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13 Best Things to do in Palestine, Texas

Located in the Piney woods region of East Texas, you will find the charming Texan town of Palestine. 

Palestine is the perfect Texan getaway for all types of travelers. 

History and culture lovers can enjoy the museums and historic buildings in Palestine. 

Those who enjoy being outdoors can enjoy the hiking trails, scenic drives, and water sports in the region. 

The Piney woods wineries and restaurants in Palestine are perfect for foodies. 

Also Read: Best things to do in East Texas

Best Things to do in Palestine, Texas

Palestine has plenty of architectural gems, historic sites, and natural beauty. 

Here are some of our favorite things to do in Palestine, Texas.

Ride the Texas state railroad

A ride on the vintage steam train of the Texas state railroad is one of the highlights of visiting Palestine.

The ride through the beautiful pine Texas forests from Palestine to Rusk is one of the most scenic train rides in the state.

The 4 hours long train ride begins at the Palestine Depot and is very beautiful in fall.

During winter, the railroad hosts the Polar Express ride where kids can meet Santa Claus and read along with the Polar Express book.

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

Enjoy spring at Davey Dogwood Park

We love to visit Palestine TX during spring for its beautiful dogwood blossoms.

This vast and sprawling park has several miles of East Texas hiking trails as well as biking trails.

Visitors can enjoy scenic views of the lovely rolling hills from the Manley Mountain Overlook located within the park.

In Spring, the park is home to Texas Dogwood Trails Festival.

There’s also a parade in town and you can find colorful blossoms everywhere!

Davey Dogwood Park is also popular for its fall colors.

Dogwood trees in bloom at Davey Dogwood Park in Palestine Texas
Dogwood trees in bloom at Davey Dogwood Park in Palestine Texas

Visit the Museum for East Texas culture

The Museum for East Texas culture is one of the most impressive history museums in the Lone Star State.

The building itself is incredibly beautiful – and it is hard to believe that it was once home to a high school!

The museum collection, displayed in the school room, includes a variety of artifacts and relics that narrate the history of this charming town.

We definitely recommend the Museum of East Texas culture for history lovers.

Admire the Anderson County Courthouse

A highlight of the visit to this charming town is the Anderson County Courthouse. 

This impressive building stands in the heart of downtown historic district.

It is on the National Register of Historic Places and features classic Revival architecture.

It is famous for its beautiful stained-glass dome.

On weekdays, visitors can step inside the building to admire the dome.

Anderson County Courthouse in Palestine, Texas
Anderson County Courthouse in Palestine, Texas

Take a stroll in downtown Palestine

After seeing the courthouse, take some time to explore Old Town Palestine.

Here you can see several well-preserved buildings such as the historic Redlands Hotel, Bowers mansion, and the Railroad Heritage Center.

You will also see several historic homes and can enjoy shopping on the quaint old streets.

You can also see beautiful sculptures on Main Street on the Art Track.

Step inside the Palestine Visitor Center

The Visitor Center is in the beautifully restored Neches Railroad Depot, which was built in 1906.

We recommend going inside to admire the historic building and vintage artifacts.

You can also pick useful maps, get recommendations for food and shopping, and purchase souvenirs at the visitor center.

The Visitor Center is located at 825 Spring Street Palestine.

Historic home in Victorian style of architecture in Palestine, Texas
Historic home in Victorian style of architecture in Palestine, Texas

See the Texas Jail House

The Texas jail house is a beautiful Art Deco Style building.

It was built in 1931 and served as the county jail.

Today, visitors can see this historic jail on a tour on the weekends.

The jail also has the reputation of being haunted and hosts a Haunted House during Halloween.

At Christmas, it becomes the Grinch’s Lair!

Families and kids can visit the Texas jail house to meet Grinch who’s locked up here!

Enjoy family time at Reagan Park

Looking for some outdoor time in Palestine?

Reagan Park is a favorite with locals.

It has play areas for kids, splash pads, picnic tables, tennis courts, as well as walking trails.

The park has several large shady trees and is good to visit even in the summer.

Hike to the waterfalls at Wolf Creek Lake

The beautiful Wolf Creek Lake near Palestine is great for hikers and nature lovers.

Here you will find a beautiful hidden waterfall as well as a dam.

Update – the area near the dam and waterfall was damaged due to rainfall and is currently closed to public.

Wolf Creek waterfall near Palestine in East Texas
Wolf Creek waterfall near Palestine in East Texas

Drive the Piney woods wine Trail

One of our favorite parts of visiting Palestine is the Piney Woods wine trail.

The Piney Woods Region around the city is home to numerous wineries.

Some of the popular wineries on the trail include Texas Vineyard and Smokehaus, Briar Creek Vineyards, Silver Lake Cellars, and more.

Spend a day on the water at the lakes

The large lakes in Palestine are popular outdoor attractions in the area.

The upper City Lake and lower City Lake are both extremely popular for fishing.

Other popular activities on the lake include swimming as well as water sports such as kayaking and canoeing.

The night sky at Lake Palestine in East Texas
The night sky at Lake Palestine in East Texas

Enjoy Christmas in Palestine

During winter, Palestine is one of the most popular Christmas towns in Texas.

Visitors can see the holiday lights in downtown, take the Polar Express train ride to North Pole, and enjoy holiday shopping.

Don’t forget to see the Grinch at the jail house!

Plan a couples getaway in Palestine

The romantic city attracts couples of all ages year round but Valentine’s Day is also a great time to visit here because of the special train excursion at the Texas state Railroad.

Featuring champagne and chocolates, this romantic train ride is perfect to woo your loved one!

Add in shopping in downtown, country music, art gallery visits, and you’re bound to have an excellent time.

We hope you liked our guide on the best things to do in Palestine, Texas.

Lynn

Saturday 30th of July 2022

Whoever wrote this obviously did not physically visit upper or lower lake. There's no swimming there. As in, there's no swimming areas. And there's gators. The picture shown is of Lake Palestine, which is right outside Tyler, and it's 30-45 minutes away.