9 Fun Things to Do in Jefferson, TX

Located in East Texas, the small town of Jefferson boasts plenty of historic charm and unique character–so it’s no surprise that there are plenty of fun things to do in Jefferson!

As you travel to Jefferson, you almost feel as if you have stepped back into time. This small quaint town is one of Texas’ most well-preserved towns that is overflowing with a rich history as well as beautiful nature and architecture.

Antique shops line the downtown, as well as buildings that look as if they are full of stories dating back years and years ago. Bed and breakfasts are on almost every corner with each one boasting a unique style making a weekend getaway an unforgettable adventure.

As you walk through downtown you are greeted by smells of mouth-watering food from local shops as well as a sweet aroma coming from dessert shops that you cannot resist.

And, to top it all off, Jefferson boasts easy access to one of the most unique state parks in Texas.

Sound intriguing? Here’s what to do in Jefferson, TX!

historic courthouse in jefferson tx, located in downtown near the best things to see in jefferson

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The Best Things to Do in Jefferson TX

Peruse the antique shops in Jefferson’s historic downtown.

Historic downtown Jefferson is stocked full of all kinds of shops that are sure to have something you can take with you to remember your trip.

There are multiple antique shops that are full of treasures that could tell stories for hours. You could spend hours in each of these antique shops because every time you walk through you are sure to find something else that captures your eye.

There are plenty of shops throughout downtown Jefferson that have home decor and clothing as well.

interior of an antique shop with small wood chests on a shelf. antiquing is one of the best things to do in jefferson texas

Taste some peanut butter.

At Nutty’s Peanut Butter in downtown Jefferson, you can taste over ten different flavors of peanut butter. They have so many types of peanut butter including cinnamon and white chocolate and every flavor is unique and delicious.

Besides jars of peanut butter, Nutty’s also has tons of peanut butter flavored desserts to choose from such as chocolate-dipped nutter butters and peanut butter oreos.

Nutty’s has so many options that will satisfy your sweet tooth and have you coming back for more during your Jefferson getaway.

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Check out the Jefferson General Store.

The Jefferson General store seems like it goes on for miles with anything and everything you could imagine from snacks to gifts and everything in between. You can walk through the general store and leave with the most unique gifts that you never knew you needed.

There is also a great photo opportunity in front of the General Store with the cutest little blue truck that is just asking to be photographed.

sign advertising pralines sodas ice cream coffee in front of the jefferson general store, one of the best jefferson attractions

Eat some delicious barbecue, East-Texas style.

Riverport BBQ is located in downtown Jefferson and is full of mouth-watering food to fuel your journey through this cute town. This BBQ joint has a menu that makes you want one of everything and every single item on their menu is absolutely delicious.

One of their specialties is hot water cornbread, where they deep fry jalapeno cornbread for a crispy and refreshing side to your meal. They also have multiple options to choose from for your meat from jalapeno sausage to ribs and everything in between.

If you love Texas BBQ, Riverport BBQ is an absolute must-stop on your trip to Jefferson.

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Snap photos of downtown Jefferson’s historic buildings.

As you venture through downtown you are sure to spot some incredibly unique buildings such as the bank and the Methodist Church that has beautiful architecture and design.

The historic downtown is one of the main draws of visiting Jefferson, and spending time here definitely ranks among the best things to do in Jefferson!

historic white methodist church of jefferson tx

Hit up a local winery.

Just outside of Jefferson, Texas is the most beautiful winery that feels like an escape from everything. As you pull up to Enoch’s Stomp Winery, you are immediately greeted by rolling hills where you are surrounded by grapevines for what seems like miles.

Once you find parking, you have the option to choose to visit their tasting room or you can grab an upscale dinner at their restaurant across the road.

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At the tasting room, you can grab a bottle of your favorite wine and head to their back porch where you can soak in the scenery while drinking some delicious wine.

No matter which way you choose to go first, you will be greeted with the most perfect seating that allows for views that overlook the vineyard, pond, and rolling hills all around you.

glass of white wine at a winery fredericksburg texas

Tour Caddo Lake by boat.

Caddo Lake State Park, with its distinct cypress trees, is one of the most incredible state parks in East Texas and one of the best attractions in (or really near) Jefferson.

The park is full of wildlife and beautiful scenery that can be seen from a totally different perspective onboard a boat with a knowledgeable guide.

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Jefferson Bayou Tours allows you to book a tour among one of their boats so you can soak up Caddo Lake and the amazing scenery it offers.

You never know you may catch a glimpse of an alligator up close, see egrets & herons flying overhead, or find turtles basking the sun along your journey.

There are multiple tour companies that will take you out on a tour of Caddo Lake. Captain Ron’s Tours and Cypress Tours are two more tour companies that will take you on an adventure that is sure to make your trip to Jefferson one to remember.

Caddo Lake in East Texas with cypress trees lining the lake

Stay at a charming bed & breakfast.

Jefferson, Texas is known to many as the bed and breakfast capital of East Texas, and with bed and breakfasts on almost every corner, anyone who passes through can understand why.

There are tons of places to stay within the city of Jefferson and every single one seems to have its own personality!

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Go kayaking on Caddo Lake.

Caddo Lake State Park is a perfect launch spot to put in your kayak and explore the cypress-covered waters.

After paddling from the boat launch you will be greeted by a wide-open lake that is any angler or boaters paradise and you will even kayak past beautiful lake homes that are beaming with character.

Family in an inflatable kayak paddling through the cypresses in Caddo Lake State Park TX

Soak up some of Jefferson’s history.

There are plenty of unique historic museums to add to your list of Jefferson attractions to visit, but one of the best known is Jay Gould’s Private Rail Car, the Atalanta. Today, you can tour the inside of this ornately decorated railcar.

Jay Gould was a prominent railroad developer in the late 19th century, and his over-the-top private rail car featuring four staterooms is able to be toured during trips to Jefferson today.

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Where is Jefferson?

Jefferson is located east of Tyler, Texas and within an hour of Shreveport, Louisiana.

The town is a 2.5-hour drive from Dallas, 4 hours from Houston, and 5 hours from Austin, making exploring the best things to do in Jefferson doable on a weekend getaway from any of the above cities!
4 photos of jefferson texas: general store, caddo lake, historic building, antique store. black text on a white background reads "9 fun things to do jefferson texas"

9 thoughts on “9 Fun Things to Do in Jefferson, TX”

  1. You left out one of the best tours in Jefferson Texas
    The Historic Tours of Jefferson. A 1 hour narrated ride around the town in a limo golf cart. Travels thru the historic district, along the bayou, and thru the historic cemetery all the while hearing about the history of the town, its architecture and some of the towns more colorful characters of old and present.

    Thanks hope this helps

  2. Why is this so selective? There is so much more that Jefferson offers. Including, Auntie Skinner’s Riverboat Club Restaurant and Bar with live music and more.

  3. Rent a golf cart to tour the town closeup and personal. plus quiet so you can take in all that history with all your senses! See the many different architectural styles of the old houses that the boat captains used to house their families in, safer here than in New Orleans. Feel the safety of the old town! Smell the magical aroma of the Magnolia trees that fill the body with the sweet perfume of days gone by. Hear the quiet music of relaxed history.

  4. The Knight Light tavern,
    The food is amazing,the atmosphere enjoyable and the friendliest staff you could ever meet! A must experience when visiting Jefferson

  5. I can attest to the civil war reenactment the first weekend in May every year. Camps are in town and there is a street battle on Saturday afternoon right downtown.


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