of the Gulf Coast , located in the coastal town of Port Arthur, Texas, is the perfect attraction for beach-goers and history buffs alike!

Choose from their many exhibits that span from Maritime History or boat and ship remains that once sailed long ago.

The museum also has one of the largest Hall of Fames in Texas, which tells the stories of many influential Texas that were raised in the area. 

Shop til’ you drop at the First Monday in Canton.

Otherwise known as the World’s Largest Flea Market, First Monday in Canton, Texas is the perfect adventure for any shopper or antique lover!

Each fair hosts over 5,000 vendors who come from all over the state to sell and portray their homemade goods. 

Be sure to stop by one of their hundreds of food vendors for some authentic sips and treats.

Collection of small porcelain items for sale at a flea market. First Monday Canton is one of the most interesting things to do in Texas for people interested in flea markets!

Take a paddleboat around Lake Palestine.

With its 135 miles of shoreline, Lake Palestine is one of East Texas’ best natural getaways!

The lake’s natural springs are home to some of the most diverse wildlife and natural terrain.

Rent a canoe and paddle through the 18 miles stretch of water, or pick up a fishing guide at the front entrance for a day full of fishing and fun!

sunset over lake palestine texas

Visit the Blue Bell Creamery in Brenham.

The birthplace of Blue Bell Ice Cream is open to curious visitors with a sweet tooth on weekdays, and it’s a must-see stop in Brenham .

Any Blue Bell Creameries visit   should be followed up with a visit to the on-site Ice Cream Parlor, where you can enjoy gigantic scoops of Blue Bell for $1 each!

two scoops of blue bell ice cream being held up in the sunshine at a tour blue bell brenham

Enjoy a wine tasting at Kiepersol Vineyard, Winery, and Distillery.

Tucked away just outside the unique town of Tyler, Texas, Kiepersol Vineyard is the optimal weekend getaway in East Texas.

From taking a tour through its many acres of vineyards, having a taste of their authentic wine and spirits, or getting a table at their pristine restaurant, this trip feels as if you’ve been transported straight to an Italian Vineyard!

If you’re looking for a place to stay, look no further than their on-site bed and breakfast.

red wine being poured into a glass. wine tasting is one of the best things to do in boerne tx

Go kayaking on Caddo Lake.

Lined with bald cypress trees and populated by alligators, Caddo Lake definitely isn’t a standard Texas lake!

It is, however, one of the most unique places to visit in East Texas, and it absolutely belongs on any list of what to do in East Texas.

Not a big fan of kayaking?

You can also visit with a more standard boat tour!

front end of a gray canoe in caddo lake, one of the best east texas state parks

Hike through Texarkana’s Bringle Lake Trail.

This hiking trail located in one of the most northeastern regions of the state is home to some of the richest greenery of the state.

With its many winding forks lined in wooden bridges and stone paths, this 5-mile trail has ample space for hikers, walkers, and mountain bikers alike. 

Enjoy a hot air balloon ride, one of the most unique East Texas activities.

The small town Longview, Texas is home to one of the most incredible things to do in East Texas: take a hot air balloon ride!

Whether you want to attend the Great Texas Balloon Race or sign up for a tour with one of the companies that offers year-round rides, Longview is the place to be.

This one-of-a-kind experience will take you to the skies of East Texas.

two hot air balloons on a sunny day, what to do in east texas

Admire the beautiful architecture of St. Anthony Cathedral.

Located in the heart of Beaumont, Texas, this century-old monument is captivating in its architecture and history.

Whether you are planning to attend a mass or stop by on your next East Texas road trip, be sure to walk through its main hall to take in all that it has to offer.

Be sure to check their website for any community events or tours that are offered during your trip!

interior of St. Anthony Cathedral Basilica, Beaumont, TX

Spend your holiday season at Santa’s Wonderland.

Just south of College Station, Texas , Santa’s Wonderland welcomes friends and family every year from November 1 through Christmas.

Hop onto one of their tractor-pulled-trailers for a one-of-a-kind light show experience that truly embraces Texas culture!

Grab a tube and slide down their snow mountain, or lace up your skates for some ice skating in the snow.

Don’t forget to grab one of their famous chicken legs or a glass of hot chocolate before you walk out the door!

close up of christmas tree decorated with red and silver ornaments

Explore Sabine National Forest, one of the top East Texas attractions.

One of the largest plots of land in the state, the Sabine National Forest has some of the most unique terrains that are reflective of both the states it calls home–Texas and Louisiana.

Book a few nights at one of their wide selection of cabins, or hitch a tent for a quiet night under the stars of East Texas.

With some of the richest history of all national nature reserves, the tranquil Sabine National Forest will check off items on the bucket lists of any nature lover or everyday traveler.

boardwalk in pineywoods texas

Go fishing in Lake Houston.

Located just northeast of the hustle and bustle of Houston, Texas, Lake Houston is a quiet getaway for those looking to escape the city.

After picking up a fishing guide that details the wide variety of wildlife in the area, break out your fishing pole and spend a day by its large stretch of shoreline. 

If you’re looking to spend the day out on the water, feel free to drop in your boat at any of their eight boat ramps.

sunset over one of the lakes around houston texas

Experience Texas culture in downtown Houston.

As one of the biggest cities in the nation, Houston’s downtown will promise a day immersed in culture and fun!

Take a tour through the visitors center at t he NASA Johnson Space Center to let your curiosity soar to new heights.

If you’re not up for catching an Astros game at Minute Maid Park, stroll down to Vic and Anthony’s Steakhouses for one of the best meals in Texas.

If you have a full agenda, try scheduling a bus tour that will take you through the important landmarks and sights of this unique city.

Book tickets to visit the Space Center today!

downtown houston at night during blue hour with skyscrapers in the background

Check out original creativity at Tyler Art Alley.

This spectacle, located in the heart of Tyler’s Downtown District, is home to many local artists and their creative expressions.

What was once a bare alley of the downtown strip has been brought to life through the hard work of aspiring thinkers!

As you take a walk down this monument, you will be sure to spot some art that ties into Texas History and East Texas culture. 

Visit the oldest town in Texas: Nacogdoches.

The historic Nacogdoches Downtown District has one of the largest selections of shops and eateries in East Texas.

With its famous stoned-pathed streets and rich culture, there is always entertainment for everyone in the family on every corner.

After stopping by one of their many antique stores or hand-crafted jewelry shops, be sure to end the day with a night at Banita Creek Hall for some of the best live music around!

intricate victorian home in downtown nacogdoches, one of the best places to visit in east texas

Check out the Round Top Antiques Fair.

Perhaps only second to First Monday in sheer popularity, the gorgeous small town of Round Top holds more than one antique fair each year!

And, even if you don’t visit during the festival, you’ll find plenty of shopping opportunities in this East Texas town.

henkel square market in round top texas, one of the cute towns in texas

Satisfy your sweet tooth at Rudy’s Honey Farm.

The Pineywoods are home to beautiful scenery, unforgettable wildlife… and honey!

On your next trip to East Texas, stop by Rudy’s Honey Farm of Livingston, Texas to witness the natural honey-making process first hand. 

Take a tour of the facility and all it has to offer, and don’t forget to take home one of their unique, organic honey products (ranging from jars of honey to lotions and beyond) as a souvenir.

Stay in a cozy bed and breakfast in Jefferson.

The adorable small town of  Jefferson, Texas , is known for its incredible collection of bed and breakfasts.

It’s a perfect romantic getaway in for couples looking for a quiet weekend, and staying in a bed and breakfast here is one of the best things to do in East Texas.

Be sure to shop in the gorgeous Jefferson General Store while you’re in town!

sign advertising pralines sodas ice cream coffee in front of the jefferson general store, one of the best jefferson attractions

Take a walk through time at the Veterans Plaza and Vietnam Replica.

The Veterans Plaza and Vietnam Replica of Longview, Texas is a moving tribute to wartime sacrifice.

Go back in time as you walk through the storytelling stones and replicas of the many artifacts from the Vietnam War. 

Have a field day at P-6 Farms.

P-6 Farms in Montgomery, Texas is the perfect East Texas attraction for seasonal fun.

With its ever-evolving schedule of events and festivals, these East Texas activities are sure to impress!

Ranging from Easter Farm Days in the spring to pumpkin patches in the fall, kids and adults alike will enjoy a day out at P-6 Farms!

close up shot of large orange pumpkins dallas texas

Have a drink at the Oil Horse Brewing Company.

With a wide variety of in-house brewed beers and lagers, Tyler’s Oil Horse Brewing Company has some of the best East Texas sips and live entertainment. 

Pick from their large selection, ranging from their famous 1877 Irish Red to their one-of-a-kind Big Inch with hints of coffee and caramel flavor. 

Check their website to stay up to date on the many events and live music held in their taproom monthly.

2 photos of east texas, azaleas and hot air balloon. black and red text on a white background reads "25 fun things to do east texas"

2 thoughts on “25+ Exciting Things to Do in East Texas”

What about places like the Gas and Oilfield Museum or the World’s Richest Acre located in Kilgore, Tx. And the great little Gaston Museum located in between Henderson and Tyler with its hands on storytelling of life in a Texas oil boomtown. Or an excellent daytrip destination to The Texas Country Music Hall of Fame in Carthage. Look them up online and see for yourself what the Real East Texas has to offer.

Don’t miss lake Sam Rayburn 👍

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Enchanting Texas

Discover 50+ Cool & Amazing Things to do in East Texas

East Texas is as comforting as a glass of sweet tea on a hot summer day. East Texas has always captivated us with its rich history, diverse landscapes, and Southern hospitality. Whether you’re drawn to its tall forests, pretty small towns, or vibrant cultural heritage, East Texas offers a unique blend of experiences that will leave you enchanted. Here’s a closer look at this hidden gem of the Lone Star State.

East Texas is a vast and diverse region. It covers approximately 41,000 square miles (106,000 square kilometers) and comprises 38 counties. Its defining feature is the Piney Woods, a vast forested area of towering pine trees, hardwoods, and abundant wildlife. The region is crisscrossed by numerous rivers, including the Sabine, Neches, and Trinity Rivers. These create opportunities for fishing, kayaking, and other outdoor activities.

Sunrise with cypress trees in the swamp of the Caddo Lake State Park Texas

East Texas has a decades long history, with roots dating back to Native American settlements. The Caddo Indians once called this region home, leaving behind archaeological sites like the Caddoan Mounds State Historic Site. European settlers, including Spanish explorers and French traders, also left their mark on the area.

The Texas Revolution played a significant role in East Texas history, with several pivotal battles taking place in the region. The town of Nacogdoches, for instance, is the oldest town in Texas and played a crucial role in the fight for Texas’ independence. Today, East Texas is one of the most underrated areas of the Lone Star State. Plan a trip to the Piney Woods region and you will be amazed by the landmarks and attractions located here.

Jefferson is one of the most charming small towns in Texas

Table of Contents

Top 10 East Texas Attractions

When you take a closer look at popular East Texas tourism spots, you will find most locals as well as travelers revisiting some of these same destinations. These attractions have stood the test of time and continue to attract visitors with their natural scenery or intriguing history or sheer charm or a combination of all, like in Historic Jefferson! Here are the top 10 places to see in East Texas that you should visit at least once in your lifetime.

Kayaking on Caddo Lake 

Ask any Texan and they will tell you, Caddo Lake tops the list of best things to do in East Texas region. Just where is Caddo Lake? This East Texas icon sits on the Texas Louisiana border and is a perfect day trip from Dallas and its suburbs . The lake spans about 16,000 acres and is considered one of the top natural attractions in the South.

Canoeing on Saw Mill Pond at Caddo Lake State Park in Texas

On the shores of the lake, you will find Caddo Lake State Park – one of the most popular state parks in Texas. The park offers access to several outdoor activities including kayaking on Caddo Lake, hiking, camping, birding, as well as beautiful fall foliage – yes, the colors are spectacular here. 

Bring your kayak or rent one. Put it out on the water under the shadow of the bald cypress trees draped with Spanish moss. Paddling on the only natural lake in Texas feels like a journey into a prehistoric world. Marvel at the vibrant birdlife. If you’re lucky, you may even spot a few elusive alligators sunning themselves on the banks.

Bridge along the trail at Caddo Lake State Park

Texas State Railroad Train Ride

The steam engine train ride at Texas State Railroad in Palestine is one of the premier attractions of East Texas. The railroad offers history buffs and train lovers a unique chance to step back into the era when vintage trains crisscrossed the Eastern Piney Woods region.

Riding the train from Palestine Railroad Depot to Rusk and back on the Texas State Railroad is quite a fun experience. On the ride you can enjoy views of the gorgeous landscapes, spot Texas wildlife including deer and armadillos, and just lean into rhythmic hiss of steam or the mechanical hum of the old diesel engine.

Vintage steam locomotive of the Texas state Railroad in Palestine, Texas

The Texas State Railroad’s Polar Express Holiday Train Ride is one of the most fun things to do in East Texas at Christmas. The Texas State Railroad also has other special trains including a Pumpkin Patch Express and Easter train for the kids. Adults can also enjoy photography excursions, fall foliage, wine train rides, or dogwood blossoms in spring on the Texas State Railroad.

Historic Jefferson

Continue your East Texas adventure in Historic Jefferson. Take a stroll along brick-lined streets and admire the historic buildings. Jefferson was known for its steamboat history, and a visit to the Jefferson Historical Museums will transport you back in time. The museum showcases antique carriages, vintage clothing, prospering riverfront trade, and tales of riverboat gambling that once thrived on the Big Cypress Bayou.

The famous Jefferson General Store in East Texas

Explore the historic homes that seem frozen in time. Admire the antebellum plantations. Take a nostalgic paddlewheel steamboat ride on Caddo Lake. Ride the Historic Jefferson Railway (update – currently closed). Historic Jefferson is not without its share of ghostly tales and supernatural legends. The town is renowned as one of the most haunted in Texas. Take a ghost tour through the eerie alleyways – it’s guaranteed to send shivers down your spine!

Canton’s First Monday Trade Days 

If you love antiquing, you MUST head to Canton’s First Monday Trade Days. This beloved Texas tradition has been drawing visitors from near and far for over a century. First Monday Trade Days is the largest free flea market in America. It is extremely popular amongst treasure seekers and bargain hunters.

Antiquing in the small town is a fun experience

The roots of First Monday Trade Days date back to the late 19th century when traders and vendors would gather on the first Monday of each month to sell their wares. Today, about 5000 vendors participate in the event and sell items like furniture, antiques, crafts, tools, and so much more! On First Monday Trade Days, you can literally find anything under the sun.

But First Monday is not just about shopping; it’s a celebration of Texan flavors. Food vendors serve up mouthwatering Southern cuisine including savory BBQ, smoked meats, and sweet treats like funnel cakes and peach cobbler.

Dinosaur Ribs and BBQ Pulled Pork sandwich at Blacks BBQ

The atmosphere at First Monday is electric, with live music, street performers, and a lively ambiance that keeps the energy levels high. Local musicians strumming their guitars and talented performers add to the festival-like atmosphere. The event is a fun-filled day for the whole family. You can also attend special events at First Monday Trade Days including a Truck and Tractor Show where you can admire some of the most beautiful antique trucks in Texas.

Nacogdoches – Oldest Town in Texas

With a history that predates the establishment of Texas as a republic, the charming town of Nacogdoches proudly bears the distinction of being the oldest town in the Lone Star State. Nacogdoches’ roots extend deep into the 18th century when it was founded as a Spanish mission. Over the centuries, it witnessed the rise and fall of empires, the turbulence of the Texas Revolution, and the birth of a new nation. 

Nacogdoches is a great place to visit for Christmas in Texas

Today, this rich history is lovingly preserved in the town’s numerous historic sites and museums. Visit the Nacogdoches Railroad Depot, admire the sights of Ruby M. Mize Azalea Gardens, and admire the Old Stone Fort Museum, a strategic outpost from the early 1800s. The Sterne-Hoya House Museum, once home to early Texas settler Adolph Sterne, offers a fascinating glimpse into life on the frontier.

Take a stroll on the brick streets in downtown and shop local. Admire the well-preserved buildings lining downtown Nacogdoches. Dine in popular spots downtown and end your trip with a hike on the Lanana Creek Trail. Nacogdoches makes an excellent day trip from Houston, the cultural capital of Texas and is well worth a visit.

Historic buildings in Nacogdoches look very pretty in the holiday season

Beaumont’s Oil Discovery

On the banks of the mighty Sabine River in East Texas, you will find Beaumont . The city holds a pivotal place in the history of the oil industry. It all began in 1901 when the Lucas Gusher, a massive oil well, erupted in Spindletop Hill just south of Beaumont. This event marked the birth of the Texas oil boom.

However, Beaumont isn’t just about refineries; it’s a hub of cultural diversity and Southern charm. Its downtown area is a delightful mix of historic architecture, trendy eateries, and lively entertainment venues. Visit the Art Museum of Southeast Texas, the Texas Energy Museum, or the Fire Museum of Texas to appreciate the city’s heritage.

Jefferson County Courthouse in Beaumont East Texas

Lush green spaces like the Beaumont Botanical Gardens and Tyrrell Park offer respite for nature lovers. Beaumont is also home to the Rainbow Bridge over the Neches River. This is the tallest bridge in Texas and on the National Register of Historic Places. With a warm climate, a thriving arts scene, and rich heritage, Beaumont is made for exploring.

Caddo Mounds State Historic Site, Alto 

Caddo Mounds State Historic Site, located in Alto, Texas, is a fascinating archaeological site that offers visitors a glimpse into the rich history of the Caddo Nation. The Caddo people were one of the indigenous peoples of Texas and the southeastern United States. 

A large arrowheads collection at the museum narrates the Native American history of the area

This historically significant site is home to several ancient earthen mounds, including a ceremonial mound and a burial mound, which date back over a thousand years. Historians estimate the mounds were built between 1000 and 1500 CE. These mounds serve as tangible evidence of the complex and sophisticated society that once thrived here.

Visitors to the site can explore the small on-site museum showcasing artifacts and exhibits that shed light on the Caddo culture. Take the hiking trails around the mounds to learn more about the Native American history of the region. Enjoy the natural scenery of the East Texas piney woods. Seize this wonderful opportunity to learn the cultural history of Texas.

Christmas Lights in Marshall Texas are stunning and so pretty

Holiday Lights in Marshall 

Plan a visit to Marshall during the holiday season to see a dazzling array of festive lights and decorations – some of the best in East Texas! 

Marshall , located in Harrison County, comes alive with enchanting holiday lights each year. As the Christmas season approaches, the historic streets of Marshall resemble a winter wonderland. The majestic Harrison County Courthouse looks just gorgeous at this time of the year.

The Weisman in Marshall Texas

The historic downtown district, with its charming storefronts and Victorian architecture, becomes the centerpiece of the holiday display. Explore the downtown buildings in horse drawn buggy rides, shop for gifts and souvenirs, and drink hot chocolate at the Weisman. Marshall’s holiday lights create a warm and welcoming atmosphere that draws visitors from near and far. 

Related Post: Christmas in Marshall  

Sculpture of messemger boys in Telegraph Park Marshall

Eiffel Tower, Paris 

The replica Eiffel Tower in Paris, Texas, is a charming homage to its iconic counterpart in France. Standing proudly in the heart of this Texan town, this scaled-down version of the Eiffel Tower pays homage to its French inspiration while adding a unique Texan twist: shiny red cowboy hat on top! 

Built in 1993, this steel structure stands at a height of 65 feet, which, while significantly smaller than the original Eiffel Tower’s 1,083 feet, still captures the spirit and essence of the Parisian landmark. It serves as a symbol of the town’s unique character and its appreciation for art, culture, and history. 

Eiffel Tower Replica Paris Texas. Photograph by Adavyd, distributed under a CC BY-SA 3.0 License

The Eiffel Tower features intricate ironwork and a striking design, mirroring the architectural elegance of the Parisian original. At night, visitors can see the Eiffel Tower all lit up in the colors of the Texas flag. Come Christmas time and the tower is decorated in holiday lights – a delightful spectacle!

Texas Country Music Hall of Fame

From the moment you step through its doors, the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame in Carthage exudes a sense of reverence. It’s not just a museum; it’s a shrine dedicated to the storytellers, troubadours, legends, and trailblazers who have defined country music in Texas and beyond.

Texas Country Music Hall of Fame Museum in Carthage Texas

Walk in anticipation through the hallowed halls of the museum. Encounter a treasure trove of memorabilia, from vintage stage costumes to guitars of famous musicians. Listen to the stories that inspired the iconic melodies that have become the soundtrack of our lives.

The Texas Country Music Hall of Fame in Carthage is a must for anyone who has ever been moved by the power of country music. It’s a place where the legends live on, and the stories of the South are told through song. It’s where the heart of Texas two-steps to the rhythm of a country song.

Exhibits at the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame Museum Carthage

Hidden Gems in East Texas 

While the top attractions in East Texas are sure to captivate, don’t miss these East Texas secret spots. Explore the mysterious beauty of the Davy Crockett National Forest, stumble upon the sweetly fragrant daffodil garden, and uncover the historical significance of the Starr Family Home State Historic Site in Marshall.

Piney Woods Wine Trail 

The Piney Woods Wine Trail encompasses a collection of wineries and vineyards scattered across East Texas, each offering its own distinct character and wines. Stretching through small towns like Athens, Tyler, and Jacksonville, this trail is a testament to the resilience and passion of the local winemakers who have transformed the East Texas landscape into a vinicultural paradise.

On the grounds of Val Verde Winery

Some of the popular wineries along the trail include:

  • Kiepersol Vineyards, Winery & Distillery – Kiepersol, located in the city of Tyler, is known for its estate-grown grapes, award-winning wines, and even spirit all in one idyllic location.
  • Los Pinos Ranch Vineyards – Los Pinos, located in North East Texas, makes exceptional wines from grapes grown in East Texas as well as in High Plains AVA of West Texas.
  • Enoch’s Stomp Winery – This winery has multiple locations in East Texas but our favorite is their Wine & Coffee House in Jefferson, Texas.
  • Tara Vineyard & Winery – Tara is famous for its stunning vineyard views, housed in a historic, 1860s replica of an antebellum-style mansion, where you can savor their signature wines while basking in the elegance of the Old South.

Throughout the year, the Piney Woods Wine Trail hosts a variety of events and festivals that celebrate the joys of wine and the region’s culture. From grape stomping parties to live music evenings and food and wine pairings, these gatherings are amongst our favorite things to do in East TX.

Wine flights are a great way to try different types of wines

Tyler Rose Garden

Tyler, a charming small town in East Texas, is famous for its rose cultivation and is known as the Rose Capital of Texas. The Tyler Rose Garden is a horticultural gem that captivates visitors with its stunning beauty and fragrant blooms. It is spread over an area of 14 acres and is the largest rose garden in America.

You will find several other attractions for rose lovers in Tyler. Visit the Tyler Rose Museum. Tyler also hosts the annual rose festival called, the Texas Rose Festival. This fun festival occurs in October and has a Rose Parade featuring a Rose Queen, afternoon tea in the rose garden, and other cool events.

Tyler Rose Garden is a beautiful place to visit in East Texas

Helen Lee’s Daffodil Garden, Gladewater

Helen Lee’s Daffodil Garden is one of the best hidden gems in East Texas! This enchanting garden, named after its passionate caretaker, Helen Lee, bursts into a sea of vibrant yellow and white daffodils as far as the eye can see every spring. 

Situated amidst the East Texas piney woods, the garden covers several acres and boasts a captivating display of over 20 varieties of daffodils. Visitors are welcomed with a breathtaking carpet of flowers, creating a dreamlike atmosphere in April and May.

Helen Lee’s Daffodil Garden has become an annual pilgrimage for those in the know, providing a serene escape and a profound appreciation for the beauty of the natural world.

Daffodils in spring in East Texas

Love’s Lookout, Jacksonville

Love’s Lookout Scenic Park, located near Jacksonville, East Texas, is famous for its beautiful panoramic views of the Piney Woods. This beloved lookout point is perched on top of a heavily forested hill. It provides visitors with a great vantage point to view the natural beauty of East Texas.

The park is located at an elevation of over 700 feet and overlooks the beautiful Neches Bottom Wilderness Area and Lake Palestine Reservoir. The views from here are magnificent. Towering pine trees stretch as far as the eye can see. As the sun dips below the horizon, the lookout takes on a romantic vibe, making it a popular spot for couples. The entire area comes alive with vibrant colors in the fall.

Panoramic view from Loves Lookout in East Texas

Love’s Lookout is also a well known bird watching spot in East Texas. The scenic lookout has picnic tables, restrooms, and many other amenities. For anyone road tripping East Texas, Love’s Lookout in Jacksonville is a must-visit destination that captures the essence of East Texas’s scenic charm.

Starr Family Home State Historic Site

The Starr Family Home State Historic Site in Marshall is a significant landmark that tells the story of one of Texas’s most influential families. The site comprises four historic homes including the restored 1871 Greek Revival mansion and the 1857 Porter-Redford House.

Visitors can tour the estate and get a glimpse into the daily lives of these early settlers who played a significant role in shaping Texas’s history. The sprawling grounds are also home to beautiful gardens, a carriage house, and several outbuildings.

Starr Family Home State Historic Site is one of the best things to do in Marshall Texas

Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center, Athens

One of our favorite hidden gems in East Texas is the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens. The center offers a unique blend of education and outdoor entertainment. On a tour, visitors can learn about freshwater habitats in Texas and the importance of conservation while seeing marine life.

The center serves as an interactive museum and features a sprawling complex of aquariums and exhibits. You can also take a tram to see the hatchery, where you can see different species of fish being raised before being released into East Texas lakes and rivers. Visitors can also try their hand at fishing in one of the stocked ponds or take a stroll around the grounds and nature trails.

Update – The center is currently closed for renovations.

Colorful fish at the aquarium

Shangri La Botanical Gardens

Located in the charming town of Orange on Adams Bayou, you will find Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center. The gardens are spread over 250 acres and feature diverse ecosystems of East Texas.

The botanical gardens showcase colorful displays of plant life native to the region. It is also decorated beautifully with pumpkins for fall and with colorful holiday lights for Christmas. The Nature Center also offers fun and educational programs year-round. Best part is that the garden is free to visit.

Japanese Garden at Hermann Park looks beautiful during spring

Athens Scuba Park 

Looking for a unique adventure? Look no further than the Athens Scuba Park in East Texas. This former rock quarry is now a popular spot for scuba diving and other water activities.

With clear blue waters, divers can explore sunken boats, planes, several other wrecks, as well as a variety of marine life. If you’re not certified to dive, don’t worry! They offer classes and gear rentals, so you can take the plunge and experience a whole new world under the water.

Aside from diving, visitors can also swim, kayak, paddleboard, or simply relax on the sandy beach.

Rent canoes and kayaks at the park store at Inks Lake State Park

Davy Crockett National Forest

Davy Crockett National Forest is our favorite hidden gem in Eastern Texas. Named after the legendary Texas frontiersman and politician, Davy Crockett, this forest covers approximately 160,000 acres.

One of the defining features of the Davy Crockett National Forest is its lush and dense pine and hardwood forests. Sky high pine trees create a charming backdrop for hiking, camping, scenic drives, and wildlife viewing. The forest is home to an incredible variety of flora and fauna.

Davy Crockett National Forest route in Texas

Hiking and backpacking are popular activities within the forest, with numerous well-maintained trails to choose from. The Four C National Recreation Trail is a favorite among hikers, offering a challenging and scenic 20-mile trek through the heart of the forest.

For those who enjoy water-based activities, the Neches River, which flows through the forest, provides opportunities for canoeing, kayaking, and fishing. The river’s gentle currents and tranquil surroundings make it a serene place to paddle and cast a line.

Whitetail buck deer in South Texas

Small Towns in East Texas

One of the region’s charms lies in its small towns, each with its unique character and history. Jefferson, known for its antebellum architecture and steamboat heritage, offers a glimpse into the past. Nacogdoches, the oldest town in Texas, is home to well-preserved historic sites and lush gardens. Palestine, famous for its Texas State Railroad, offers a nostalgic journey into the days of steam locomotives. But the region has several other towns which are worth a visit when sightseeing in East Texas.


Tyler, Texas promises small-town charm and rich history. Tyler’s roots date back to the mid-19th century, when it was known for its role in the cotton industry. Today, visitors are drawn to its historic downtown district, where cobblestone streets and beautifully preserved architecture transport them back in time. 

Roses blooming at Tyler Rose Garden

You cannot miss the enchanting Tyler Rose Garden, renowned for its stunning rose displays and annual Texas Rose Festival, which celebrates the city’s nickname, the ‘Rose Capital of America.’ Other popular Tyler attractions include Tyler State Park on the shores of Lake Tyler, downtown Tyler museums including the Goodman Museum and Museum of Fine Art, as well as the sprawling Caldwell Zoo.

Additionally, the city offers a vibrant arts and cultural scene, with street art, galleries, and outdoor festivals showcasing its heritage. Tyler is also home to two blueberry farms: Blueberry Hills Farm and Tyler Blueberry Farm. Our kids love picking the berries at the Blueberry Hills Farm in summer.

Welcome to Henderson sign


Henderson, Texas, is a charming and historically rich city in East Texas. Its history dates back to the 19th century when it was founded as a trading post. Henderson played a crucial role in the Civil War, serving as a Confederate hub and producing supplies for the war effort. Today, it boasts a unique blend of historical sites and modern attractions. 

But mostly, Henderson is known as a Main Street City and we thoroughly agree with this claim to fame! The Main Street of Henderson is a darling place filled with cafes, eateries, boutiques, architectural gems, and antique stores. Visitors can explore the Depot Museum, which offers a glimpse into the city’s past. Nature lovers will appreciate Lake Forest Park, known for its recreational opportunities. 

Henderson also hosts the Heritage Syrup Festival – a unique and fun event where you can see antique cane syrup machinery, marvel at classic cars, and listen to music performances.

Christmas under the Stars at Kilgore in East Texas


Kilgore, Texas is a city steeped in history, with a heritage grounded in the oil industry. Established back in the 19th century, Kilgore emerged as a prominent oil boomtown in the 1930s, with the discovery of the East Texas Oil Field. The city’s history and its role in the oil industry are expertly chronicled in the East Texas Oil Museum, a prime tourist attraction.

In addition to its oil industry history, Kilgore is synonymous with the arts. The city is home to the Kilgore College Rangerettes, the world’s first precision dance team, and their performances are a must-see. The Rangerette Showcase Museum, located on the Kilgore College campus, is dedicated to preserving the memory of these iconic dancers.

Another must-see for visitors is the classic World’s Richest Acre Park. This park pays tribute to the city’s oil-rich past with an impressive collection of historic oil derricks.

Anderson County Courthouse in Palestine, Texas


Palestine, Texas carries a storied past which is evident in its beautifully preserved 19th-century architecture. The city is a home to more than 1,800 historic sites, including the sacred Redlands Historic Inn and the iconic Anderson County Courthouse.

Palestine is also the western terminus of the Texas State Railroad, a heritage railway operated as a living history museum. This railroad provides a vintage train ride through East Texas forests and offers a thrilling experience.

The local vineyards and wineries are also a major draw for visitors. The city’s annual Dogwood Blossoms Festival is a popular event, celebrating the blooming of dogwood trees in spring.

Rusk Footbridge

Rusk, Texas, carries historical significance with a unique charm of its own. The Texas State Railroad, a heritage railway museum, starts its journey in nearby Palestine and takes visitors to Rusk. Visitors can enjoy fall foliage from this train.

Additionally, the city is known for the Rusk Footbridge, a one-of-a-kind pedestrian suspension bridge that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The footbridge was built in 1861 and is about 500 feet tall. It’s great fun to walk across.

Rusk also has its share of cultural attractions, such as the Cherokee Civic Theatre, where visitors can enjoy live performances that showcase local talent. Visitors can learn more about the city’s past at the Heritage Center of Cherokee County, which features exhibits on the city’s agriculture, railroad, and Native American history.

Loves Lookout Visitor Center near Jacksonville in East Texas

Edom, Texas emits a charm that resonates with both its residents and visitors. This small town carries its history with grace, which is on display at the Edom Historical Society Museum. Edom’s Blueberry Hills Farm is popular for berry picking.

For art and craft admirers, Edom serves as a hub for local artisans who create and sell their unique work in various studios and shops across the town. The Edom Art Festival is a popular annual event that features local and regional artists showcasing their talent.

For food lovers, Edom is home to a couple of noteworthy eatery spots that serve delicious homemade food. The Shed Cafe is a local favorite, known for its scrumptious Southern-style dishes. For those who love nature, the Blue Moon Gardens offers an extensive collection of plants and gardening supplies.

Pier at Caddo Lake in Texas


Uncertain, Texas, is a fascinating location with a unique name to match. Located near the Louisiana border, this town thrives on the shores of Caddo Lake.

The town’s main attraction is Caddo Lake itself, a sprawling natural water body known for its diverse wildlife and iconic cypress trees. The lake is a prime spot for fishing and boating. In addition to Caddo Lake, Uncertain also offers several outdoor recreational activities, including hiking, birdwatching, and wildlife spotting.

For a truly unforgettable experience, take a guided tour of the lake and its surroundings on a traditional riverboat. Uncertain is also home to several unique lodging options, such as cabins on stilts over the lake or cozy bed and breakfasts surrounded by nature.

Beautiful Fall views in East Texas


Lufkin is an important city in East Texas known for its unique attractions and dynamic spirit. The city’s history is preserved and conveyed through the Texas Forestry Museum, the only one of its kind in the state, which provides insights into the local forestry industry.

Ellen Trout Zoo, residents’ favorite destination, showcases hundreds of animal species, making it an educational and enjoyable visit. For those with an appreciation for art, the Museum of East Texas contains an extensive collection of visual art, and the Pines Theater stages live performances that showcase local talent.

Natural beauty surrounds Lufkin, with Angelina National Forest and Sam Rayburn Reservoir nearby, providing opportunities for fishing, camping, and boating.

Welcome to Lufkin sign in East texas


Best known as the birthplace of country music star Miranda Lambert, Lindale holds a strong commitment to music and the arts. The city has a street named Miranda Way and on it, you will find The Pink Pistol. The store sells Miranda Lambert merchandise and is a popular stop for fans.

Music lovers will also enjoy the Picker’s Pavilion, which hosts regular shows featuring local musicians. For history buffs, the Old Mill Pond Museum provides an interactive look at the city’s agricultural past. The local parks, such as the Faulkner Park and Darden Harvest Park, provide green spaces for relaxation and outdoor activities.

The Pink Pistol in Lindale, Texas


Jasper, Texas is notable for its historic past and vibrant culture. This East Texas town is steeped in history, with landmarks such as the historic Jasper County Courthouse showcasing its heritage. The Jasper County Historical Museum archives the city’s past through a wide collection of artifacts and exhibits.

Jasper also serves as a gateway to the region’s extensive natural beauty. For those interested in the outdoors, the nearby Sam Rayburn Reservoir provides opportunities for fishing and boating. Additionally, the city’s proximity to Angelina National Forest makes it an ideal base for exploring the region’s dense woodlands and unique wildlife.

Downtown Jasper Texas

Sulphur Springs

Sulphur Springs in Northeast Texas is a charming city with a rich history and thriving community. The city’s downtown area is known for its unique shopping experiences, including antiques stores, boutique shops, and local restaurants.

One of the main attractions in Sulphur Springs is the Hopkins County Courthouse, built in 1894 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Visitors can also explore the city’s past at the Heritage Park Museum, which features restored historical buildings and exhibits.

A unique attraction is the Southwest Dairy Museum and Learning Center. Visitors can learn about the dairy industry and even milk a cow at this interactive museum. For outdoor enthusiasts, Cooper Lake State Park offers camping, fishing, and hiking opportunities.

Sulphur Springs June 2015 10 (Hopkins County Courthouse)

East Texas State Parks and Nature Reserves 

East Texas is a peaceful refuge for nature enthusiasts. The region is renowned for its scenic landscapes, characterized by rolling hills, dense forests, twisting rivers, and serene lakes. The Piney Woods offer plenty of opportunities for hiking, birdwatching, and getting lost in the East Texas scenery.

Tyler State Park

Tyler State Park is one of our favorite East Texas vacation spots, especially in fall. The park is known for its beautiful autumn leaves, and visitors can enjoy hiking, fishing, biking, and camping amidst the colorful foliage.

Tyler State Park near Tyler Texas is great for hiking

The highlight of course is Tyler Lake. Boaters can take their boats out on the lake, and kayaks are available for rent if you don’t have your own. The swimming area is like a beach and great for families with small children.

The park also has a variety of trails, including a nature trail that takes you through the piney woods and along a creek. For those who prefer to relax, there are picnic areas with grills and shelters available.

Lake Livingston State Park 

Lake Livingston State Park is one of the best state parks in East Texas. It is located on the shores of Lake Livingston, a large lake on the Trinity River. The park has excellent fishing opportunities and you can easily snag catfish, bass, and crappie. Boating and water sports are also popular here, with a marina and boat ramps available for visitors to launch their vessels. 

Inks Lake State Park is great for family fun

Families can explore the scenic hiking and biking trails that let you get up close with the area’s diverse wildlife and beautiful flora. Seeking a nature retreat? Lake Livingston State Park offers campsites and cabins for overnight stays.

Daingerfield State Park 

Daingerfield State Park is located southwest of Texarkana in the beautiful Piney Woods of East Texas and is known for its spectacular views, especially during fall foliage season. The park’s centerpiece is Daingerfield Lake, where visitors can enjoy swimming, boating, and fishing.

The park also offers hiking trails that lead through the woods to scenic outlooks and a nature trail with informative signs about local plants and wildlife. For a unique experience, visitors can stay in one of the park’s historic stone cabins built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s.

Fall colors in Big Thicket National Preserve near Beaumont Texas

Toledo Bend Reservoir 

Toledo Bend Reservoir is a massive man-made reservoir located on the Sabine River, straddling the border between Texas and Louisiana. It ranks among the largest reservoirs in the United States and is popular for its stunning natural beauty and excellent recreational opportunities. It is also one of the best fishing spots in East Texas.

The reservoir was created after the construction of the Toledo Bend Dam, primarily built to control flooding of the Sabine River. The reservoir has a vast shoreline and is surrounded by Louisiana on three sides. Texans can access Toledo Bend near Beaumont.

Visitors fishing from the banks of Canyon Lake

Toledo Bend is an excellent spot for bass fishing. You can catch a variety of fish species, including largemouth bass, striped bass, white bass, catfish and crappie at the reservoir. Many fishing tournaments are held here, drawing anglers from all over the country.

Apart from fishing, Toledo Bend Reservoir offers a wide range of recreational activities such as boating, kayaking, water skiing, swimming, camping, and birdwatching. The surrounding area has numerous parks, marinas, and campgrounds for visitors. One interesting fact about Toledo Bend is that it’s not just a recreational paradise; it also plays a vital role in providing water supply and flood control for the region. 

Big Thicket National Preserve is great for nature lovers

Big Thicket National Preserve 

Big Thicket National Preserve is your opportunity to immerse yourself in a truly unique ecological wonderland. Spanning over 112,000 acres, this preserve is home to incredible biodiversity of the region, earning it the nickname, “Biological Crossroads of North America.”

In heavily forested Big Thicket, you will find a variety of interconnected ecosystems, including dense bottomland hardwood forests, cypress swamps, longleaf pine savannas, and boggy bayous. The preserve is home to many native plant species of flowering plants, rare plants, birds, reptiles, insects, and animals like the elusive bobcat and American alligator.

Pitcher plant on the nature trail at Big Thicket National Preserve

A variety of hiking trails allow visitors to explore this ecological gem. The Kirby Nature Trail takes you through a cypress-tupelo swamp, offering a chance to spot wading birds and maybe even a water moccasin. The Turkey Creek Trail  is a long distance trail excellent for birdwatching, while the Pitcher Plant Trail involves sightings of the famous carnivorous plants that thrive in this wetland environment.

Sam Rayburn Reservoir 

Named after the longtime Speaker of the House, Sam Rayburn, this reservoir is a true gem of the Lone Star State, celebrated for its natural beauty and recreational opportunities.

Covering over 114,000 acres, Sam Rayburn Reservoir is one of the largest man-made lakes in Texas and serves multiple purposes, including flood control, water supply, and as a recreational haven. The lake is renowned for its excellent bass fishing, with largemouth and spotted bass being the most sought-after species. 

A Nine banded Texas Armadillo digging a hole

Aside from fishing, the reservoir offers many other recreational activities. Boating, water skiing, and jet skiing are popular on the expansive open waters, while the lake’s many coves and inlets are good for kayaking and paddleboarding. 

Wildlife enthusiasts will appreciate the diverse ecosystem surrounding the lake, with opportunities to spot white-tailed deer, eastern wild turkeys, and a variety of bird species. Birdwatchers flock to the area, particularly during the migratory seasons.

Martin Dies, Jr. State Park 

Martin Dies, Jr. State Park isn’t just a destination for outdoor recreation; it’s also a place where visitors can connect with the rich history and biodiversity of East Texas. The park is named after Martin Dies, Jr., a former Texas state representative and conservationist. 

One of the park’s most prominent features is the stunning B.A. Steinhagen Reservoir, also known as the “Dam B” reservoir. This 10,687-acre lake is a haven for water-based activities such as fishing, boating, and swimming. Anglers flock to the lake to catch a variety of fish species, including bass, catfish, and crappie. 

The park’s Nature Center provides educational exhibits and programs, shedding light on the area’s unique flora and fauna.

Boardwalk at Martin Dies Jr State Park in East Texas

Sabine Pass Battleground State Historic Park 

Wondering what to do in East Texas for history lovers? Visit the Sabine Pass Battleground State Historic Site. This significant historical site is located near the mouth of the Sabine River in Texas. 

This park holds a special place in history, as it was the site of a crucial Civil War battle that took place on September 8, 1863. The battle at Sabine Pass was a remarkable Confederate victory, where a small Confederate force, led by Lieutenant Richard “Dick” Dowling, successfully defended the pass against a much larger Union fleet, thereby preventing the Union from gaining control of the vital inland waterways.

Today, the Sabine Pass Battleground State Historic Park stands as a tribute to this remarkable moment in history. Visitors can explore the park’s well-preserved grounds, including the historic earthworks and the Dick Dowling statue, which honors the Confederate hero’s leadership during the battle. The park also features informative signage and exhibits that provide insights into the significance of the battle and its impact on the Civil War.

Empty stretches of beach at Sea Rim State Park Texas

Sea Rim State Park 

Sea Rim State Park is a coastal gem along the Texas Gulf Coast. One of the park’s most popular features is its undeveloped beach. Stretching for miles, the sandy shoreline is our favorite spot for beachcombing, sunbathing, and birdwatching. 

Sea Rim State Park is renowned for its birdlife. You can spot everything from majestic herons to colorful warblers. The park’s coastal marshes and wetlands are teeming with wildlife. You can explore these areas via the Gambusia Nature Trail. Our kids love seeing the alligators, turtles, and a variety of bird species up close. 

Sea Rim State Park is popular for fishing

Canoeing and kayaking are popular activities here, allowing visitors to paddle through the tranquil waters of the marshes and witness the wonders of the coastal ecosystem. Fishing is another highlight at Sea Rim State Park, with opportunities for both freshwater and saltwater angling. You might reel in speckled trout, redfish, or even flounder. 

Mineola Nature Preserve 

The Mineola Nature Preserve has a diverse range of habitats. Visitors can explore pristine pine forests, wetlands, hardwood bottomlands, and lakes. This variety of environments provides a home to a wide range of wildlife, including white-tailed deer, wild turkey, and numerous bird species. Birdwatchers can catch glimpses of egrets, herons, and even bald eagles.

Great blue heron in Texas

A network of well-maintained hiking trails and boardwalks winds its way through the preserve. The Azalea Trail, in particular, is a favorite during the spring when vibrant azalea blooms create a colorful spectacle. Fishing enthusiasts can cast their lines into the lakes, which are well-stocked with a variety of fish species. Kayaking and canoeing are also popular.

The Preserve’s Nature Center has interpretive exhibits and displays that inform visitors about the diverse ecosystems and wildlife found within its boundaries.

Sabine National Forest 

Sabine National Forest, established in 1936, derives its name from the Sabine River that meanders through the area, forming a natural border between Texas and Louisiana. This river, along with numerous creeks and bayous, is a lifeline for the rich biodiversity that thrives within the forest. 

Fall colors in Sabine National Forest hiking trails

Hiking trails offer opportunities to explore the forest’s beauty on foot. The trail winds through towering pine forests and offers breathtaking views of the Sabine River. Birdwatchers will be delighted by sightings of the striking red-cockaded woodpecker.

For those who prefer to experience the forest from the water, the Sabine River and area lakes provide excellent opportunities for canoeing, kayaking, and fishing. Cast your line and you may reel in catfish, bass, or sunfish. Sabine National Forest stands as a testament to the natural beauty and ecological diversity of East Texas. 

Ratcliff Lake National Forest Davy Crockett National Forest Entrance Sign

Ratcliff Lake Recreation Area

Ratcliff Lake Recreation Area is a hidden gem located in the Davy Crockett National Forest. At the heart of Ratcliff Lake is, unsurprisingly, a beautiful lake. The 45-acre lake provides numerous opportunities for water-based activities. Visitors can enjoy swimming, fishing, and non-motorized boating in the clear, spring-fed waters.

For those who prefer to stay on dry land, Ratcliff Lake offers a network of well-maintained hiking trails that wind through the lush forest. Camping is also popular at Ratcliff Lake, and the recreation area provides both RV and tent camping facilities. 

Ratcliff Lake Recreation Area also has a spacious picnic area, complete with grills and tables, for day use visitors. It makes an ideal spot for a family gathering or a quiet lakeside picnic. 

Camping in a tent on Ratcliff Lake in Davy Crockett National Forest Texas

Amusement Parks and Zoos

When it comes to family-friendly fun, you will find several East Texas things to do. These attractions promise thrilling rides and a chance to get up close to exotic animals. Here are the top places to go in East Texas with kids.

Cherokee Trace Drive-Thru Safari

The Cherokee Trace Drive-Thru Safari is located in Jacksonville, Texas. This drive-through safari is a hit with animal lovers as well as families with kids. The safari is home to over two dozen species of animals, including zebras, graceful giraffes, kangaroos, emus, deer, and llamas. 

Kids can feed the giraffes at Fossil Rim Wildlife Safari in Glen Rose Texas

Visitors can also feed many of the animals from the safety of your own vehicle. Purchase a bucket of animal feed at the entrance, and you’ll have the chance to hand-feed friendly animals like zebras and llamas, creating unforgettable memories.

In addition to the drive-through experience, the safari also offers a Walk-A-Bout area, where you can explore an array of smaller animals and engage in educational activities. This area provides an opportunity to observe reptiles, birds, and other fascinating creatures up close while learning about their behaviors and natural habitats.

Ziplining in New York, Texas

Looking for unique things to do in East Texas? Ziplining in New York, Texas, offers adventure seekers a thrilling and scenic experience.

East Texas national forest are amazing day trips from Houston Texas

The ziplining adventure takes place in lush, densely wooded areas, providing a stunning backdrop for your aerial journey. As you soar through the treetops, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of towering pine trees, lakes, and the vibrant colors of the East Texas landscape. 

One of the key attractions of ziplining in this area is the variety of zip lines available. From high-speed lines that give you an adrenaline rush to longer, more leisurely ones that allow you to savor the scenery, there’s a perfect line for all zipliners.

The experience is safe, you’ll receive thorough instructions and be fitted with a harness and helmet before take off.

Tiger Creek Animal Sanctuary

Tiger Creek Animal Sanctuary, located in Tyler, Texas, works with rescued big cats and other exotic animals. It rehabilitates them and provides a lifelong home for big cats, including tigers, lions, leopards, cougars, and other exotic species that have been mistreated, abandoned, or neglected.

The sanctuary offers informative guided tours where visitors can learn about the individual stories and backgrounds of the resident animals, as well as the conservation efforts aimed at protecting these majestic creatures in the wild. It’s an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the challenges facing big cats and other endangered species.

Kids can feed zebras at the Natural Bridge Caverns Wildlife Safari

Grapeland Safari

Spread over 81 acres, Grapeland Safari is a great place to visit. The park has a drive-through safari, where you can drive your car amongst the animals. You can spot zebras, donkeys, llamas, yaks, buffalo, camels, and even antelopes.

After the drive-through portion, visitors can take walks through a petting zoo area and see baby goats, pigs, and turkeys up close. Grapeland Safari is a great place to visit on the East Texas road trip.

Kaleidoscope Ranch 

Kaleidoscope Ranch in Big Sandy is the ultimate retreat for families. You can book a cabin to stay on the sprawling property and share your vacation with over 80 different types of animals! During your stay you can enjoy a breakfast with giraffes, brush horses and donkeys, or enjoy quality time with an alpaca. It’s also the perfect place for birthday parties and special occasions.

Buffalo Springs Lake Hot Air Balloon Festival near Lubbock Texas

Events and Festivals in East Texas

East Texas knows how to celebrate, and its festivals are a testament to its lively spirit. Throughout the year, the region hosts a variety of amazing events that honor its culture and heritage. Plan a trip to East Texas at this time and participate in the revelry.

Great Texas Balloon Race, Longview 

The Great Texas Balloon Race is a thrilling annual event held in Longview, the Balloon Capital of Texas. The event takes place at the East Texas Regional Airport. It typically spans a weekend and features a colorful spectacle of hot air balloons taking to the skies. This is the longest running hot air balloon festival in Texas. 

Get on a hot air balloon and experience the thrill of floating above the treetops and taking in the stunning East Texas scenery from a bird’s-eye view. Visitors to the event can also enjoy a wide range of family-friendly activities and entertainment. From live music and food vendors offering local flavors to carnival rides and games for the kids, the festival features several enjoyable activities.

Lawn with Azalea bushes on Azalea Trails in Tyler Texas

Tyler Azalea Trail 

The Tyler Azalea Trail is known for its impressive azalea displays. The Azalea Trail typically runs through the month of March when the azaleas are in full bloom, transforming the city into a botanical wonderland. The trail winds its way through residential neighborhoods, municipal parks, and public gardens. The azalea blooms in shades of pink, white, as well as purple creating a striking contrast with the pine forests.

One of the highlights of the Tyler Azalea Trail is the historic Goodman-LeGrand House and Museum, an elegant antebellum home surrounded by lush gardens. Here, visitors can immerse themselves in the history and charm of the Old South while enjoying the brilliant azalea displays around the property. The Tyler Azalea Trail is one of our favorite experiences in East Texas. The sweet scent of the azaleas fills the air as you stroll along the well-maintained paths.

Azalea trails in Tyler Texas

Texas Dogwood Trails Festival, Palestine 

The Texas Dogwood Trails Festival in Palestine, Texas, is an amazing springtime celebration. Each year, usually in March and April, the charming town of Palestine comes alive with the delicate and graceful dogwood blossoms. These iconic flowers, with their distinctive four-petaled blooms can be seen in a riot of colors from pure white to soft pink and even shades of creamy yellow.

The festival is a beloved tradition for over 80 years. It showcases the scenic Dogwood Trails that wind through the town and surrounding areas. A great spot to see the blooms is the Davey Dogwood Park. The festival also features an Arts and Crafts Fair, where local artisans and vendors sell their handmade crafts, jewelry, artwork, and more. It’s the perfect opportunity to find unique souvenirs and gifts while supporting the local creative community.

Dogwood trees in bloom at Davey Dogwood Park in Palestine Texas

Heritage Syrup festival, Henderson 

The Heritage Syrup Festival in Henderson, Texas celebrates the rich agricultural heritage of East Texas. Held annually, usually in November, this festival is a cherished tradition that honors the art of syrup making and the region’s history.

At the heart of the Heritage Syrup Festival is the traditional syrup-making process, which is a fascinating and aromatic experience. Visitors can watch as sugarcane is pressed, boiled, and then transformed into delicious syrup, using antique equipment and techniques. The sweet aroma fills the air, transporting visitors to a simpler time.

The festival offers a wide range of family-friendly activities and entertainment for all ages. From live music performances to arts and crafts vendors as well as a classic car show, there’s something to captivate every visitor. 

Bluebonnet festivals are the perfect places to shop for souvenirs and gifts

Tomato fest, Jacksonville

The Tomato Fest in Jacksonville, Texas, is a vibrant and flavorful celebration of one of summer’s most beloved fruits – the tomato. It is held annually in June.

For those looking to savor the flavor of the festival, the Tomato Fest offers a mouthwatering array of tomato-centric dishes and treats. From classic tomato sandwiches and savory salsas to tomato ice cream and also tomato wine, there’s no shortage of ways to indulge in the tomato’s deliciousness.

Live music, arts and crafts vendors, and a vibrant downtown atmosphere create a festive backdrop to the Tomato Fest. It’s a family-friendly event with activities for all ages.

This East Texas train ride is stunning in fall

As you plan your road trip to East Texas, prepare to marvel at its natural wonders and be inspired by its legendary history. From outdoor adventures to cultural experiences and everything in between, East Texas invites you to explore its treasures and create memories that will last a lifetime. 

What are your favorite places to see in East Texas? Did we forget any attractions in East Texas? Let us know below. 

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1 thought on “Discover 50+ Cool & Amazing Things to do in East Texas”

I’ve lived in East TX for 23 years, never got to do everything on your list.

Saw the Balloon Glow in Canton, and the balloons launching the next day.

There’s more than antiques at First Monday in Canton… though I did buy Ford Model A headlights for my antique car.

Several small airports have fly-ins where you can see many small planes. Maybe even take a ride!

There are many places to put a canoe or kayak in the water. Did this most recently up by Princeton.

Last summer I waded in the North Sulfur River near Cooper TX and brought out petrified clam shells, millions of years old.

Most small towns host at least one weekend festival of their own. Check with their Chamber of Commerce for dates. Wills Point’s Bluebird Festival had local vendors, carnival rides, car show, etc.

Finally, the people I’ve met in East Texas are some of the nicest and most hospitable in the country.

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27 Fantastic Things to Do in East Texas (must-sees!)

A trip to East Texas caters to visitors of all interests.

Whether you’re enamored by wildlife, passionate about history or a fan of flora and fauna, there’s an activity or adventure for you.

Bordered by the Piney Woods on the edge of Louisiana and Arkansas, to the prairies on the eastern end of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, this pocket of Texas is a cultural hub and natural wonderland, with acres to explore and enjoy.

Here’s a list of 21 of the top things to do in East Texas.


With 71 pages of helpful travel tips and the “best of” Texas lists, this is your ad-free key to your Texas trip.

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  • 19 Best Places to Visit in Texas
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  • 21 Incredible Things to Do in North Texas

How to get around East Texas

Like most of Texas, the best way to get around East Texas is to explore on your own by car!

If you’re visiting and need to rent a car, we highly recommend Discover Cars where they find you the best car rental deals from all of the competitors (has saved us so much money!).

Okay, everyone grab their best vintage Texas tee and let’s get going!

field trips east texas

1. Visit Jefferson

Image of motorcycles parked outside a bar in Jefferson Texas

Go back in history to the bustling 19th century riverport town of Jefferson .

A visit to Jefferson is one of the most popular things to do in East Texas, and for good reason.

Some of the highlights include the Historic Jefferson Railway tours, the Jefferson Historical Museum and the Graceful Ghost paddlewheel steamboat on Caddo lake .

If you’re visiting at Christmastime, the annual parade and festivities bring highly anticipated festive cheer to the whole city.

Even outside of the peak festive period, the quaint brick streets and horse-drawn carriage tours showcase the charm that makes this Southern city such a delight to visit.

2. Visit the Rose Capital of the United States

Red roses in Tyler

One of the top things to see in East Texas is the Rose Festival of Tyler.

If you visit the town of Tyler during October, you’ll be treated to the spectacular annual Rose Festival , a three-day celebration of the significance of roses in the town’s history.

But even if you’re visiting outside of the main festival week, take a stroll around the town’s grand rose garden , where over 40,000 rose bushes bloom from March to the start of winter.

3. Visit the Big Thicket National Preserve

Image of a family enjoying a hike

For outdoor enthusiasts, the Big Thicket National Preserve provides an array of adventurous activities, set within the impressive setting of the grand cypress trees and bountiful waterways.

Whilst there are no official campsites, DIY camping is permitted so bring your tent and sleeping bag along if you like.

If you only have time for a daytime activity, you can choose from hiking, mountain biking, kayaking and fishing.

4. Take a ride on the Texas State Railroad

Image of a train at the Texas State Railroad

One of the most popular things to do in East Texas is to take a ride on the Texas State Railroad.

Since the late 19th century, the Texas State Railroad has been a key piece of infrastructure in East Texas, ferrying timber and other goods between the towns of Palestine and Rusk.

Whilst the Railroad is no longer used for ferrying cargo anymore, visitors can now climb aboard to take a scenic ride through the Piney Woods of East Texas.

5. Try your luck at Bass Fishing

Man holding a bass

One of the most popular outdoor activities to do in East Texas is bass fishing.

Playing host to three of the top bass lakes in the country, there are plenty of opportunities to try your hand at the sport.

Lake O’ the Pines is abundant with white, yellow, spotted and striped bass, making it a favorite bass fishing spot for both locals and visitors.

6. Visit the East Texas State Fair

Entrance to the Texas State Fair

Every September, the town of Tyler hosts the East Texas State Fair, a ten day family friendly celebration, complete with carnival rides, live music and livestock shows.

There’s plenty to see and do in the park so plan your visit in advance. You can choose to explore the Caldwell Zoo, the Historic Aviation Memorial Museum, the Discovery Science Place or attend a live musical show hosted by the East Texas Symphony.

There’s also plenty of food vendors and a farmer’s market to stock up on snacks to keep you energized.

7. Visit the city of Beaumont

Canning Jars at the Boomtown Museum

The coastal city of Beaumont lies approximately 85 miles east of Houston, and plays an important part in Texan history.

Known as the site of the first oil discovery in Texas and the start of the Texas oil boom, there’s lots to see and learn during a visit to this historically significant city.

One of the key attractions is the Spindletop-Gladys City Boomtown Museum . A visit here will transport you back in time as you take in the historical replicas and period reenactments by talented actors, showcasing a snippet of what life was like in Beaumont during the early 20th century.

8. Alternative things to do in Beaumont

Image of a man feeding a gator at the Gator Country Adventure Park in Texas

If you’ve got some extra time in Beaumont, or you’d rather explore more of the wildlife than the history, there’s plenty of other activities for you to choose from.

You can visit the Gator Country Adventure Park to see the three hundred alligators and crocodiles that call this park home.

If you’re lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of Big Al, the largest alligator in captivity. At nearly four meters long, he’s one you’ll want to watch out for.

9. Explore the largest flea market in the USA

Image of aesthetically pleasing cowboy boots at the First Monday Trade Days flea market

One of the most popular things to do in East Texas is visit the First Monday Trade Days flea market .

The First Monday Trade Days is not only the largest flea market in the nation, it’s also got a quirky twist in its name because this market doesn’t actually run on a Monday at all.

Spanning from the Thursday to the Sunday before the first Monday of each month, this expansive market offers hidden gems for every type of treasure hunter.

If you’re in Canton, be sure to spend a few hours trawling through the stalls and you’ll come across vintage finds, from records, books to quirky Texan memorabilia. Giant carved bison skull for your wall, anyone?

10. Do a wildlife safari

Image of a car driving through the Cherokee Trace Drive-Thru Safari in Jacksonville Texas

One of the most memorable things to do in East Texas is the Cherokee Trace Drive-Thru Safari in Jacksonville .

This 300-acre nature reserve is home to a myriad of exotic wildlife, including the African longhorn cow, blackbucks, zebras and other non-native wildlife.

You can drive your own vehicle through the park on a self-guided tour and even stop to feed some of the animals that call the reserve home.

11. Take part in Tomato Fest

Image of the judges at the Texas Tomato Fest

Did you know Jacksonville is also known as the ‘Tomato Capital of the World’?

If you’re visiting during June, you’ll hopefully get a first hand glimpse at why Jacksonville takes on the title of World’s Largest Bowl of Salsa.

Spanning four days of events, including a tomato eating contest, tomato peeling contest, the best homegrown contest and street dancing, this is a local celebration you should definitely get involved in, even if it’s just to take a bite of one of the locally grown red rubies.

Top tip, don’t wear white.

12. Visit the Cultural Capital of East Texas

Image of the Starr Family Home State Historic Site in Marshall, Texas

The City of Marshall offers some of the most interesting historical sights to see in East Texas.

Not only is the city home to many landmark buildings, such as the Starr Family Home State Historic Site and the Harrison County Courthouse , the locals have also made a dedicated effort to preserve the grandeur of these architectural gems.

Take a stroll downtown and you’ll get to spy many of the traditional buildings that gave the city its unique flair.

Many of the buildings also offer tours so you can glimpse the artwork and structures from the inside. One of the most popular places of interest is the Harrison County Courthouse, which offers tours from Tuesdays to Saturdays.

13. Visit Marshall during Christmas

Beautiful Christmas lights display at the Wonderland of Lights event in Marshall, Texas

If you’re in Marshall during Christmastime, you’ll be treated to the largest Christmas festival in Texas and also the largest light festival in the country.

The ‘ Wonderland of Lights ’ typically kicks off in late November and includes a full calendar of events and sights to celebrate the spirit of Christmas.

Some of the events include the annual Courthouse lighting ceremony, the Christmas parade and the Outdoor Christmas Market that draws crowds from all over the country.

If you can time your visit to coincide, the annual Christmas parade is an extravaganza of lights, costumes and carols galore.

14. See a rodeo

Image of a classic Texas rodeo

A classic Texas tradition and especially popular in East Texas are the various rodeos held across various counties, most commonly from February through to May.

Depending on where you are and the time of your visit, there’s a range of rodeos you can choose to visit.

Some of the biggest names include the Kiss n Kick Rodeo in Seguin and the WPRA Elite Extravaganza in Waco , both held during March. If you’re visiting during April, you can book in to see the famed 1836 Chuckwagon Race in Palestine.

15. Visit the City of Uncertain

Kayaking on Lake Caddo

One of the most unique places to visit in East Texas is the City of Uncertain .

Commonly regarded as a place of mystery, the City of Uncertain is popularly referred to as the ‘best kept secret in Texas’. Along the shores of Lake Caddo, you’ll find a remote town of exotic beauty, vast wetlands and unique mystery.

Many of the biggest events and activities in the town are centered around the lake, from fireworks and parades to boating and fishing expeditions.

There’s also unique accommodation available, from cabins and lake-side lodges that will give you a true flavor of the quirkiness that gives this city its name.

16. Visit nearby Caddo Lake National Wildlife Refuge

Snapshot of a bird at Caddo Lake

Built for the preservation and protection of migratory birds and other wildlife, the Caddo Lake National Wildlife Refuge is one of the most interesting places to visit in East Texas.

With a vast wildlife sanctuary that is free to visit and full of activities, including horseback riding, biking, hunting and wildlife photography, there is plenty to see and do at the Refuge.

Be sure to stop in to the visitors center to learn more about the important work carried out by the Refuge in conserving the local and native wildlife that resides in the sanctuary.

17. Visit the oldest town in Texas

Image of downtown Nacogdoches

Nacogdoches is not only the oldest town in Texas, but also a celebration of the unique blend of American history, Spanish architecture and Southern charm that makes up this historical community.

Originally a Spanish settlement, there are plenty of activities on offer to give you an insight to the history of the town, such as the Henderson Oil Field Tour and a visit to Millard’s Crossing Historical Village.

If you’re happy to simply roam the town at your own leisurely pace, you can enjoy the Victorian-style architecture and the red brick streets in downtown.

18. Visit Athens Scuba Park

Scuba diving

With more than twenty sunken dive wrecks to explore, Athens Scuba Park is a true wonderland for divers and scuba aficionados, making a visit to Athens Scuba Park one of the most fun things to do in East Texas.

This world class diving site attracts visitors from all over the world for its all inclusive dive facility that offers classes, PADI certifications and its very own private jet fit for ten people.

From beginner scuba divers, experts and those just looking for a relaxed day of easy snorkeling, there’s a suitable activity for all at this eight-acre adventure park.

19. Visit Shelby County

Sabine National Forest

One of the most popular things to do in East Texas is visit the gateway to Texas forest country, also known as Shelby .

Encompassing various natural reserves and lakes, there are plenty of activities for travelers of all ages and interests.

You can choose to go camping at Lake Pinkston or the Toledo Best Reservoir , or go fishing, hunting or biking at the Sabine National Forest .

Keep an eye out for some spectacular local wildlife too, from the beautiful water fowl and the songbirds.

20. Play a round of golf at Coldspring

Golfing in Texas

For a fun day out in East Texas, spend an afternoon on one of the twenty-five golf courses surrounding Coldspring .

There are both private and public golf courses, including some with grand country clubs that offer a luxurious break away from the course.

The oldest course and one of the most popular is the Livingston Municipal Golf Course which is 6,108 yards and is located approximately fifteen miles away from the center of Coldspring.

21. Attend the Edom Festival

People walking around the Edom Art Festival in Edom, Texas

Running annually since 1972, this festival of art is an annual celebration in the craft community of Edom, Texas.

Originally sponsored by the 279 Artisans Trail to support local artists, the celebrations include antique shows, art shows, hot rod car shows and craft demonstrations.

The trail also includes a number of nurseries, boutiques, spas and restaurants that you can explore at your own leisurely pace.

You can also try unique local food from the many vendors that participate, including the Cajun gumbo, corn dogs and locally made gourmet ice cream.

22. Angelina National Forest

field trips east texas

This national forest is where you’ll find your inner peace, get your steps in on the hiking trails, or reconnect with nature with over 100,000 acres of recreational areas.

Birdwatchers absolutely love this national forest, and fishermen can check out the incredible lake with lots of things to catch.

There are marked trails for hiking so you can plan out your day!

23. Davy Crockett National Forest

field trips east texas

The Davy Crockett National Forest actually became a National Forest in 1936 and has been providing a family-friendly place to become one with nature ever since.

Put on your hiking boots and walk all around the forest, or go fishing in the lake or enjoy a swim at Ratcliff Lake.

It was named for none other than of course, Davy Crocket, an icon of the “wild frontier” and you can even go primitive camping if you want to really get back to the basics.

Hiking lovers will enjoy the view from the Four C National Recreation Trail, and you can even go horseback riding on Piney Creek Horse Trail.

Keep an eye out for that wildlife, including turkeys, deer, and woodpeckers!

Make sure to “leave no trace” of your visit and take trash with you when you leave.

24. Texarkana, Arkansas (and Texas)

field trips east texas

Texarkana , so named because it combines Texas and Arkansas, is a fantastic place to go if you want to be in two states at once.

Downtown Texarkana is walkable and historic, and while you’re there you’ve got to head to the Ace of Clubs House .

This House, built in 1885, is shaped like a playing card club and is a must-see.

There’s also other things to do, like the Museum of Regional History and the Four States Auto Museum.

If you’re hungry, stop at Zapata’s for some incredible guacamole and margaritas or try Pecan Point Gastropub for the burgers that you’ll talk about the whole ride home.

25. Cool off at the Waterpark at the Villages

field trips east texas

This enclosed water park is a great way to cool off in East Texas while making sure that you can let the kids run around a bit more freely.

You’ll find it in Flint, Texas, and it’s a must-do for families.

Spend the day floating around the lazy river, plunge down the waterslides, or jump up and down in the wave pool.

The genius part of it is that you can head here even in the cold weather, and in the summer months, you’ll still get the sun streaming through the glass structure.

26. Go fishing on Lake Palestine

field trips east texas

Lake Palestine is a great lake for boating and fishing in East Texas.

Head to the Village Marina where you can set off on your pontoon boat, rent peddalos, or head off on a fishing expedition from the boat ramps.

The lake is consistently used for largemouth bass tournaments due to the sheer number of fish in the lake, and you can also find catfish and spotted bass.

Have a peaceful day on the water with this excellent East Texas activity.

27. Spend the day in Atlanta State Park

If you want to get out into nature and get “lost” on some trails, Atlanta State Park is the place to do it!

And of course, we’re talking about Atlanta in Texas, not Georgia!

It’s quiet, peaceful, the camping sites are huge, and the rangers are incredibly friendly.

Take a picnic and just spend the afternoon, or stay all day and go canoeing.

It’s right on the shores of Wright Patman Lake, a large lake featuring plenty of water activities and one of the most beautiful sunsets in all of Texas.

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The Boutique Adventurer: Luxury Adventure Travel Blog focussed on Emerging Destinations for those over 35

21 Awesome Things To Do in East Texas You’ll Love

By: Author Amanda OBrien

Posted on Last updated: 16/02/2024

East Texas is one of the most charming places in the Lone Star State . Most of this region is nestled amongst picturesque piney woods. In addition to the abundance of towering trees and natural beauty, there are plenty of things to do in East Texas.

A few of the must-visit towns in the area include Tyler, Marshall, Jefferson, Nacogdoches, Athens, Palestine, and Henderson. Here you can enjoy various indoor and outdoor activities, such as thrilling train rides and exploring famous landmarks and historic homes.

While East Texas offers many exhilarating experiences, some should not go unmissed. Here are 21 of the best activities to take part in on your next adventure.

Caddo Lake State Park

21 Awesome Things to do in East Texas

Texas is one of the most beautiful U.S. states and an ideal destination for an unwinding escape. Below is a list of the top East Texas attractions to add to your bucket list.

1. Wander Through the Tyler Rose Garden

The city of Tyler is renowned as the unofficial Rose Capital of the Nation. It is home to more than 38,000 rose bushes and over 500 varieties of roses.

This scenic spot is perfect for a peaceful outing with awe-inspiring views. As such, people frequently rent out the Rose Garden and Rose Garden Centre for special events, including weddings and meetings.

Tyler Rose Garden

Additionally, there is a gift shop and museum on the property. The Tyler Rose Museum is a must-visit attraction that displays stunning preserves and stories of the local rose-growing industry.

The garden is open year-round. But, it’s best enjoyed in early spring as well as late September and October when the roses are in full bloom. If you’re visiting during October, be sure to check out the Texas Rose Festival that takes place in the third week of the month.

2. Visit New York Texas Zipline Adventures

If you’re an adventure seeker looking for panoramic views of East Texas, the New York Texas Zipline Adventure is the place to be. It is located in the New York Community, just a 15 to 20-minute drive east of Athens.

It’s a great way to explore the Piney Woods region as you swing from tree-tops and learn more about the local ecology. The zipline tours take you along six or nine zipline tracks, where you’ll have epic views of the forested area.

New York, Texas ZipLine Adventures

This adventure lasts around one and a half to two hours. After the thrilling experience, there are plenty of scenic spaces where you can relax and enjoy a picnic.

Note: As this is a popular spot, it’s best to make a reservation a few days in advance.

3. Kayak at Caddo Lake State Park

Caddo Lake State Park is an East Texas treasure situated in the Piney Woods ecoregion in Karnack. Here you can participate in several activities, such as picnicking, boating, hiking, and fishing.

When fishing in the mighty Caddo Lake, there are more than 70 fish species to discover. Another way to take in the beauty of this natural lake is by canoeing or kayaking. You’ll find more than 80 kilometres (50 miles) of paddling trails with spectacular sights at every twist and turn.

Caddo Lake State Park

You can bring your own kayak set and equipment or rent a canoe at the park. If you’d like to extend your visit, there are 46 campsites for a splendid stay. Additionally, you can rent a cosy cabin with options ranging from two to six-person cabins.

Note: As there are alligators in the park, be sure to follow the necessary safety tips.

4. Fishing in Lake Athens

Lake Athens is another excellent fishing spot in East Texas. This 1,799-acre reservoir has a maximum depth of 15 metres (50 feet) and supports several fish species. The largemouth bass is the most popular species that attracts numerous eager anglers to this stunning location.

Lake Athens

There are also great opportunities to catch sunfish and white bass. Additionally, you’ll find decent-sized crappies, but they are fewer in numbers. And if you’re lucky, you might reel in a catfish.

Near the lake, there is an RV park and a marina with a bait shop and general store for any fishing kit needs. For more fun activities, you can head to the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center on the north shore of the lake. Here you’ll encounter a magnificent fish display with aquariums, natural pools, and hands-on exhibits.

5. Camping at Daingerfield State Park

If you’re looking for a relaxing escape surrounded by nature, a few days at Daingerfield State Park would be perfect. Nestled in Morris County, the park is filled with natural beauty and towering pines, oak, sweetgum, dogwoods, and redbuds.

At the park, there are two types of campsites: full hookup sites and tent-only sites. The full-hookup sites are located in the Big Pine area. It includes several amenities, such as picnic tables, water hookup, sewer hookup, electric hookup, and nearby restrooms.

Daingerfield State Park

The tent-only sites are situated in the Cedar Ridge area. Here you’ll have amenities such as an outdoor grill, picnic table, fire ring, water, tent pad, and nearby restrooms.

If you want more comfort on your overnight stay, you can reserve a historic cabin for a rustic-luxury experience. All cabins are well-equipped and feature a bathroom and kitchen.

There are several land and water activities for an enjoyable trip. You can explore the massive lake with activities such as boating, paddling, swimming, and fishing. On land, you can go birding, picnicking, and hiking.

6. Explore the World’s Richest Acre

The East Texas region is a significant contributor to the oil production in the state. As such, your trip would be incomplete without setting foot in the World’s Richest Acre in Kilgore.

In the early 1930s, downtown Kilgore supported the world’s greatest concentration of oil wells and produced over 2.5 million barrels of oil. Unfortunately, the oil derricks were dismantled in the early 1960s.

World’s Richest Acre kilgore texas

But, a trip to the World’s Richest Acre is certainly worthwhile as you can tour the historic area and admire the steel replicas. Other nearby points of interest include the Kilgore College East Texas Museum and the Texas Museum of Broadcasting.

7. Take a Ride on the Historic Jefferson Railway

Founded in the early 1840s, Jefferson is a pre-civil war town located in northeastern Texas. Here you’ll come across awe-inspiring historical architecture and top attractions, including the Historic Jefferson Railway.

Historic Jefferson Railway

At the Historic Jefferson Railway, you can travel through the picturesque piney woods and wetlands along the Big Cypress Bayou. A trip to this 3-foot narrow-gauge railway offers a memorable adventure for all. For more epic experiences in this quaint town, head to the Jefferson Historical Museum, the Grove, and the Museum of Measurement and Time.

8. Tour the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame

If you’re a country music fan, a trip to the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame should definitely be an item on your East Texas itinerary. Situated in Carthage, the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame honours Texans who have made remarkable contributions to country music.

Texas Country Music Hall of Fame

It was established in 1998 and has since become a popular location for music enthusiasts. This unique museum and performance space has also hosted several festivals and events, such as the John Ritter Tribute Showcase and Classic Country Music Festival.

9. Visit the Big Thicket National Preserve

The Big Thicket is a heavily forested area in Kountze, East Texas . It is home to a variety of plants and animal species. Amongst the massive cypress trees, you might spot white-tailed deer, coyotes, bobcats, armadillos, snakes, and alligators.

Almost 300 bird species have been documented in the area. However, birdwatching can be challenging at times as a result of the dense vegetation.

Big Thicket kountze

Popular birding spots in Big Thicket include the Sundew Trail and Kirby Nature Trail. And if you want the best bird sightings while canoeing or kayaking, take a trip down Cooks Lake to Scatterman Paddle Trail.

Tip: A pair of high-quality, waterproof binoculars are great for bird watching and sightseeing from the river.

The fascinating fauna and flora here attract countless travellers each year. People also visit to enjoy various recreational activities such as hiking, mountain biking, kayaking, canoeing, fishing, and camping.

10. Enjoy a Train Tour at Texas State Railroad

Founded in 1883, the Texas State Railroad is a historic railroad that runs between Palestine and Rusk. In the past, it was used to move raw materials like timber. Today, the Texas State Railroad takes passengers on a scenic journey through the Piney Woods.

Texas State Railroad palestine depot

The daily train ride lasts about four hours, and there are also several different accommodations on offer. This scenic adventure is best enjoyed during the spring season when the flowers are in full bloom.

11. Follow an Azalea & Spring Flower Trail

Although East Texas is world-famous for its trees, it is also admired for its flowers. One of the most famed flowers in the region is the azalea flower . There are annual azalea trails and festivals throughout the region.

One of the most popular trails where you can enjoy sightseeing while walking past the blooming azaleas is the Tyler Azalea Trail. It is held from mid-March to April and comprises two separate routes: the Lindsey Trail and the Dobbs Trail.

Tyler Azalea Trail

Another must-visit location is the Ruby M. Mize Azalea Garden. It is located at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches. Here you’ll find more than 7,000 gorgeous azaleas and around 40 kilometres (25 miles) of azalea trails throughout the historic and residential districts in the city.

You might enjoy reading my article on the Cowboy Capital of the world, Bandera Texas .

12. Take a Trip to the Cherokee Trace Drive-Thru Safari

One of the best things to do in East Texas is visiting a wildlife and safari park, specifically the Cherokee Trace Drive-Thru Safari. Situated in Jacksonville, this safari park offers an exhilarating outing that’s perfect for those travelling with kids.

Cherokee Trace Drive-Thru Safari.

Some of the animals you can expect to see include zebra, water buffalo, aoudad, bison, rocky mountain elk, axis deer, blackbuck, and highland cattle. At the park, you can take a self-guided drive and feed some of the animals. There are also picnic spots that are perfect for a snack break.

Note: It’s important to remain in your vehicles at all times when touring the area.

13. Visit the Cultural Capital of Texas

Founded in 1841, Marshall is best known for its well-preserved historical sites. The town is also famed for its support of the arts community. As such, it’s considered the Cultural Capital of East Texas.

marshall texas courthouse

There are many enjoyable things to do in Marshall, including horse-drawn buggy rides and touring historical buildings. For an unforgettable experience, be sure to visit the Michelson Museum of Art, Starr Family Home State Historic Park, and the Visual Arts Centre.

14. Explore the Historic Sites in Beaumont

Beaumont is another historical gem in East Texas. It’s located in the state’s southeastern region, just 137 kilometres (85 miles) east of Houston. For those looking for some outdoor adventures, you can participate in several activities, such as fishing, hunting, and camping.

Beaumont Texas

Additionally, you can enjoy a trip to the Beaumont Botanical Gardens. If you’re intrigued by spectacular historical sites, there are a number of places in the area that are worth visiting. Some of the top attractions in Beaumont include the Texas Energy Museum, Saint Anthony Cathedral, and the Fire Museum of Texas.

15. Go to a Rodeo

Rodeos are popular throughout the state of Texas. And the eastern region is no different. One of the best rodeos to visit in East Texas is the Gladewater Rodeo.

Gladewater Rodeo

It takes place in June and offers a thrilling, family-friendly outing. If you’re travelling with little ones, there are enjoyable activities for kids aged six years and under at the Mutton Bustin event.

16. Stroll Around Love’s Lookout Scenic Park

Love’s Lookout is one of the most magnificent rest stops in East Texas. Located in Jacksonville, the structure stands at more than 213 metres (700 feet) high and serves as a scenic park.

love's lookout park jacksonville texas

This picturesque destination and expansive rear terrace provide an ideal setting for photographers and travellers looking to soak up the scenic surroundings. Here you’ll find perfectly-positioned benches and tables for a pleasant picnic while enjoying the breathtaking views.

17. See the Paris Texas Eiffel Tower

Constructed in 1993, the Eiffel Tower is a must-visit landmark in the city of Paris, Texas. It is a scale model of the world-famous Eiffel Tower in Paris, France. The structure is less than one-tenth of that of the original.

eiffel tower paris texas

A notable feature of this Texan attraction is the bright red cowboy hat that sits on top of the tower. Viewing this spectacular sight will not disappoint. A few other notable places to visit in Paris, Texas, include the Red River Valley Veterans Memorial and Sam Bell Maxey House State Historic Site.

18. Take a Trip to Shangri La Botanical Gardens

If you’re looking for a scenic escape, visiting this botanical garden is perfect. You’ll find Shangri La Botanical Gardens nestled in the heart of Orange in East Texas. This tranquil destination combines the beauty of the botanical gardens with an educational nature centre, providing an ideal outing for nature enthusiasts.

Shangri La Botanical Gardens orange texas

As you stroll along the garden paths and listen to the melodies of birds, you’ll find a variety of fragrant flowers and plants. For more exhilarating experiences in Orange, check out the Stark Museum of Art and W.H. Stark House.

19. Visit the Oldest Town in Texas

Founded in 1779, Nacogdoches is the oldest town in Texas. This quaint little town was originally a Spanish settlement. Today, it is home to several top attractions, such as the Stone Fort Museum, Millard’s Crossing Historic Village, and Ruby M. Mize Azalea Garden.

Nacogdoches texas

When visiting this historical gem, be sure to check out nearby attractions such as the famous Caddo Indian Mounds and Lake Sam Rayburn.

20. Learn About Tyler’s Historic Homes

In addition to the stunning rose displays, Tyler is home to eye-catching historical homes. To get a glimpse of the past, you can explore the Goodman Le-Grand Home and Museum and the McClendon House.

The Goodman Le-Grand Home and Museum was built in 1859. At this historic landmark, you are welcome to wander around on a walk-in tour. However, photograph sessions, group tours, and other activities need to be scheduled in advance.

Goodman Le-Grand Home and Museum

The Bonner-Whitaker-McClendon House was built in 1879. Here you can enjoy guided tours and learn more about the town’s political and cultural history from post-civil war.

21. Walk in Helen Lee’s Daffodil Gardens

Nestled between Tyler and Gladewater, Helen Lee’s Daffodil Garden offers visitors an unforgettable experience. During February and March, you’ll find thousands of blooming daffodils and other flowers at this breathtaking location.

Helen Lee’s Daffodil Gardens

As you walk beside the stunning flowers, you’ll come across a number of small ponds and lakes. A trip to the garden is one of the best ways to welcome spring and enjoy the scenic surroundings in Texas.

Note: Admission to the garden is free, but donations are encouraged to help maintain the grounds.

Final Thoughts on East Texas Attractions

East Texas offers an abundance of exhilarating experiences, from viewing historical sites to admiring the spectacular landscapes.  Whether you’re looking for indoor or outdoor activities, there are plenty of ways to enjoy a day in this beautiful state.

As they say, everything is bigger in Texas. So, get ready for a fun-filled adventure. And if you’re looking for more getaway inspiration, check out this guide on sunflower fields in Texas .

Big Thicket kountze texas

I covered all of the costs associated with writing this article. However, this things to do in east Texas post includes affiliate links. That means if you click through and end up making a purchase I will receive a small commission. I wanted to make sure you were aware of this.

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Amanda O’Brien is the creator and editor of The Boutique Adventurer. She has visited 80 countries and is a member of the British Guild of Travel Writers as well as the IFTWTA. She is passionate about wine had has just completed Level 3 of the WSET. Born in Australia, she lives in London.

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8 Kid-Friendly Things to Do in East Texas

Maybe my kids are just more fun than most people’s kids. I mean they are my kids after all. Or maybe I’m just so boring at home that any chance to get out of the house is bound to be a barrel of fun for such poor deprived youths.

But, y’all, there is some really fun stuff to do in East Texas with your kiddos (or without them if you’re just a kid at heart.)

These are our greatest hits, and a few places we’re looking forward to visiting soon.

Map of Our Favorites Kids Activities in East Texas

Caldwell zoo, longview arboretum, longview public library, longview world of wonders, tyler discovery science place, cherokee trace drive-thru safari, yesterland farm in canton.

The zoo in Tyler is small enough for a small child to walk most of the way themselves and engaging enough to teach Chris Kratt new things. (If you don’t know who Christ Kratt is, you’re probably better suited reading things to do in East Texas for adults and add the zoo to that list, because it’s great for everyone.)

At the zoo entrance, you can see when the zookeepers will be working with various animals that day and you can go ask questions.

Our favorite exhibit is the penguin house where you can watch the penguin couples build nests, swim and just generally be adorable. There’s even a screen that gives you detailed info about each penguin including their name, their mate’s name and a little about their personality.

Check out their website to see the many ways you and your kids can interact with some amazing creatures.

  • Address: 2203 W Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Tyler, TX 75702
  • Website: Caldwell Zoo

If the zoo is not enough outdoor fun, check out the Longview Arboretum.

Your kids can grab a challenging scavenger hunt at the front desk before you walk through the gardens that makes the experience even more fun.

Not only is there lots of room to run and explore, the arboretum is absolutely beautiful and serene. (The perfect place to regain your sanity after one of those days.)

Make sure there’s space on your phone for photos before you go. There are so many neat spots to take pictures. Or, for a small additional fee, you can bring a professional photographer and take the perfect family portrait.

When you’re done exploring the gardens, there are classrooms were kids can color and look at all sorts of treasures.

In the Arboretum gift shop, they can watch a colony of bees work in a hive attached to the window while you shop.

  • Address: 706 W Cotton St, Longview, TX 75604
  • Website: Longview Arboretum

Y’all, I’m a sucker for a good library, and Longview Public Library is one of the best I’ve ever been to.

The librarians in the children’s area are amazing. They always have some new activity or display in the works and the selection of books available is extensive.

All summer they have activity after activity to keep kids engaged.

If your kids are older, they have tons of programs specifically geared toward teens, including a haunted library at Halloween and a midnight laser-tag tournament in the library in the summer. I mean who hasn’t been burning the midnight oil, working on research and daydreaming about what fun it would be to play laser tag in the stacks instead? Just me?

  • Address: 222 W Cotton St, Longview, TX 75601
  • Website: Longview Public Library

I love children’s museums and not just because kids learn best through play, so it’s good for their development blah, blah, blah. It’s also not that it’s a play space that I don’t have to organize or manage the clean up for. And it’s not even the joy my children get from playing.

Children’s museums awaken the kid inside me that just gets plain excited about toys.

I mean if a fully miniaturized playhouse can’t get your inner-child leaping for joy, y’all need to grab a brand new can of playdoh and have a meeting?

W.O.W. is in downtown Longview very near the library and arboretum. It’s in the same block as a gourmet ice-cream parlor and really great Italian food place. You can jam-pack your day with fun and drive less than five minutes.

  • Address: 112 E Tyler St, Longview, TX 75601
  • Website: Longview World of Wonders

Tyler Discovery Science Place is another children’s museum in the region, but offers a very different play experience.

The University of Texas in Tyler is a partner with this museum and as a result the play areas are largely centered around real-life play and, as the name suggests, science.

My younger daughter currently hopes to be a doctor (and a mermaid superhero) when she grows up. So I can’t wait to take her to play in the mini-neonatal unit. I know my older daughter will love the miniature grocery store, and I’m hoping they’ll be willing play with me in the little TV News Station. It’s too adorable for words.

  • Address: 308 N Broadway Ave, Tyler, TX 75702
  • Website: Discovery Science Place

If you’ve never done a drive-thru wildlife reserve, it’s a bucket-list worthy experience, especially with kids.

First, the kids are contained so you don’t have to worry about ending up on the news as that mom whose kid got away from her and ended up befriending a lemur by sharing its lunch.

Second, the animals are in larger tracts of land so it feels like you’re seeing them in a more natural setting. Cherokee Trace is 300 acres.

Finally you can often get closer to the animals than you can in a more traditional zoo setting.

  • Address: 1200 Co Rd 4405, Jacksonville, TX 75766
  • Website: Cherokee Trace Drive-Thru Safari

Yesterland is what I imagine the result would be if you combined a southern fall corn maze, a county fair, a carnival, some really indulgent farmer grandpa’s imagination and a toddler’s sugar high. It’s a grandma’s spoiling dream.

I’m not sure it’s humanly possible to do everything that’s there in one day, but I think it’s probably worth it to try.

They change stuff around for the holidays, especially Christmas and Easter. So those are busy, but fun times to visit.

  • Address: 15410 I-20, Canton, TX 75103
  • Website: Yesterland Farm

When the doctor said it’s a girl, I didn’t think to add camping gear on my registry, but I should have. My girls love tent camping.

We make smores, hike and usually grab something fun and educational from the ranger’s station at the park entrance.

We glamp of course, with air mattresses and extreme overpacking, but we’re still out there in nature having a blast.

If you want to know all our favorite spots, check out our article about the best campgrounds in East Texas.


OPENING Soon for our 2024 FALL Festival!

Field Trip .jpg



We offer 3 seasonal education based school field trip experiences. All of which operate similarly and require online reservations . 

NOTE: Our minimum number for a field trip group is 15 little farmers.  



AVAILABLE:  March 27 & 28 | April 3, 4 & 5 | May 2 & 10

TIME: Arrive at 9:30am. Depart the farm at 1:30pm. HOW MUCH: $12/person, one free teacher per 15 students. Siblings 2 and under are free!

WHAT'S INCLUDED: 4 hours of farm FUN! Learn all about the growing process and importance of sunflowers on the farm, then plant and take home your very own to grow! You'll also learn about bees, take a trip on our hayride and enjoy select seasonal attractions. 

**Email  [email protected]  for information about possible field trips in May.


Three young girls posing together, all wearing matching green dresses in front of the Yesterland picnic area.




TIME: Arrive at 9:30am. Depart the farm at 1:30pm.

$12/person, one free teacher per 15 students. Parents, siblings & other chaperons $12 (cash/card) at the gate. Only formal school groups allowed for Wed. and Thur. field trips. Homeschool field trips are only available on Fridays.

Siblings 2 and under receive complimentary admission.


4 hours of a FUN educational field trip in the great outdoors. The farm will be closed to the general public.

- Learn interesting facts about animals.

- Explore the pumpkin growth cycle.

- Lead your class in an interactive sunflower activity.

- Personalize your lesson by leading your class through 16 different stations in any order you'd like.

- Select amazement rides & attractions will also be available to enjoy!

TIME: Arrive at 9:30am. Official field trip ends at 1:30pm. However, all group members are welcome to stay and explore the farm until we close at 10pm or may leave and return later that day with their wristband attached.

$14.95/person, one free teacher per 15 students. Parents, siblings, and other chaperons $14.95 when paid with the school otherwise must purchase admission online at the current rate or at the gate.

Homeschool and formal school groups welcome. The Farm will be open to the public as well.

4 hours of a FUN educational field trip in the great outdoors. The farm will be open to the general public along with your group.

- All Fall attractions and amazement rides will be available to enjoy!

- Super Stuff attractions are an additional cost (ie pony rides).



TIME: Arrive at 9:30am. Depart the farm at 1:30pm. HOW MUCH: $12/person, one free teacher per 15 students.

Siblings 2 and under are free!

WHAT'S INCLUDED: 4 hours of farm FUN! Learn about planting, growing, grooming, and harvesting pine and cypress trees grown especially for Christmas Trees.

Four small children, all wearing red checkered flannel, waving at something off camera as they pose in front of the Animal Town petting zoo at Yesterland.



All reservations must be made online or via email in advance and are only for school groups of 15 or more students.


The stations you may experience at the farm are dependent upon age and the time of year. The farm is not open to the general public during field trips other than Friday field trips in October. This  means  that not ALL of the attractions are open during some weekday field trips. Some of our weekday field trip attractions include our YesterLand Express, Santa's Runaway Sleigh, a wagon train ride, an educational video inside of an authentic tipi, and more! Friday Field Trips in October will include all our normal operating  Fall Festival attractions. You will also have the opportunity to see and learn about YesterLand's farm animals and Race the Rubber Ducks! Remember this is a hands-on experience on a real working farm. Our teachers love these field trips as they are clean, organized, and safe! 


During Weekday Field Trips our Burger Bin is open for your convenience, serving drinks, hot dogs and hamburgers. In addition to the Burger Bin, guests are always allowed to bring their own sack lunches! If school groups want to purchase meals for students, please reserve them in advance of your scheduled date.

UPON ARRIVAL TO YESTERLAND FARM SCHOOL GROUPS : Your main teacher contact will pay for your entire group of students with a school check or cash while the students are unloading the buses. During Fall field trips, parents and siblings are to pay the weekday price of $12 or Friday price of $14.95 when paying with the school. Parents and siblings that don't purchase with the school for a Fall Friday field trip will need to purchase a regular admission ticket online or at the gate. The teachers will meet for a quick group orientation and lunch location/time assignments will be given. At this time, teachers will receive a schedule of activities for the day! Classes are then welcomed to the farm and released to start learning and enjoying the farm!


Dress appropriately, remember to be mindful of the weather. Close-toed shoes are always recommended.

Consolidate lunches in boxes/coolers and put on the back of your bus.

We will unload and carry lunches to the picnic area while you are unloading the students.

In the event of cancellation , contact YesterLand Farm a minimum of 10 business days prior to your scheduled event.  If you fail to cancel 10 days prior, you agree to pay in full for your event.

In case of inclement weather :  Although we rely heavily on the weathermen, they are not always correct.  Remember, 50% chance of rain means 50% chance it won’t!  Rescheduling due to weather will be discussed between the school and YesterLand Farm the morning of the field trip by 7:30 am.

field trips east texas

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TEXAS Field Trips

To help plan APRIL curriculum focused classroom activities, field trips and school assembly programs, these April themed celebrations might be a helpful focus. MONTHLY : Keep America Beautiful. National Gardens. National Humor. National Poetry. Stress Awareness. DAILY : Apr. 2: International Children’s Book Day. Apr. 3: National Geologists Day. Apr. 4: School Librarians’ Day. Apr. 5: Read a Road May Day. Apr. 7: World Health Day. Apr. 8: Draw a Picture of a Bird Day. Zoo Lovers Day. Apr. 10: National Farm Animals Day. Apr. 18: National Scrabble Day. Apr. 15: World Art Day. Apr. 22: Earth Day. Apr. 25: World Penguin Day. CLICK on the ACTIVITY FILTER below for activity type of field trips to learn about. For those unable to travel to these locations, have the fun come to you. Check out the Outreach Field Trips & School Assembly Programs  section.    

  • Financial Support
  • Children's Museums & Indoor Fun
  • Petting Zoos/Barnyard Fun
  • Fundraising Products
  • Cowboys and Western Heritage
  • Frontier Life
  • Government, Civics & Presidents
  • Historic Places
  • Historical Railroad Excursions
  • History Museums, Exhibits & Sites
  • Living History
  • Multicultural & Heritage
  • Transportation: Boats, Planes, Trains, & Trollies
  • Character Education
  • Team Building
  • Mobile Science, Astronomy & Planetarium, Nature & STEM Programs
  • Overnights & Retreats
  • Adventure Parks, Climbing, Ninja & Ropes Course, Ziplines
  • Amusement Parks & Water Parks
  • Bowling & Bocce
  • Dude Ranches & Horseback Riding
  • Educational Attraction
  • Indoor Amusement & Recreation Centers
  • Laser Tag/Laser Maze
  • Outdoor Amusement & Recreation Centers
  • Sports/Games/Fitness & Water Wars
  • Group-Friendly Restaurants
  • Science & Nature
  • Agricultural Education
  • Aquariums, Marine Life, Hatcheries
  • Birds, Butterflies, Bees
  • Botanical Gardens & Arboreta
  • Caves, Canyons, Mines & Gorges
  • Environmental Studies, Outdoor Education, Conservation, Sustainability
  • Farms, Mazes, Pick-Your-Own
  • Mineral & Gemstone Panning
  • Planetariums & Astronomy
  • Science Boat Excursions
  • Science Museums & Exhibits
  • STEM/STEAM Enrichment
  • Zoos, Wildlife, Safari Tours, Reptiles, Animal Shows, Vertebrates
  • Art Museums, Design, Exhibits, Photography & Films
  • Arts & Crafts
  • Theater, Dance, Music, Movies, Shows
  • Early Childhood
  • Elementary School
  • Middle School
  • High School

field trips east texas

Aggieland Wild Animal Safari

At Aggieland Wild Animal Safari, school, scout, homeschool, camp groups and families can meet some of nature’s most fascinating creatures–up close and personal.

field trips east texas

Camp Buckner

Nestled at the bottom of a 764 acre hillside surrounded by nature, Camp Buckner offers an ideal retreat for field trips with diverse activities, team-building opportunities, and scenic landscapes, fostering memorable educational experiences for participants.

field trips east texas

Forest Glen Camps & Retreats

Forest Glen Camps & Retreats offers beautiful lakes, swimming areas, challenge courses, zip lines, large meeting rooms, cabins & dining halls providing the perfect foundation for your retreat.

field trips east texas

Galveston Railroad Museum

The historic Galveston Railroad Museum is a living history museum that offers interactive activities for all ages. Step inside trains and experience sensory tours. Curriculum materials are available.

field trips east texas

Georgetown Palace Theatre

Experience the magic of live theatre at The Georgetown Palace Theatre where we provide quality and affordable entertainment and educational opportunities in the performing arts.

field trips east texas

Geronimo Adventure Park

Conquer new heights on our 3 zipline courses, throw axes at The Range, and unwind with games and activities as you make connections and amazing memories at Geronimo Adventure Park located in Houston.

field trips east texas

iT’Z Family Food and Fun

iT’Z Family Food and Fun is the family value indoor fun destination, with locations in Euless and Houston. Arcade, bowling, rock climbing, laser tag, bumper cars and more! Attractions vary by location.

field trips east texas

Museum of Ice Cream- Austin

Celebrate the joy of uninhibited playtime and unlimited desserts in a vibrant wonderland of immersive installations! Designed to be a safe space for human connection and learning through play, Museum of Ice Cream is the sweetest spot in Austin for unforgettable frosty fun!

field trips east texas

Natural Bridge Caverns

Natural Bridge Caverns offers an incredible learning experience – with a sense of adventure on our ropes course! Learn what is possible at 180 feet underground, where ancient formations are still in the making.

field trips east texas

Outdoor School and Champions Retreat

Champions Retreat and The Outdoor School offer day and overnight field trips from August through May. Whether you are looking for an overnight field trip, or weekend event, we have you covered.

field trips east texas

PINSTACK is a one-of-a-kind indoor entertainment and dining destination, hosting school groups, social groups, corporate events of all sizes since 2015.

field trips east texas


Dine, Play, Celebrate! The best field trips happen at Pinstripes, an esteemed dining and entertainment destination that offers a kids-friendly Italian-American menu and a modern spin on bocce and bowling.

FieldTripdirectory.com offers enriching experiences for Texas school groups, scout groups, homeschool groups, camp groups and families at Texas Museums.

Texas Museums offer field trips that offer hands-on exhibits, guided tours and guided activities for early childhood through high school grades. Texas Art Museums , Science Museums , History Museums , Multicultural Museums and Children’s Museums offers educational experiences that support classroom curriculum and scout badge achievement. Beside museums, you can search for other learning experiences at Botanical Gardens, Planetariums, Living History Programs, STEM & STEAM, Planetariums, Farms, Zoos and Aquariums, Theaters and Concerts, Service Learning and more.

Can’t go on a field trip to a museum, your students, scouts, and families can still experience these fun enriching experience by scheduling a  Museum Virtual Field Trip  anywhere and at anytime.

Want the fun to come to you- book a  School Assembly Programs, Outreach Field Trips or Residency  at your school, homeschool association or scout council. They support and enhance a school’s curriculum, offers opportunities for scout badge achievement and enriches a camp program. There are mobile museum exhibits, traveling planetariums and classroom and grade level workshops and residencies.

To help fund field trips, virtual programs and school assembly programs visit our section on  Grants  and  Fundraising Programs .

FieldTripDirectory.com (formerly ClassTrips.com and CampDirectorsResources.com) offers field trip ideas for class trips, scout group trips, camp group field trips, and homeschool group field trips in Texas—early childhood through college. Search for class trips in Texas by by group type, cost, activity/curriculum type, grade level, distance, and venue name or keyword. Day class trips are divided by curriculum and subject area:

  • ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT Find Texas art museums, theater, dance, and music concert field trips.
  • EARLY CHILDHOOD Find Texas class trips to children’s museums, petting zoos, and kids’ shows.
  • HISTORY/SOCIAL STUDIES View Texas history museums, government & civics, historic sites, living history museums, and multicultural field trip ideas.
  • LIFE SKILLS Find Texas team building field trips, health & safety exhibits, and character education experiences.
  • SCIENCE & NATURE Find Texas aquariums, botanical gardens, environmental studies & nature centers, farms & mazes, planetariums, science museums, STEAM & STEM field trips, dinosaur exhibits, and zoos.
  • RECREATION Find Texas field trip ideas for adventure parks, ropes courses, ziplines, boat excursions, amusement parks, waterparks, kayaking, rafting, tubing, laser tag paintball, roller skating rinks, ice-skating rinks, mini-golf attractions, indoor amusement & recreation centers, and outdoor amusement & recreation centers.

Overnight field trips include trips to NYC, trips to Boston, trips to Texas, trips to Washington, DC, trips to Chicago, trips to Atlanta, trips to Austin, and other historic cities throughout the US. Retreats are available for environmental education, team building, and recreation. We created field trip lesson plans to help teachers, scout leaders, camp counselors, and homeschool parents provide an enriching experience for their groups. We know funds for class trips are limited, so we’ve included grants for field trips that cover admission, transportation, and more. It’s important that students and youth explore new environments, learn about other cultures, and develop an understanding of inclusivity as part of the educational process. People learn in different ways—through hearing, seeing, touching, talking, or doing. Class trips can provide a multi-dimensional learning experience. FieldTripDirectory.com can help you find the right trip for your group. A world of experiences is just a click away at FieldTripDirectory.com.

Discover Texas

How to Find GREAT Field Trips!

field trips east texas

Whether you’re new to the Discover Texas adventure or have been with us for a while, you may not have noticed how easy we make it to plan fun and educational trips with your family.

If you look over in the right sidebar of the blog section, you’ll see where all of our blog posts are archived in categories. See where it says “Field Trips”? In our early days, that was a catch-all for all the field trip ideas that make their way onto this blog…and it still is. BUT…

…for several years now we’ve had SUBCATEGORIES for each REGION!

That means if you live in the Texas Panhandle and wonder what’s nearby, or if you live on the Central Prairies but are planning a trip to the Coastal Plains this summer (beach, anyone?), you can click to find field trip options in your area.

You can download our Family Field Trip Guide as a pdf file to save or print for easy reference. It contains ALL the field trips contained in the entire Discover Texas curriculum, arranged by region for your convenience. Great to have handy!

You’re welcome! 🙂

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Texas Field Trips

Field trips are a great way to reboot a bad homeschooling week, get out of the house when everyone has cabin fever, and learn about your local area. Before heading out, check out Jeanne's tips for improving homeschool field trips .

Texas Homeschool Field Trips

Our listing of Texas field trips for homeschoolers is ordered alphabetically by city. If you would like to submit a Texas field trip destination, you may do so using the red button above.

We offer a safe and imaginative kids indoor play area for the simple reason that it is fun for children. The evidence supporting the significant developmental benefits of open and pretend play for young children continues to be added to by comprehensive research in the field of child development and educational psychology. We offer a new way for parents to lessen the amount of screen time for their children. We offer group rates for homeschool students.

Imagination CIty website

( Update this listing )

The Grace Museum houses three museum in the historic Hotel Grace -- an art museum featuring five gallery spaces, a historical museum and a state-of-the-art children's museum.

The Grace Museum website

Bring a new meaning to the wild wild west and take your kids on an adventure to the only zoo in West Texas! We'll be sure to inspire the future conservationist in your students with the wonder and amazement of the Abilene Zoo.

Abilene Zoo website

The American Fallen Soldiers National Gallery, a place of peace, comfort and patriotism to all Veterans, family members and civilians alike. The Gallery also serves as a place of inspiration and education for returning soldiers, civic groups and educational institutions. We provide a comforting place of peace, remembrance and healing while honoring the service and sacrifice of our nation's heroes. Each portrait tells the stories of the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice protecting our freedoms. Tours recommended for 4th grade and up . Admission is free and donations are welcome.

The American Fallen Soldiers Project National Gallery website

Sometimes considered "three park in one," Big Bend includes mountain, desert, and river environments. An hour's drive can take you from the banks of the Rio Grande to a mountain basin nearly a mile high. Here, you can explore one of the last remaining wild corners of the United States, and experience unmatched sights, sounds, and solitude.

Big Bend National Park website

The purpose of the Amarillo Museum of Art (AMoA) is to provide quality visual arts programming to the residents of the Texas Panhandle, eastern New Mexico, and western Oklahoma through collections, temporary exhibitions representing a variety of media and periods, educational programming, preservation and research.

Amarillo Museum of Art website

Experience 19-century life as an early Texas stagecoach stop and family home. Activities: Attractions include tours of the historic Fanthorp Inn and rides on the authentic replica of an 1850 Concord stagecoach.

Fanthorp Inn State Historic Site website

Groups of 10 or more can explore the River Legacy Nature Center with a self-guided group visit including an interactive exhibit about the Trinity River ecosystem. The Homeschool/Multi-age Group program is a native animal exploration presented by a Naturalist. Visits are by appointment and have a small per person fee. The Discovery Trail offers a self-guided walk through the woods with a map explaining eleven posts highlighting the sights and sounds of the trail. The atrium area hosts live and taxidermy animals native to the Trinity River ecosystem. Please see the website for more information.

River Legacy Nature Center website

Activities: The park offers swimming in a designated sandy beach area (no lifeguard on duty) on Wright Patman Lake, a nature trail and a hiking trail of five miles, water skiing, boating (canoe rentals are available at the park), and fishing. Wright Patman Lake is also a popular fishing spot. The reservoir covers 20,300 acres and has an average depth of 7.6 feet. There are 170 miles of shoreline. On shore, the activities include walking, nature study, hiking, camping, picnicking, or jogging along roads, trails or shorelines. Bicycling is popular along the hilly park and area roads.

Atlanta State Park website

With two locations to welcome our city and its visitors, the Austin Museum of Art presents an array of art experiences in the fun, informal, and collaborative spirit of Austin. As a community-oriented museum, we reflect the character and vibrancy of our city. We're Austin's Museum of Art!

Austin Museum of Art website

Women & Their Work offers tours that include an art-making workshop with materials provided. As a non-profit gallery, we have provided the Austin area the opportunity to connect with contemporary art for over 40 years, with a particular focus on Texas-based women artists. Education has been a long-standing pillar of the gallery, and we would love to have your students visit us this school year. Admission is free, and we have funding to provide transportation by bus for your students. Tours are typically one hour and are available Monday to Friday from 10 to 6. Our tours are open to all ages.

Women & Their Work website

The Escape Game Austin is a live 60-minute adventure. You and your team will select your challenge and will have one hour to complete your mission and escape. This experience is perfect for developing problem-solving skills, and it is also a great team building activity. The Escape Game is recommended for ages 13 and up, though all ages are welcome (14 and younger must be accompanied by an adult).

The Escape Game Austin website

Come see animals from all around the world! Warren Wildlife Gallery is a natural history museum that allows viewers to experience a rare approach to wildlife. From all around the world, this collection acknowledges more than 700 mammals and over 1,200 exotic birds. It includes pieces from Teddy Roosevelt's 1909 safari expedition revealing a glimpse into his pioneer efforts towards conservation. The Warren Wildlife Gallery will leave you with knowledge of these exotic animals from all over the world.

Warren Wildlife Gallery website

The Neill-Cochran House is considered to be one of Austin's three most important historic residences. Built in 1855 as a suburban estate, this impressive Greek Revival house has survived war, neglect, and the immense growth of the University of Texas area and the capital city.

Neill-Cochran House Museum website

The Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum features sculpture by 20th century American sculptor Charles Umlauf and other contemporary sculptors, several of whom were Umlauf students at the University of Texas.

Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum website

The park is named for Thomas F. McKinney, who came to Texas in the early 1820s as one of Stephen F. Austin's first 300 colonists. Sometime between 1850 and 1852, McKinney moved to Travis County and his property on Onion Creek, where he became a prominent breeder of race horses with his own stable and private track. He built his large two-story home, stone fences, and the first flour mill in the area with slave labor. View a larger version of this image. Activities: Preserved in the park are the ruins of his trainer's cabin and the stabilized ruins of his own homestead. Information on Thomas F. McKinney and the history of the park's land use is interpreted in the Smith Visitor Center. Camping, hiking, mountain biking, road biking, picnicking, fishing, and wildlife observation are other activities. Swimming is now allowed in Onion Creek; call 512/243-1643 for current creek conditions.

McKinney Falls State Park website

Tucked away in the rugged terrain southwest of Bandera is Hill Country State Natural Area, an undeveloped and secluded retreat. Approximately 40 miles of multi-use trails wind up grassy valleys, cross spring-fed streams, and climb steep limestone hills. Equestrians, hikers and mountain bikers can enjoy exploring the trails. Primitive and backcountry camping areas are available to equestrian and non-equestrian campers. Activities: Recreational activity centers around 40 miles of designated, multi-use trails. The park offers a backcountry setting for activities such as primitive camping, backpacking, mountain biking, hiking, horseback riding, equestrian camping, flora and fauna observation, and limited swimming and fishing (3 designated swimming areas are on West Verde Creek. Moderate fishing opportunities for catfish, perch, and large-mouth bass.

Hill Country State Natural Area website

Activities: The park provides opportunities for backpacking, camping, picnicking, canoeing (park rents canoes), swimming (pool), golfing, wildlife viewing, hiking, and interpretive programs. Biking - Whether you are a beginner or an expert rider, you will find what you are looking for on Park Road 1C between Bastrop and Buescher State park. Enjoy the 12 mile scenic ride through the Lost Pines of East Central Texas. This roller coaster ride is part of the MS-150 (famed bike race from Houston to Austin.).

Bastrop State Park website

The island is 38 miles long and varies in width from less than a mile to about four and a half miles. The island supports a wide variety of migratory birds, some 19 state or federally listed threatened or endangered species, a large herd of white-tailed deer, alligators and other wildlife. Activities include salt-water fishing, hunting (in season), birding, picnicking and historical interpretation. A lighthouse dating from 1852 still stands at the north end of the island. Matagorda Island is known for its seclusion and untouched natural beauty.

Matagorda Island (WMA) website

The Beaumont Children's Museum is a steam base museum, meaning science, technology, engineering, and math.

Beaumont Childrens Museum website

The McFaddin-Ward House was built in 1905-06 in the striking and distinctive Beaux-Arts Colonial style. The structure and its furnishings reflect the lifestyle of the prominent family who lived in the house for seventy-five years. Today, visitors to the house receive guided tours of three lavishly furnished floors in the home. Trained guides combine family stories and local history with information about the house and its furnishings to tell the story of the McFaddin family and the era 1906-1950.

McFaddin-Ward House Visitor Center website

Activities: The park currently offers the outdoor enthusiast access to primitive camping, hiking, fishing, which at certain times is terrific, swimming, mountain biking, birding, and nature watching, and guided tours. The park has 15.8 miles of hiking trails and 14 miles of mountain bike trails. When Lake Buchanan is near normal levels, the river is navigable from the park's boat ramp all the way to the lake, approximately 10 miles. This is a trip on slow moving water through the beautiful canyon lands of the Colorado.

Colorado Bend State Park website

A River Wilderness - The Rio Grande flows from its headwaters in the San Juan Mountains of southern Colorado for 1,865 miles to the Gulf of Mexico near Brownsville, Texas. For 1,250 miles, the Rio Grande is the boundary between the United States and Mexico. In a remote stretch in west Texas, the river makes a curve to the northeast to form the "big bend." It is here that the wild character of the river lives on.

Rio Grande Wild & Scenic River website

Comanches and earlier Indian groups frequently visited the park area in the past, probably attracted by the permanent source of spring water. Spaniards may have first visited the area as early as 1768. However, the first recorded mention of the spring is from an October 3, 1849 entry in the journal of Captain R. B. Marcy of the U. S. Cavalry on his return excursion from Santa Fe, New Mexico to Fort Smith, Arkansas. Other visitors to the park and spring include cattle drovers, and immigrants moving to new territories, as can be seen by carvings they left behind (circa 1917, turn of the century). Today the City of Big Spring occupies the area and is involved in several businesses such as agriculture, tourism, and the refining of petroleum. Activities: Dramatic views off of the 200-foot bluff and from the CCC-built loop road is one of the featured attractions of the 382-acre park. Early morning or sunset, joggers, walkers, and cyclists circle the loop, enjoying these views as they exercise. An elaborate Fourth of July fireworks display is one of the largest in the region. Other activities include picnicking, nature study, and sightseeing.

Big Spring State Park website

The park area was used as a campsite by early explorers and settlers. A spring in the park made the location ideal when the river was dry. Activities: Activities include camping; swimming; picnicking; hiking; nature study; boating (electric motors only); and fishing. Tube, canoe and kayak rentals are available at the park. Annual Events: Blanco Classic Car Show - 3rd Saturday in May.

Blanco State Park website

Hidden in the hills northeast of Boerne lies a true Texas marvel, the Cave Without A Name. Your tour begins on a stairwell spiraling down the original sinkhole opening. Emerge into an expansive chamber that sets the pace for the adventure ahead. Spend an hour experiencing the diversity of natures artistic creations. Six major rooms offer sparkling crystalline formations that will evoke your imagination. End with the sights and sounds of a clear subterranean brook. Bring your camera to explore this true Texas marvel. Experience a guided tour of our six major rooms. Explore the unique gift shop and pan for gems and fossils. The Cave without A Name is dedicated to education and preservation. Experienced guides take you on a tour, which is both entertaining and educational for visitors of all ages.

The Cave Without A Name website

Activities: There is (unsupervised) swimming and fishing in the man-made lake, built in 1935, as well as camping, picnicking, mountain biking, boating (5 mph speed limit).

Bonham State Park website

The park is currently in an undeveloped state. The park is currently open by guided tour only. Access to the park is available through guided bird walks, wild cave tours, and evening bat flights on specified tour dates throughout the spring and summer. Activities: Interesting features of the park include 15 known caves, two of which are large enough to be significant. Kickapoo Cavern is approximately one-quarter mile in length (1400'). It boasts some impressive formations and can be toured by special arrangement. Stuart Bat Cave (formally Green Cave), slightly shorter than Kickapoo at 1068', serves as a migratory stopover for large numbers of Brazilian Freetail Bats from mid-March to about the end of October. Bat flights are often spectacular, and observations are available on the same basis as Kickapoo Cavern tours. Birding opportunities abound in this area. Park facilities include 14 miles of mountain biking trails, and 18 miles of undesignated hiking & birding trails.

Kickapoo Cavern State Park website

On May 8, 1846 troops of the United States and Mexico clashed on the prairie of Palo Alto. The battle was the first in a two-year long conflict that changed the map of North America. The website offers historical information about the park for those who cannot visit in person.

Palo Alto Battlefield National Historic Site website

The vaults of Market Square house one of the largest South Texas photograph collections in the Rio Grande Valley. Additionally, the archives are home to numerous documents include the Frank Cushman Piece Papers and the A.A. Champion Collection. The collections houses fine art, historical costumes, furniture, sculpture, and the extensive Backal art collection. Artists include Frederic Remington, Charles M. Russell, Armando Garcia Nunez, and Carlos Romero Orozco.

Market Square Research Center website

This State Park boasts the largest tract of native habitat in the World Birding Center network.

Resaca de la Palma State Park website

Brownsville Heritage Museum portrays visual images of the historical evolution of the city and surrounding regions from discovery and exploration up to the first half of the 20th Century. The photographs, maps, costumes, and artifacts provide a unique perspective on various aspects of Brownsville life, ranging from street scenes and education to transportation and ranching. The museum opened in 2002 and was reinterpreted in 2009 with hands-on interactive displays. The Heritage Museum also houses La Tienda Gift Shop and the administrative offices of Brownsville Historical Association. The Brownsville Heritage Museum hosts numerous presentations, musical performances, and book signings throughout the year.

Brownsville Heritage Museum website

Surrounded by a black metal fence, the Stillman House Museum is among the oldest surviving structures in Brownsville. The house seen today is the result of additions made by the Trevino family during their time in the house. The original windows, shutters and doors are still in place and the breezy courtyards enjoyed by the Stillman and Trevino families still offer a respite from the hot Texas sun.

Stillman House Museum website

The mission of the Old City Cemetery Center is to advance lifelong learning opportunities about the history, architecture, art, genealogy and folk art customs of the Brownsville Historic City Cemetery and the surrounding Buena Vida Neighborhood through exhibitions, cultural events, and educational programs.

Old City Cemetery Center website

The Chocolate Gallery in Downtown Bryan is a popular destination for tours and school field trips. The Chocolate Gallery offers tours for elementary (ages 5=), middle school, and high school. The cost is $6.00 per student (no charge for teachers and teacher's aides) Parent chaperons will be charged $6.00 each. The tours and field trips consist of a short video on how chocolate is made, as well as, a hands-on presentation about chocolate and candy making. Tours last approximately 1 hour. Upon request, the Chocolate lecture can focus on how chocolate relates to current subjects of study.

The Chocolate Gallery of B/CS website

The mission of The Children's Museum of the Brazos Valleyis to provide a child-centered, hands-on, interactive environment for discovery and learning for children.

The Children's Museum of the Brazos Valley website

The Brazos Valley Museum hosts tours, lectures and classes. Educational programs for children include Nature Camps (held every spring/winter break, and summer), Game Day Learn & Play programs (held during every Aggie home football game), Birthday Parties, and school field trips (or if your school is in the area, have us come visit you!). Discovery Kits are available to teachers, home schoolers, scouts and others for their own use. We provide guides to the adjacent Carter's Creek Nature Trail, picnic area, and restored wildlife habitats.

Brazos Valley Museum of Natural History website

Inks Lake State Park is 1201 acres of recreational facilities adjacent to Inks Lake on the Colorado River in Burnet County. The park area has been used for cattle ranching since the mid-1800s. Activities: Visitors enjoy camping, backpacking, hiking, and golf. Since Inks is a constant level lake, droughts do not affect water-related activities such as lake swimming (unsupervised beach), boating, water skiing, scuba diving, and fishing.

Inks Lake State Park website

The cave was first formed when the ground levels of water began to drop. As this downward movement occurred, the water began to dissolve the limestone. This downward drainage continued until great underground stream beds were cut out of solid rock. It is this unusual combination of dissolving and cutting by water that makes Longhorn Cavern one of the most unique caves of the world. The cave has been used as a shelter since prehistoric times. Among legends about the cave is one that the outlaw Sam Bass hid a $2 million cache of stolen money inside. Confederates made gunpowder in the cave during the Civil War. Legend also says Texas Rangers rescued a kidnapped girl from Indians in the cave. Activities: The park features historical and nature study. Located in the heart of the Highland Lakes, Longhorn Cavern is near four different lakes and communities that offer excellent opportunities in camping, fishing, and hunting.

Longhorn Cavern State Park website

Activities: Activities include camping, picnicking, lake swimming, fishing, hiking, biking, nature study, boating, and water skiing.

Possum Kingdom State Park website

From scant evidence available, we know that Paleo Indians crossed the Frio River Valley more than 10,000 years ago following game such as bison and mammoth. After the disappearance of large game, more than 8000 years ago, nomadic hunters and gatherers associated with the archaic culture camped near the river making tools, building fires, processing, and gathering food. Numerous Archaic sites in the Choke Canyon area have been recorded. Activities: The South Shore Unit is a day-use only park (6 a.m.-10 p.m.) and offers boating, fishing, picnicking, wildlife viewing and birding. The Calliham Unit offers camping, picnicking, boating, hiking, wildlife viewing, birding, fishing, lake beach and softball and volleyball areas. Seasonal guided bird walks are conducted on scheduled days. Day use equestrian is allowed in the North Shore Equestrian Area on Saturday's and Sunday's.

Choke Canyon State Park website

Welcome to the "Grand Canyon of Texas" ! Activities: Park activities include camping, horseback riding, hiking, nature study, bird watching, mountain biking, and scenic drives. While in the park, stop by and enjoy our Visitor Center located on the Canyon Rim. This rustic native stone building was constructed by the CCC in 1934 and houses a Museum and Museum Store. The store is located in the Visitor Center and features books, potter, jewelry, and educational items pertaining to the Canyon.

Palo Duro Canyon State Park website

At Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center, the ecosystems of east, west and central Texas converge, making the canyon an ideal location for teaching and learning about environmental science and nature. Hiking trails, native plants, birds, insects, wildlife, Nature Play area, picnic tables, bird blind w/rain catchment system, indoor bird viewing area, store w/educational materials, special events, programs. Free general admission (donations accepted.)

Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center website

Activities: Camping - Features 355 mostly wooded campsites with a shade shelter over some of the picnic tables. Each site has water, electricity, a fire-ring, a lantern pole, and a picnic table. All campsites are within walking distance of restrooms with hot showers. Additionally, there are 30 primitive campsites. Penn Farm Agricultural History Center pays tribute to the disappearing Texas' family farm and affords a glimpse into agrarian history as farm machinery took the place of the horse and mule almost a century ago. The Farm is open 7 days a week to self-guided tours. There are reconstructed and historic buildings from the mid 1800s through the mid 1900s. The Penn Farm has a very relaxing atmosphere and is perfect for family walks. Self-guided and guided tours are available. Special tours can be set-up for school groups or other groups. Call 972-291-5940 for more information

Cedar Hill State Park website

Activities: Swimming, fishing, hiking and mountain biking is allowed. There is a boat ramp and the lake (approximately 15 acres) is open to small boats, canoes, kayaks, etc.

Fort Boggy State Park website

Activities: Cleburne State Park mountain bike trails offer 5.5 miles of beautiful scenery with a variety of challenges for all experience levels. The terrain on the trail is as diverse as the hills. You will experience treacherous downhills, fast smooth flats, and everything in between. The technical and wooded trails form an entire loop that has made this trail one of the favorites for mountain bikers in training or those who enjoy a challenging ride. The trail will test your skills and endurance and is well worth your time! Fishing and boating the clear blue waters of Cedar Lake is a wonderful way to spend the day with your family.

Cleburne State Park website

The Chisholm Trail Outdoor Museum sits on the Chisholm Trail which was a trail used in the late 19th century to drive cattle overland. The museum includes a life size cattle drive silhouettes, Johnson County's original courthouse, a working blacksmith shop, a stagecoach station, teepees and more.

Chisholm Trail Outdoor Museum website

The 69,000-square-foot library and museum is dedicated to the preservation, research and exhibit of official records, personal papers and memorabilia from the life and career of George H.W. Bush. Every presidential library has items unique to the presidency. Here you'll find a replica of Bush's Camp David office and his Air Force One office.

The Museum at the George Bush Presidential Library website

Reconnecting mankind with nature with hands-on teaching of ancient Native American skills of nature awareness and primitive wilderness survival.

Camp Tonkawa Outdoor Learning Center website

Activities: Activities include picnicking, camping, fishing, and lake swimming (unsupervised). Containing more than five miles of shoreline, the 500 acres of park land afford numerous outdoor activities for lake swimmers, fisherman, skiers, jet-skiers, campers, hikers, and naturalists. Park visitors of all ages enjoy seeing part of the Texas Longhorn herd.

Lake Colorado City State Park website

Activities: Hiking, mountain biking, camping, historical study, and nature/interpretive attractions are enjoyed. Fate Bell Shelter, in the canyon, contains some of North America's oldest Indian pictographs and is one of the oldest cave dwellings in North America. Note: No hiking is allowed in the canyon area without a guide

Seminole Canyon State Park & Historic Site website

Activities: Hundreds of thousands of visitors flock here each year to enjoy its matchless vacation facilities. They swim in the clear waters of the Frio River, scoot its rapids on inner tubes, rent pedal boats, and hike its fascinating nature trails. On long summer evenings, young folks (and the young at heart) meet at the concession building for jukebox dancing every night during the summer season. Nearby is a miniature golf course, which is lighted for nighttime playing. Meals and snacks are served in the concession building, though many families prefer to take advantage of the many camping sites and do their own cooking. A limited number of cabins are available for rent. The park offers camping, hiking, nature study, picnicking, canoeing, fishing, swimming in the Frio River (unsupervised), seasonal miniature golf, paddle boat and kayak rentals (mid-March through Labor Day weekend), bike riding (surfaced).

Garner State Park website

Activities: Features include camping, fishing, water skiing, picnicking, boating, unsupervised swimming, bird watching, nature study, fun and educational nature programs and tours. The South Sulphur Unit offers equestrian camping and horseback riding trails.

Cooper Lake State Park website

The Texas State Aquarium is a nonprofit aquarium located in Corpus Christi, Texas, United States. The mission of the Texas State Aquarium is to engage people with animals, inspire appreciation for our seas, and support wildlife conservation. It has been accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums since 1995.

Texas State Aquarium website

The permanent collection of the Art Museum of South Texas contains more than 1,300 works of art in the media of painting, sculpture, prints, drawings, collages, mixed media, ceramics, and textiles. The focus of the Permanent Collection is on fine art and craft of the Americas with particular interest in Texas and surrounding states, including those in Mexico.

Art Museum of South Texas website

Padre Island National Seashore, encompassing 130,434 acres, is the longest remaining undeveloped stretch of barrier island in the world.

Padre Island National Seashore website

The earliest known inhabitants of Mustang Island were Karankawa Indians, known for their fierceness and cannibalism. The Karankawas were a hunter-gatherer people, and depended heavily on shellfish and mussels for food. Encountered first by Spanish explorers, the Karankawas survived in the region until the 19th century. The island was first named "Wild Horse Island," then "Mustang," because of the wild horses, called "Mestenos," brought to the island by the Spaniards in the 1800s. Activities: Activities include camping, picnicking, fishing, swimming, hiking and mountain biking on 5 miles of open beach, sunbathing, surfing, kayaking and excellent birding, especially during spring and fall migrations. Tours: Interpretive ecological tours done on request.

Mustang Island State Park website

The museum is divided into two distinct exhibit areas. The Civil War Gallery is an interactive experience designed to give the visitor a humanistic overview of the Civil War, including issues, causes, battles, leaders, plight of the common soldier, the home front, and the aftermath. There are currently more than 15,000 items in the Civil War collection, while less than five percent are on display at any one time. The Western Art Gallery features two- and three-dimensional works of art depicting many aspects of the historical and contemporary Western experience including cowboys, Indians, settlers, and pioneers. There are 228 works in the Western Art collection; with not quite fifty percent of those pieces on exhibit at any one time.

Pearce Museum at Navarro College website

The Chisholm Trail Heritage Museum's mission is to preserve the ranching and Western culture of South Central Texas. We welcome students from 1st grade to 12th grade. We have a small theater, interactive modules and hands-on activities along with our excellent history exhibits. The museum also has a restored one-room school house built in the 1880's by a German Association to educate German immigrants in Cuero. Our fee for school groups is $2.00 per student and teachers are free.

Chisholm Trail Heritage Museum website

Activities: The park offers picnicking; camping; boating (5 MPH speed limit); fishing; swimming in an unsupervised swimming area; hiking; and nature study. A seasonal concession (March - October) rents pedal boats and canoes. Tours may be arranged by special request. Year-round boat rentals are available.

Daingerfield State Park website

Who knew history could be so much fun? The Old Red Museum of Dallas County History & Culture sees thousands of students each year. With four galleries, four theaters, a hands-on Children's Education Center, 41 interactive computer touch screens and more than 1,000 artifacts and photos, the Old Red Museum is an exciting place to learn about regional Texas history from pre-historic times to the present day. With artifacts ranging from fossils and a mammoth tusk to J.R. Ewing's cowboy hat and the first integrated computer circuit, your students can hear the stories of their heritage from Old Red.

Old Red Museum website

Dallas Heritage Village is a living history museum portraying life in North Texas from 1840-1910. The museum is composed of 38 historic structures & boasts a working Civil War era farm, a traditional Jewish household, elegant Victorian homes, a school, a church & commercial buildings.

Dallas Heritage Village website

The Dallas Holocaust Museum does more than most history museum. Here, students not only encounter the inhumanity of the Holocaust but also realize that it was perpetrated by people just like them who turned a blind eye to the suffering of those around them. This encourages them to think through some of the most fundamental questions about human nature. We inspire students to consider the real consequences of their choices. We open minds, one student at a time. We challenge them to think critically and become UPSTANDERS.

Dallas Holocaust Museum website

The Dallas Museum of Art collects, preserves, presents, and interprets works of art of the highest quality from diverse cultures and many centuries, including that of the current time. Igniting the power of art, embracing a responsibility to engage and educating the community, to contribute to cultural knowledge, and to advance creative endeavor.

Dallas Museum of Art website

Featuring displays of art form of whimsy and joie de vivre combined with complexity and geometrics.

Museum of Geometric and MADI Art website

The Nasher Sculpture Center is one of the few institutions in the world devoted to the exhibition, study, and preservation of modern sculpture. The collection -- which numbers more than three hundred sculptures together with twentieth-century paintings and drawings -- rotate in thematic installations throughout the Center's seamless blend of indoor and outdoor exhibition spaces: an elegant, light-filled 55,000 ft2 building designed by Renzo Piano and a spacious garden created by Peter Walker.

Nasher Sculpture Center website

Embark on a memorable aviation journey - a tour of the Frontiers of Flight Museum. During your experience, you will bridge several lifetimes starting with the pioneers who realized their earliest dreams of flying; identifying with the aviators of the 20's and 30's, known as the "Golden Age of Flight"; understanding the sacrifices of the fliers of World War II; and progressing to the jet and rocket age of today.

Frontiers of Flight Museum website

The Meadows Museum is committed to the advancement of knowledge and understanding of art through the collection and interpretation of works of the greatest aesthetic and historical importance, as exemplified by the founding collection of Spanish art.

Meadows Museum website

The George Observatory, located about one hour's drive south of Houston in the attractive Brazos Bend State Park, is a satellite facility of the Houston Museum of Natural Science. The Observatory houses a Challenger Learning Center for Space Science Education, which takes participants on simulated space missions, complete with a mission control center and a spacecraft simulator. A meteorite exhibit features fragments of several famous meteorites, including a piece of the Allende, Chihuahua, Mexico carbonaceous chondrite meteorite, which fell to the Earth on Feb. 8, 1969. This is the most primitive type of meteorite known contains interstellar grains (stardust) and is believed to have formed during an explosion of a supernova/red giant star before the birth of the solar system, making it one of the oldest substances known to man.

The George Observatory website

A Borderland Paradise - Amistad NRA is the United States portion of International Amistad Reservoir, formed on the Rio Grande along the border of the US and Mexico. The reservoir is known for excellent water-based recreation and is surrounded by a landscape rich in prehistoric rock art, a vibrant border culture, along with a wide variety of plant and animal life.

Amistad National Recreation Area website

Activities: The park's large size and remoteness support day hiking, primitive camping, nature study, mountain biking, and canyon tours. Access to the river (1.5 miles) is by hiking, biking, or park tour only; no vehicle access permitted. The park is a put-in point (no take out) for canoes and kayaks. Nearest take out point is about 10 miles downriver from the Park and only outfitters are allowed to take boats out on these private lands. Lake Amistad is about 32 miles downriver from the Park, no cost to take boat out there. Catch and release fishing only. No live bait is permitted. No boats or motorized watercraft are allowed, only canoes or kayaks are allowed in the water. This is a FLASH FLOOD AREA, exercise caution. The nearest hospital is 70 miles away. Only containerized fuel fires allowed. No pets are allowed at this park.

Devils River State Natural Area website

Activities: Some of the activities include picnicking, hiking, biking, nature study, fishing, boating and boat rentals, water skiing, swimming, wildlife observation, ATV and mini bike use (OHV permit required), and a variety of camping.

Eisenhower State Park website

An indoor Nerf war facility located in Denton hosting Homeschool groups for events. The kids run around and Nerf battle under the supervision of staff refs. A great way for the kids to bond and meet new kids as well as release some energy. Contact Todd to set up a time and date for your group. 972-657-0278

The Battlefield/Nerf wars website

Explorium Denton Children's Museum is a grassroots children's museum located in Denton Texas. Our mission is to Engage. Explore. Educate. Learning through play is what we do. Nearly all of our exhibits are interactive and designed for ages 2-12 years.

Explorium Denton Childrens Museum website

Lake Texana was named for the historic town of Texana, founded in 1832, near the junction of the Navidad and Lavaca rivers downstream from the present dam site. Activities: Activities include camping; boating; water skiing; jet skiing; sailing on the main lake; canoeing; picnicking (tree-shaded tables and grills); lake swimming (no designated area or lifeguard); hiking; good birding; and fishing. Tours: Interpretive programs are available for groups by special arrangements. Summer interpretive programs are held on Saturday mornings and afternoons. Topics vary; contact the park for details.

Lake Texana State Park website

Founded in 1959, the El Paso Museum of Art (EPMA) is a major cultural and educational resource for West Texas, New Mexico, and Mexico. The Museum houses a permanent collection of over 5,000 works of art. In addition to displaying works from its holdings, the Museum offers a diverse schedule of temporary exhibitions, films, lectures, concerts, and other educational programs to the general public.

El Paso Museum of Art website

The Chamizal Convention of 1963 was a milestone in diplomatic relations between Mexico and the United States. Chamizal National Memorial was established to commemorate this treaty which resulted in the peaceful settlement of a century-long boundary dispute. The Memorial provides visitors with an opportunity to better understand the culture of our borderland.

Chamizal National Memorial website

The Wyler Aerial Tramway at Franklin Mountains State Park features an aerial cable car situated on 195.742 acres of rugged mountain and rock formations on the east side of the Franklin Mountains.

Wyler Aerial Tramway website

Activities: Two hiking trails are currently accessible off of Loop 375/Trans-Mountain Road. Work is underway for a trail network that will ultimately offer over a 100-mile system. Rock climbing is just one of the park's newest recreational activities. With established climbing areas in McKelligon Canyon.

Franklin Mountains State Park website

Activities: Activities include camping, picnicking, fishing, boating, and hiking. The park rents paddle boats, kayaks and canoes. Tours: Please check the Calendar of Events for Interpretive programs and tours. Special programs are given for groups upon request.

Purtis Creek State Park website

Activities: Activities include camping, backpacking, hiking, day use equestrian, nature study, bird watching, boating on this 2400-acre lake, water skiing, jet skiing, fishing, and lake swimming in a large, buoyed, sandy area.

Fairfield Lake State Park website

Falcon Dam was dedicated by Mexican President Adolfo Ruiz Cortines and President Dwight D. Eisenhower in October 1953. The waters of the Rio Grande River have formed a beautiful 60-mile-long lake behind the dam. This dam was built for conservation, irrigation, power, flood control, and recreational purposes. Activities: The park features camping, swimming, fishing, water skiing, and boating. There is a 1-mile, self-guided nature trail

Falcon State Park website

Fort Davis: Frontier Post - Fort Davis is one of the best surviving examples of an Indian Wars' frontier military post in the Southwest. From 1854 to 1891, Fort Davis was strategically located to protect emigrants, mail coaches, and freight wagons on the Trans-Pecos portion of the San Antonio-El Paso Road and on the Chihuahua Trail.

Fort Davis National Historic Site website

Activities: Rest, relaxation, good food, swimming, mountain biking and hiking are among the activities the Lodge has to offer. There are foot-trails into the mountains that cross Davis Mountains State Park and a scenic trail to the Fort Davis National Historic Site. A swimming pool is available for registered Lodge guests.

Indian Lodge website

Activities include camping, sightseeing, nature study, picnicking, hiking, backpacking, day and overnight equestrian use, mountain biking, and interpretive programs. Attractions include scenic drives, two scenic overlooks, and 4 miles of hiking trails connecting with Fort Davis National Historic Site. Stargazing after closed hours on Skyline Drive is allowed; registration required at headquarters - activity fee applies.

Davis Mountains State Park website

The Museum Today... Since its dedication in 1989, the U.S. Army Medical Department Museum has continued to enhance its reputation as one of the most outstanding facilities of its kind in the world as an ideal venue for the restoration, preservation and exhibition of significant historic medical items. Military medical artifacts and memorabilia are proudly displayed in an environment that blends visualization of history with the appropriate presentation of the Army's contributions to medicine during times of both war and peace.

U.S. Army Medical Museum website

SeaQuest is an interactive zoo and aquarium that believes the best way to educate children is through hands-on learning. Tailored for homeschooling families seeking both educational and entertaining outings, our field trips blend learning with the joy of connecting with like-minded peers. During your guided tour students will learn fun facts and interact with animals from around the planet. Mark your calendar for our exclusive homeschool field trips, happening on the 1st and 3rd Monday of each month. For groups of 25 or more, you can schedule your visit at a time that best suits your group's needs.

SeaQuest Ft. Worth website

The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth is dedicated to collecting, presenting, and interpreting international developments in post--World War II art in all media and creating a welcoming environment for its public appreciation. The Modern promotes understanding and interest in art and artists through curatorial research and publications, and a variety of educational programs, including lectures, guided tours, classes, and workshops.

Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth website

The Kimbell Art Museum is widely regarded as one of the most outstanding architectural achievements of the modern era. Designed by the American architect Louis I. Kahn (1901--1974), the Museum has won wide acclaim for its classic modern building since its opening in 1972. A small collection of less than 350 works, the Kimbell Art Museum has become a byword for quality and importance at the highest level. The Museum's holdings range in period from antiquity to the 20th century, including European masterpieces from Fra Angelico and Caravaggio to Cezanne and Matisse, and important collections of Egyptian, Near Eastern, Greek, and Roman antiquities, as well as Asian, Mesoamerican, and African arts.

Kimbell Art Museum website

Make connections in BRIT's living laboratory and the Fort Worth Botanic Garden with this custom experience for homeschoolers. Learners from K-2nd and 3rd-5th will engage in meaningful explorations in the soil lab, herbarium, and urban prairie in the morning and then explore the Fort Worth Botanic Garden in the afternoon.

Botanical Research Institute of Texas (BRIT) website

Historic Fort Worth, Inc., a preservation charity, owns and restores Fort Worth's first and second landmarks, Thistle Hill (1904) and McFarland House (1899). Collectively, these two cattle baron mansions function as tangible storybooks on local architecture, architects, decorative arts, cultural history and heirloom gardening. Students ages 8 through 18 may be guided through each property at a group tour rate, and they can make and design buildings for a city they create.

Thistle Hill & McFarland House website

The Fort Worth Aviation Museum (formerly the Veterans Memorial Air Park) (FWAM) is a group of organizations dedicated to preserving and promoting the history of aviation in Fort Worth, the North Texas region, and around the world. The aircraft collection consists of twenty-one warbirds dating from 1943 to the present.

Fort Worth Aviation Museum website

The American Airlines C.R. Smith Museum preserves the history of American Airlines and interprets the air transportation industry. Through its activities, the museum serves active and retired and interested members of the general public. Because of the museum's commitment to education, its exhibits stress hands-on learning through hands-on displays. The museum collects artifacts and archival materials that are suitable for its educational and exhibit programs.

American Airlines C.R. Smith Museum website

The museum spans 2 hangars and has exhibit collections with items from WW1 thru the Vietnam War. The aircraft hangars house a large variety of vintage aircraft, some of which are extremely rare. Many of the aircraft are in flying condition and visitors can watch how aircraft are maintained and operated. The museum also has an extensive collection of piston and jet engines. The museum offers individualized tours and aviation related science activities and experiments by pre-arrangement. The museum has Jackie Cochran's last aircraft and an exhibit on her as well as the WASP program.

The Vintage Flying Museum website

Preserve and perpetuate the history and heritage of Forward Air Controllers, both ground and airborne, of all eras and countries through educational programs and displays.

Forward Air Controller Museum website

The Amon Carter Museum was established through the generosity of Amon G. Carter Sr. (1879--1955) to house his collection of paintings and sculpture by Frederic Remington and Charles M. Russell; to collect, preserve, and exhibit the finest examples of American art; and to serve an educational role through exhibitions, publications, and programs devoted to the study of American art.

Amon Carter Museum website

The National Museum of the Pacific War is dedicated to perpetuating the memory of the Pacific Theater of WWII in order that the sacrifices of those who contributed to our victory may never be forgotten.

National Museum of the Pacific War website

Enchanted Rock was designated a National Natural Landmark in 1970 and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984. The Rock is a huge, pink granite exfoliation dome, that rises 425 feet above ground, 1825 feet above sea level, and covers 640 acres. It is one of the largest batholiths (underground rock formation uncovered by erosion) in the United States. Tonkawa Indians believed ghost fires flickered at the top, and they heard weird creaking and groaning, which geologists now say resulted from the rock's heating by day and contracting in the cool night. A conquistador captured by the Tonkawa described how he escaped by losing himself in the rock area, giving rise to an Indian legend of a "pale man swallowed by a rock and reborn as one of their own." Activities: Visitors can enjoy primitive backpacking, camping, hiking, technical and rock climbing, picnicking, geological study, bird watching, and star gazing (minimal light pollution). Remember, at Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, do not disturb plant or animal life, geological features, or Indian or historical artifacts. These park resources are protected by law! Bring your own firewood. Rock climbers must check in at headquarters; route maps and climbing rules available.

Enchanted Rock State Natural Area website

Pump It Up is a fun venue for birthday parties, field trips and free play. On weekdays, they offer 2 hour bounce sessions in their facilities. They have 2 Arenas filled with bounce houses. They don't offer any food, but there is a water fountain and a vending machine with Coke products. If you would like to rent out the space for a larger group (15 kids or more) you can call to book a field trip to ensure private play. You will need to check the open jump hours on the website, you can book online or walk-in.

Pump It Up website

Alibates - Imagine yourself standing where an ancient civilization once lived, surrounded by colorful flint that was used to make weapons and tools. Alibates flint is a multi-colored stone with the ability to hold a sharp edge. Alibates flint was highly prized and traded throughout much of North America.

Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument website

Lake Meredith - Contrasting spectacularly with its surroundings, Lake Meredith lies on the dry and windswept High Plains of the Texas Panhandle. Dramatic 200 foot canyons carved by the Canadian River surround this 10,000-acre reservoir. The lake was created to supply water for 11 Panhandle cities and to create recreational opportunities such as fishing, boating, waterskiing, sailing, sail-boarding, scuba diving, and swimming. The backcountry surrounding the lake provides areas for hunting, camping, horseback riding, wildlife viewing and hiking.

Lake Meredith National Recreation Area website

Climb aboard a 110 foot floating classroom the Baysmart Express. A 3-HOUR S.T.E.M. to STERN field trip starts at Sea Star Base Galveston on Offatts Bayou and leads out into the Intracoastal Waterway, past a national wildlife sanctuary. Continue through Pelican's Cut into the Texas City and Houston Ship Channels. Topics include the History of Galveston, the value of the Maritime Industry, the Economic Impact of Hurricanes, Nautical Vocabulary, Inland Navigation, the U.S. Buoy System, Shore Birds and Marine Life, the Archimedes Principle and Buoyancy, and Galveston Bay's watershed.

Sea Star Base Galveston website

With both beach and bay sides, Galveston Island State Park offers activities for every coast lover. You can swim, fish, picnic, bird watch, hike, mountain bike, paddle, camp, geocache, study nature or just relax! Visit our nature center to learn more about the park and its programs.

Galveston Island State Park website

Visitors board the retired jackup drilling rig and view a video about the offshore industry. The museum features three floors of models and interactive displays illustrating the story of offshore oil and gas from seismic technology to exploration and production. Scale models of production platforms, actual drill bits and remotely-operated vehicles (ROVs) as well as videos and exhibits explain drilling, geology, seismic, well servicing and production.

Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig and Museum website

Rock climbing at HAPIK does not require experience. It is safe, fun and accessible to everyone. Field Trips at HAPIK are exciting and create unique memories. How often do you climb to 26ft? We can accommodate small groups (10+) to 150 people (depending on locations). We can even make your event private. We have a versatile seating area that can be used for snacks and drinks or meetings.

Hapik website

Sweet Eats field trips are fun and educational. Your group will be taken on a guided tour of the farm. Students will learn about the peaches trees, the strawberry field, the petting zoo animals, and many other things around the farm. Most groups bring a sack lunch and enjoy it at the numerous picnic tables and then stay for some free time to play. Hosting Homeschool Days once a month at the farm.

Sweet Eats Fruit Farm website

Welcome to an adventure! Secluded cabins, century old guesthouses, Main Lodge, even a restored Santa Fe Railroad Car or an authentic Airstream Land Yacht. 40 wooded acres on the Paluxy River with a river walk to the historic downtown square. We are a country inn on the Paluxy River in Glen Rose TX. BUT you don't have to stay the night or rent cabins! We have homeschool groups that come down from Fort Worth or surrounding areas just to spend 1/2 day or so. They can fish/swim at Big Rocks Park, feed and brush our barnyard animals (goats, horses, donkeys, baby bunnies, pigs etc), have a picnic, explore our walking trails (sometimes find fossils!), all kinds of fun stuff!

Country Woods Inn website

Activities: Dinosaur Valley State Park contains some of the best preserved dinosaur tracks in the world. The dinosaur tracks are located in the riverbed, so please call ahead to check on river conditions. There are two fiberglass models; a 70-foot Apatosaurus and a 45-foot Tyrannosaurus Rex. They were built, under commission of the Sinclair Oil Company, New York World's Fair Dinosaur Exhibit of 1964 - 1965. Other activities include camping, picnicking, hiking, mountain biking, Equestrian use in a separate 100-acre area (no horses furnished), river swimming and fishing, and wildlife observation.

Dinosaur Valley State Park website

A wonderful opportunity to experience a blending of natural and cultural resources awaits visitors to Goliad State Park. Situated within three ecological zones and located on the San Antonio River, the park offers a variety of flora and fauna blending with tangible remains of Texas history and culture. The park serves as a hub for visiting the Mission Espiritu Santo State Historic Site (located in the park), the Presidio La Bahia, the Ignacio Zaragoza Birthplace State Historic Site, Fannin Battleground State Historic Site, the Goliad Historic District, and Mission Rosario State Historic Site. Surrounding ranches and oil fields remind visitors of the role the area played in the unfolding of Texas' history and economy. The park offers outstanding recreational activities and facilities.Activities: Activities include camping, picnicking, hiking, fishing, boating (no ramps provided for river access), swimming (a junior olympic swimming pool, operated by the City of Goliad is across from the park), nature study, and historical study. The park is a take-out point for the Goliad Paddling Trail.

Goliad State Park & Historic Site website

Goliad is one of the few places in North America where you can visit both an 18th century Spanish-Colonial mission and presidio (fort) complex, to understand the roles of the Catholic Church and the Spanish military in settling the New World.

Goliad Area Historic Sites website

Palmetto State Park, 270.3 acres, named for the tropical Dwarf Palmetto plant found there, is located in Gonzales County, northwest of Gonzales and southeast of Luling. Activities: Activities include camping, picnicking, hiking, fishing, birding, nature study, pedal boat and canoe rentals, swimming, tubing, and canoeing.

Palmetto State Park website

All ages (2 & up). STEAM Programming, bowling, laser tag, gravity ropes, arcade and virtual reality. Snack bar and restaurant for meals. Daytime group packages for schools and home school groups.

Main Event Grand Prairie website

Activities: Activities include camping; picnicking; hiking; and fishing. A pond located near the picnic area offers an excellent opportunity to explore aquatic life and fish. Hiking and nature trails provide access to the natural beauty of the east Texas Pineywoods. The dogwood are beautiful the last week or so of March, usually around the 25th. Tours: School tours of the two historic structures can be arranged by calling the park headquarters in advance.

Mission Tejas State Park website

Activities: Activities include historical study and picnicking. Visitors can explore cabins, climb the blockhouse, and recapture the atmosphere of that fateful spring day in 1836.

Old Fort Parker website

The MFAH presents a host of exciting, engaging, and educational programs and resources for children, adults, educators, and students to learn about and enjoy art. Opportunities are available both at the MFAH and throughout the community.

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston website

The John P. McGovern Museum of Health & Medical Science, also known as The Health Museum, is Houston's most interactive science learning center and a member institution of the world-renowned Texas Medical Center.

The Health Museum website

The Houston Museum of Natural Science offers custom field trips for every grade level. We have a state of the art Planetarium, a Giant Screen Theatre, a two story rainforest inspired Butterfly Center and four levels of fascinating exhibits, including the largest Hall of Paleontology in the U.S., Hall of Texas and Africa Wildlife, Cabinet of Curiosity, Gem Hall, Hall of Ancient Egypt, Energy Hall, and much more! We have TEKS aligned curriculum for each part of the museum. We also offer lab classes onsite as well as outreach programs that can visit your venues. Virtual programming upon request.

Houston Museum of Natural Science website

Our vertical wind tunnel is a marvel of engineering and provides a one-of-a-kind laboratory for your students to get immersed in real world applications of STEM. Each iFLY STEM field trip provides an interactive presentation, live lab experiment, lab activity and flights for your participants! We offer programs with focus and objectives for Pre-K-College level physics and align with all state education standards. Minimum of 15 participants required. Please reach out for more details! Email Ellie David: [email protected]

iFLY Indoor Skydiving Houston website

Sheldon Lake State Park and Environmental Learning Center is a 2,800 acre outdoor education and recreation facility located in northeast Harris County. Activities include fishing, and wildlife observation. Activities at the Environmental Learning Center include group programming, birding, wildlife/nature study and fishing for children. Free catch-and-release "Family Fishing" is permitted on Saturdays and Sundays only, for children accompanied by adults, in the two fishing ponds. Alternative energy technologies and green building techniques (photovoltaic, solar hot water, wind turbine, & ground coupled geothermal) are demonstrated at the Learning Center. A Wildscape demonstration garden shows techniques to use native plants and wildflowers that attract birds, butterflies and other wildlife to your backyard. A composting demonstration area shows easy means of "recycling" household leaves and grass.

Sheldon Lake State Park & Environmental Learning Center website

Activities: The heavily-wooded park adjoins the Sam Houston National Forest and encloses the 210-acre Lake Raven. The park offers camping, hiking, biking, boating (Motor size unrestricted; speed is limited to idle speed), Guided Horseback Trail Rides and "Eat and Rides" with horses provided by Lake Raven Stables, fishing, swimming in unsupervised swimming area, boat & Hydrobike rentals, and nature study.

Huntsville State Park website

Our STEM program is a thrilling, immersive adventure perfect for all types of organizations. Fly with us as an elementary, middle, or high school class. Here is why over 270,000 students and educators love iFLY STEM Field Trips. Exclusive behind the scenes look at iFLY technology. Real world applications of STEM. Flexible packages and scheduling for your organization. Dynamic learning for all age groups aligned to your state standards. POC is Alex Einhorn at [email protected]

iFLY Indoor Skydiving Fort Worth website

Boy Scouts of America official museum, includes exhibit and program information, location, contacts, hours, and trading post.

National Scouting Museum website

Activities: Fort site structures include seven of the original buildings which have been restored: the post hospital; the officers' quarters (Commanding Officer); a powder magazine; a morgue; a commissary; a guardhouse; and a bakery, which baked 600 loaves per day. There are also two replicas: officers' and enlisted men's barracks. The officers' barracks houses the Interpretive Center. Activities include historical study, picnicking, camping, fishing, hiking, biking, day-use equestrian, nature study, wading in the creek (seasonal), and swimming (accessible via Lost Creek Reservoir State Trailway or by road). Tours/Events: Guided historical tours are held daily at 10 am and 2 pm; tour fees apply. Special events held throughout the year include Military Reenactments (pictured above), Bar-B-Que Cookoff, a Trout Fishing Tournament, and Living History Presentations.

Fort Richardson State Park, Historic Site & Lost Creek Reservoir State Trailway website

Activities: Visitors can enjoy camping, hiking, boating, canoeing, fishing, swimming, mountain biking and wildlife and bird watching. There are canoes, bicycles, a flat bottom boat, volleyballs and horseshoes for rent.

Martin Dies, Jr. State Park website

Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park tells the story of our 36th President beginning with his ancestors until his final resting place on his beloved LBJ Ranch. The website offers historical information about the park for those who cannot visit in person.

Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park website

Engage your students in a day of hands-on discovery and inquiry! Spark the curiosity and creativity of your students with the Science Mill's unique style of inquiry-based, hands-on learning.

Hill Country Science Mill website

Located along the banks of scenic Pedernales River. This area, formerly the Circle Bar Ranch, typifies the Edwards Plateau terrain. Activities: Activities include camping; picnicking; hiking; river swimming; tubing; wading; mountain biking; fishing; bird watching (checklist available); and horseback riding (Customers must bring their own horses and no overnight equestrian camping is allowed.) River recreation is in a limited area beginning at the Youth Group Camping area and down river to the park boundary. WARNING - The Pedernales River running through the park can flash flood with little or no warning. Flash flooding is a common phenomenon in the Texas Hill Country.

Pedernales Falls State Park website

Activities: Activities include camping, picnicking, canoeing, tubing, swimming, fishing, hiking, mountain bike riding, and bird and nature study. From October 1 - March 31 a large portion of the park is closed to protect Rio Grande Turkey roosting habitat. Hiking & biking trails in this area will be closed during this time. Campgrounds remain open & 16+ acres of the river at the low-water crossing bridge are accessible during the closed dates.

South Llano River State Park website

Thick bald cypress and a tangle of aquatic plants thrive in the waters at Caddo Lake State Park. Because the vegetation is so lush, much of the lake is really a maze of sloughs, bayous, and ponds. The park affords excellent access to the diverse fishing in Texas. Activities: Activities enjoyed include camping, hiking, swimming, picnicking, nature study, fishing, and boating. There are canoe rentals in the park, Jon boat with motor rentals (outside the park about 6 miles away), and pontoon boat tours daily except Wednesday.

Caddo Lake State Park website

Focused on inspiring kid's interest in STEAM (STEM + Arts), Funtastik Labs offers field trips for elementary and preschools kids at their Lab and also in-schools. With field trip options offering hands-on science with graduated cylinders and flasks, technology field trips offering 3-D printing, arts projects including pre-sketched and stenciled canvases, LEGO robotics challenges, and dissections, schools can select fabulous field trips that cater to their educational objectives.

Funtastik Labs website

Turquoise Acres Ranch is a popular field trip destination in Katy, Texas just west of Houston. If you're looking for a short field trip to allow your students to get outside and enjoy the fresh air our field trip venue is perfect. Day care centers, preschools, montessori, homeschool groups, and private schools have all visited and enjoyed petting the farm animals, pigs, goats, donkeys, cows, and longhorns. Contact them to learn more about our affordable pricing or to book a date and time before your preferred dates are already taken.

Turquoise Acres Ranch website

The Southwestern Adventist University Thomsen Observatory is a place to experience the galaxy like never before! This fully-functioning observatory in Texas boasts a 10-inch refractor telescope. Managed by a retired school teacher, Jerry Becker, kids of all ages are welcomed to view the night skies. Regularly scheduled viewing: first and third Friday nights of each month. If weather is marginal during the day, call the observatory at 817-202-6573 and leave a message with your questions and phone number.Viewing begins about a half hour after sundown and admission is a donation.

Thomsen Observatory website

The cowboys, the Native Americans, the settlers, the mountain men and others who tamed the West...share their adventure through the rotating exhibits on display at the Museum of Western Art where the legend of the American West lives on. The Museum of Western Art is dedicated to the appreciation, presentation and promotion of Western American heritage as expressed through art and artifacts. It is a showcase for Western art and artists, past and present, and provides art and history education for all ages, focusing on the American West.

Museum of Western Art website

Big Thicket: A Biological Crossroads - Strands of sun, soil, and air are woven into a beautifully connected patchwork of plants and animals. The last Ice Age pushed plants from other parts of the country into a close neighborhood. An amazing diversity of plants and animals from many parts of North America live in the Big Thicket region of southeastern Texas.

Big Thicket National Preserve website

Activities: The activities at this park include picnicking, nature study, and historical study. Arrangements can be made with the park staff to have weddings, family reunions, or other group functions that may use the picnic area and/or the historical facilities. Group tours by staff and volunteer docents are available with advanced scheduling, and regularly scheduled tours of the brewery are available on the weekends.

Monument Hill & Kreische Brewery State Historic Sites website

The San Jacinto Museum of History is operated by the San Jacinto Museum of History Association--a non-profit organization--in association with the Texas State park and Wildlife Commission.

San Jacinto Museum of History website

Activities: Activities are picnicking; camping; hiking (2.5 miles of hiking trails and a .5-mile nature trail.); boating (motors allowed); water skiing (jet skis allowed); fishing; nature study; swimming (in an unsupervised swimming area); and bird watching.

Lake Brownwood State Park website

Admission is always free. The museum offers monthly programming and film screenings. All age groups are welcome. The museum highlights Lancaster's history and the history of the state of Texas. Please contact the museum specialist for group tours.

Lancaster Visitors Center & State Auxiliary Museum website

The San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site holds a significant responsibility to preserve the proud history of the State of Texas and the United States. The famous Battle of San Jacinto that brought TEXAS its independence was fought on this site. Because of the great importance of the Battle to the course of history, the Battleground is of state, national and international significance, a fact that is attested to by the site's National Historic Landmark status. The Monument and Museum elevator to the newly renovated Observation Floor is now open.

San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site website

The San Jacinto Monument is dedicated to the "Heroes of the Battle of San Jacinto and all others who contributed to the independence of Texas." The monument is a 570-foot shaft topped by a 34-foot star symbolizing the Lone Star Republic. The building incorporates a number of innovative engineering features not common during the period of its construction. The American Society of Civil Engineers recognized this technology with the prestigious designation of State and National Historic Structure. The monument is listed as the tallest stone column memorial structure in the world, 15 feet taller than the Washington Monument in Washington, DC.

The San Jacinto Monument website

In 1948, the Battleship Texas became the first battleship memorial museum in the U.S. That same year, on the anniversary of Texas Independence, the Texas was presented to the State of Texas and commissioned as the flagship of the Texas Navy. In 1983, the Texas was placed under the stewardship of the Texas park and Wildlife Department and is permanently anchored on the Buffalo Bayou and the busy Houston Ship Channel. The Texas park and Wildlife Department's 1,200-acre San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site consists of the Battleground, Monument and Battleship Texas. These sites are located within minutes of downtown Houston and a short distance to the beaches of Galveston Island. Millions of visitors come to this area each year to enjoy the mild coastal climate and cultural and sports activities. Students and visitors alike are most fortunate to be able to experience history first hand through living history at the San Jacinto Battleground and Battleship Texas.

Battleship Texas State Historic Site website

Lake Casa Blanca International State Park consisting of 371 land acres and 1650 lake surface acres, is located on Lake Casa Blanca, east of Laredo in Webb County. The park was operated jointly by the City of Laredo and Webb County before it was acquired by the state in 1990 and opened in March 1991. Activities: Attractions include camping, picnicking, lake swimming, boating, mountain biking, and fishing.

Lake Casa Blanca International State Park website

Wolf Creek Heritage Museum has as its mission, to preserve the history of Lipscomb County. The museum attempts to do this by telling the story of its people and the evolution of the immigration of these people to the Panhandle. The museum's exhibits explore the social and historical significance of the early settlers through current day. The museum also sponsors art exhibits featuring local artists. Preserving the work of local artists is another of the museum's major goals.

Wolf Creek Heritage Museum website

At Lake Livingston State Park, you can swim, fish, boat, hike, bird, camp, picnic, mountain bike, geocache and study nature. We have activities for the whole family!

Lake Livingston State Park website

Activities: Activities include picnicking; camping; fishing; hiking; nature study; and a 9-hole golf course (the only staff-operated course in the Texas State Park System.)

Lockhart State Park website

A Museum for the American Style Water Pumping Windmill and Related Exhibits on Wind Electric.

American Wind Power Center and Museum website

The Buddy Holly Gallery features a permanent exhibition on the life and music of Buddy Holly. Artifacts owned by the City of Lubbock, as well as other items that are on loan, are presented in this exciting exhibition. Included in the display are Buddy Holly's Fender Stratocaster; a songbook used by Holly and the Crickets, clothing, photographs, recording contracts, tour itineraries, Holly's glasses, homework assignments, report cards, and much more.

Buddy Holly Center website

The Silent Wings Museum, a public institution, preserves and promotes the history of the World War II military glider program by creating an environment for collecting, documenting, interpreting and exhibiting artifacts and information for public education and enjoyment.

Silent Wings Museum website

The Museum is a multi-faceted institution that includes the main building, the Helen Devitt Jones Auditorium and Sculpture Court and Auditorium, Moody Planetarium, Natural Science Research Laboratory, Lubbock Lake Landmark, research acreage in Val Verde County, and the Center for Advanced Study of Museum Science and Heritage Management.

Museum of Texas Tech University website

Activities: Activities include camping, picnicking, swimming (1 mile hike to sandbar swimming area), hiking, fishing, nature study, and bird watching. 10/23/08 - This Park is currently closed until further notice, due to Hurricane Ike. Contact the park for the latest information.

Village Creek State Park website

Nature Park is a unique and beautiful place to connect with nature. Students explore scientific concepts in a hands-on, inquiry-based experience through the park with a trained naturalist. Field trips follow grade-appropriate TEKS and are an affordable, exciting opportunity to get outside and explore the world of science right in your hometown.

Oliver Nature Park website

A Wild West Experience you can only find at the Biggest State Park in Texas!

Big Bend Ranch State Park website

Near this area, a wooden picket fort was constructed around 1831 by Mexican forces in anticipation of trouble with Anglo immigrants. The fort apparently was named for a camp of Lipan Apaches in the vicinity. In 1835, the small guard force that held the fort surrendered it to Texan forces without a shot being fired. In 1842, a battalion of Texas volunteers camped in this area. In an attempt to lay claim to the territory between the Nueces River and the Rio Grande, the camp was seized by Mexican general Antonio Canales, but the Mexican forces later retreated. Around 10 years later, during the Mexican War, troops under General Zachary Taylor passed through this area on their way to the Rio Grande. Activities: The park offers picnicking; historical study; and nature study.

Lipantitlan State Historic Site website

The present site of Lake Corpus Christi State Park overlooks an impoundment of the Nueces River, which was a the disputed boundary between Texas and Mexico after the Texas Revolution. The Rio Grande became the boundary at the end of the war between the two nations, officially making this area a part of Texas. Once inhabited by Karankawa and Lipan Apache Indians, this area became the site of several settlement attempts in the 18th and 19th centuries. In 1858, Lagarto, now a ghost town a few miles northwest of the park, evolved from a Mexican settlement of grass-thatched huts. Today, there are a few remains of this town, which began a steady decline when its leaders rejected the building of a railroad through the community in 1887. Activities: Activities are camping; picnicking; boating (motors allowed); water skiing; fishing; swimming (unsupervised beach); bird watching; and hiking.

Lake Corpus Christi State Park website

The Heard-Craig Center for the Arts is an Art Museum in downtown McKinney, Texas. The museum gives historical tours and art tours during the week (Tuesday and Thursday at 1:00 PM), by appointment, or on Saturdays at 1:00 PM and again at 2:00 PM. The tours highlight the many accomplishments of the Heard family, the Art Club of McKinney, local artists, and more. The Center is an elegant venue and there is a Garden which can accommodate blankets and a sack lunch, reminiscent of the early days. There are FREE Art History Lectures the first Wednesday of each month at 12:30 PM. We welcome all home schoolers and are here to answer any questions you might have! Call 972-569-6909 for more information and to schedule a tour.

Heard-Craig Center for the Arts website

Activities: Camping, fishing, picnicking, hiking, lake swimming (unsupervised), boating, bird watching, fishing, and bicycling on park roads.

Meridian State Park website

Activities: Fort Parker offers camping, picnicking, swimming in an unsupervised swimming area, fishing, birdwatching, hiking, biking, canoeing, nature study, and baseball/softball.

Fort Parker State Park website

The Museum of the Southwest services its community as a unique regional resource for cultural enrichment. In its Art Museum, Children's Museum, and Planetarium, and on its park-like grounds, the Museum provides opportunities for enjoyment and enlightenment to people of all ages. Using tools of education and entertainment, the Museum fosters appreciation of art and science and nurtures the spirit of creativity, sensitivity, and discovery.

Museum of the Southwest website

Activities include camping; lake swimming (unsupervised); fishing; boating (boat, canoe, paddleboat rental - no skiing, jet skis, or tubing permitted); rock climbing (climbers and rappelers must check in at headquarters); mountain biking; equestrian camping, horseback riding (visitors must provide their own horses); and hiking. Note: Trails may be closed during wet weather. Climbing is prohibited when the rock formations are wet (Call the park to verify climbing area is open, if it has rained in the last 48 hours of your planed arrival.)

Lake Mineral Wells State Park & Trailway website

Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park boasts of being the headquarters of the World Birding Center. Birders come to see those birds found only in South Texas and Northern Mexico.

Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park website

Activities: Activities include camping; hiking; picnicking; equestrian; bird and wildlife watching from the interpretive center windows, as they come to the watering stations; and sand surfing. Texas Camel Treks are held at the park.

Monahans Sandhills State Park website

Activities: The main activities are camping, hiking, picnicking, fishing from the river bank, and wildlife observation.The park provides a junior ranger program that allows children from ages 4-12 to earn a special badge & certificate. For interested hikers a tree guide is available at the park headquarters which provides a self guided tour along the lost trail.

Mother Neff State Park website

Hola! Bienvenidos al Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail. Come on a journey that will carry you through 300 years of Texas and Louisiana frontier settlement and development.

El Camino Real de Los Tejas National Historic Trail website

Exciting, family friendly dinner theater featuring an authentic medieval tournament and feast with jousting knights, and live horses.

Medieval Times website

Activities: Activities include camping, picnicking, hiking, biking, equestrian, and fishing. Six lakes are easily accessible to fishermen, with piers located at 40-Acre, Elm and Hale Lakes. Visitors are cautioned to pay due respect to alligators, which are numerous in some areas of the park. There are at least three free interpretive programs and hikes offered every weekend. Interpretive staff and volunteers offer weekday guided hikes and programs for schools and other educational organizations. Fees and reservations required. The Nature Center is open Monday - Friday from 11 a.m - 3 p.m. and Sat & Sunday from 9 a.m to 5 p.m. It's "Habitats and Niches" display offers an unusual "hands-on" alligator discovery area, a tactile model of the park, freshwater aquarium, live native snake species, a touch table and an open-captioned orientation video for all visitors including those with hearing impairments. The George Observatory is located in the park and is open Saturdays from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. For information on stargazing programs/passes and other programs, call the Observatory at 979/553-3400 or at 281/242-3055 (as a satellite of the Houston Museum of Natural Science) or visit the George Observatory web site. Shop for gifts at the headquarters gift shop, the Visitor Center, and at the George Observatory.

Brazos Bend State Park website

A small and privately owned venue that is family focused offers something for everyone from age 6 and up. From console gaming, nintendo switch, classic arcade games now including guitar hero and rockband. We host private parties, special events and field trips.

Statix Gaming Lounge website

The Ellen Noel Art Museum of the Permian Basin connects people with art through changing exhibitions and growth of the permanent collection. The Museum collaborates with schools, colleges and universities, and provides child and adult art classes, artist workshops and family activities.

Ellen Noel Art Museum website

The Stark Museum of Art houses one of the nation's most significant collections of American Western art.

Stark Museum of Art website

The 14,000 square-foot home was built in 1894 in Orange, Texas, by William Henry Stark and his wife, Miriam M. Lutcher Stark, prominent philanthropists who occupied the home until 1936. Designed in the Queen Anne architectural style, the house features a distinctive turret, stained glass windows, and ornate woodwork in cypress and long leaf yellow pine. Today, the three-story structure stands much as it did at the turn of the 20th century, with fifteen rooms of original family furnishings, personal effects and decorative arts, including antique rugs, original textiles, silver, cut glass, and antique porcelain.

The W.H. Stark House website

General history exhibits of the Texas and Oklahoma Panhandles; railroad depot, old store, pioneer home from Ochiltree, covered wagon, barbed wire.

Museum Of The Plains website

Situated along the shores of a 30,000-acre reservoir Ray Roberts Lake State Park Complex consists of two state park units (Isle du Bois and Johnson Branch), six satellite park (Jordan Unit, Pond Creek, Pecan Creek, Buck Creek, Sanger, and Elm Fork), Wildlife Management Areas, wetlands, waterfowl sanctuaries and the 20 mile Ray Roberts Lake/Lake Lewisville Greenbelt Corridor. Birdwatching, water sports, riding horses or backpacking along a scenic trail, Ray Roberts has something for everyone.

Ray Roberts Lake State Park website

Activities: Activities include picnicking; hiking; swimming; mountain biking; in-line skating; and fishing for largemouth bass, catfish, and crappie. Eagles can be spotted during winter months. A variety of birds and wildlife can be viewed year round. Tours: Interpretive tours and nature walks are given on some weekends and by request

Lake Bob Sandlin State Park website

Crayola Experience Plano is where the magic of Crayola comes to life! With 60,000 square feet of attractions, Crayola Experience is Texas' most colorful destination for interactive, creative play! Families and schools typically spend 3-4 hours exploring our 25 hands-on attractions. Go on a wonderful, whimsical adventure with our unique experiences, such as: Star in your very own coloring page, Name and wrap your very own Crayola crayon, Embark on a 4-D coloring adventure, Learn how crayons are made in a live manufacturing show, And so much more!

Crayola Experience Plano website

In the 1800s, the low-lying Texas coast made charting a seagoing course extremely difficult, and a number of captains requested that something be done. The Port Isabel Lighthouse was constructed in 1852, near sites of Civil War Battle of Palmito Ranch (1865) and Mexican War Battles of Palo Alto and Resaca de la Palma. Activities: Of the 16 lighthouses originally constructed along the Texas coast, Port Isabel is the only one open to the public. With a perch 50 feet above the ground, it is always popular with photographers and other visitors, because they can enjoy great views of South Padre Island and the beaches. In fact, a number of couples have climbed the 75 winding stairs, including 3 short ladders, to exchange wedding vows on top of the tower.

Port Isabel Lighthouse State Historic Site website

Activities: The park is day-use only and offers picnicking areas, guided tours, plus exhibits on the history from 15th century, natural history, and archaeological history of the area. The site serves for historical study activities.

Fort Leaton State Historic Site website

Tour a working farm with lots of hand-on interaction with farm and exotic animals. Schools and larger, multi-family homeschool groups may break the trip up into rotating stations including a choice of many learning opportunities: "The Outback" (feed and touch kangaroos and emus, learn about their habitat and behaviors), "The Dairy" (milk a goat and learn about milk products and our relationship with dairy animals), "The Rainforest" (see and touch animals native to South America), "Farming" (help with day-to-day chores and learn about the responsibilities of caring for animals), and more!

Cathy's Critters website

Southern Ink and Clay is a creative space. We offer pottery painting and glass fusing. In our studio we can accommodate 40 students. In our large space (in the back) we are a fully functioning screen printing and embroidery shop. When kids visit they get an educational tour of the back area with the pottery kilns, screen printing machine, embroidery machines and a few other large machines. Most of these are in action when kids are visiting. Kids can see how these large machines work. They can see how products are made and how pottery is glazed and fired.

Southern Ink and Clay website

Activities: Activities include camping, picnicking, boating, fishing, mountain biking, swimming, wildlife viewing, backpacking, kite flying, summer educational/interpretive programs, horseback riding (horse rental not available), astronomy, and natural and historical exhibits. A portion of the official Texas longhorn herd is maintained at the park.

Copper Breaks State Park website

You can swim, fish, picnic, bird watch, hike, mountain bike, paddle, camp, geocache, study nature or just relax! Visit our nature center to learn more about the park and its programs.

Caprock Canyons State Park & Trailway website

This source is for those who want to take a deeper look into Texas and Texas' Maritime History will start with Texas' early inhabitants and then progress to the French and Spanish explorations of the Texas Gulf Coast, Texas Navy, Texas in the Civil War, and finally ending with Texas Shrimping/Fishing Industry and the Oil/Gas industry.

Texas Maritime Museum website

The "Big Tree" named State Champion Coastal Live Oak (Quercus virginiana) in 1969, is thought to be one of the largest in the nation. Estimated to be over 1000 years old, the "Big Tree" has a circumference of 35 feet, is 44 feet in height and has a crown spread of 90 feet. Activities: Although located on Aransas Bay, there is no swimming area at this park. The shoreline is comprised of concrete bulkhead, oyster shell, mud flat, and marsh grass. The main recreational activities are camping, excellent birding, and fishing (the park participates in the "Loan A Tackle Program" and lends out fishing tackle to visitors.) Other activities include picnicking, boating (motors allowed), nature study, wildlife observation, and photography. Tours: Guided nature hikes are held year round. Guided birding tours are held from January through April.

Goose Island State Park website

The Sinkhole, discovered by Anglo settlers in 1867, is a registered National Natural Landmark. Activities: The main attraction is the Devil's Sinkhole itself. It is a vertical cavern with an opening measuring approximately 40x60 feet and a vertical drop to the main cavern of about 140 feet. The main cavern is circular and reaches a total depth of 350-400 feet.

Devil's Sinkhole State Natural Area website

The Rosenberg Railroad Museum's railroad bell is a favorite of Museum patrons both young and old. Nestled up against three active train lines in downtown Historic Rosenberg, RRM is a hidden gem within city limits. With our park-like grounds, HO scale and G Scale layouts.

Rosenberg Railroad Museum website

Activities: Attractions include camping, wildlife observation, birding, beach combing, the Gambusia Nature Trail, canoeing, kayaking, airboat tours, beach swimming, fishing, year round canoe and paddle boat rentals, and public waterfowl hunting (in season). Tours: The park offers an interpretive airboat tour during the spring, summer and fall. This one-hour tour through the marsh offers the visitor interesting views of spectacular beauty and diversity of the park.

Sea Rim State Park website

Guadalupe Mountains National Park safeguards the world's finest example of a fossilized reef, a surprisingly complex and unique assemblage of flora and fauna, and West Texas' only legally designated wilderness. Here, one can experience solitude, tranquility, and the joy of finding plants and animals whose mastery of survival renews our sense of wonder.

Guadalupe Mountains National Park website

Activities: Activities include camping, picnicking, hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding on multi-use trails, lake swimming and wading, fishing, boating, a three level orienteering course, and bird and wildlife observation. The park has a hunting program with a State Park Annual Hunting Permit and special drawing hunts for deer and spring turkey.

San Angelo State Park website

The Ursuline Campus of the Southwest School of Art & Craft, now on the National Register of Historic Places, is open to the public and can be approached from the scenic Riverwalk. The convent was established in 1851, when seven Catholic nuns arrived in San Antonio to start San Antonio's first school for girls. Among the highlights of the historic site are the elegant architecture of the two-story buildings which are constructed of local limestone, the beautiful chapel with some of the original stained glass windows, and the surrounding gardens and courtyards.

Southwest School of Art & Craft website

The McNay Today: Since Mrs. McNay's bequest of 700 works of art, the collection has expanded to nearly 20,000 works including: Medieval and Renaissance art. 19th- through 21st- century European and American paintings, sculptures and photographs. One of the finest collections of prints and drawings in the Southwest. The exceptional Tobin Collection of Theatre Arts.

McNay Art Museum website

iFLY Indoor Skydiving San Antonio website

The San Antonio Fire Museum is, as many visitors say, one of San Antonio's hidden gems and is one of the most notable Fire museum in the country. At the San Antonio Fire Museum, visitors will see antique fire trucks and fire-fighting equipment, artifacts dating back to the mid-1800s and beautifully archived documents and photos. A 1953 International fire truck, built by the Simms Fire Equipment Company, is available for kids to climb on and dress up in authentic replicas of firefighters' turnout gear.

San Antonio Fire Museum website

The legacy and history of San Antonio and this region began with a simple ceremony when...- in 1718 Franciscans and Spanish representatives established the first mission. Within 13 years, five were located along the San Antonio River. The missions' purpose? To acculturate and Christianize the native population and make them Spanish citizens. Today, visitors can retrace the footsteps of the mission Indians and friars. And, possibly, meet descendants of those first inhabitants.

San Antonio Missions National Historical Park website

The canyon was on the "Joe Johnston" Road from San Antonio to Bandera which was blazed by the military at Ft. Sam Houston in the 1850s. The canyon is a part of the rich ranching history of Texas. Activities: Check the Calendar for events and access restrictions scheduled within the next 3 months to get current information on upcoming interpretive programs.

Government Canyon State Natural Area website

Twelve acres of the park are set aside in honor of the area's past. Located on the Brazos River, adjoining the old ferry site and a part of the Commercio Plaza de San Felipe, this is the site of the township of San Felipe, the seat of government of the Anglo-American colonies in Texas. It was here Stephen F. Austin, the "Father of Texas," brought the first 297 families to colonize Texas under a contract with the Mexican Government. Activities: Activities include picnicking, camping, fishing, hiking, golf, and nature and historical tours.

Stephen F. Austin State Park website

Sebastopol House State Historic Site, located in Seguin, Guadalupe County, is a an 1856 Greek Revival-style house sitting on 2.2 acres of its original 4-acre site. Sebastopol House is listed as a Registered Texas Historic Landmark and is in the National Register of Historic Places as a result of its unusual limecrete construction and its architectural style. Activities/Events: Sebastopol's programs focus on the natural, cultural, and built environments of nineteenth century South central Texas. Permanent exhibits include family furnishings, archeological artifacts from the site, as well as the building process and restoration of limecrete. Temporary exhibits are displayed on a regular basis; call the park for details.

Sebastopol House State Historic Site website

Formerly the Red River Historical Museum, features objects of historical significance to Grayson County and the greater North Texas Region.

The Sherman Museum website

Activities: Activities are non-motorized boating permitted (no ramp/small lake); fishing in a stocked lake; nature study; hiking; interpretive tours (call park or check Calendar of Events) and biking (The scenic, 12-mile-long, winding, and hilly, paved road between Buescher and Bastrop State park is ideal for biking, but should be used only by experienced cyclists.) Approximately 6 miles between the park is private land; no camping between park or trespassing on private land.

Buescher State Park website

The Scurry County Museum in Snyder, Texas is dedicated to increasing the knowledge and understanding of the history of Scurry County and the surrounding area of the Southern Rolling Plains. Through an active program of collections, exhibits, educational opportunities, and special events, the Museum seeks to stimulate creative thought and provide a sense of place, time, and space for residents of and visitors to Scurry County.

Scurry County Museum website

Activities: Both units offer a multitude of recreational opportunities such as camping, picnicking, boating, fishing; hiking and biking, volleyball, horseshoes, basketball, backpacking, and equestrian use (visitors must bring their own horses). More than 20 miles of trail are open to hikers, mountain bikers, and equestrians affording visitors the opportunity to exercise and enjoy the beauty of the park. Water lovers can enjoy boating, fishing, swimming, and skiing on Lake Somerville.

Lake Somerville State Park & Trailway website

Where the Texas Hill Country meets the Chihuahuan Dessert sits thousands of acres of limestone rich ranch country. Found below the boots and hooves of those who inhabit and work the land is one of Earth's most revered underground treasures, The Caverns of Sonora. The Caverns of Sonora is internationally recognized as one of the most beautiful show caves on the planet.

Caverns of Sonora website

Activities: The park has 4 miles of river frontage and is located in the middle of a 9-mile stretch of the Guadalupe River. Park visitors may enjoy a variety of outdoor activities including canoeing, fishing, swimming, tubing, picnicking, hiking, and camping. The park recently opened a 5.3 miles equestrian trail that is also open to mountain biking. No equestrian camping is available at the park. Opportunities also exist for less vigorous but more serene pursuits, such as bird watching and nature study. Tours: There is a two-hour guided interpretive tour of the adjacent Honey Creek State Natural Area. The tour emphasizing history, geology, flora, and fauna is given Saturday at 9:00 a.m.; call park to confirm.

Guadalupe River State Park website

Chipped stone tools are all that remain to attest to the use of Honey Creek by early hunter-gatherers, who roamed throughout the Edwards Plateau region. Artifacts which have been found on the property give silent testimony of later Indian tribes spending time on the land. Activities: Entry into Honey Creek is for guided tours only. The diverse geology, flora, and fauna make Honey Creek a special place for all visitors using 2 miles of nature/interpretive trails.

Honey Creek State Natural Area website

The park's location is historically significant since it is in the heart of the former President's home country. The area has been influenced by three major cultures: Native Americans, Spanish and German. Indians roamed the Hill Country first, leaving behind artifacts which tell of their nomadic life. The Spanish conquistadors followed, bringing a culture which was to endure to the present. German immigrants settled the Hill Country in the early 1800s and their descendants still call it home. Activities: Visitors to this day-use park can enjoy historical study, picnicking, nature study, fishing, swimming and view Texas longhorn cattle. The abundant wildlife of the Hill Country is highlighted by enclosures containing buffalo, longhorn, and white-tailed deer. These animals have played a part in the park's history and the local wildlife continues to be an important attraction for visitors. The park is famous for its spring wildflower display. The Visitor Center is the focal point of Lyndon B. Johnson State Historical Park. It contains memorabilia from President Johnson's presidency and interactive displays about the Land and People that shaped a president.

Lyndon B. Johnson State Park & Historic Site website

Activities: Activities include excellent, year-round fishing; camping; wildlife observation and photography; picnicking; boating; water skiing; unsupervised lake swimming; backpacking; hiking; and interpretive programs on Saturday (when staffing allows). An annual perch fishing contest is held for children ages 4 to 12 is held first Saturday in September.

Martin Creek Lake State Park website

The Railroad and Heritage Museum was founded in 1973 to collect, preserve and exhibit the history of the railroads and local history of Central Texas.

Railroad & Heritage Museum website

The Center presents an archeological, historical, and natural history profile of the Big Bend region. It houses a book store and gift shop. The book store includes guides for area interest, as well as books on the history and the natural environment of the Big Bend Region. The gift shop has a variety of T-shirts, post cards, and souvenirs. A self-guided 2 -acre botanical garden allows visitors to walk among the characteristic plants of the Chihuahuan Desert.

Barton Warnock Environmental Education Center website

The Texas City Museum is a History Museum featuring artifacts from the USS Westfield (including a real Civil War cannon), exhibits on the founding of Texas City and the 1947 Disaster, Children's Discovery Room, and model train layouts. Special exhibits are offered each month and the Afternoon Family Activity (1 craft for each child present, included with admission) is held the last Friday of every month from 1pm-3pm.

Texas City Museum website

The Woodlands Children's Museum creates opportunities that educate, empower and excite children and their families through play while inspiring a life long sense of wonder.

The Woodlands Children's Museum website

Along with motel-type accommodations, the park's main attraction is a large (77,053 sq. ft.) artesian spring pool that is open daily and fed by San Solomon Springs. The springs also fill a 'cienega' (desert wetland) and the canals of a refugium, home to endangered species of fish, assorted invertebrates, and turtles. The pool differs from most public pools in several respects: the 1 3/4-acre size, the 25-foot depth and the 72 to 76 degree constant temperature. It also has a variety of aquatic life in its clear waters. With a capacity of more than 3 1/2 million gallons, the pool has plenty of room for swimmers, while offering a unique setting for scuba and skin diving. Visitors can enjoy swimming, picnicking, and camping. An honor box is located at the park entrance for those arriving after hours. Scuba divers must meet safety regulations. Scuba diving rules and regulations for Balmorhea State Park.

Balmorhea State Park website

The Outdoor Education Center at Camp Olympia is an outdoor learning experience that can last from one day to a 4 day experience. Facilitating hands on lessons where students from early childhood to high school can challenge themselves to problem solve and get more in touch with nature. In addition there is a full cafeteria, several bunk houses, ropes course, swimming pool, horses, sports fields and more. One of the first outdoor learning schools in Texas focused on reaching more students and families each year. Come visit and have an O-mazing time!

The Outdoor Education Center at Camp Olympia website

Abilene State Park, southwest of Abilene, in Taylor County, is among a low range of hills called the Callahan Divide, in the extreme western portion of North Central Texas. Original park construction was done by the Civilian Conservation Corps (C.C.C.) in the early 1930's. A portion of the official Texas longhorn herd and one buffalo are located on site. Comanches frequented what is now the park, using the groves of native pecan trees as campgrounds, much like the present park's picnic area. Abilene State Park Activities: The park offers camping, hiking, nature study, swimming (summer), picnicking, fishing in Buffalo Wallow Pond in the park and nearby Lake Abilene, and biking and walking on park roads. Interpretive Programs: Held both on and off site. Nature trail tours are given upon request. Call the park for more information.

Abilene State Park website

Activities: Activities include picnicking; camping; boating (motors allowed - 5 mph speed limit); boat rentals; fishing; birding; hiking; mountain biking; lake swimming (in unsupervised swimming area); and nature study.

Tyler State Park website

Archaeological evidence shows that this area was used by prehistoric peoples at various times. In historic times, which began with Spanish exploration and colonization efforts in the late 17th century, the Apache, Lipan Apache, and Comanche Indians ranged over the land and posed a threat to settlement well into the 19th century. Activities: Visitors enjoy picnicking, camping, backpacking, sightseeing, hiking, photography, birdwatching, fishing, swimming, and nature study. People should stay on designated trails, because maples have a shallow root system, and soil compaction from walking can damage the trees. Also, many natural hazards exist due to the steep/rugged terrain. Do not hike or climb on rocks or hillsides.

Lost Maples State Natural Area website

To create dynamic educational experiences that foster lifelong learning for children and families through the joy of play.

Children's Discovery Museum of the Golden Crescent website

The Texas Ranger is one of the most cherished symbols of the Lone Star State, a positive and enduring icon of Texas and America. Very few have ever worn the Texas Ranger badge, but anyone can be a Texas Ranger in spirit by adopting the ideals of the service. The Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum offers guided tours and self-guided visits of its exhibits throughout the year. Special rates are available for groups of 10 or more paid admissions. All groups are invited to participate in one of our grade-appropriate museum scavenger hunts!

Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum website

A marriage of history and nature. Visiting Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site is an enjoyable experience on two levels. First, the expansive park grounds along the Brazos River provide a beautiful setting for picnicking, sightseeing and birdwatching. And secondly, the Star of the Republic Museum, Independence Hall and Barrington Living History Farm, offer the visitor a unique insight into the lives and times of the men who fought and won Texas' independence from Mexico.

Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site website

Located at the site where 59 delegates gathered on March 2, 1836 to declare Texas' independence from Mexico, the Star of the Republic Museum depicts the colorful saga of the Texas Republic, the story of Texas and its heritage of cotton and cattle and legends of blood and iron using vast resources and vast lands.

Star of the Republic Museum website

The Last President of Texas: The Washington area was the site of the final home of the last president of the Republic of Texas. With Jones's daybook as their guide, the interpreters at Barrington Living History Farm conduct themselves much as did the earliest residents of the original farmstead. The Jones home is original; the outbuildings are replicas constructed by Texas park and Wildlife using Jones's own journal and drawings. Step into the lives of Barrington Farm's earliest residents. Experience the sights, smells, and sounds of the 19th century. The scene is complete with heritage breeds of livestock. Interpreters, dressed in period style clothing, help visitors better understand what life was like 150 years ago.

Barrington Plantation website

Parker County's rich tapestry of cattle barons and cowboys. Broadway and television stars, chuck wagon and stagecoaches are shared and showcased in galleries that are truly awe-inspiring and reflects all that is Parker County. The Doss Center incorporates three distinct and educational galleries that display impressive presentations, including exhibitions from local to world-renowned artists and craftsmen.

Doss Heritage and Culture Center website

Estero Llano Grande State Park offers beginning birders and nature lovers a chance to explore 176-acres.

Estero Llano Grande State Park website

Activities: Activities include camping; hiking; mountain biking; picnicking; boating; fishing; swimming (buoyed area - no life guard on duty); scuba diving; water skiing; nature study; and excellent birding. Tours/Events: An annual youth fishing tournament is held on the first Saturday in June, and "aircraft fly-ins" are held at various times.

Lake Whitney State Park website

The park offers fishing and is a participant in the "Loan A Tackle Program" (the park lends out fishing tackle to it's visitors); lake swimming on unsupervised beach; water skiing; disc golf; picnicking; camping; nature study; hiking; horseback riding, boating.

Lake Arrowhead State Park website

Activities: Swimming, fishing, hiking, boating, mountain biking.

Lake Tawakoni State Park website

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East Texas Road Trips

With its rolling hills, deep woods, pasture land, and Gulf beaches, East Texas has a wide range of appeal, and things to do on short road trips.

From world-class golf courses, walking trails, cultural attractions, state parks, festivals, antique shopping, fall motoring and art museums, the East Texas area has something for everyone to enjoy.

Those Early Trails and Roads in East Texas

When embarking on a road trip today in East Texas, it is often useful to study the history of the main roads, trails and highways in earlier days. Combining today's attractions with a historical perspective makes the road trip that much more fun, entertaining and educational.

As you plan your East Texas road trip, keep these earlier trails and roads in mind ...

Dixie Overland Highway

U.S. Highway 80 was an early transcontinental route, known as the Dixie Overland Highway , from Savannah, Georgia, to San Diego, California, covering a distance of 1,032 miles. It entered Texas from the East between Shreveport, Louisiana, and Waskom as a two-lane road. It then was routed through Marshall, Longview, Gladewater, Mineola, Grand Saline, Wills Point and on to Dallas.

Bankhead Highway

The Bankhead Highway was a transcontinental route connecting Washington, D.C., with San Diego.

The primary 850-mile route through Texas was originally Texas Highway No.1, which became part of U.S. Route 67 and U.S. Route 80. The main route passed through Texarkana, Mount Pleasant, Mount Vernon, Sulphur Springs, Greenville and Garland before arriving at Fort Worth where it turned onto former U.S. Route 80.

In 2009, the Bankhead Highway was designated a Texas Historic Highway as part of the new state Historic Roads and Highways Program.

The Old Spanish Trail

The Old Spanish Trail was another transcontinental route that passed through Texas, connecting San Augustine, Florida with San Diego in California.

In south East Texas, the Old Spanish Trail can still be seen in some places. The trail runs alongside Interstate 10 through Orange and Vidor. When it reaches the Neches River, it merges with Interstate 10 crosses the Purple Heart Bridge, then detours through Downtown Beaumont. It then travels on to Houston.

El Camino Real ... the Old San Antonio Road, or The King's Highway

This historic road spanned 47 miles in Louisiana, and 540 miles in Texas. The route of the El Camino Real passed through Natchitoches and Many in Louisiana, crossed the Sabine River and into Nacogdoches. From there it went through Crockett and Caldwell before connecting with San Marcos, New Braunfels, San Antonio and Niederwald.

The State of Texas has marked some East Texas county roads as State Highway OSR . Originally, the whole route from the Sabine River to San Marcos carried this designation, but it has since been reduced to a short bypass around Bryan.

A series of granite markers were placed by the Texas Society Daughters of the American Revolution that marked the main route of the Old San Antonio Road through Texas, as surveyed in 1915 and placed in 1918.

In 2004, President Bush signed a bill designating The El Camino Real de Los Tejas, of which the Old San Antonio Road is part, a National Historic Trail.

East Texas Highway

The East Texas Highway was created in June of 1917 when the Texas Highway Commission announced the establishment of the state's first highway system. It was designated as SH 8 and was the easternmost of the three north-south highways that the Commission created at that time.

Although the northern third of the East Texas Highway generally followed a straight north-south path from the Red River at the Oklahoma border to the Harrison-Panola county line, the rest of the highway paralleled the Sabine River as it flowed to the Gulf of Mexico.

The highway linked some of the oldest and most active communities in the region at that time including Port Arthur, Beaumont, Orange, Jasper, San Augustine, Carthage, Marshall, and Linden.

Popular Day Trips Around East Texas Today

Today, East Texas has large cities and an extensive system of state highways, county roads, and interstate highways. But it has many rural areas, quaint small towns and hundreds of miles of back roads and scenic trails. Get off the beaten path, and explore East Texas in several directions!

Marshall - On your Highway 80 road trip, visit the "Cultural Capital of East Texas" . Marshall has more than 100 historical markers and medallions, such as the T&P Depot marker, with several sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Many of Marshall's Victorian homes have been restored, and several function as B&Bs. Also fully restored is the Harrison County Courthouse .

Marshall is also known for its famous Wonderland of Lights during the Christmas season.

Longview - While exploring Historic Highway 80, stop in Longview and experience historic buildings, shopping, restaurants, hot air balloon festivals, museums, Gregg County Fair and much more! For a great review of the area, visit the Gregg County Historical Museum

Gladewater - antique capitol of East Texas, located on historic US Highway 80 at U.S. Highway 271. When in the area in the spring, don't miss the Lee Daffodil Garden with its acres of beautiful floral displays, just south of Gladewater, off US Highway 271

Grand Saline - make a stop while on Historic U.S. Highway 80 and lick the Salt Palace! And see lots of wildlife at the nearby East Texas Gators & Wildlife Park

Linden has strong music roots as the home of famous musicians like Rock Star Don Henley, Blues Legend Aaron T-Bone Walker , and others. Music City Texas Theater hosts music concerts throughout the year.

Carthage is home to the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame, created to celebrate the contributions of Texans to the country music profession. The project highlights those individuals who are recognized nationally as outstanding in their field.

More about Linden and Carthage

Tigers, Big Foot and More!

Those looking for a road trip in Upper East Texas might enjoy this one ... about 2.5 hours driving time (without stops), 113 miles.

Tyler State Park , accessible on a short drive north of Tyler on scenic State Highway 14, provides overnight camping venues, mountain biking, fishing, picnicking, hiking and more.

Leaving the state park, continue north on Highway 14, and visit the Tiger Creek Animal Sanctuary .

After a visit with the tigers, turn west on State Highway 16 to Lindale , hometown of Miranda Lambert and The Cannery . From Lindale, travel north on U.S. 69 to the City of Mineola, the site of the Mineola Nature Preserve and Big Foot Paddling Trail. North of Mineola on Highway 37 is Lake Fork and the town of Quitman.

Continuing north from Quitman on Highway 154 is the City of Sulphur Springs and its Celebration Plaza and Southwest Dairy Museum and Learning Center . Then journey east on old US Highway 67 and see all the attractions in Mount Vernon and Mount Pleasant .

Hotels are available in Mount Pleasant, or journey on to Texarkana or back to Tyler.

A good starting point for road trips in this area is the The Ben J. Rogers Regional Visitors Center, which provides information and assistance to travelers throughout South East Texas. It is located at 5055 Interstate Highway 10 South. Phone 409.842.0500 for opening hours and other information.

From the Visitors Center, drive into downtown Beaumont and visit the Fire Museum of Texas and the McFaddin-Ward House .

If spending the night in the area, enjoy the sights, sounds and dining in the Crockett Street Entertainment District. Also popular with Beaumont visitors are the Babe Didrikson Zaharias Memorial Museum and the beautiful Saint Anthony Cathedral . And you are likely to see remnants of the Old Spanish Trail on Willow, Park, Pearl and College Streets downtown.

Head east from Beaumont and exit at Vidor to avoid the I-10 congestion, with a more leisurely segment to Shangri La Botanical Gardens and the W.H. Stark House in Orange.

Then head southwest on State Highway 87, crossing the Neches River, to Port  Arthur, and visit attractions such as the Museum of the Gulf Coast and Pompeiian Villa .

Take U.S. Highway 96 back towards Beaumont, stopping to see the Dutch Windmill Museum and the French House in Nederland.

Beaumont offers a wide array of lodging, restaurants and entertainment, a great place to start, and end, an East Texas road trip!

For more information:

  • Beaumont Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Orange Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Visit Port Arthur

Deep East Texas Road Trip from Nacogdoches

3 hours, 165 miles

Start your tour in Nacogdoches! With various lodging options in hotels and B&Bs, the city makes a great launch pad for road trips all around East Texas, like this one to Lufkin, Crockett, Palestine and Alto.

The city features many popular attractions including antique shopping, historic homes, art and athletics events at Stephen F. Austin University, boating and outdoor activities on area lakes, the Deep East Texas Fall Foliage Trail, Holiday in the Pines, and more.

Be sure to stop at the Charles Bright Visitor Center located in Plaza Principal in the historic downtown Nacogdoches district for valuable area information and trip planning ideas.

Read more about Nacogdoches

Begin the road trip out of the city by heading south on U.S. Highway 59 to Lufkin. There, downtown features numerous unique retail and antique shops, eating establishments, professional businesses, and also includes a historic walking tour describing the history of Lufkin.

The First Street Arts Center promotes East Texas artists whose work ideally captures the Piney Woods experience. And don't miss the mural in Cotton Square Heritage Park .

Also popular with tourists is the Museum of East Texas, the Ellen Trout Zoo , the Texas Forestry Museum , and the Temple Theater in the Angelina Center for the Arts on the Angelina College campus.

Read more about Lufkin

Head west on Highway 103, through the Davy Crockett National Forest, which contains 160,000 acres of woodlands, streams, recreational areas, and wildlife habitat.

Crockett offers its residents and visitors a variety of festivals with family friendly activities, outdoor recreation including fishing, boating and hunting, several entertainment venues, and numerous historical homes and sites.

The Piney Woods Fine Arts Association presents a number of popular events and concerts at the Crockett Civic Center, at 1163 Edmiston Drive.   Other popular area attractions include the Houston County Museum, the Downs-Aldrich House, the Monroe-Cook House, Houston County Lake, Grapeland Drive-Thru Safari and Mission Tejas State Park.

Read more about Crockett

After touring Crockett, take U.S. Highway 287 north to Palestine. Over 1,800 historical sites are located in Palestine, the county seat of Anderson County.

A wide variety of attractions welcome the visitor to Palestine, including the Anderson County Courthouse, the Texas State Railroad, the Palestine Community Forest, and Elmwood Gardens. Davey Dogwood Park is home to more than 200 acres of picturesque roads meander throughout the park. The park is featured during the annual Texas Dogwood Trails Festival in March and April. Admission is free.

Popular Palestine attractions include the well known Texas State Railroad , which has a rail station in Palestine and one in Rusk . The railroad has a beautiful park at each end of the excursion route.

Read more about Palestine

As we begin the final leg of this road trip, head east on Highway 294 to Alto, located on U.S. 69. It is a small town established in 1849, and near the Caddo Mounds State Historic Site , just west of town at 1649 State Highway 21.

After touring the historic site, continue east on Highway 21 through Douglass and back to Nacogdoches.

For more information on cities and attractions on this road trip:

  • Visit Nacogdoches
  • Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce
  • Lufkin Convention and Visitors Bureau
  • Lufkin/Angelina County Chamber of Commerce
  • Texas State Railroad
  • Crockett Chamber of Commerce
  • Piney Woods Fine Arts Association
  • Visit Houston County

Other Attractions and Road Trip Ideas

Edom - between Canton and Tyler on quiet Texas Highway 279 ... festivals, potters, artists, garden centers, restaurants, eclectic shopping. Explore Blue Moon Gardens, and pick blueberries!

Canton - site of the famous First Monday Trade Days each month, plus a nearby waterpark for the kids. On I-20, and Texas Highways 19 and 64.

Athens - State Fish Hatchery, East Texas Arboretum, scuba park, and fall foliage tours and road trips. Located on State Highways 19 and 31, and U.S. Highway 175.

Stand in three states at once! The states of Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas meet just to the southeast of Atlanta at the Ark-La-Tex Three States USGS Monument .

Jefferson - Take a short 17-mile road trip north from Marshall on US Highway 59 to Jefferson. This small city is full of antique shops, B&Bs, restaurants, festivals and more. While in the area, don't miss a photo op in the tiny village of Uncertain , and steamboat rides.

Caddo Lake is a 25,400 acre lake and wetland near Jefferson on the border between Texas and Louisiana.

Caddo Lake in East Texas

Kilgore - This small city is centrally located in Upper East Texas, and is easily accessible on short trips from Tyler, and Longview, on State Highway 31. It features several attractions such as the East Texas Oil Museum, Kilgore College, the historic Crim Theatre, the Rangerette Museum, and the "City of Stars" holiday festival.

Joinerville - located south of Kilgore on U.S. 64. Stop at the Gaston Museum and see first hand the place where the famous East Texas Oil Field was discovered.

Jacksonville - on U.S. 69, home of the annual Tomato Fest, a good starting point for road trips to the west to Athens, and east to Reklaw, Mount Enterprise, Timpson and Tenaha. East of Jacksonville is the Cherokee Trace Drive Thru Safari , a wildlife park that is home to an amazing variety of wildlife. Near Reklaw is the popular Lake Striker .

Love's Lookout - while in Jacksonville visit this beautiful 30-mile vista to the East. It is a great picnic location and a place to pick up tourist information for area attractions and trips!

Toledo Bend Reservoir - On the Texas-Louisiana border, near Shelbyville, San Augustine, and Hemphill. This massive lake offers boating, fishing, swimming, marinas, hiking,  camping, golf, resorts, and restaurants.

Rusk - ride the Texas State Railroad through deep forests to Palestine, and back. While in the Rusk area, you may want to visit the quaint Maydelle Country Wines . Nearby is Moore Farms , a fun place to visit for all ages of the family year round.

Bullard - Located 15 miles south of Tyler on U.S. 69, Bullard features quiet country roads in every direction! A few miles east on FM 344 is Kiepersol Enterprises . On the grounds are a complete range of activities, facilities and services including Kiepersol Bed & Breakfast, Kiepersol Vineyard and Winery, KE Bushman's Camp/RV Park, and the KE Bushman's Celebration Center.

Plus, don't miss the American Freedom Museum near downtown Bullard, and nearby Dewberry Plantation , dating to 1854. This historic home is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and registered as a Texas State Historical Landmark.

Lake Palestine - 25,000 acres of boating, fishing, swimming, marinas, waterfront restaurants ... minutes southwest of Tyler on Texas Highway 155 near Coffee City, Chandler and Frankston

Map of East Texas Counties and Larger Cities


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Road Trip Around East Texas

A trip from  Houston  through  East Texas  takes you on an adventure like no other, where the trees get taller and the leaves become more evergreen. Experience history and the natural world in a duet that sounds like the wind whistling through the pines and makes road trip memories that will last a lifetime. 

This journey starts in the hubbub of Houston, but we won’t do museums or downtown shops on this trip. Instead, we’ll take it slow at the  Houston Zoo , voted one of the best in the nation. Then take a rest from being on your feet, grab some picnic food and sprawl out by  Buffalo Bayou , a waterway stretching through the heart of Houston and surrounded by a beautiful urban park. You can walk your dog, rent a bike, try your hand at paddleboarding or just sit and admire the skyline. By this time, you might be ready for a short trip out of the city to hit the wineries on the  Texas Bluebonnet Wine Trail . The vineyards won’t disappoint.

From there, grab your trail mix and head up to  Sam Houston National Forest  for a retreat into peace and pine trees. As the city skyline disappears in your rearview mirror and the woods start to surround you like a blanket, feel yourself relax and soak in the scenery. This beautiful stretch of land hosts an abundance of wildlife and natural lakes for fishing or canoeing. For the hikers among you, the Lone Star hiking trail provides 129 miles of beautiful scenery to explore. Feel free to stay all night if you like. There are some great camping options available in the area.

Less than two hours of driving directly north, you’ll find yourself in  Palestine, Texas , a small town famous for its wonderful old-timey train ride. When you arrive, grab a bite from Switch Brick Oven Pizza & Wine Bar will set you on the right foot for the adventure ahead. Your train adventure will leave from the  Texas State Railroad train depot  for a four-hour round trip that will transport you to a simpler time. Before heading out of town, check out  Bralys Ace Hardware . You might not need a new socket wrench, but the converted 1938 school building is worth a look around. The old lockers and bookshelves are still in operation—except now they hold merchandise. 

Next, head east toward  Nacogdoches , Texas’ quintessential Piney Woods town. If you’ve got the time, be sure to hit the  Caddo Mounds State Historic Site , which is on the way, and take in the history of the Hasinai natives from over a thousand years ago. Originally a ceremonial space for ritual purposes, the site is a great place to learn all about the area’s Native American culture.

Nacogdoches is commonly thought of as the oldest town in Texas, and when you’re there, you’ll feel the history in the charming downtown and historic landmarks. For our nature lovers, we recommend meandering through the  SFA Gardens  and admiring the gorgeous collection of native plants.  Millard’s Crossing Historic Village  is another great option for those who want to be immersed in the history of the area. Stroll through the town center filled with real 19 th -century buildings for a unique opportunity to see a bygone era up close.

Just a 15-minute drive from Nacogdoches, you’ll find  Angelina National Forest , a great place for quiet and secluded camping or just sightseeing on a few short, pleasant trails.  Bouton Lake  is one great scenic option for fishing or a simple lakeside lunch. There is an abundance of hiking trails to choose from, but  Sawmill Hiking Trail  is a great option. It’s a short, moderate trail that goes right by the ruins of the Aldridge Sawmill, abandoned in 1923, which is now covered in greenery – striking amid the wilderness surrounding it.

If you’re up for one more nature park, this is a good one: Head south to  Big Thicket National Preserve , a complex and beautiful combination of nine different ecosystems with a diverse medley of plant and animal species. Camping here is “primitive,” meaning you’re on your own. Get a permit and you’re good to set up almost anywhere. The Neches River area provides miles and miles of scenery to enjoy by kayak or canoe, and there are 40 miles of Big Thicket trails to choose from for any level of hiker.

The Neches River runs all the way down to your final stop:  Beaumont  (although we recommend you travel there by road). Here you can find  Gator Country , a large alligator sanctuary. The kids will likely never forget the feeding show they put on here. For gators in their natural habitat, check out  Cattail Marsh . There’s always a plethora of activities being put on at the marsh, including Saturday morning yoga for a good stretch to end a long journey. 

This trip is best when you slow down and take your time, listening to the sounds of the native birds, discovering the wonders of the flora and fauna and finding the perfect rock to balance your lunch on. What an adventure! So hit the road and remember to drive friendly, the Texas way.

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Field Trip Texas

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Schedule a discover texas field trip program for your 4th, 5th, 6th, or 7th graders.

One-day, TEKS -based Discover Texas Field Trips supplement what your students are learning in class through educational, structured, and fun, experiences at significant Texas sites. The best part for you? We handle the details including charter bus transportation, meals, reservations, shirts, souvenirs, and TEKS -based curriculum and activities! Turn-key for you; all supplies are delivered to your school ready to go! Contact us today to request your preferred field trip date!

Bullock Texas State History Museum field trip

Reserve my school's date for the 2024-2025 school year!

"Easiest, most well-planned field trip I’ve ever experienced. Education in Action has thought of EVERYTHING!"

- Teacher, Granbury ISD

All Discover Texas Field Trip Programs Include:

  • TEKS -based bus activities and pre- and post-program activities
  • Pre-program training for participating adults
  • Education in Action team member to coordinate all details
  • One-on-one planning meeting with Coordinating Teacher
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Fort Worth Stockyards, The Herd Cattle Drive, and Choice of Museums

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  • $96*/student & chaperone with charter bus service
  • $63*/student & chaperone with your school district's buses
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*Teachers (one for every 20 students) and one administrator travel FREE

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The Alamo and Witte Museum in San Antonio

4th, 6th, & 7th Grade Social Studies

Includes optional visit to the TEXAS STATE CAPITOL at no extra charge!

$118*/student & chaperone

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Texas State Capitol and The Alamo

$109*student & chaperone

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Texas State Capitol and Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin

$116*/student & chaperone

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Texas State Capitol and Supreme Court of Texas

$91*/student & chaperone

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U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing, Sixth Floor Museum, and George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum

5th & 8th Grade Social Studies

$98*/student & chaperone with charter bus service (lower pricing available with your school district's buses)

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Bullock Texas State History Museum and Cavern Tour

4th, 5th, 6th and 7th Grade Social Studies and Science

  • INNER SPACE CAVERN in Georgetown
  • $135*/student & chaperone
  • $Coming Soon*/student & chaperone

Program includes a Mineral Dig experience for each student!

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Texas State Capitol and Cavern Tour

4th, 5th, 6th, & 7th Grade Social Studies and Science

  • $112*/student & chaperone
  • $134*/student & chaperone

Both options include a Mineral Dig experience for each student!

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The Alamo and Natural Bridge Caverns in San Antonio

$140*/student & chaperone

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Inner Space Cavern in Georgetown and Waco Mammoth National Monument and Cameron Park Zoo in Waco

5th or 6th grade Science

$125*/student & chaperone

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  1. "Field Trips"

    field trips east texas

  2. Top 10 East Texas field trips

    field trips east texas

  3. Top 10 East Texas field trips

    field trips east texas

  4. Field Trip Texas: Home

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  5. Best Austin Area Field Trips

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  6. Texas Field Trips for Homeschoolers

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  1. East Texas Road Trip: Texas Travel Series

  2. Scenic Piney Woods Drive

  3. Exploring East Austin Texas: A Map Tour Of The HOTTEST Spots To Live!

  4. EAST TEXAS: Quiet Rural Towns Far Off The Interstate

  5. Texas Science: Virtual Field Trips

  6. Texas Best


  1. Top 10 East Texas field trips

    New York. Visit the Guggenheim From Home Since its founding, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum has maintained a belief in the transformative powers of art. In uncertain times such as these, art can provide both solace and inspiration. Although our catalytic Frank Lloyd Wright-designed building is temporarily closed, we remain a virtual community ...

  2. 25+ Exciting Things to Do in East Texas

    Get some sun at Galveston Beach. For one of the most classic things to do in East Texas, take a road trip over to Galveston to enjoy the beach. READ NEXT. 21 Best Things to Do in Galveston. Soak up some rays while exploring some of their most popular beaches in Galveston, such as Steward Beach or East Beach. Be sure to apply that sunscreen as ...

  3. Piney Woods Region

    Piney Woods Region History Caddo Mounds State Historic Site Alto East Texas Oil Museum Kilgore Gaston Museum Joinerville Mission Tejas State Park Grapeland Millard's Crossing Nacogdoches Sam Houston Memorial Museum Huntsville Texas Prison Museum Huntsville Science & Technology The Discovery Science Place Tyler Texas Forestry Museum Lufkin Wildlife Caldwell Zoo Tyler Nature Big Thicket ...

  4. Discover 50+ Cool & Amazing Things to do in East Texas

    Beaumont's Oil Discovery. Caddo Mounds State Historic Site, Alto. Holiday Lights in Marshall. Eiffel Tower, Paris. Texas Country Music Hall of Fame. Hidden Gems in East Texas. Piney Woods Wine Trail. Tyler Rose Garden. Helen Lee's Daffodil Garden, Gladewater.

  5. Piney Park

    Visit Piney Park, East Texas' premier family attraction for family fun. Open for Spring, Fall, and Winter with activities for the entire family. Skip to content (832) 840-3999. ... Field Trips. Group Events. Attractions. Food & Drink. 600 Martin Lake Road Marshall, TX 75672 (832) 840-3999. Subscribe to Our Newsletter!

  6. 27 Fantastic Things to Do in East Texas (must-sees!)

    1. Visit Jefferson. Image: Jefferson Texas and Caddo Lake. bk1bennett. [ CC BY-ND 2.0] via Flickr. Go back in history to the bustling 19th century riverport town of Jefferson. A visit to Jefferson is one of the most popular things to do in East Texas, and for good reason.

  7. Field Trips

    East Texas Heritage : tours of the school house, discovery barn, and historic Wofford House ... Plan Your Field Trip. Daily Admission: Adults $5.00 Veterans & First Responders (with valid ID) $4.00 Senior Adults (with valid ID 60+) $4.00 Kids 3-5 $3.00 Under 2 yrs FREE

  8. Texas Geology: 12 Exciting Sites to Visit

    Here are our top twelve recommendations for exploring Texas geology throughout the state. 1. Mountains: Guadalupe Mountains National Park. Big Bend Region. Gather the family and hike to the highest place in Texas; Guadalupe Peak. You will be rewarded for your efforts.

  9. Field Trips in East Texas: You're Tricounty Local Guide

    Growing up in East Texas means you have witnessed a plethora of thrilling adventure, walked through nature's best offerings and grasped onto the local history and culture with plenty of sightseeing being involved too.. And if you plan on making your kid's childhood memorable as well, then there is nothing better than taking them on a field trip across the East Texas region.

  10. 21 Awesome Things To Do in East Texas You'll Love

    3. Kayak at Caddo Lake State Park. Caddo Lake State Park is an East Texas treasure situated in the Piney Woods ecoregion in Karnack. Here you can participate in several activities, such as picnicking, boating, hiking, and fishing. When fishing in the mighty Caddo Lake, there are more than 70 fish species to discover.

  11. 8 Kid-Friendly Things to Do in East Texas

    Contents [ hide] Map of Our Favorites Kids Activities in East Texas. Caldwell Zoo. Longview Arboretum. Longview Public Library. Longview World of Wonders. Tyler Discovery Science Place. Cherokee Trace Drive-Thru Safari. Yesterland Farm in Canton.

  12. Yesterland Farm

    FALL FIELD TRIPS. WEDNESDAYS & THURSDAYS: AVAILABLE: Dates TBA. TIME: Arrive at 9:30am. Depart the farm at 1:30pm. HOW MUCH: $12/person, one free teacher per 15 students. Parents, siblings & other chaperons $12 (cash/card) at the gate. Only formal school groups allowed for Wed. and Thur. field trips.

  13. Texas Field Trips

    iT'Z Family Food and Fun is the family value indoor fun destination, with locations in Euless and Houston. Arcade, bowling, rock climbing, laser tag, bumper cars and more! Attractions vary by location. Houston TEL - Euless: 817-283-3700.

  14. How to Find GREAT Field Trips!

    June 5, 2023. > Field Trips > How to Find GREAT Field Trips! Whether you're new to the Discover Texas adventure or have been with us for a while, you may not have noticed how easy we make it to plan fun and educational trips with your family. If you look over in the right sidebar of the blog section, you'll see where all of our blog posts ...

  15. Texas Field Trips

    Our listing of Texas field trips for homeschoolers is ordered alphabetically by city. If you would like to submit a Texas field trip destination, you may do so using the red button above. ... Enjoy the 12 mile scenic ride through the Lost Pines of East Central Texas. This roller coaster ride is part of the MS-150 (famed bike race from Houston ...

  16. Field Trip to a Civil War Prison Camp in East Texas

    A Very Brief History of Camp Ford: 1862 (spring) Opened as a Training Camp for Newly Recruited Confederate Soldiers. 1863 (summer) First Prisoners Arrive, Including Union Officers. 1863 (fall) A Stockade is Erected after 800 More Prisoners arrive and Threaten Escape. 1864 (spring) More Prisoners Arrive From Battles in Arkansas & Louisiana and ...

  17. East Texas Road Trips

    As you plan your East Texas road trip, keep these earlier trails and roads in mind ... Dixie Overland Highway. U.S. Highway 80 was an early transcontinental route, known as the Dixie Overland Highway, from Savannah, Georgia, to San Diego, California, covering a distance of 1,032 miles.It entered Texas from the East between Shreveport, Louisiana, and Waskom as a two-lane road.

  18. Texas Field Trips for Homeschoolers

    Homeschool Field Trips in East Texas. Frontiers of Flight Museum, Dallas - From the Wright flyer to the Apollo VII spacecraft, this museum has plenty of stories to tell of the amazing gravity-defying feats throughout aviation history. Homeschoolers can view over 30 air and space crafts while building S.T.E.A.M. skills through educational ...

  19. Unique and Affordable DFW Field Trip Destinations

    Interskate's "Rolling with Science" field trips provide one hour of STEM activities and two hours of physical fitness for grades 2-12. Dallas Arboretum. Location: Dallas, Tx. Price: $9-10 per student (Bus stipend and discounted admission available with financial assistance application form)

  20. Plan the Perfect Road Trip Through East Texas

    A trip from Houston through East Texas takes you on an adventure like no other, where the trees get taller and the leaves become more evergreen. Experience history and the natural world in a duet that sounds like the wind whistling through the pines and makes road trip memories that will last a lifetime. This journey starts in the hubbub of ...

  21. Field Trip Texas: Home

    Explore and Learn With Us Here at Field Trip Texas! We're dedicated to helping you discover new and exciting ways to bring your favorite topics to life. Our field trips, DIY journals, and enrichment resources are all designed to make learning fun, engaging, and accessible. Let's explore together! Subscribe!

  22. Discover the Best Field Trip Locations in Texas

    Spread across 106 acres, the Dallas Zoo is home to more than 2,000 animals representing over 400 species. You can enjoy exhibits such as the Giants of the Savanna, the Wilds of Africa, and the Lacerte Family Children's Zoo. 4. Fort Worth Zoo (Fort Worth) Established in 1909, the Fort Worth Zoo is the oldest zoo in Texas.

  23. Field Trips Home

    All Discover Texas Field Trip Programs Include: TEKS -based bus activities and pre- and post-program activities. Pre-program training for participating adults. Education in Action team member to coordinate all details. One-on-one planning meeting with Coordinating Teacher. Charter bus transportation. T-shirt, group picture, trip mascot plushy ...