On Valentine’s Day in the 1940s, over half of U.S. men bought their sweetheart’s roses grown in nurseries in Tyler, Texas. Today, America still considers Tyler the Rose Capital of America. Tyler is the hub and largest city of northeastern Texas. It lies 93 miles southeast of Dallas and 89 miles southwest of Shreveport—Tyler’s closest metroplexes, but a long way to drive for the dozens of small town folks in the region for anything. 

Things to Do in Tyler, Texas, for Adults

True Vine Brewing

True Vine Brewing sports two locations in Tyler with 25 craft beers at its Earl Campbell location, 2453 Earl Campbell Parkway Tyler, Texas,and 16 at its downtown location, 110 N College Ave STE #102 Tyler. Owners Ryan and Traci Dixon host yearly events like the Chili Tasting Festival, Octoberfest, and Market Days, and live music regularly. 

Kiepersol Distillery and Winery

Kiepersol Distillery and Winery produces bourbon, rum, vodka, gin, and an agave spirit called Texuila. It operates a B&B, two restaurants, and an RV park. Visitors can taste their craft spirits at The Restaurant or Grand Room on their farm. Miles of vineyards greet visitors surrounded by and east Texas forests. Grab a mixed drink at the distillery, go on a winery tour, or check out their downtown store. 

The Grand Room, Wine & Spirits Tastings, and Salt Kitchen

21556-B Merlot Lane, Tyler, Texas
Tuesday – Saturday 11:00 am – 7:00 pm

Card 53

Laugh the night away with the Card 53 group. Card 53 comedy features improv comedy assisted by interactive audience suggestions, which makes each show unique. The comedy group, Card 53, plays specific dates at the Liberty Theater at 103 E Erwin St, Tyler, Texas. 

Lock & Load Indoor Shooting Range

The Lock & Load Indoor Shooting Range offers indoor handgun and rifle shooting and Texas Concealed Handgun License training, plus gun sales and accessories. 

Stanley’s Famous Pit BBQ 

Stanley’s Famous Pit BBQ is an iconic mom & pop restaurant in Tyler serving original recipes and a family of all natural BBQ sauces. Stanley’s features local, regional, and national live music regularly and is open later than 9 p.m. when the music flows. This BBQ joint has been a Tyler staple for over 60 years. 

What Is There to Do in Tyler Texas at Night?

Visitors can enjoy live music along with the locals. If you are looking for fun things to do in Tyler, Texas, at night, Tyler comes alive with local live East Texas music and not so local music. Visitors can check out Red Dirt BBQ & Music Festival held every May.

Things to Do in Tyler, Texas, for Couples

Tyler Rose Garden – 420 Rose Park Drive, Tyler 

Take a stroll through the famous Tyler Rose Garden. Peak seasons are mid-April and mid-October, but the gardens are full of roses and more flowers year-round. The Tyler Rose Festival Museum & Gift Shop, in the rose garden, offers books, stationery, garden items, sachets, china, and other unique rose-themed gifts. 

Studio Movie Grill (SMG) – 8954 S. Broadway Avenue, Tyler, Texas

SMG theaters provide VIP service for watching the latest movies. You can purchase menu items on SMG’s self-service kiosks or at your seat by pressing your service button. No outside food or drink are allowed, and you must be 21 years or older to buy alcohol. SMG will deliver your order directly to your seat. If you need anything else, press your service button. Purchase tickets on the SMG website, the SMG App, SMG Box Office, or a self-service kiosk at the theater.

Paint A Pretty Picture – 322 ESE Loop 323, Tyler, Texas

Take your date to Pinot’s Palette, next to Plato’s Closet in Tyler, and paint together. Its studio provides two-part mirror pieces that transform upon completion into an intricate design. You can also complete your masterpiece right there in the studio by picking a frame to suit your style for $35, so you can walk away with your creation ready to hang.

Things to Do in Downtown Tyler, Texas

Visitors could spend a week in downtown Tyler and still not do and see everything. All packed into Tyler’s downtown district are a thriving arts and culture community, educational facilities, an exciting live music scene, recreation and nature, antique and boutique shopping, and tours. Some of the things to do in downtown are mentioned in more detail throughout this article, but the following is a list of what Texas Outside did not cover in detail.

Arts & Culture

  • Art Alley
  • Caldwell Auditorium
  • Cowan Center
  • East Texas Symphony Orchestra
  • Gallery Main Street
  • Liberty Hall
  • TJC Theater Program
  • Tyler Civic Theatre Center

Shopping Downtown Tyler

  • Best Jewelers
  • Cindy’s Balloons
  • Ethel’s Treasure Quest
  • Hacienda Gallery Vintage Shop
  • HandUp Resale Store
  • La Michoacana
  • Lucio’s Boot Repair & Western Wear
  • Mac’s Gun Shop
  • Moon Rivers Naturals
  • Moss – “Where flowers are fair”
  • Ridiculously Good Brands and Threads
  • Rose City Farmers Market
  • Vintage History
  • Ye Olde City Antique Mall

Things to Do for Free in Tyler, Texas

Azalea Residential Historic District

Azalea & Spring Flower Trail: Every spring with over ten miles of residential gardens and historic home-sites covered with azaleas, tulips, wisteria, dogwood, and more. The Azalea Residential Historic District hosts this annual spring event. 

Rose Rudman Recreational Trail – 450 Shiloh Rd

This 1.2 mile concrete trail at Rose Rudman Park is a beautiful setting for jogging, walking, biking, and rollerblading. The surrounding park area has a picnic area and pavilion. 450 Shiloh Road, Tyler. Open daily from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Tyler Rose Garden – 420 Rose Park Drive 

Take a stroll through the famous Tyler Rose Garden. Peak seasons are mid-April and mid-October, but the gardens are full of roses and more flowers year-round. The Tyler Rose Festival Museum & Gift Shop, in the rose garden, offers books, stationery, garden items, sachets, china, and other unique rose-themed gifts. 

Cotton Belt Depot Museum – 210 East Oakwood Street

The Cotton Belt Depot Museum details the vast railroading history of Texas.

The Children’s Park – 110 E Dobbs Street

The Children’s Park of Tyler boasts walkways, a butterfly garden, a fishpond, playful statues, two waterfalls, and an events pavilion.

The Smith County Historical Society Museum – 125 South College Avenue

The Smith County Historical Society Museum preserves the fascinating stories of Smith County’s past in many areas and offers new temporary exhibits every 6 months to a year.

Camp Ford, C.S.A.

Camp Ford opened in August 1863 and closed May 1865. In July 1864, Camp Ford detained 5,300 Union POWs. The site of the Camp stockade is a public park. The park features a kiosk with extensive graphics detailing the history of the camp, a walking trail with more interpretive signage, and a picnic area. You can also check an extensive collection of graphics, photographs, and documents that detail the camp’s history at the Smith County Museum. 

The Camp Ford Historic Park is located at 6500 US Highway 271, 0.8 miles outside Loop 323 in Tyler, Texas. It is open daily from dawn until dusk. 

Bergfeld Park – 1510 South College Avenue

Bergfeld Park is known for its open-air amphitheater. It regularly hosts various shows, from entertainment to community-related events for free. It has a total seating capacity of 750.  Bergfeld Park also has a children’s playground, a picnic area, restrooms, a splash pad, and tennis courts.

Legacy Trails

Legacy Trails is a 4.5–mile hiking location following the old railway of the Cotton Belt train route. Trailheads are located at Old Jacksonville Highway and Three Rivers Parkway in Tyler and just north of Saline Creek Road in Gresham.

Brookshire’s World of Wildlife Museum & Country Store – 1600 W SW Loop 323

This park features over 450 mammals, aquatic species, fowl, and reptiles from Africa and North America. Learn about your favorite animals and about some you never knew existed. It is hard to believe admission is free. 

Things to Do in Tyler, Texas, with Family

Texas Rose Festival – 420 Rose Park Drive

Every fall, thousands of visitors descend on Tyler to enjoy art performances, flower exhibitions, parades, and festive events, all connected to roses, with a highlight of the coronation of the Rose Queen. Due to the high demand for accommodations, the City of Tyler recommends booking hotel and motel rooms far in advance. 

The Discovery Science Place – 308 North Broadway Avenue

Discovery Science Place is an interactive children’s museum that ignites curiosity in children’s minds through fun, hands-on exploration. It features over a dozen activities and exhibits for young kids up to teenagers like a veterinary clinic, a bank, a TV station, a kinetics gallery and so much more, plus programs for every budget. 

The Grove Kitchen and Gardens – 3500 Old Jacksonville Highway

The Grove is a farm-to-table venue with a restaurant, a bar, a kid’s playground, a market located on a historic East Texas farm. This farm hosts events of all sizes and weddings, live music on weekends, a farm-fresh menu and BBQ, Saturday and Sunday brunches, and more. 

Hike the trails at Tyler State Park – 789 Park Road 16

The Tyler State Park is ten miles north of Tyler on State Park Highway leading out of the town. It offers a 64-acre lake amid 100-foot-tall pine trees with campsites and cabins, fishing, swimming, 13 miles of hiking trails, canoeing and kayaking, and ranger programs. 

The Water Park at the Village Apartments

The Village Apartment Complex features a 25,000 square-foot water park with an indoor lazy river, water slides, and a wave pool, plus smaller pools for children. The water park is open to the public at 18270 Singing Wood Lane, Flint, Texas, 11 miles south of Tyler on FM 2493.

The CESSE Planetarium Tyler Junior College – 1411 East Lake Street

The Center for Earth and Science Space Education Planetarium at Tyler Community College offers a state-of-the-art planetarium, a theater equipped with Digitarium Aethos, interactive displays, exhibits, classes, and outdoor play spaces.

The Tyler Museum of Art – 1300 South Mahon Avenue

The museum’s permanent collections include over 800 works of art, with one of the largest Mexican and Latin American Folk Art collections in the U.S. and rotating exhibits that change throughout the year featuring unique works. 

Escapology Escape Rooms – 8958 S Broadway Avenue

A live escape experience where teams of two to eight visitors are locked into private theme rooms, must crack codes, and find hidden clues to solve puzzles and escape. The adventures last an hour and are wheelchair accessible. Reservations are required. 

Children’s Park – 110 E Dobbs Street

Visitors can stroll along life-size bronze statues of children playing, a children’s story amphitheater, and a butterfly garden on cobblestone walkways that meander through the beautifully landscaped atmosphere while listening to its babbling streams. This peaceful park is dedicated to families whose children have passed on. 

iJump – 2029 Capital Drive

iJump is a trampoline park company that features extreme jumping adventures along with timed ninja course, airbags to flip out on, arcades, a café, and more in a 25,000 square-foot facility. 

What Is Tyler, Texas, Famous For?

Tyler, Texas is famous for roses. Besides roses, Tyler’s Residential Historic Districts of Charnwood, Azalea, and Brick Streets are listed on the National Register of Historical Places. Tyler was named for President John Tyler, 10th U.S. president (1841-1845), who supported Texas’ admission to the U.S. Sandy Duncan, actress, was raised in Tyler. She attended Robert E. Lee High School and Tyler Junior College.

Larry Demetric Johnson, former professional basketball player, spent his career with the Charlotte Hornets and the New York Knicks. Johnson was born in Tyler and inducted into the College Basketball Hall of Fame on November 24, 2019.

John Paul Gimble (1926–2015) was born in Tyler and an American country musician in the Western Swing genre. He played with Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys. Western Swing recognizes Gimble as one of the most influential fiddlers in the genre. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducted Gimble in 1999. The Country Music Hall of Fame inducted him posthumously in 2018.

During the Civil War, the largest Confederate artillery plant in Texas operated in Tyler, and the Confederate Army established Camp Ford in 1863, four miles northeast of Tyler, which housed over 5,000 Union prisoners and required 1,500 guards at one time. Camp Fannin trained thousands of soldiers in infantry skills during WWII, also located just northeast of Tyler.

Kendall Davis
Author: Kendall Davis

Author: Kendall Davis Company: Lumini Services Kendall currently lives on the shores of Lake Texoma in Texas. She traveled across two-thirds of the U.S. for many years camping at lakes, rivers, and three oceans before motels and hotels if at all possible, and she continuously saw God's presence in nature. Writing for Lakehub allows Kendall to share her experience with God's creations. https://kdavis1836.wixsite.com/luminiwrites

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