Showing posts with label Texas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Texas. Show all posts

Texas - Huntsville State Park

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Huntsville State Park is located in the piney woods of east Texas about one hour north of Houston.  If you choose to visit Huntsville State Park you will have 2,000 acres to explore! Our family spent a weekend in September 2021 camping at this lovely state park.  Read on to learn more about our trip.

Texas - Caprock Canyons State Park

 "Oh give me a home where the buffalo roam and the deer and the antelope play."  In June of 2021 we found such a place when we spent three days at Caprock Canyons State Park in the panhandle of Texas. While we did not see any antelope or deer we did see plenty of buffalo! Read on to learn about our camping adventures out in west Texas.

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Texas - Daingerfield State Park

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Are you searching for a peaceful place to spend a few days in nature? If your answer is yes, let me share with you Daingerfield State Park. Read on to learn more about our stay.

Texas - Camping at Tyler State Park

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As newbs to the camping world we were still learning the ins and outs of RV camping when we booked Tyler State Park in July 2020. We were lucky to get a lakeside campsite on a weekend. Tyler State Park has something to offer anyone who loves the outdoors.

Texas - Lake Livingston State Park Camping

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We purchased our 2014 Palomino Puma we call True in June of 2020. Within three weeks we booked our first camping trip. Being first time travel trailer owners, we didn't want to pull it far from home.  Lake Livingston State Park checked all of the boxes for us - close to home, full hookups, on a lake, and more! 

A New Travel Adventure - Our Travel Trailer

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The summer of 2020 we embarked on a new adventure!  We purchased our first travel trailer.  As you can see from our previous posts from years past, we spent our vacations staying in hotels across the United States. Our method of travel has changed but our wandering spirit has not.  Join us as we embark on our journey in our home away from home, True.  

Palo Duro Canyon State Park

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Palo Duro Canyon State Park is a diamond in the rough in an otherwise unimpressive landscape. One minute you are driving the flat lands of the panhandle of Texas, the next you are surrounded by shear beauty. 

Lake Tawakoni State Park

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Lake Tawakoni State Park is located in north east Texas near Wills Point.
On a (record high) hot summer day we visited Lake Tawakoni State Park. This state park is located in north east Texas near the town Wills Point.  

Mother Neff State Park

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Located about 35 minutes from Waco, Texas.
On a warm July day we decided to take the scenic route and stop by Mother Neff State Park on our way to Austin. Mother Neff State Park is located in central Texas near Waco.  It was the first state park in the Texas Parks system.  

The Hill Country of Texas - A Fun Family Adventure!

As spring break was approaching I began looking for places for us to visit for a couple of days.  I started out looking for destinations far away we could fly to.  However, I quickly realized during spring break airfare was too expensive for our budget, so I opted for a road trip.  After considering several locations, I selected the Texas Hill Country! 

We were really lucky that spring had come early to Texas & the bluebonnets & wildflowers were blooming. This made an already alluring part of our great state even more beautiful!

Where is the Texas Hill Country? 
The Texas Hill Country is a 25 county area of Central & South Texas. The major metropolitan areas include Austin & San Antonio.  We have previously visited both of these cities & this trip we were looking for small town charm.  To learn more about the Texas Hill Country towns & cities you can visit the Texas Hill Country website.

A Day in Kilgore, Texas!

If you are looking to explore beautiful East Texas; Kilgore is worth checking out.  We recently spent a day in Kilgore and found an interesting museum & a tasty restaurant that are not to be missed. 

Kilgore is a small town with a population nearing 15,000. Kilgore has a rich history that tells a true Texas tale! In 1930 this rural town in Texas was hit hard by the depression that was gripping the United States. With the discovery of oil this once tiny town grew to thousands within weeks. As you visit Kilgore today you will find the stories of the early families resonate in the community years after this discovery. 
Replica of Kilgore, TX 1930
Our day trip included a stop at the East Texas Oil Museum located on the campus of Kilgore College in the heart of town. The museum is well worth a visit as you will find it to be the same caliber as metropolitan museums while maintaining small town charm. On the day of our visit we lucked into a
A guided tour guide is a great way
to learn about the exhibits.
guided tour & found the docent to be quite knowledgeable & entertaining.  Typically guided tours are by appointment only. The East Texas Oil Museum has memorabilia from years gone by in the front portion of the museum.  In the back portion of the museum you will find a replica of Kilgore, Texas circa 1930. In this portion you can go into buildings & get a real feel for life during this time. Make sure you do not miss the "elevator" ride to the center of the Earth & the movie theater.

"Elevator" to the center of the Earth
Our tour lasted about an hour and a half but you could easily spend a couple of hours exploring this museum. The museum is open Tuesday - Saturday from 9 AM - 5 PM. Entrance fees are $7 per person. Find out more information on the website for the East Texas Oil Museum.  

After our museum visit, we found a local favorite restaurant to have lunch, the Back Porch Restaurant.  The Back Porch is located within a couple of blocks from the East Texas Oil Museum. It has been a popular Kilgore restaurant for over 20 years.  They serve down-home good food that will keep you coming back for more. The day of our visit we opted for burgers & curly fries that were fantastic. If you are looking for more than a sandwich, plate dinners are also available that range from catfish to pork to chicken to beef. All meals come with self-serve all you can eat beans & cornbread that make you think your mama is in the kitchen cooking. If you like live music, the Back Porch Stage features nightly music 3 times per week from a variety of genres. To view the menu & learn more about the Back Porch visit the website. 
Located in the heart of Kilgore!

Our bellies were full & we headed back to the road to explore new areas of Texas. As we drove away from this quaint Texas town, I could not help but think how the lives of so many were changed from a single discovery!

May God bless you wherever the road may take you!

A Day Trip to Dublin, Texas

For our family vacation this year we took a road trip to New Mexico. As part of the road trip we cut across West Texas. One of the stops we made was to the small town in Central Texas named Dublin.  Dublin is located about 1 1/2 hours southwest of Fort Worth.

Dublin, Texas is the home to the world's oldest Dr. Pepper bottling plant.  While the Dublin Bottling Works still makes sweet goodness, it does not bottle Dr. Pepper anymore. But it does still bottle some of the best sodas you will ever taste! All sodas bottled at the Dublin Bottling Works are produced using pure cane sugar, none of that high fructose corn syrup is produced here!  A variety of flavors are offered ranging from Dublin sweet peach, to root beer, to the Original Black Cherry which tastes a lot like... you guessed it Dr. Pepper! 
All sodas are made with pure cane sugar.
We stopped in at Old Doc's Soda Shop which is across the street from Dublin Bottling Works. Old Doc's has soda jerks that will prepare a soda just like you like it! After sampling
Soda Jerks will prepare your soda just like you like it!
some of the sodas, we picked our favorite & enjoyed the pure cane goodness of a Dublin Bottling Works soda. We liked the soda so much that we bought some bottles to take home with us. If you are interested in the bottling process, you can tour the bottling facilities for $5 for adults & $4 for seniors & kids. Tours run every 45 minutes starting at 10:15 AM running through 4:15 pm Tuesday - Saturday & from 1:00 to 5:00 PM on Sunday. Tours start at the Dublin Bottling Works & ends at Old Doc's Soda Shop.  We did not take the tour but instead headed straight for Old Doc's. 
Old Doc's Soda Shop has a variety of souvenirs. 
We give this pit stop on our road trip a big thumbs up!  If you are in the area, it is worth your time to stop in & step back in time at Old Doc's Soda Shop. 
The tasty sodas we selected!
We had no cell service in Dublin so we were left to find Old Doc's Soda Shop on our own. You will find it about 2 blocks off Highway 6 off Patrick Street in Dublin.

Urban Adventure... Dallas, Texas

Dallas, Texas Skyline
Our family decided one beautiful day recently to have an urban adventure! We decided to have our experience in Dallas, Texas. Dallas is one of the largest cities in Texas & has much to offer families on a budget. 

Cost saving tip: If you plan to visit this bustling city you should consider purchasing a Dallas City Pass. The City Pass includes: 1. Perot Museum of Nature and Science, 2. Reunion Tower GeO-Deck 3. Dallas Zoo OR The Sixth Floor Museum, & 4. George W. Bush Presidential Library & Museum OR Dallas Arboretum & Botanical Garden. The City Pass costs only $46 for adults & $31 for children 3-12. IF you are planning to see all of these attractions you will save 42% by purchasing the City Pass. For more information about the Dallas City Pass click here.  We did not plan to visit all of the attractions included in the City Pass on this trip so we opted not to purchase one. 

Urban Adventure Stop # 1 - Perot Museum of Science & Nature
Opening in December of 2012 this state of the art science museum was a welcomed addition to Dallas, Texas. The Perot Museum mission is to "inspire minds through nature and science".  Our family has visited many times since opening day & continue to be amazed at the quality of exhibits. The four levels of this architect designed building offers activities & exhibits for everyone from 3 to 103! A day spent at this museum will be fun for all in your family.Operating hours are Monday - Saturday 10 AM - 5 PM & Sunday Noon - 5 PM. Admission cost: General Admission adults -$19, children aged 2-17 is $12, children under 2 are free. Parking is $8.
Earth Resources Level of Perot Museum
Perot Museum

Engineering Level of Perot Museum
Natural Science Area of Perot Museum

Fossil at Perot Museum
Sports Hall at Perot Museum

ATTENTION ALL TEACHERS the Perot Museum offers FREE admission to all educators. (Remember to bring proof that you are an educator - paycheck stub or ID.) The Perot Museum is an ASTC reciprocal admission museum. Discounts are available for military. To learn more about the Perot Museum of Science & Nature click here. 

Urban Adventure Stop # 2 - Stop by Klyde Warren Park
When you exit the Perot Museum of Science & Nature take a left & go around the building to the north.  Go down the stairs & you will find a green line painted on the sidewalk.  Follow the green line a few blocks to Klyde Warren Park. (approximately a 10 minute walk) This 5 acre green space in the center of a bustling city is a sight to see! Not to mention the park is located above one of the busiest freeways in the city! Each weekend there are a variety of activities offered at the park.  If you are hungry you can partake of some yummy food truck offerings as well. On your Dallas adventure make sure to include a stop at this unique park. Cost: FREE!  To learn more about Klyde Warren Park click here. 

Urban Adventure Stop # 3 - Dallas Museum of Art
Dallas Museum of Art
Across the street from Klyde Warren Park you will find the Dallas Museum of Art. Featuring 4 levels of art from around the world, you will not want to miss this stop on your urban adventure. Admission is FREE for general admission. Special exhibit admission is $16 for adults aged 12 & up & FREE for children aged 11 & under & senior citizen & military admission is $14.
Dallas Museum of Art

Urban Adventure Stop # 4 - McKinney Avenue Trolley
After the Dallas Museum of Art, head back to Klyde Warren Park & catch the vintage McKinney Avenue Trolley that picks up approximately every 22 minutes.  Ride the trolley up to McKinney Avenue & grab a bite to eat in one of the many restaurants.  The trolley runs 365 days per year & is heated & air conditioned. This one of a kind experience in Dallas, Texas is FREE!  Hop on & off the trolley as much as you wish for the affordable price of nothing. 

Urban Adventure Stop # 5 - Hopdoddy Burger Bar
With our stomachs growling we "hopped" off the McKinney Avenue Trolley at Hopdoddy Burger Bar. This is the place to eat if you want some of the most unique burgers that have ever been created.  Don't worry if you are not the adventurous burger eater, they have the classic burger as well. My son & I had the classic burger & my husband had the terilingua. We all devoured our burgers with some tasty fries. The truffle fries come highly recommended.  I liked them but my husband preferred the classic fries. The price came to about $13 per person for our burgers, fries, & 3 sodas. A bit steep for the family on a budget but is par for the location we were visiting. To see the menu for Hopdoddy Burger Bar click here.

With our bellies full we headed back to our car at the Perot Museum. We had a fun day on our urban adventure!  We were able to see & do things that are not seen or done on a typical day in the life of our family.

Visit our video link at the top of the page to see footage from our trips.  

May God bless you on all your adventures!

Tranquil Tejas...Mission Tejas State Park

Our family has a tradition that on January 1st we hike at a state park as a way of bringing in the new year. In 2015 Texas state parks began their "First Day Hikes" program as a means of encouraging people to start the new year off right. (Maybe they heard about our family tradition & thought it was a good idea...) State parks around the state of Texas have ranger led hikes as well as a few state parks offer canoeing or fun runs. This year we spent January 1st at Mission Tejas State Park with Ranger Josh on a 1 mile ranger led hike. 

Where is Mission Tejas State Park?
Mission Tejas State Park is located at 120 State Park Road 44 Grapeland, Texas 75844. Mission Tejas State Park is just off State Hwy 21 (El Camino Real) 15 miles east of Grapeland,Texas in the rolling hills of East Texas. Mission Tejas State Park is in a remote area with the nearest town having a population of approximately 1,400.  You will find Mission Tejas to be a tranquil place where you can slow down and enjoy life away from cell phones & other distractions in your everyday life. 

What is Mission Tejas?
Mission Tejas State Park was created in 1934 by the Civilian Conservation Corps to remember the first Spanish mission in Texas built in 1690, Mission San Francisco de los Tejas. A visit to the park will provide you the opportunity to to see a replica of the original mission. You can also revel at the industriousness of the Rice Family as you tour the Rice Family home that was built on the El Camino Real by hand in 1828.  After you learn the history by touring the mission & family home get out on the trail and enjoy the over 600 acres of pure East Texas beauty of Mission Tejas State Park! 

What is the cost for visiting Mission Tejas State Park?
Daily entrance fees are $2 per person for persons aged 13 and up, children 12 and under FREE! If you would like a year pass to all 90 of Texas' state parks you can purchase one from any state park for $70 per year.  This will get you and your family into any state park for 1 year for free.  The Texas Parklands Pass is also available with 50% off entry for residents age 65+, 50% off entry for permanently disabled individuals, 100% off entry for anyone born before Sep. 1, 1930,  & 100% off entry for disabled veterans.

What did the ranger led hike include?
The first day hike with Ranger Josh was fabulous!  He was very knowledgeable about the state park & the wildlife that calls it home. We met Josh at the playground at 10 AM for the 1 mile guided hike.  At first it seemed that only our family would be on the hike.  However, others began showing up on the brisk January morning & in total we had 11 people from all over Texas on our hike. We hiked the nature trail around the pond, up Cemetary Hill Trail, over to Steep Step Trail, & back around Big Pine Trail to our starting point. Ranger Josh explained different plants and animals on the trail as we hiked. The information Ranger Josh provided was informative without being advanced.  The two children (aged 8 to 12) on our hike were engaged & interested in the information presented. Questions were encouraged from all members of the group. After the hike I told my husband the things Josh pointed out to us I would never have noticed if I were hiking the trail myself. The hike was easy to moderate because you do have a steep hill to climb up & steep steps you must traverse down.  I recommend bringing a hiking stick for this hike due to the hilly terrain. 

Mission Tejas State Park has many ranger programs throughout the year. Some of the offerings include ranger led hikes, geocaching, stargazing, wildlife found in the state park, & survival skills to name a few.  To find out more about current events at Mission Tejas State Park visit their events website. 

What other activities are available at Mission Tejas State Park?
Pond with bench for enjoying the beauty of your surroundings.
In addition to ranger led programs, hiking, & touring historical homes Mission Tejas offers picnicking, geocaching, & fishing.  Picnic tables are plentiful or you can rent a covered pavilion for large parties. If you liked playing hide & seek then you will LOVE geocaching! There are 7 caches hidden throughout the park that can be found using GPS coordinates.  If you do not have GPS units, the park will rent one to you for FREE for the length of your stay. There is a small pond for fishing.  If you do not have fishing poles, Mission Tejas has 24 you can use for FREE for the length of your stay. 
View of campsites from park road.

Are there cabins or campsites at Mission Tejas State Park?
There are no cabins at Mission Tejas State park.  There are 17 campsites nestled in the beautiful trees of east Texas. Sites available range from water only for $9 per night plus daily entrance fee,  to water, electricity, & sewer for $15 per night plus daily entry fee. Remember to bring your food & drink for your stay because you are a minimum of 20 minutes from the nearest grocery or convenience store. 

After our ranger led hike we hiked more trails on our own.  Our first day of 2016 was invigorating and tranquil thanks to our time spent at Mission Tejas State Park! To find out more about Mission Tejas State Park visit their website or Facebook page.
Mission San Francisco de los Tejas est.1690.
Visit our video link at the top of the page to see footage from our trips.

May God bless you on all of your travels.

You CAN Find it in Canton, Texas

First Monday Canton Trade Days
Are you looking for a family getaway unlike any other?  How about take the family on a scavenger hunt for treasures big or small in Canton, Texas? The Thursday-Sunday preceding the first Monday of the month is "Canton Weekend".  Canton, Texas turns from a quiet East Texas town with a population of 3,500 to a bustling 250,000 to 400,000 visitors each month. During "Canton Weekend" you can find anything from unique backpacks for your children to an antique window from a 100+ year old church and everything in between.  There are over 7,000 vendors spread out over 400 acres in both indoor & outdoor locations. Whatever you are looking for, you CAN find it in Canton, Texas without breaking the budget!

Where is Canton, Texas?
Canton, Texas is located in east Texas about 60 miles east of Dallas on I-20 or 37 miles west of Tyler on Texas Highway 64.

Where is the nearest major airport to Canton, Texas?
The nearest major airport is Tyler Pounds Field airport approximately 31 miles from Canton, Texas. Tyler Pounds Field has two airlines servicing the airport - American Eagle Airlines which connects to DFW Airport in Dallas, Texas & United Airlines that connects to Bush Intercontinental in Houston, Texas.

What is there to do in Canton, Texas for fun?

  • First Monday Trade Days - Your family could spend the day or weekend exploring the thousands of vendors at First Monday Trade Days. Don't have a lot of money to spend? Have a scavenger hunt for the most unique item for sale & take a photo of the item. Or you could pick a category such as paintings and have a photo scavenger hunt for the prettiest, most unique, most representative of the state of Texas or whatever!  Your options are limitless. Once everyone has selected their item, the family then votes on the best one. The person with the best one gets to choose which restaurant or vendor the family eats at that night. If you visit during Christmas each family member could draw names & buy a Canton Christmas gift for that person in the family to be opened Christmas Eve.  The indoor pavilions have new items such as purses, clothes, furniture, etc. If you are looking for an American Pickers experience you will want to visit the old section and avoid the pavilions. When you go you will want to bring a wagon or rent one for all your "finds" so you don't have to carry your purchases around all day. Make sure you wear comfortable shoes. Cost: $5.00 parking fee - not bad for a day of family fun!
Splash Kingdom Water Park
  • Splash Kingdom Water Park - Splash Kingdom is open Memorial Day through Labor Day from 11 AM to 6 PM Sunday-Thursday & 11 AM to 7 PM Friday & Saturday. This family-friendly water park is a great way to spend a day. Cost: $23.95 for 42" & over, $18.95  for under 42", military & over 65 years old is $18.95, under 2 years old is FREE, after 4 PM is $14.44 per person as of July 2015.
  • Yesterland Farm - Yesterland Farm is opened weekends September through December check website for exact dates. Yesterland Farm is fun for families with children aged 8 & under. Yesterland Farm is more than just a farm, it is also an amusement park with rides for small children. They do themed events such as fall pumpkin searches and Christmas cut down your own tree and see Santa Claus.  Cost varies visit website for more information but the cost is anywhere from $12.95 per person to $39.95 per person as of Fall 2015 with an extra fee for the rides of $2.00 per person.
Map of Yesterland Farm
Where can I stay in Canton, Texas?

    I-20 RV Park
  • Camping - If you would like to be close to First Monday Trade Days then you should stay at the First Monday RV Park that is within walking distance of Trade Days.  The cost is $30 per night with a minimum of 3 nights.  Reservations are taken the first Tuesday after first Monday trade days. Another RV park option include Mill Creek Ranch Resort that offers campsites ($37-$52 during non Trade Days, during Trade Days the cost is 25% more) or cabins ($136-$188 during non Trade Days, during Trade Days the cost is 25% more). Canton I-20 RV Park is another great option with rates at $35 per night.  Canton I-20 RV Park gets great reviews for their friendly staff and location. 

  • Hotels -  The hotel that is highest rated on Trip Advisor is Best Western Canton, Texas. This hotel is located near Splash Kingdom & First Monday Trade Days. Nightly rates range from $120 - $199 per night. 
Azalea House B&B
  • Bed & Breakfasts - Canton, Texas has over 30 bed & breakfasts from which to choose. Trip Advisor rates Azalea House B&B as number one. Azalea House is near Canton Trade Days but far enough away to escape the crowds. Azalea House has a pool with hot tub & slide, billards, fire pit for s'mores, and so much more! You must call & check rates if you are interested in staying at Azalea House as the nightly rates are not posted on the website.

Where is good place to grab a bite to eat in Canton, Texas?

  • Dairy Palace claims to be "world renowned since 1984". This family owned restaurant serves up breakfast 24/7 as well as some tasty burgers, sandwiches, & Mexican food. All for a price that will not break the budget!
    Dairy Palace
  • Ole' West Bean & Burger  serves down-home cooking and has a fabulous salad bar to boot! If you are looking for comfort food or a really good salad bar visit Ole' West Bean & Burger. Cost $10-$20 per entree.
  • Jalapeno Tree Mexican Food & Cantina serves Tex-Mex at it's best.  This chain restaurant offers great lunch specials that will not break your budget.  The chips & hot sauce are some of the best ever! This restaurant just opened in April 2015.  Cost $10-$20 per entree.

Palestine, TX Small Town Charm on a Budget

Palestine (pronounced Pah-less-teen), Texas is a quaint town in East Texas with a population of 18,000.  The small town atmosphere draws visitors from near and far.  

What kind of accommodations are available in Palestine, Texas? 

Hampton Inn & Suites
Hotel/Motel: I would recommend the Hampton Inn & Suites ($125/night) located at 2700 South Loop 256 Palestine, Texas. The rooms are clean & comfortable.  The indoor pool is nice for year round fun. The breakfast was fabulously FREE. The staff were friendly and welcoming. You are near Walmart, Walgreens, & CVS as well as restaurants.  

Bed & Breakfast: 
Sabor a Pasion Country House & Bistro is a secluded retreat that will refresh your tired spirit and body. It is located a few miles north of Palestine at 110 Anderson County Road 406 Palestine, Texas 75803. Chef Simon will prepare a breakfast unlike any you have experienced. Reservations are also available at Restaurant Aubergine for lunch or dinner.  If you are looking to get away from it all and enjoy the beauty of East Texas, Sabor a Pasion is an excellent choice!

Campsite Texas State Railroad  Palestine
I would recommend the Texas State Railroad Palestine Campsites  ($12/night) located on Highway 84 East just 3 miles from Loop 256. There are no full service hookup sites but there is running water for each site.  You also have a dump station on site. The campsites are level and in a quiet setting. There is a playground nearby. You  can also hike a short 1/2 mile hiking trail that has a pond. Our son enjoyed riding his bicycle around the camp loop.  We liked that we could sit at our campsite and watch him ride the full loop. You are not able to make reservations.  Campsites are available on a first come first serve basis. 

Lakeview Methodist Conference Center:
Lakeview Methodist Conference Center
Would you like to get away from it all and experience the great outdoors?  Lakeview is a camp setting offering facilities for groups from 2 to 1,100 people. There are 1,300 acres of wooded land, 3 lakes, & rolling hills that you and your family can enjoy.  Lakeview offers fishing, swimming, hiking, basketball courts, volleyball courts, putt putt golf, biking, & a ropes course just to name a few. The area is located south of Palestine on Texas Highway 294.  Cost ranges from $45 - $250 per night double occupancy. Day use fees are $5 per person. If you visit the Palestine area you do not want to miss Lakeview Methodist Conference Center.

Where is a good place to eat?

Rumps BBQ: 120 Farm-To-Market Rd 3328, Palestine, TX 75803
About 15 minutes west of Palestine located in what some might call "the middle of nowhere" you will find one fantastic restaurant! While Rumps specializes in BBQ they also offer fantastic sides & some great fried catfish. If you are in the area I highly recommend making the drive to Rumps for great food offered by fabulous servers & staff. (average meal cost $10)

Red Fire Grille: 400 North Queen Street Palestine, Texas 
Before I begin my review of Red Fire Grille, I want to preface it with the following. Yes, I know this blog is for families who want to travel on a budget. HOWEVER, Red Fire Grille is one of the best restaurants I have ever eaten at and therefore cannot be left from my post. Chef Chrisitan Mailloux prepares a revolving menu that inspires visitors to return time and again. When we visited Red Fire Grille I had the cooked to perfection New York Strip and my husband had the crab cakes which were artfully flavored. (average meal cost is $28) 

Giovanni's Italian Restaurant: 2027 West Oak Palestine, Texas
Giovanni's is quality Italian food that comes in portions big enough to share. If you are looking for an Italian meal or just a pizza, you will not be disappointed at Giovanni's. I highly recommend the chicken aristocrat. (average meal cost is $12)

Oxbox Bakery & Antiques: 215 East Crawford Street Palestine, Texas
No visit to Palestine is complete without stopping in for some of the best pie (I like chocolate) you will ever eat! Oxbow Bakery is located in historic Old Town Palestine.  After you finish your pie, walk it off as you visit other shops in the area. 

Eilenberger Bakery: 512 North John Street Palestine, Texas
This bakery first opened in 1898 and has become legendary near and far.  Featured in Southern Living magazine as one of the best bakeries in the south, you do not want to miss this treat when visiting Palestine. Try the gooey bars - you will not be disappointed.

What is there to do in Palestine, Texas?

Texas State Railroad
Texas State Railroad Steam Engine
The Texas State Railroad offers rides on a steam engine through beautiful East Texas. The rides depart from the Palestine or the Rusk depot depending on the day you choose to visit. The cost for coach or open air is $32 for adults & $20 for children for coach class. The Texas State Railroad offers special train rides throughout the year such as The Polar Express among others.  The Polar Express is a perfect way to get into the spirit of Christmas & the city of Palestine has festive activities taking place during this time as well. 

Davey Dogwood Park
Davey Dogwood Park
This 254 acre park on the north side of Palestine at 900 North Link Street is best seen during the spring during Palestine's Dogwood Festival. Drive through this beautiful park the last two weekends in March.

Enjoy a Small Town Festival: 
Palestine hosts two festivals each year, Texas Dogwood Trails Festival and the Hot Pepper Festival. The Texas Dogwood Trails Festival takes place the last two weekends in March & the first weekend in April - during the height of dogwood trees blooming. The Hot Pepper Festival takes place the last Saturday in October and features live bands, pepper eating contests, Dogwood Jamboree, & good ol' small town charm. Palestine is also a great place to visit during the Christmas holidays. In addition to the Polar Express, Palestine also offers a Christmas parade, Santa's Magical workshop, & Ice Fest.  

Enjoy a scenic drive:

  • FM 322 south to Texas State Highway 294.  Take a right on Texas State Highway 294 and travel past Lakeview Methodist Conference Center (400 PR 6036 Palestine, TX). I highly recommend visiting Lakeview at least for 1/2 a day if not longer. After leaving Lakeview take a right on Texas State Highway 294 and travel approximately 3 miles and turn right onto FM 1990. FM 1990 will take you back into Palestine.
  • Texas State Highway 19 north to Athens, Texas (approximately 35 miles) is another beautiful drive. In Athens visit the Texas Fresh Water Fishery.  Your kids will love fishing in the pond, the dive show, the tram tour, hiking, and learning about the hatchery. Cost $5.50 adults & $3.50 for kids aged 4-12. Plan to spend at least 1/2 day here.
    Texas Freshwater Fishery Athens, Texas
  • Texas State Highway 155 north to Tyler, Texas (approximately 47 miles). See my post for Tyler, Texas for more information on this beautiful city.