Visit Palestine, Texas
By Dana Goolsby
Palestine, Texas- Teetering on the edge of the Texas Forest Trail Region lies the gateway to the Deep South and the back door to the Old West all in one place. Palestine, Texas should be at the top of your East Texas-To-Do List in 2014! From history to fine dining, to outdoor adventures and entertainment, Palestine has its finger on the pulse of what makes life behind the Pine Curtain unique from the rest of the Lone Star State.
It is important to note that the city’s name is pronounced PAL-uhs-steen, not PAE-luhs-tAYn. Locals will certainly know you are a tourist if you mispronounce the name of the town, but they will welcome you with open arms!
Here’s your fair warning about visiting Palestine- Once you visit you may not want to leave!
History In A Nutshell
With over 1800 historical sites, Palestine is second only to Galveston Island in historic destinations/markers. Palestine was the early home of Daniel Parker and was named after the Parkers former home of Palestine, Illinois. Established in 1846, Palestine was also home to over 20 famous Texans such as John H. Reagan, Governor Thomas M. Campell, and Anna Pennybacker. Each of these Texans helped mold the state through Education, Religion and Industry.
Palestine’s historic cemeteries are a must-see as well.
Historic neighborhoods filled with romantic Victorian homes from the mid 1800’s line the streets on both sides of the historic downtown area. Yards are filled and lined with dogwoods, magnolias, azaleas, and roses. Take a stroll or a drive around Palestine’s historic district and you will be transported back in time to when steamboats and horse drawn buggies were a common site.
Palestine’s historic downtown area is filled with antique and retail shops, art galleries, eateries, a winery and historic markers and buildings. Palestine also offers a nightlife scene for those who aren’t ready to call it quits at 5p.m.
Palestine has restaurants for all palettes. Enjoy local eateries, bakeries and award-winning chefs. From charming fine dining to pie shops, Palestine’s menus will quench your thirst and tickle your tastebuds.
Art and Culture
Palestine is home to visual and living arts. Palestine Community Theatre perform Broadway plays and musicals, as well as originally produced pieces of work. A stroll around town yields local talent in several murals, and art galleries offer something tourists can take home. Palestine is also home to the Art Tracks, an annual art show on display around palestine’s Main Street district. Every year new pieces of art are brought in to display until the following year.
There is no shortage of things to do and see in Palestine! Home of the Texas State Railroad, Davey Dogwood Park, Museum of East Texas Culture, Howard House Museum, Historic Texas Theatre, and a Community Forests Palestine has something for everyone. History, recreation, nature, and entertainment are on tap.
Palestine currently offers fishing, kayaking cycling, birding, hiking, tennis, and disc golf. Whatever your sporting forte, Palestine has you covered.
There is always fun to be had in Palestine. Annual events such as Christmas In July, Hot Pepper Festival, Dogwood Trails Celebration, Christmas In Palestine, Dulcimer Festival, 1836 Chuckwagon Races, Neches Wilderness Canoe Race, Texas State Railroad train rides, rodeos, bike tours, historic tours, live theatrical productions, and cook-offs keep Palestine hopping on a regular basis.
Want to spend your evening on a front porch swing of a Victorian home and enjoy the East Texas breeze? Maybe you fancy a historic inn downtown? Or perhaps you prefer the amenities of a modern hotel? Palestine offers both! Quaint Bed & Breakfast Inns nestled in charming historic neighborhoods offer a quaint getaway which will allow you to experience life in Palestine like a local. Conveniently located hotels offer friendly service and restful evenings.
MYETX Palestine Favorites
Palestine, the county seat of Anderson County, is approximately 108 miles southeast of Dallas and 150 miles north of Houston. Download the Palestine, Texas App and start planning your trip today!
Special thanks to all of the Palestine residents who work hard and volunteer their time to make Palestine a great tourism destination!