Things to Do in the District

Click on any county to see interesting things to do in the First District!

Texas District 1 Marshall Longview Tyler Nacogdoches Lufkin Upshur County Marion County Cass County Harrison County Panola County Shelby County Sabine County San Augustine County Gregg County Angelina County Nacogdoches County Rusk County Smith County

Angelina County

Texas Forestry Museum
The only museum of its kind in Texas features exhibits that include a paper mill room, sawmill town exhibit, logging locomotive and depot, forest fire lookout tower, modern management practices, and the Urban Wildscape Trail.

Museum of East Texas
Housed in a historic 1905 church, the Museum has an extensive collection of paintings and sculptures produced by East Texas artists, as well as American, Latin American, and European masters.

Ellen Trout Park & Zoo
Acclaimed as one of the finest small city zoos in the U.S., Ellen Trout Zoo houses nearly 800 wild and exotic creatures from around the world. At the park, visitors can also ride a miniature pre-Civil War train replica around the lake and through beautiful pine trees.

Sam Rayburn Reservoir
Covering 114,500 acres at normal capacity, Sam Rayburn is the most popular recreation area in the Pineywoods, in addition to being one of the top five bass fisheries in the U.S., with the record for largemouth bass at 16.5 pounds.

Crown Colony Country Club
This 18-hole golf course is currently the #9 ranked 18-hole championship golf course in Texas, as selected by the Dallas Morning News. The course is shaded by towering East Texas pine trees and has four different tee settings that make playing golf at Crown Colony a relaxing and diverse experience.

Angelina College
With an annual enrollment of around 5,000 students, Angelina College is accredited to award associate degrees in the Arts, Science and Applied Science.

Gregg County

East Texas Oil Museum
This fascinating museum houses the authentic re-creation of oil discovery and production in the early 1930s from the largest oil field inside U.S. boundaries.

Gregg County Historical Museum
The Museum’s many exhibits illustrate the development of Gregg County with numerous artifacts and historic photographs. A specially designed hands-on area is a favorite of both children and adults.

Longview Museum of Fine Arts
The Museum has a permanent collection of more than 300 paintings, etchings, woodcuts, photographs, works on paper, lithographs, sengraphs, collages, and pieces of sculpture that are rotated on a regular basis.

R.G. LeTourneau Museum
R.G. LeTourneau (1888-1969) was one of the most prolific inventors of oil and earth-moving equipment, and the museum contains his personal memorabilia. Scale models of many of his inventions, as well as the first offshore oil drilling platforms, are on display.

LeTourneau University
Consistently recognized by U.S. News and World Report as one of "America's Best Colleges," LeTourneau University is an interdenominational, evangelical Christian university of nearly 3,400 students. Academic majors include the aeronautical sciences, business, education, engineering, engineering technology, the liberal arts and natural sciences.

Kilgore College
Kilgore College is a publicly supported, two-year, comprehensive community college offering postsecondary educational opportunities. The College offers training in cosmetology, nursing, law enforcement, manufacturing technology, and numerous other vocational fields. It is also the home of an excellent athletic program, an agriculture demonstration farm, the Rangerettes, the East Texas Oil Museum, and the Texas Shakespeare Festival.

Harrison County

Caddo Lake State Park
Caddo Lake State Park gets its name from Caddo Lake, a sprawling maze of bayous and sloughs covering 26,810 acres of cypress swamp. The average depth of the lake is 8 to 10 feet with the deep water in the bayou averaging about 20 feet. An angler's delight, Caddo Lake contains 71 species of fish.

Caddo Lake National Wildlife Refuge
The purpose of the 7,500 acre refuge is to manage, conserve, and protect the migratory birds and other fish and wildlife that depend upon it for survival. Among other attractions, the refuge features a 9 mile, multiple-use wildlife observation trail.

Michelson Museum of Art
Originally established in 1985 for the special purpose of caring for the life work of Russian-American artist Leo Michelson (1887-1978), the Museum has since expanded its collection to include the Gloria and Bernard Kronenberg Collection of early 20th century American art and the Ramona and Jay Ward Collection of African Masks and Chinese Opera Puppets.

Historic Harrison County Courthouse
Designed by J. Riely Gordon and C.G. Lancaster and completed in 1900, the Renaissance Revival structure served as the courthouse for Harrison County until a more modern structure opened just to the west in 1964. The building later became home for the Harrison County Historical Museum, though the museum temporarily relocated as the building underwent restoration for much of the first decade of the 2000s.

East Texas Baptist University
Originally founded in 1942 as the College of Marshall, East Texas Baptist University is a private, coeducational Christian university associated with the Baptist General Convention of Texas.

Texas State Technical College
The College offers certificates and associates degrees leading to exciting careers in advanced technical fields, providing students with quick routes to great careers, high quality education, excellent faculty, small classes, and hands-on real world training in areas ranging from agriculture to transportation.

Wiley College
Wiley College is a four-year, privately-supported, historically black university located in Marshall, Texas, and holding the distinction as one of the oldest historically black colleges west of the Mississippi River. The College garnered rare international visibility with the recent release of the movie, The Great Debaters, which retold the story of the 1935 Wiley College debate team’s victory over that year’s National Champions, the University of Southern California.

Marion County

Caddo Lake
Named after the Native Americans called Caddo Indians or Caddoans, the Lake is located on the border between Texas and Louisiana. Covering more than 26,000 acres, Caddo is the largest natural lake in the south and the only natural lake in Texas.

Excelsior House Hotel
Built in the 1850s, the hotel is the oldest one in East Texas. During the river port days of Jefferson, some of its famous guests included U.S. Presidents Grant and Hayes, and poet Oscar Wilde.

Jefferson Historical Museum
The Museum structure, which was once the center of Marion County activities when it housed both the courthouse and post office, is a wonderful portal into Jefferson’s history.

Jefferson Carnegie Library
Built in 1907, the library was constructed with money donated by Scottish-American businessman and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie.

Nacogdoches County

Caddo Mounds
More than 1,200 years ago, a group of Caddo Indians known as the Hasinai built a village and ceremonial center 26 miles west of present-day Nacogdoches. The site was the southwestern-most ceremonial center for the great Mound Builder culture, which spanned the eastern North American woodlands for more than 2,500 years. The site consists of two temple mounds, a burial mound and a large portion of the adjacent village area.

Stone Fort Museum
The Stone Fort was a rallying place for Anglos when they arrived illegally before 1824, or legally after the new Mexican government permitted colonization. At the Stone Fort, volunteers gathered for service in the Texas Revolution, the Civil War, and even the Spanish American War. Efforts to seize Texas from Spain by Augustus Magee (1812) and James Long (1819) also headquartered here.

Durst-Taylor House
This circa 1835 wood-frame house is the second oldest structure in Nacogdoches. Recently restored to interpret the 1840 to 1860 time period, the site includes a smokehouse, blacksmith shop, visitors’ center, chicken yard and heritage gardens.

Lake Nacogdoches
This 2,200 acre lake offers a great place to catch largemouth bass, crappie and sunfish. Two lakeside parks include pavilions, picnic tables, charcoal grills, a swimming area, boat ramps, a disabled fishing and boat dock, a nature-hiking trail and playgrounds.

Millard’s Crossing Historic Village
One of the most educational and entertaining tours in Nacogdoches, the Millard’s Crossing is a reconstructed historic village with everything from log cabins to Victorian homes that date back to the early 1880s.

Mast Arboretum
This garden, which spans more than 19 acres and lies along the Lanana Creek Trail, is home to a wide diversity of plant life, including rare trees, shrubs, vines, ground covers and perennials.

Ruby M. Mize Azalea Garden
The largest azalea garden in Texas features more than 7,000 azaleas and is the centerpiece of Nacogdoches’ annual Azalea Trails.

Texas Blueberry Festival
As the only state-sanctioned blueberry festival in Texas, this annual event attracts more than 17,000 people. Visitors from around the country flock to downtown Nacogdoches on the second Saturday each June to paint the town blue.

The Cole Art Center at the Old Opera House
This historic downtown building houses two galleries in which Stephen F. Austin State University hosts exhibitions by international, national and local artists.

Stephen F. Austin State University
Founded as a teachers' college in 1923, the University was named after one of Texas' founding fathers, Stephen F. Austin, and its campus resides on part of the homestead of another Texas founding father, Thomas Jefferson Rusk. The University offers more than 120 areas of study, including more than 80 undergraduate majors, nearly 50 graduate degrees, and three doctoral programs. Stephen F. Austin offers classes through six colleges, and houses one of only two schools of forestry in the State of Texas.

Panola County

Historical 1891 Panola County Jail
On July 7, 1891, Panola County paid $100 to John M. Bradley for a 50 feet by 100 feet lot in Carthage, Texas. Upon this lot, the county built its first permanent jail, a two story building of red brick with iron doors, bars, and cells.

Texas Country Music Hall of Fame
The Hall of Fame was initiated in 1998 to celebrate the contributions of Texans to the country music profession. The project highlights those individuals, living or dead, who are recognized nationally as outstanding country musicians.

Panola College
As a two-year public community institution, Panola College is dedicated to providing excellence in education for its constituents. The range of educational offerings both face-to-face and electronic includes university transfer programs, technical and workforce programs, developmental courses designed to increase academic proficiency, and continuing education to enrich lives and improve skills.

Rusk County

The Depot Museum
The Museum encompasses 5 acres with 13 structures, and includes The Arnold Outhouse, which was awarded a Texas historical marker giving the town of Henderson a legitimate claim to fame as the location of the "Fanciest Little Outhouse in Texas."

Gaston Museum
The Museum portrays life in the 1930’s in the Great East Texas Oil Field, once the largest oil field in the world.

London Museum
Located across from the rebuilt school, this small museum recalls the horror of the 1937 school explosion that rocked the nation, displaying reminders from that day, including clothing, books and photos.

Martin Creek Lake State Park
Martin Creek Lake State Park, which consists of 286.9 acres, is located on 5000 acre Martin Creek Lake, constructed to provide cooling water for a lignite-fired, electric power generation plant.

Sabine County

El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail
Designated as a National Historic Trail in 2004, the "El Camino Real de Los Tejas" has existed for more than 300 years. Marked by the Spaniards and the French, the trail was followed by such men as Moses Austin and his son, Stephen Fuller Austin (The Father of Texas), Jim Bowie, Davy Crockett, Sam Houston, and early missionaries of multiple faiths.

Gaines-Oliphint House
This is the oldest standing log house in Texas. Built circa 1818, the house is one of the earliest Pre-Republic, Anglo-American structures in Texas.

Sabine County Historical Jail Museum
Built in 1904 and used as the Sabine County Jail until 1983, the old jailhouse located on the square of Hemphill offers much history. The building is now known as the Sabine County Jail Museum and Virgie Speights Memorial Library.

Toledo Bend Reservoir
The lake has an area of 185,000 acres and is the largest man-made body of water in Texas, the largest in the South, and the fifth largest in the U.S.

San Augustine County

Ezekiel Cullen House
Built in 1839 by noted architect Augustus Phelps, it eventually became the home of Judge Ezekiel Cullen, an associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Texas, and a member of the Third Congress (1838-39). His delightful museum houses a collection of paintings by the renowned artist S. Seymour Thomas, a native of San Augustine.

San Augustine County Courthouse
Completed in 1927, the third San Augustine County Courthouse is constructed of Texas lueders stone. It is symmetrical in plan with a prominent central entry bay and exhibits influences of the Classical Revival style of architecture.

Shelby County

Shelby County Courthouse
J.J.E. Gibson, architect and builder, designed and constructed the courthouse to resemble an Irish castle. The style is, in part, "Romanesque Revival." Gibson completed the construction of the courthouse in 1885.

Smith County

1859 Goodman-LeGrand Home & Museum
A delight for antique lovers and historians, this Tyler landmark brings the past to life with original furnishings, photographs and memorabilia dating from the mid-1800s.

American Freedom Museum
The museum’s 15,000 square feet of galleries contain an amazing collection of over 600 artifacts and documents from the breadth of our nation’s history.

Bonner-Whitaker McClendon House
The house is one of the finest examples of Eastlake Bracketed Victorian Architecture remaining in East Texas. Guided tours depict Tyler’s political and cultural history from the post-Civil War period.

Brookshire’s World of Wildlife Museum
The museum features more than 450 examples of mounted wildlife and a replica of the 1920’s grocery store.

Caldwell Zoo
The Zoo houses more than 2000 animals from 250 species from Africa, North and South America at the 85 acre park. The Zoo includes a children's petting pen, two aquariums, picnic areas, a café that overlooks an African savannah and gift shops with original African items.

Camp Ford Historic Park
Camp Ford was the largest Confederate Prisoner of War Camp west of the Mississippi River during the American Civil War. The site of the camp is now a public park, managed by the Smith County Historical Society.

Historic Aviation Memorial Museum
The Museum has an incredible display of historic aircraft and aviation memorabilia as a tribute to the pioneers of flight.

Camp Fannin Veterans Memorial
Visitors can take a self-guided tour of the original 15,000 acre camp. Regimental markers and site locations for various training exercise areas are indentified in the guide.

Roseland Plantation
Originally a 3,300 acre cotton plantation established by Mr. Burwell Hambrick, Roseland Plantation is now 14 acres of combination manicured lawn and beautiful east Texas wood. Roseland Plantation has five historic buildings, all dating back to the 1800s, and a rich and colorful history starting from pre-Civil War to the present day.

Smith County Historical Society’s Museum & Archives
Included in the National Register of Historic Places, the 1904 Carnegie Library building now serves as the Historical Society's museum and archives. Exhibits feature artifacts reflecting Smith County's historic, social and economic culture, including the Indian, Republic of Texas, Civil War and 20th Century eras.

Tiger Creek Wildlife Refuge
Tiger Creek Wildlife Refuge is an "Incorporated Animal Shelter" for the big cats. Tiger Creek provides rescue and rehabilitation of big cats that have been abused, neglected, or displaced.

Tyler Rose Museum
The museum is a spectacular display of memorabilia and items related to Tyler's rose-growing industry and the Texas Rose Festival.

Tyler Museum of Art
The Tyler Museum of Art is a wonderful destination for people seeking a dynamic, culturally-enriching experience in the visual arts. From its 700-piece permanent collection to a remarkable array of traveling exhibitions, the Museum is recognized as a major attraction for both tourists and local visitors.

Tyler State Park
Visitors can participate in fishing, camping, boating, swimming, hiking, canoeing and paddle boating. The 985 acre park surrounds a spring-fed lake and is the home of the Texas State record of a 14.5 pound Big Mouth Bass.

Tyler Municipal Rose Garden
The Tyler Municipal Rose Garden is a 14 acre park, making it the nation's largest rose garden. The garden is full of breathtaking beauty, especially in the spring and again in mid-October when the Rose Garden is in full bloom. The Garden contains more than 38,000 rose bushes of at least 500 different varieties, from tall grafted rose trees to miniature roses no larger than a dime. The Rose Garden is also the site of the annual Texas Rose Festival held in mid-October, which attracts tourists by the thousands.

Texas College
Texas College is a residential and coeducational four-year, liberal arts, historically black college awarding baccalaureate and associate degrees. It was founded in 1894 by a group of ministers interested in offering a quality education to African-American youth.

Tyler Junior College
Boasting a credit enrollment of more than 12,000 credit students each year, with an additional 20,000 continuing education enrollments annually, Tyler Junior College offers more than 50 concentration options for an Associate in Applied Science Degree, an Associate in Arts Degree or a Certificate of Proficiency. The College is also the home of the world-renowned Apache Belles and Apache Band and has been recognized for having more first-teamers and more overall selections to Phi Theta Kappa/USA Today All-USA Academic Team than any other college in the U.S.

University of Texas at Tyler
The University of Texas at Tyler is a comprehensive institution of higher education offering undergraduate and graduate degree programs as an institution of the renowned University of Texas System. UT Tyler consists of four professional colleges and one traditional college of arts and sciences, offering over 90 academic degree programs at the bachelor, master, and doctoral levels.

Upshur County

Flight of the Phoenix Aviation Museum
The museum provides visitors an opportunity to learn more about the diverse roles of aviation in their daily lives.

Upshur County Historical Museum
Historic Upshur Museum was incorporated by the State of Texas as an educational non-profit corporation, working to help improve the community with a little history of how it came to be and how it reached its present atmosphere.

Lake Gilmer
The lake size is 1,010 surface acres. An additional 1,557 acres of mitigation property will be developed into a combination of hiking trails, nature trails and bird watching stations.

Shelby County