Visit Tyler, Texas
Home of the Nation’s Largest Municipal Rose Garden
By Dana Goolsby
Tyler, Texas- Tyler might not be one of the biggest cities in the State of Texas, but it is certainly one of the largest in East Texas. Throbbing with life, history, shopping, dining, attractions and roses, Tyler offers a big-city-feel with all the comforts and hospitality of you expect from the Piney Woods. You can have it all in Tyler, Texas!
History In A Nutshell
Tyler, Texas was established in 1846 by the Texas Legislature, which also created Smith County at that time. The city is named after President John Tyler. The county is named after General James Smith, a soldier in the War of 1812, a planter and politician, originally from South Carolina. By 1850, the rapidly growing city was incorporated. Agriculture expanded rapidly as farms and plantations thrived on the rich soil and Tyler quickly became a major commercial hub in East Texas. By the late 1800’s the railroad had arrived, giving the city another economical boost. By 1907, Tyler’s population had grown so large it became a city. Truck farms and fruit orchards were an important part of the local economy until a devastating blight hit the fruit industry, thus marking the dawn of the Tyler rose industry. About a decade later, Tyler again received an economic boost by way of oil boom. Around this time the city dedicated their airport as Tyler Municipal Airport. During WWII the airport was renamed Tyler Pounds Regional Airport in honor of Lt. Jack W. Pounds. At the end of the war the airport was returned to civilian use. World War II saw the creation of Camp Fannin northeast of Tyler. Post-war Tyler gradually changed, and emerged, into the leading manufacturing, commercial, agricultural, education and retail center of East Texas, in addition to its base in the oil, gas, and chemical industries.
Tyler’s historic home district is composed of a variety of styles including Antebellum, Georgian and Greek Revival. The residents of Tyler take immense pride in their homes and gardens, and in turn the district beckons to heritage tourists. During the Azalea Trails Celebration the district is alive with flowering color, making the homes even more enchanting.
While Tyler has become a sprawling city busy with the hustle and bustle of daily life, Downtown Tyler has been revitalized and fused with modern day commodities. Take a stroll along the red brick streets of Tyler. Have lunch, see an old movie or a live performance, shop, browse art galleries, or plan a night out and experience Tyler’s fun and inviting nightlife in downtown.
With so many choices in Tyler, you really can have your cake and eat it, too! The city offers many options, reflective of Tyler’s culture. From fine dining to hole-in-the-wall diners, sushi to BBQ, and everything in between, Tyler has what you crave.
Art & Culture
Tyler’s art scene is exploding! The fine and performing arts community is alive and well, and thriving in Tyler. The East Texas Symphony Orchestra performs five annual concerts, The Cowan Center offers first class performing arts and entertainment, Liberty Hall downtown also offers weekly entertainment from music to stand-up comedy, and APEX Theatre produces edgy, gripping performances in the black box as well as on stage at Liberty Hall. Local artists and art galleries are dappled around the city. Whatever your taste in the arts, Tyler has it.
There is no shortage of fun to be had in Tyler, Texas. Tyler proudly boasts 10 museums, and two rose gardens, one of which is the largest in the country. The Caldwell Zoo gives visitors from all over the region and beyond the opportunity to experience over 2,000 animals from across the globe. On the outskirts of Tyler you’ll find amazing wineries, ziplines, safari tours, and outdoor recreation readily available.
Tyler State Park offers hiking, biking, fishing, boating, swimming, birding and much more. The area surrounding Tyler also offers outdoor activities for thrill seekers by way of ziplining and skydiving.
Tyler is home to several annual celebrations, most notably the Texas Rose Festival as well as the Spring Azalea and Flower Trail. Other annual events include the Firefighter Combat Challenge and Rose Season.
Tyler offers numerous overnight options including bed and breakfast, hotels, camping, RV Parks, and resorts.
Tyler is conveniently located 90 miles east of Dallas, 90 miles west of Shreveport, and approximately 199 miles northeast of Houston. For more information about Tyler, Texas visit www.visityler.com. Like the Tyler Convention and Visitors Bureau on Facebook and follow them on Instagram.