Dine, shop, and live like a local in this charming East Texas town!

Hillside Park

Taking a Texas day trip? If you’re looking to experience the stunning beauty of East Texas, look no further than Tyler. Its central location in the Pineywoods of Texas makes it an easy day trip from Dallas, Shreveport, and other surrounding cities. While Tyler has garnered a ton of attention as the Rose Capital of America, there’s plenty more to do in this charming East Texas town to make sure everyone has a blooming good time! If you’re day-trippin’ to Tyler, here are your must-dos for a quick visit.

The Foundry Coffee House Photo by The Foundry

Breakfast at The Foundry Coffee House

Kick off your day trip with some caffeine! Located in the heart of Downtown Tyler, The Foundry Coffee House is serving up some serious coffee and good vibes. The craft coffee is made with locally roasted beans from Porch Culture Coffee, another local establishment. Try the homemade rose syrup to commemorate your trip to the Rose Capital of America! While your order is brewing, admire local art in The Gallery and then enjoy your breakfast on the patio. If you taste an extra drop of goodness in each cup, it could be because The Foundry operates as a non-profit and gives back to local East Texas organizations. Sip sip hooray!

Tyler Municipal Rose Garden

Stop and Smell the Roses

There’s no better place to stop and smell the roses than the Rose Capital of America! The world-famous Tyler Municipal Rose Garden features 14 acres, 35,000 rose bushes, and more than 500 varieties of roses. If you’re visiting in October or mid to late May, you’ll be able to enjoy the roses at peak bloom, but with the Tyler Botanical Garden located in the same space, the garden is a beautiful place to visit year-round. Make a stop in the Rose Museum and learn more about Tyler’s rose growing industry and the pageantry of the Texas Rose Festival, which is held the third weekend in October every year. You can even purchase a rose scented candle in the Gift Shop to take home and burn when you want to reminisce on your trip to Tyler, Texas.

Pyron Garden in the Azalea District Photo by Ronald Rang

Cruise the Azalea District & See Historic Homes

Cruise along the brick streets to view Tyler’s famous historic districts. If you’re visiting in springtime, expect to see a floral wonderland of azaleas, tulips, wisteria, dogwoods, and more in the gardens surrounding the historic homes in the area! The annual Azalea & Spring Flower Trail happens in March and April each year.

Stanley’s Famous Pit Bar-B-Q

Lunch at Stanley’s Famous Pit Bar-B-Q

There’s truly no place like Texas when it comes to barbecue. If you’re looking for a barbecue experience that will blow your mind, or at least your taste buds, head to Stanley’s Famous Pit Bar-B-Q for dinner. Voted one of Texas Monthly’s Top 50 BBQ Joints in Texas, Stanley’s is a must-eat when you’re in Tyler. Try the famous Mother Clucker sandwich while you listen to live music on the patio. And if you just can’t get enough, you can purchase their famous BBQ sauce to take home with you!

ETX Brewing Co. Mural Photo by Livability

Explore Downtown Tyler’s Shopping & Culture Scene

After lunch, head back Downtown, the heart of Tyler. Grab an afternoon treat at one of the locations the Plaza Tower, then make a stop by the Tyler Visitor’s Center and gather information to plan your day and your next stay! Here you can also shop the boutique and grab a locally crafted Tyler souvenir and take a photo with our rose mural wall painted by local artist Dana Cargile. Speaking of photo spots, grab a brochure for Art Alley, along with other public art, to capture your own Insta-worthy photos. Be sure to tag #VisitTyler in all your adventures! Hit up one of the funs shops or breweries to round out your trip.

Goodman-LeGrand House & Museum

Learn about the history and culture of Tyler by visiting one of the local museums. Built in 1905, the Cotton Belt Depot is a railroad museum that showcases the St. Louis Southwestern Railroad and its Passenger Depot with displays of memorabilia, model trains, and operating layouts. Another popular attraction is the Goodman-LeGrand House & Museum, a historic home filled with antiques and memorabilia. Admission to both museums is free. While you’re in Downtown, you can also stroll the Half Mile of History, which is an outdoor loop surrounding The Square with stone plaques commemorating significant people, places, or events.

Paleteria Polor Photo by Shalisa Roland

One thing people love to do in Tyler is eat, and there is no shortage of unique treats to partake in. If you’re looking for a refreshing fruity snack, stop for an afternoon treat at Paleteria Polor, where they serve unique Mexican sweets. Try the Pinas Locas, made with chunks of pineapple, orange juice, chili powder, and lime juice, served in a hollow pineapple!

Kiepersol Estates

Wine Tasting & Dinner at Kiepersol Estates

After a busy afternoon in Downtown, head to Kiepersol Estates to relax and savor the evening. Begin with a guided tour of the winery and distillery, then move on to The Grand Tasting Room for a wine tasting. We suggest sipping a glass of rosé on the patio as you wait on your reserved table at The Restaurant. Just like their wine, the steaks are perfectly aged. From Texas beef to fresh seafood, you will have a world-class culinary experience at Kiepersol.

Live Musicians at Rick’s On the Square Photo by Livability

Jam Out to Live Music

Texas is known for its vibrant arts and live music scene, so what better way to end your evening in Tyler, Texas than catching a concert! Check out EGuide Magazine’s Gig Guide or the Visit Tyler app to locate all the live music and entertainment happening in Tyler. From the symphony orchestra, to Texas country, to cover bands, enjoy a night out on the town listening to your favorite tunes.

Traveling on a budget? Download these two passes for free to get exclusive discounts for your trip.

Thirsty Pines Tour

Adventure & Outdoor Pass

If you have more than a day to spend in Tyler, Texas, check out our Weekend Road Trip Guide that includes everything from Tyler State Park to Caldwell Zoo and all the East Texas nature in between.

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