Summer may be the traditional road tripping season, but autumn is just as great of a time to hit the road to Tyler. Cooler daytime temperatures and majestic displays of vibrant colors and blooming roses make fall the time of year to enjoy the outdoors on your terms. Whether you’re hiking in the shade of sky-scraping pines or fishing on your own secluded stretch of lake coastline, Tyler is just the place to catch your breath and reconnect with the outdoors. If you’re making a road trip, Hwy 14 N traveling from Tyler to Winnsboro or Hwy 16 traveling East from Lindale to Winona and on to Hwy 271 are great roads to cruise down for beautiful photo opportunities. While there are many wonderful things you can do here in Tyler, here are some of our fall favorites.
Follow the Thirsty Pines Tour
Coffee, craft beer, wine, and spirits … you name it and you’ll find a local take on it throughout East Texas. Treat yourself to some of the best the Lone Star State has to offer as you sip and savor along the Thirsty Pines Tour, a self-guided tasting adventure throughout the region. Tyler is just the place to start, as the town is home to two top craft breweries and an award-winning winery. Take a seat on the expansive outdoor patio at True Vine Brewing Company, Tyler’s first brewery, and tip back such brews as the Rose City IPA or one of its many seasonal creations. Not far away, you’ll encounter ETX Brewing Company. Enjoy an array of beers light and dark made by two brothers; the brewery even has a selection of cider, wine, and non-alcoholic options.
Travel just south of Tyler, and you’ll arrive at Kiepersol Estates, a destination for the finer things in life. Come for a romantic evening meal in the upscale restaurant and relish Kiepersol’s own sweet and dry red and white wines, as well as cocktails made with its own spirits. For the most in-depth experience, spend a few nights in the Kiepersol Bed & Breakfast, home to some of East Texas’ most luxurious amenities. Looking for the perfect way to start your day? Get a cup of coffee at The Foundry Coffeehouse or Café 1948, both of which serve drip coffees, cold brews, and more.
Although these locations have more than enough to stand on their own, they are just three of 12 stops on the Thirsty Pines Tour. Before you start cruising all over the region, sign up for the tour on your mobile device. Not only will you get a collection of deals and discounts, you can use your phone to check in at each venue. Redeem at two locations in each city (Lindale, Longview, and Tyler) and you’ll get an exclusive stone coaster set and the chance to win a grand prize, along with the chance to delight in some of the best flavors of East Texas.
Marvel at Magnificent Roses
Stroll through a sea of rich pinks, reds, yellows, and oranges as you explore the largest rose garden in the country. Covering 14 acres of 35,000 bushes representing more than 500 varieties of roses, the Tyler Municipal Rose Garden is just one of the reasons why Tyler is known as the Rose Capital of America. Wander past roses large and small as you pass through the garden. Included on the property is the Tyler Botanical Garden, which is home to the beautiful camellia and day lily collections as well as Japanese maples. Although you can visit any time of the year, coming here in the fall is a must as mid-October is peak bloom season.
It’s no coincidence that this time of year also marks the Texas Rose Festival, a historic Tyler event that you can learn more about in the Tyler Rose Museum. Admire the elaborate dresses worn by previous Rose Queens and check out interactive exhibits that showcase the town’s history with roses. Make sure to browse the museum’s gift shop, and you just might leave with something that’ll make you feel downright rosy.
Note: The Texas Rose Festival, typically held the third weekend in October, has been postponed until 2021. Although you can’t observe all the event’s pageantry, the Tyler Municipal Rose Garden is still open for visitors, and the garden will be in full bloom.
Immerse Yourself in the Colors of the Season
Think of autumn and the first thing that likely comes to mind is the vivid shades of the season. One of the best ways to see nature’s wonders at work this fall is at Tyler State Park, a sprawling forest home to 100-foot-tall pines and maple, sassafras, hickory, and oak trees that greet you with brilliant hues of gold and maroon. Immerse yourself in this colorful wonderland as you explore more than 13 miles of trails at the park or rent a canoe or kayak and take it all in as you paddle the 64-acre lake. You’ll want to bring your bait and fishing rod as well, as the lake is well-stocked with bass, catfish, crappie, and perch that you can hook from one of three fishing piers.
Fall colors are at their most intense at Tyler State Park in late November and early December, so plan ahead and you just may be rewarded with some of Texas’ finest fall colors.
Cast a Line to Pass the Time
If your favorite way to spend time in the great outdoors is with a fishing rod in your hands, Tyler is just the place for you. The town resides within 15 miles of Lake Tyler and Lake Palestine, two vast lakes with impressive arrays of angling opportunities. Head to Lake Tyler if largemouth bass or sunfish are what you’re after, although spotted bass and crappie are here in abundance as well. There are seven easy-to-reach access points, including the Lake Tyler Marina, which has a campgrounds, picnic areas, restrooms, and cleaning stations. Casting a line into Lake Palestine, on the other hand, is a great choice for anglers seeking catfish and white and hybrid striped bass. To reach the lake, head to spots like the Flat Creek Marina, Lake Palestine Marina, or Villages Marina. Forgot your bait? You can get what you need at all three marinas.
Not only will you find a bounty of great places to fish near Tyler, but fall’s beautiful weather makes it even more pleasant to stick around as long as you need to for your next big catch.
Stay Somewhere Remarkable
Kick back as you watch the setting sun bathe a picturesque lake in shades of apricot and lavender, or greet the day on the porch of your own private bungalow far away from it all. When you’re looking to travel this fall, book your getaway somewhere that’ll take your breath away. For the contemporary resort experience, settle into one of the villas at Holiday Inn Club Vacations Villages Resort. Perched on the shores of Lake Palestine in nearby Flint, the resort is as friendly as it gets for family vacations. The spacious two-bedroom villas feature large living rooms and fully equipped kitchens, which you may not even use because the resort has three on-site restaurants. A world of possibilities awaits as soon as you leave your room, from playing a round on the 18-hole mini golf course and vying for the high score in the arcade to riding horseback and renting a kayak, pontoon boat, or motorboat from the marina.
To truly get away from it all, High Hill Farm is the place for you. Located 20 miles west of downtown Tyler, High Hill Farm gives you a welcoming feeling of isolation while also spoiling you with luxury. Each beautifully appointed private guest house features one king or two queen beds, along with fine linens, a refrigerator, a large walk-in shower, and plush robes and slippers for when you want to relax. If you’re traveling with friends, reserve the four-bed, two-bath Gatsby Grand Bungalow, which has a private woods-facing screened porch perfect for sipping wine on a fall evening. Don’t miss a romantic night out at the Côte Restaurant followed up with a delicious cocktail at the Napoleon Bar.
Want to stay near Tyler’s many attractions and restaurants? There are plenty of other bed and breakfasts, hotels, and rentals that will have you feeling right at home.
Set about 100 miles east of Dallas among the towering pines of East Texas, Tyler offers an easy-to-reach escape with plenty to see and do this fall. Discover everything you need to know about the Rose Capital of America and plan your visit here.