Find the Yellow Rose of Texas in this festive town
Everything's coming up roses in Tyler, Texas, known as the "America's Rose Capital" because of the large quantity of rose bushes processed through the area and the distinction of hosting the nation's largest rose garden.
The Texas Rose Festival, held each October in Tyler, located 90 miles east of Dallas in East Texas, celebrates the role of the rose bush in the region's economy. Since its beginning in 1933, the festival has represented the spirit that brings Tyler together as a community. Check out the Rose Museum, which features the festival's history.
The Tyler Municipal Rose Garden covers 14 acres and features 400 rose varieties, testifying to Tyler's standing as the rose capital. In addition to the rose garden, which features more than 32,000 bushes and 600 cultivars, the rose season presents horticulture workshops, tours of the renown Chamblee Rose Center specializing in earth-kind roses, a Texas music festival, the Tyler Rose Marathon, garden tours, the Arts, Crafts and Plant Sale, and much more.
Flowers play another important role in Tyler, as the Azalea and Spring Flower Trail winds through the city and showcases homes or other landscaped venues adorned with azalea shrubs, dogwoods and other spring flowers.
Tyler's charming brick streets lead visitors to an array of family attractions, quaint antique shops and unique specialty stores. Outdoor buffs enjoy crystal-clear lakes, challenging golf courses and scenic campgrounds that offer fishing, picnicking, paddleboating and hiking and biking trails.
Points of Interest
More than 2,000 animals from 250 species from Africa, North and South America live in natural habitats at the 85-acre park Caldwell Zoo. The zoo includes a children's petting pen, two aquariums, picnic areas, a café that overlooks an African savannah and gift shops with original African items. The zoo also has seasonal presentations including a bird show, alligator feedings, giraffe feedings and elephant demonstrations. The zoo is cherished by the people of East Texas and beyond as a beautiful, fun place for children and adults to learn about wildlife. The zoo celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2013.
The Center for Earth & Space Science Education serves as a dynamic public science education facility, offering educational and entertainment programming to encourage an interest in, and support for, science education. Enjoy traveling hands-on science exhibits in the exhibit hall and large-screen movies in the 40-foot domed theater.
The Discovery Science Place provides hands-on family fun for kids of all ages. Visitors can view bats in the bat cave, trigger an earthquake into motion under their feet, snake their way through mysterious tunnels and explore the depths of a limestone cavern and investigate the bones of "Big Ethel," the triceratops dinosaur. The Discovery Science Place offers three exhibit halls where kids of all ages are free to move around and explore.
The Bonner-Whitaker-McClendon Home is one of the finest examples of Eastlake Bracketed Victorian Architecture remaining in East Texas. Guided tours depict Tyler's political and cultural history from post-Civil War.
The Goodman-LeGrand Home is a delight for antique lovers and historians. This elegant Tyler landmark brings the past to life with original furnishings, photographs and memorabilia dating from the mid-1800s.
Visitors are encouraged to take a look around the Cotton Belt Depot and step back in time, remembering the thousands of travelers who passed through this historic structure in the early and mid-1900s on their way to Dallas in the west or Shreveport in the east.
The Camp Ford Historic Park commemorates Camp Ford, which was the largest Confederate prisoner-of-war camp west of the Mississippi River during the Civil War. The park features a kiosk with extensive graphics detailing the history of the camp, a walking trail with interpretive signage, a reconstruction of a POW cabin and picnic facilities. It is located on Highway 271, 0.8 mile north of Loop 323.
Other Things to Do in the Area
One of the longest zip lines in Texas is in Tyler at the "Adrenaline Rush" which stretches over 1,700 feet. Seven other zip lines are uniquely named. All but one cross over the water and five lines crisscross over each other. New York, Texas Zipline Adventures was named the Best Adventure Tour in Texas 2012 and also named as one of the Top 3 Tourist Attractions by the Texas Tourism Department. It is located on the highest elevation in East Texas with spectacular 30-mile views.
Nearby is Tyler State Park, a 985-acre park that winds around a spring-fed lake. The region also supports several vineyards, located near the communities of Hawkins, Bullard, Pittsburg, Rusk and Palestine.
The Texas State Railroad in nearby Palestine offers both steam and diesel excursions that travel through the scenic piney woods and hardwood creek bottoms of East Texas, where rolling hills, nature and wildlife abound.
Things You Might Not Have Known
Lake Tyler was the location of the HGTV Dream House contest in 2005. The 6,500-square-foot house briefly boosted tourism and interest in the community. It subsequently was sold at public auction in January 2008 for $1,325,000.
Loop 323 surrounds the city, allowing visitors to reach any destination within city limits.
Tyler also has its name etched in the history of the Adopt-a-Highway movement, which originated in Tyler on a 2-mile stretch of U.S. 69.
For More Information:
Tyler Convention and Visitors Bureau
Texas State Travel Guide