These are the best things to do in East Texas in spring when the weather is nice & the flowers are blooming.
While you might think the best place for a road trip in spring would be the Hill Country because of its beautiful scenic views, wineries, etc. But you may not know that some of the best places to explore Texas are in the East Texas Region. You can’t beat a landscape of forests and streams in the piney woods of Texas and the natural beauty of pine trees that line the highways. I think you’ll like these things to do in East Texas in spring because the weather is suitable for all things outdoors.
Travel Tip: Don’t forget the Texas bluebonnets and other wildflowers will be scattered all around East Texas in springtime. Also, whenever possible – take backroads for scenic views. That’s my motto!
15 Best Things To Do In East Texas In Spring
The Piney Woods Region of Texas is full of East Texas cities and many tall trees …everywhere. Did you know the oldest town in Texas is Nacogdoches, which happens to be in East Texas? Did you know that Texas has four national forests …and all four are in East Texas?
When in small towns, think about visiting the visitor center first to pick up brochures, and to find out when their farmers market is held, ask about historic sites and special events. These are some of the things I like to do.
Check out the East Texas vacation spots below for the whole family to enjoy!
1. Go On The Piney Woods Wine Trail
It’s a self-guided tour among many wineries in East Texas. Enjoy a wine tasting at each place you stop. There are about twenty wineries, vineyards, & tasting rooms in this area. Find a quaint place to stay along the trail. This makes a great weekend getaway.
2. Scope The Wildflowers In East Texas
You’ll see a bunch of wildflowers, including Texas Bluebonnets, in our East Texas state parks between March & April. There are eleven state parks in the east. If you’re going there via Ennis, stop and look – because you’ll see a bunch.
3. Make It A Weekend In Tyler, TX
You could spend an entire weekend in Tyler, Texas, and still not see everything. Tyler houses the Tyler Rose Garden, the most extensive rose garden globally known as the Rose Capital of the World. Admission is free.
The Tyler Rose Museum, Historic Aviation Memorial Museum, and Texas Rose Horse Park are other things to do and see. And a family favorite is the Caldwell Zoo & the Tyler State Park.
The Tyler Azalea Trail is in March – April, and you talk about gorgeous pink flowers everywhere – you’ll see a gazillion of them on this self-guided auto tour.
Add Athens at the beginning and Louisiana at the end for a nice vacation the whole family will enjoy – or in reverse order depending on where you start. If you go to Athens, east of Dallas but not technically in East Texas, take a day trip to the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center. That and the East Texas Arboretum is a traveler’s favorite.
4. See The Dogwood Blooms On The Texas State Railroad
The Texas State Railroad in the piney woods of Palestine, Texas, offers train rides through the piney woods of East Texas. Enjoy the ride, plus food, drinks, and more. You’ll be in for a treat, depending on which train ride you experience. The Dogwood Train Excursion operates in April when the dogwoods are in full bloom. Palestine also offers a wonderful Azalea trail in the springtime. Be sure to read about that on their website.
5. Visit A National Forest
Texas has only four National Forests in the entire state, all of which lie in East Texas. That’s over 675,000 acres of public land in Texas.
Sabine National Forest – fish, hunt, ride horses, mountain bikes, hike, and camp.
Angelina National Forest covers a lot of territory – so big it’s in four East Texas Counties – Angelina, Nacogdoches, San Augustine, and Jasper. So much you can do here – fishing, four-wheeling, picnic tables, hunting, canoeing, hiking, and more. Close to Jasper, TX.
Davy Crockett National Forest – Go here for beautiful streams, picnics, and wildlife viewing in Crockett, TX.
Sam Houston National Forest – Enjoy your day hiking, swimming, and fishing for largemouth bass here. In Coldsprings – close to Conroe, TX.
6. Canoe Big Thicket Natural Preserve
Hiking, canoeing, Ranger programs, backcountry camping, cabins to rent, and more is what you can expect at Big Thicket National Preserve. Hunting is also allowed, but be sure to read about that on the website. It is located in Kountze, TX.
7. Zip The New York Texas Zipline Adventures
NY Texas Zipline is located in LaRue, TX (near Tyler). Brody and I have zipped there twice. The first time we zipped the 6-line course. We splurged for the 9-line course the second time—worth every penny. The last line was over a pond and so surreal.
8. Take A Guided Boat Tour On Caddo Lake
Caddo Lake in Uncertain, TX, spans the Texas-Louisiana border and is known for its tall creepy cypress trees that dominate the shallow, murky waters. Visitors come to Caddo Lake for its beauty, stories, and adventures. I went there for the stories and an adventure tour. We used Caddo Lake Bayou Tours, and let me tell you – our tour guide told some wild stories. And, if you’re lucky, you may see the eyes of an alligator – but not likely. That’s what our tour guide told us. For guided fishing tours, try Ole Jigger Caddo Lake Adventures – I bet they have a lot of fish tales with a name like that!
The best time to visit Caddo Lake is when the lotus flowers bloom. That’s usually From April through June. The blooms make it very eye-appealing. If there is time in your visit, go to Caddo Lake National Wildlife Refuge.
9. Have A Picnic At Daingerfield State Park
I have not been here, but I want to go. But I’m betting it’s beautiful in the spring as it is in the fall. It’s one of the most thought-after state parks in the area for its dogwood blooms in every color, so be sure to make an online reservation before heading out. Camping, hiking, and picnicking are all available there.
10. Visit A Few Small Towns
So many small towns in East Texas. Here are my favs.
Carthage POP 7000 – See The Texas Country Music Hall of Fame And Tex Ritter Museum, a historical jail museum, and historic homes.
Magnolia POP 2222 – Lone Pint Brewer and home of the Texas Renaissance Festival.
Mineola POP 5000 – One of my all-time favorites for when I want to go to a yoga retreat. I’ve visited 3X so far. They have an adorable downtown, too, with lots of shops.
Rusk POP 5900 – Nestled in the heart of the piney woods and where you can take a round-trip excursion on the Texas State Railroad to Palestine. Jim Hogg Historic Park, Maydelle Country Wines Winery, a garden park, and more.
11. Go On A Hot Air Balloon Ride In Longview, TX
Go before their Great Texas Balloon Race in June because no rides are offered then. Besides that, spring is nicer …up, up, and away! Check out Balloon Adventures, USA.
12. Visit Lindale – Home of Miranda Lambert
You can visit her unique boutique – The Pink Pistol, and enjoy a wine tasting in the Red 55 Winery Hemingway Room. Make a full day of it and see the Old Mill Pond Museum.
13. Spend The Afternoon At Los Pinos Ranch Vineyards
If you love wine and wine tastings and exploring vineyards, head to Los Pinos Ranch Vineyards for that and dinner and live music. Located in Pittsburg, TX, which is way up there in the northeast near Mount Pleasant.
14. Visit The Oldest Town In Texas
Nacogdoches is the Oldest Town in Texas. Did you know that? The historic downtown is full of historic structures and great shopping. So if you’re a history buff or someone in your family is and wants to know more about Texas History – start in this town. Go off the grid a bit and enjoy the oldest town in Texas.
15. Tee Off In East Texas
East Texas has at least 16 top golf courses, all having something remarkable about them. The one that comes to mind, and I see it on several lists I’ve researched, is Whispering Pines Golf Club in Trinity, TX, 88 miles north of Houston and a short drive from Huntsville, TX. Piney woods, creeks & lakes, and plenty of wildlife surround the property making this a golfer’s haven. There are also cottages on the property.
Another to mention is Pine Springs Golf Club in Tyler, which is open to the public with gorgeous greens, golf lessons, dining, and more.
So many wonderful things to do in East Texas. I know there’s more, and maybe I’ll get the chance to add more. And if you’re interested in camping in East Texas in the fall season – read my article here – Best Places For Fall Camping In East Texas.