East Texas weekend getaways are just around the corner!
East Texas is among the favorite destinations for family vacations with Texans (me included), and fair reason. The scenery is green, the weather is a little hot but doable because of the shade from the tall pine trees, and the natural beauty all around is hard to find anywhere else. Plan one of these East Texas weekend getaways for fabulous golf courses, national forests, historic sites, and natural beauty that the Piney Woods offers daily. And, if you’re looking for weekend getaways in Texas on a budget, our friends and writers Jennifer and Troy can help with their tips and tricks.
There are plenty of other outdoor activities in this part of the Lone Star State if these activities are not what you’re seeking. I’ve been to many of these places.
Welcome To East Texas Weekend Getaways
A weekend trip could be all you need to make the most of your time in East Texas. Below are 8 of my favorite weekend getaways in East Texas and a hidden gem I came across. These are some of the best places I can recommend you go to. I know there are many more, and I may add more as I find them, but this list is a good start.
Things To Do In East Texas For Couples
So, I said I’ve been to some of the most beautiful places in East Texas, and normally I travel alone or with my mother. But, believe me, you – I’ve seen plenty of couples on the same road trip as I. Especially in Jefferson, at Caddo Lake, and in Conroe. If you’re looking for a couples getaway, any of these places will work. Try Walston Spring Ranch in Palestine – they offer quaint romantic cabins with breakfast in the morning. That’s hard to beat.
1. Caddo Lake & Caddo State Park
Caddo Lake is as far east as you can go between the borders of Texas & Louisiana. Many cabins are available to rent, and it’s an East Texas popular destination any time of year. Caddo Lake State Park is a wonderful state park with cypress trees. Find a tour guide to take you on a boat tour of Caddo Lake. I went on one a couple of years ago, but the person I took the tour with is no longer in business. If anything, there are hiking and biking trails for your enjoyment.
2. Holly Lake Ranch (Near Tyler)
An East Texas hidden gem in the piney woods roughly 2-hrs from Dallas and 30 minutes from Tyler is where you’ll find Holly Lake Ranch. It’s an unincorporated private and gated community with a golf course where an adorable 2-bedroom lake resort cabin called Hank’s Hideaway is for rent.
The cabin is equipped with amenities like a home. Enjoy a wood-burning fireplace, a screened-in back patio with a gas fire pit to watch the wildlife go by, and an open-concept kitchen perfect for hosting friends and family. These are just a few of the amenities that are my favorite.
The cabin is within walking distance from the two main lakes – Lake Greenbriar and Holly Lake. Holly Lake is a no-wake zone where you can fish, kayak, paddleboat, or canoe. You’ll want to see it all for yourself. Check out Hank’s Hideaway on Houfy. FYI – Houfy is a vacation rental site for homes, condos, cabins, and more.
3. Jefferson, Texas – Quaint Small Town
Jefferson is one of Texas’s most historical tourist destinations. It has over 135 recognized historic structures, including historic bed and breakfast accommodations, charming restaurants, and historic downtown. Whether you’re interested in history, attractions, food, or shopping, the city of Jefferson offers something unique to everyone who visits. Book a B&B and enjoy your time. There are riding tours, walking tours, ghost tours, etc.
If you’re into local haunts, you might want to book a Historic Jefferson Ghost Tour, or if riding horses is your thing, there is wonderful horseback riding in Marshall (the next town over) with Karma Farms.
Big Cypress Bayou is the name applied to a series of wetlands at the western edge of Caddo Lake, making up part of the largest Cypress forest in the world.
Explore the historic downtown either by walking or on a golf cart. Don’t forget to get your picture taken by the iconic blue truck from the General Store. It’s a popular photo thrill!
Rent a golf cart and stroll Main Street, perusing the antique shops. Rent golf carts from Made in the Shade kayak. Visit historical homes and museums, and you can choose between historical walking tours or ghost tours at night. Either one sounds nice.
4. The Ranch At Walston Springs – Palestine, TX
Does a romantic weekend getaway sound good to you? If so, consider booking a romantic cabin at the Ranch At Walston Springs. My mom and I stayed in one of the adorable cabins that were decorated in sassy gunslinger decor, and the homemade breakfast each morning was worth the stay.
The Texas State Railroad is one of the popular attractions in Palestine that offers train rides through the Piney Woods. I highly recommend doing this at least once. You’ll get to view the natural beauty of East Texas, and if you plan your trip just right, the Dogwoods will be out. They usually start popping out in April.
Go by the farmers’ market on Saturdays located by the visitor center. I found some nice things and put a smile on some girls’ faces when I brought a bag they made from a dog food bag for a fundraiser – it made my day …and theirs.
5. Conroe, Texas – Margaritaville Resort
Conroe, TX, is about 45 minutes from Houston, a 3-hour drive from Dallas, and a couple of hours from Baton Rouge, LA. I can’t tell you how often my family drove to Houston to visit family during the holidays and special occasions, only to pass through Conroe and The Woodlands and never stop. My parents didn’t know what they were missing. However, to their defense, Conroe didn’t offer much back in the ’90s, but as time passed, the city grew. I’m shocked at all the beautiful things I no longer pass up.
Margaritaville Resort, for one. Where else can you and your family play in the sun, eat, swim, and walk barefoot while listening to music? No other than Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville Resort Lake Conroe in the Lone Star State! After all, it’s 5 o’clock somewhere!!
If you do stay at the resort and want to see the town, downtown Conroe is very friendly and walkable. There are many shops and boutiques and a couple of breweries downtown.
6. Tyler, Texas – An East Texas Gem
Tyler State Park offers family fun kayaking and canoeing on Lake Tyler, staying in screened cabins, exploring nature, and viewing wildlife. I have one memory here when I took my first son and niece when they were eight years old. That was so long ago, but I remember how much fun we had. Consider Tyler State Park as one of your East Texas weekend getaways.
Travel Tip: Depending on where you’re coming from, visit the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens to see exhibits, learn about fish, and see hatchery and educational programs. Open Tuesday-Saturday, 9 am–4 pm, and Sunday, 1 pm–4 pm.
7. Family Time In The Woodlands
There is this massive resort in The Woodlands that I know every family wants to visit. Have you been there? It’s called The Woodlands Resort. I have not been there, but I’ve read plenty about it to know this would be an excellent weekend getaway in East Texas. Check it out.
8. Stay At Los Pinos Ranch Vineyards
Pittsburg, Texas, 127 miles from Dallas, 77 miles from Texarkana, and near Bob Sandlin State Park, as this is Northeast Texas at its finest. It’s where thousands of red, yellow, and orange leaves fall to the ground when the fall season finally arrives. It’s beautiful that time of year.
At Los Pinos Ranch, you can enjoy staying in a quaint cottage beside the vineyard. After your wine tasting, stroll through the vineyard before returning to your cottage. This, to me, would be the perfect romantic weekend getaway.
9. Visit a National Forest In East Texas
Did you know Texas has four National Forests, and they are all in East Texas? Take your pick.
- Davy Crockett National Forest near Crockett and Lufkin.
- Sam Houston Natuibak Forest in Coldspring.
- Sabine National Forest is on the cusp of the Texas and Louisiana border near San Augustine.
- Angelina National Forest between Lufin and Hemphill and below Nacogdoches.
Any of the National Forests would make an excellent weekend stay in East Texas. If you’re not a camper, I wouldn’t think you had to camp. Find a quaint hotel or BnB.
Choose one of these places in East Texas to visit and make it a great weekend stay.