Marshall is a historic city located in East Texas.
Founded in 1841, Marshall is known for its beautiful downtown area, its antebellum architecture, as well as a thriving arts scene.
Marshall, the county seat of Jefferson County, also has many interesting museums, great shops, and restaurants.
Also Read: 33 Best Small Towns to Visit in Texas
Because of its location in the Piney Woods region, Marshall is also close to many outdoor activities and attractions.
If you’re looking for a weekend getaway that’s full of southern charm, then Marshall is a wonderful destination.
Also Read: 18 Fun Things to do in East Texas
Fun fact – Marshall is a small city in East Texas with a big place in music history!
It’s the birthplace of Boogie Woogie, a style of piano blues that became hugely popular in the 1930s.
Its origins are linked to the Texas & Pacific Railroad line that ran through Marshall.
Today, the Boogie Woogie sound can be heard in many different genres of music, from rock to jazz.
Best Things to do in Marshall, Texas
There are plenty of things to do in Marshall, whether you’re a history buff, a nature lover, or just looking for a fun place to visit.
Downtown Marshall is full of historic buildings and strolling down the brick-lined streets is a great way to spend an afternoon.
Add in the museums as well as nearby attractions, and you can easily spend 2 to 3 days exploring the tourist attractions in Marshall.
Here are some of the best things to do in Marshall, TX.
Marvel at the Old Harrison County Courthouse
The Old Harrison County Courthouse in Marshall, Texas is a beautiful and historic building that dominates the town square.
Built-in 1901, it is one of the oldest and most recognizable courthouses in the state of Texas.
It is also a beautiful example of neoclassical architecture.
The courthouse is a popular stop for tourists and a source of pride for locals.
It is a reminder of Marshall’s long and rich history.
Take a walk through Harrison County Courthouse Square
The Harrison County Courthouse Square is a beautiful area located in the heart of downtown Marshall.
Stroll through the square and admire the architecture of the courthouse, then take in the surrounding buildings.
Then, take a break in one of the square’s many parks or cafes.
On Saturdays, you will find the Farmer’s Market held here.
Stroll down Historic Downtown Marshall
Downtown Marshall is a National Historic Landmark District that is home to dozens of beautiful antebellum buildings.
Take a stroll down Washington Ave and admire the Greek Revival-style buildings that date back to the mid-19th century.
Many of these buildings are now home to businesses, restaurants, charming boutiques, and art galleries.
Be sure to pop into some of the local shops, where you’ll find everything from vintage clothing to handcrafted jewelry.
Check out Telegraph Park
Telegraph Park is a small park located in downtown Marshall.
The park is home to a replica of the first telegraph office in Marshall, which was built in 1854.
The park also has a sculpture of a Telegraph Boy at work.
It’s a great place to take a break from shopping and sightseeing and it’s also a popular spot for taking photos.
Visit the Marshall Visitor Center
The Marshall Visitor Center is a great place to start your visit to Marshall.
Here, you can pick up maps and brochures, learn about the history of the city, and find out about upcoming events.
Browse the Weisman Antique Store
Nestled in the heart of historic Marshall, Texas, Weisman Antique and Gift Shop is a must-visit for any lover of vintage finds.
It has been a staple in the historic downtown of Marshall, Texas for over three decades and is located right next to the Visitor Center on Washington Ave.
The shop is filled to the brim with an ever-changing assortment of antique furniture, glassware, china, and more.
Browsing through the store is one of the most fun things to do in Marshall, Texas.
Visit the Harrison County Historical Museum
The Harrison County Historical Museum in Marshall, Texas is a hidden gem.
It has 3 locations, with one being inside the Courthouse.
This museum is packed with artifacts and exhibits that tell the story of Harrison County’s rich history.
From the early days of the Republic of Texas to the present day, the museum chronicles the county’s development through a variety of lenses.
The museum’s permanent collection includes items such as furniture, photographs, and documents.
With its fascinating exhibits and a deep trove of historical resources, the Harrison County Historical Museum is well worth a visit.
Tour the Starr Family Home State Historic Site
Nestled in the piney woods of East Texas, the Starr Family Home State Historic Site offers a glimpse into the lives of one of Marshall’s most prominent families.
The home was built in 1871 by Frank Starr and is known by the name ‘Maplecroft’.
The home is furnished with many original items from the Starr family, including furniture, china, and clothing.
Visitors can also see a working replica of the kitchen stove that was used by the family.
In addition to the main house, the site includes several outbuildings including the Blake House, Rosemont, and the Schoolroom.
Visit the Michelson Museum of Art
The Michelson Museum of Art is a great place to spend an afternoon if you’re interested in art and history.
The museum is dedicated to the life and work of Leo Michelson, a Latvian-American artist known for his illustrations and paintings.
The museum houses a permanent collection of Michelson’s work, as well as other artists.
See the exhibits at the Texas and Pacific Railway Museum
The Texas & Pacific Railway Depot and Museum is a must-see attraction for anyone interested in the railroad history of Texas.
The depot was built in 1881. It served as a major stopping point for passengers and freight traveling on the Texas & Pacific Railway.
Today, the depot has been beautifully restored.
It houses a museum that tells the story of the railway and its importance to the state of Texas.
The depot is home to a collection of railroad memorabilia, including equipment, photographs, and documents.
Dine at the The Ginocchio
The Ginocchio Hotel is a historic hotel and restaurant located in downtown Marshall.
The hotel was built in 1896, adjacent to the Texas and Pacific Railway Station, and catered to rail passengers.
The hotel has been restored to its original 19th-century grandeur, and the restaurant serves classic American cuisine with a Southern twist.
The adjacent Ginocchio Historic District is also worth exploring.
See a show at the Memorial City Hall
The Memorial City Hall is a performance venue located in downtown Marshall.
Every year at hosts a variety of performances including popular plays.
During the holiday season, you can watch shows like A Christmas Carol and the Nutcracker ballet here.
Explore murals in downtown Marshall
Downtown Marshall is home to several incredible murals.
The murals depict scenes from the city’s history, including the Civil War, the Railroad, and the oil boom.
Walking around downtown and admiring the murals is one of the best free things to do in Marshall, Texas.
Try some Texas bbq at Bear Creek Smokehouse
The Bear Creek Smokehouse is a great spot for lunch or dinner if you’re in the mood for some good old-fashioned Texas BBQ.
The restaurant is located in a historic building and has been in the family for generations.
The smokehouse specializes in slow-cooked meats, smoked over hickory wood.
The menu features a variety of BBQ classics, such as brisket, ribs, and sausage.
Experience the Wonderland of Lights holiday festival
Christmas is an exciting time to be in Marshall, Texas.
The Wonderland of Lights in Marshall is one of Texas’s most anticipated holiday events.
During the festival, the town comes alive with holiday lights, decorated displays, and Christmas events.
The festival kicks off with a parade, and there are also live concerts, caroling, ice skating, and Santa visits.
The highlight is the gorgeous Old Harrison County Courthouse. It is illuminated with over 100,000 lights and looks magnificent.
The Wonderland of Lights is a must-see during the holiday season.
Also Read: 24 Best Texas Christmas Vacations
Explore the restaurants and cafes in Marshall
When you get hungry, there are plenty of great restaurants to choose from.
For a taste of Texas BBQ, be sure to check out Bodacious or Bear Creek.
Other popular restaurants include Cajun Tex, Central Perks, and Gucci’s Pizza.
Or, if you’re in the mood for something sweet, stop by Bubba’s Shaved Ice for a treat.
Enjoy a romantic time at Walkers Mill Vineyard
Walkers Mill Vineyard & Winery is a beautiful spot for a romantic outing.
The vineyard specializes in muscadine grapes and has beautifully landscaped grounds.
Visitors can take a tour of the vineyard by appointment, enjoy a wine tasting at their tasting room, or just relax with a glass of wine and enjoy the views.
Explore nature at Caddo Lake
Texas is home to many beautiful state parks, and Caddo Lake State Park is one of the best.
Caddo Lake, located on the Texas-Louisiana border, is the perfect place to spend a day outdoors.
The park offers hiking, fishing, canoeing, as well as bird-watching.
The lake is popular for its abundant fish population, including largemouth bass, crappie, and catfish.
From Marshall’s museums and historic sites to vineyards and tasting rooms, there are plenty of top attractions in this East Texas gem to keep you busy.
Interested in history, outdoors, or shopping? You will fall in love with Marshall, Texas!
What are your favorite things to do in Marshall, Texas? Let us know in the comments.