Monthly editors' picks and recommendations for places to eat, stay, see and experience in small towns in America and places off the beaten path. We highlight a different region each month so that readers can build an itinerary! Here are our recommendations for things to do, see and experience in East Texas in June to kick off a summer of fun.
The Redlands Hotel - Palestine, Texas
One of the prettiest parts of a very pretty Texas region, Palestine not only has many great food, cultural and outdoor options, but also a unique place to stay while you take it all in. Located at the edge of Downtown Palestine and first built in 1914 to serve railroad travelers, The Redlands Hotel is a well-preserved and comfortable place to stay in the the pines of East Texas. Its suite-style accommodations are perfect for families on East Texas road trips and singles looking for more space to relax in. While it might be tempting to stay in the building all day — it even has its own contemporary art gallery — it's worth the few extra steps to get to Eilenberger's Bakery, the Cool Cow Creamery, or to walk through the area to explore its historic facades, retro signage, murals and Bat Alley. A longer walk or quick drive gets you to Old Town Palestine, which has more public art, shopping and restaurants. Drive a bit further to the Davey Dogwood Park for beautiful views in all seasons. Return to The Redlands Hotel for dinner at Queen St. Grille for a delicious end to the day.
Java Jack's in Nacogdoches hits all the right notes. Excellent coffee, energetic ambiance and just a few blocks to walk or a very short drive away from downtown Nacodgoches. The Nacogdoches coffee shop's close proximity to the SFASU campus makes for some lively conversation and great people watching, and its rooftop deck is a secret-ish spot to relax and enjoy views of Nacogdoches main street.
"Student/Teacher:Student/Teacher: Works by Charles Criner & Dr. John Biggers" at the Tyler Museum of Art
This art exhibition in East Texas features works on paper by notable Texas artists Charles Criner (b. 1945) and Dr. John Biggers (1924-2001). The exhibition highlights their individual artistic styles while examining Biggers’ influence on Criner’s work. In 1949, Dr. Biggers was chairman of the art department at the institution that would become Texas Southern University. Well known for his drawings and sculptures, he was also a prolific and renowned mural artist, producing art that reflects the "spirit and style" of Black people. Criner is a working, multi-disciplinary artist whose art includes paintings, drawings and contemporary printmaking. On view through August 14.
80 Acre Market, Gilmer
Set up in a seven-bedroom house and across its rural property, this small-town shopping, entertainment and experiential lifestyle destination is the first of its kind in East Texas. 80 Acre Market's wares trend toward the classic and rustic-chic, and its special events for summer in East Texas include a Father's Day Celebration, book launches and markets with artisans, live music and food trucks.
Texas Blueberry Festival - June 11, Nacogdoches
This annual event attracts more than 19,000 people to downtown Nacogdoches. Visitors can enjoy live music, blueberry picking, auto exhibits, shopping and blueberry-centered restaurant specials.
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