Texarkana is a city that straddles Eastern Texas and Western Arkansas. It has become a popular vacation destination due to the many activities and attractions to enjoy. Regardless of whether you love spending time outdoors, you enjoy cultural and historical attractions, or you want to spend time doing fun things as a family, you will find a wide range of things to do in this city. You will get the most out of your time in Texarkana if you plan your visit in advance, and here are the 20 best things to do in Texarkana to help you plan your vacation itinerary.
20. Take a Trip to Jefferson
East Texas recommends spending a day in nearby Jefferson during your visit to Texarkana, as there are many activities to enjoy in the area. You can have an experience on the Historic Jefferson Railway, stroll around the flea markets, go to the Jefferson Historical Museum, and enjoy a trip on the paddlewheel steamboats on Caddo Lake. Jefferson is also home to many shops and restaurants.
19. Go to Millwood Lake and State park
Millwood Lake is to the northeast of Texarkana in Arkansas, and it is formed from the damming of where the Little River and Saline River meet, says Wikipedia. It is a popular place for bass fishing, although non-Arkansas residents will need a permit to fish in the lake. The 29,260-acre lake is also a popular place for boating, but swimming is not permitted due to alligators in the lake. Another popular activity is birdwatching, as the park is an Audubon-designated Important Bird Area. There are more than 300 species of birds living in the park and the surrounding area. The park is a popular spot amongst campers, and there are 45 campsites within the park.
18. Watch a Performance at the Historic Perot Theater
If you want an evening activity to experience in Texarkana and you enjoy the theater, then the best place to visit is the Historic Perot Theater. It is a sympathetically restored theater in downtown Texarkana, and it is considered one of the city's main landmarks. It was originally built in 1924 and then restored between 1979 and 1980. There are various performances throughout the year, so check out the schedule before your visit.
17. Go Fishing at Wright Patman Lake
A popular place in Texarkana amongst fishing enthusiasts is Wright Patman Lake. Although there are numerous game fish in the lake, it is a particularly popular spot for white bass fishing. Other fish in the lake include catfish, crappie, and largemouth bass. If you are not local, then you must have a fishing license to fish in the lake. Fishing is not the only activity to enjoy at the lake, as it is also a great place for swimming and boating. There is a camping ground by the lake for those who want to spend the night.
16. Enjoy a Meal at the Hopkins Icehouse
Although there are many fantastic restaurants in Texarkana, one of the best and most popular is the Hopkins Icehouse. The restaurant is in downtown Texarkana, and it is set in a historic building that dates from the early 1900s. On the menu, there are American favorites, including chicken and waffles, fresh salads, and gourmet burgers. It is open for lunch and dinner seven days a week, and there is a brunch menu on Sundays. The restaurant is just as well known for its comfortable and welcoming atmosphere as it is for its delicious food. If you choose to dine at the Hopkins Icehouse on Friday or Saturday night, you can also enjoy live music and open mic sessions.
15. Peruse the Stalls at Owls Nest Flea Market and Antiques
You are sure to find souvenirs of your trip to Texarkana that are a little different from the usual offerings at Owls Nest Flea Market and Antiques. You will find the market on Texas Boulevard, and there are stalls selling all sorts of different wares, including gift items, antique furniture, home decorations, housewares, and various keepsakes. Those who have visited the market have said that the prices at this market are reasonable compared to similar places.
14. See the Art at 1894 Gallery
If you enjoy art, then the best venue to visit is the 1894 Gallery in the 1894 City Market. According to The Culture Trip, the gallery is set within a building that was once a grocery warehouse. Along with the gallery, the building now also houses various shops and businesses. The gallery displays the work of many local and regional artists, and there are also some pieces by famous artists from elsewhere in the United States. While most of the works on display are paintings, there are also many other art forms, such as ceramics, carvings, blown glass, etchings, and sculptures. Many of the pieces are available to buy, although some are only for display purposes.
13. Have Fun at Spring Lake Park
Spring Lake Park is one of the nicest outdoor spaces in Texarkana. There are open green spaces where you can enjoy a stroll, a walking path that runs throughout the park, picnic areas, several playground units, a spring-fed lake, and an 18-hole disc golf course. The park is constantly improving, and that means that there have been some fun additions to the park in recent years. These include a pet-safe dog park and a splash pad area.
12. Sample the Goods at the Texarkana Farmer's Market
Located in Downtown Texarkana, the Texarkana Farmer's market is an open-air market that sells locally grown, reared, crafted, and produced goods. Examples include flowers, meat, fruit, vegetables, herbs, eggs, cheese, handicrafts, and baked products. It is a great place to sample some of the best ingredients from the area and also to grab some food from the various food stands.
11. Take a Stroll Around Bobby Ferguson Park
One of the best places to take a stroll and enjoy the outdoors is at the Bobby Ferguson Park, which is named after a former mayor of Texarkana. The park covers several acres, and there is a man-made lake at its center. The lake is home to ducks and Canadian geese that you can sit and watch from benches around the lake's edge. Alternatively, you can hike the trail that runs around the perimeter of the lake. Other features of the park include a picnic pavilion, picnic tables, and a children's playground.
10. Visit the Texarkana Museum of Regional History
The building that houses the Texarkana Museum of Regional History was built in 1879, which makes it one of the city's oldest brick structures. This museum has exhibits that cover various topics relating to American history, such as World War II and Civil Rights. One of the museum's highlights is the Wilbur Smith Research Library and Archives, which houses thousands of documents and photographs about local people. Another highlight is the interactive music exhibit about Scott Joplin.
9. Take the Kids to Discovery Place Children's Museum
One of the top attractions for families visiting Texarkana is the Discovery Place Children's Museum. There are exhibits and attractions that will appeal to children of all ages at the museum, with plenty of opportunities for interactive educational experiences. Most of the sections are devoted to either science or history. Some of the permanent exhibits include a dental exhibition, a sound experiments room, a costume theater, a vintage kitchen, a biology laboratory, and a sound wall. The museum is also the venue for an annual Tesla show.
8. Go to the Draughon-Moore Ace of Clubs House
Trip 101 recommends going to the Drfaughon-Moore Ace of Clubs House. It is a historical museum that is set in a building on the National Register of Historic Places. The property was built in 1885 as a private house, and it has an Italianate Victorian style. Although it only has two stories, the building's unusual shape means it has 22 sides. It remained a private residence until 1988 when it became a museum. Visitors can take tours of the house, and it is also available to hire for private events.
7. Watch a Performance by the Texarkana Symphony Orchestra
Texarkana is home to the Texarkana Symphony Orchestra, and they perform predominantly at the historic Perot Theater. Their performance season runs from September through to the end of May. If you are in Texarkana during this time, then try to get tickets to one of their performances. The music they play ranges from classical masterpieces to symphonic pop.
6. Take the Haunted Texarkana Ghost Walk
If you are interested in the supernatural, then an interesting and unusual activity to enjoy in Texarkana is the Haunted Texarkana Ghost Walk. It is a 90-minute walk that begins with a free tour of the Lindsey Railroad Museum, then takes tourists through Downtown Texarkana. Along the way, the tour guide will relate historically accurate stories relating to murders and other crimes in the area. During the tour, people have the opportunity to use the EMF meters and cold spot thermometers to try and detect supernatural presences.
5. Have Fun at Holiday Springs Water Park
One of the most fun days out in Texarkana is Holiday Springs Water Park, and it is an attraction that holds appeal for people of all ages. The water park has private cabanas, a lazy river, wave pools, swimming pools, various water features, a sandcastle area, and several water slides. Holiday Springs Water Park also has a gift shop and several eateries, including Splash Grill, Monkeys Munchies, Paradise Bar and Café, Dippin Dot Ice Cream, and Outdoor Holiday Grill.
4. Tour the State Line Post Office and Federal Building
The State Line Post Office and Federal building are known by several names. They are also called the Texarkana U.S. Post Office and Courthouse and the Texarkana U.S. Post Office and Federal Building. The structures were built between 1932 and 1933, and they straddle the borders between Texas and Arkansas. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The second floor is open to the public, who can view the historical exhibits on display.
3. See the Exhibits at the Four States Auto Museum
This museum was established in 2004, and it is devoted to preserving and showcasing the history of the automobile. The highlight of the exhibits is a collection of more than 20 cars and motorbikes, including a vintage Civil War horse-drawn hearse and a Studebaker dragster. In addition to the cars, there are also exhibits of memorabilia, newspapers, periodicals, and books, all of which are automotive-related. Although the museum will particularly interest those who are passionate about cars, the interesting displays are enjoyable for all visitors.
2. Go to the P.J. Ahern Home
The P.J. Ahern Home is a Classical Revival style mansion that was built in 1905 and was designed by the Burdasal Company using a floor plan that Mr. and Mrs. Ahern designed. It is a beautifully preserved building that houses an array of exhibits, and it is also used for various cultural programs throughout the year. Visitors can take a guided tour inside the house to learn about the lives of the upper classes at the turn of the 20th century.
1. Visit the Lindsey Railroad Museum
According to Vacation Idea, the best thing to do in Texarkana is to visit the Lindsey Railroad Museum. The city was founded in 1873 by the Cairo & Fulton Railroad and the Texas & Pacific Railroad. Therefore, railroads play a significant part in Texarkana's history. The museum is dedicated to showcasing the city's railroad history. There is a film theater and exhibits displaying a diverse range of memorabilia, such as uniforms, badges, flags, and patches.
Written by Liz Flynn
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