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17 Terrific Things to Do in Tyler, TX

East Texas is full of towering pines that sway in the wind and rolling hills that give you new views around every single turn–and when exploring the region, be sure to stop and enjoy all the fun things to do in Tyler!

Known for its roses, outdoor activities, and unique experiences, Tyler is an East Texas town that packed with interesting things to see on a weekend getaway. Located west of Shreveport, Tyler is a larger East Texas town that has everything you need to have a fun family trip or a romantic getaway.

Here’s what to do in Tyler!

texas and american flags hanging in front of a house with blooming azaleas in tyler. azaleas are a great reason to visit tyler texas

The Best Things to Do in Tyler

Hike the trails at Tyler State Park.

Tyler State Park is a beautiful state park that visitors come from miles around to see. The park has miles of trails as well as plenty of places for fishing and water sports such as kayaking and canoeing.

You can easily spend a day at Tyler State Park, or rent one of their campsites or screened shelters to make it an entire weekend getaway. There is nothing quite like waking up to the smell of a leftover campfire, surrounded by a beautiful sunrise, and the sounds of wildlife all around.

two labordoodles sitting in front of a lake at sunset in Tyler State Park, a texas state park within driving distance of houston tx

Stop and smell the roses.

The famous Tyler Rose Garden is one of the largest rose gardens in the United States and boasts all kinds of beautiful roses. With over 32,000 rose bushes, you can stroll through and soak in the variety of colors each bush offers.

There are multiple events at the Rose Garden every year, the best-known being the Rose Festival held each October, which will allow you to fully experience everything this unique spot has to offer.  

view of the tyler rose garden from above, one of the best attractions in tyler

Learn something new at the Discovery Science Place.

Discovery Science Place is an interactive children’s museum that is the perfect spot to bring the entire family. Throughout the Discovery Science Place, there are plenty of hands-on activities for young kids to teenagers to enjoy.

There is so much to uncover at Discovery Science that you are sure to learn something new every time you visit. There are rotating exhibits that focus on different subjects throughout the year that you can stroll through and find interesting information throughout.

They also have a space-related permanent exhibit that is incredible to walk through and put yourself in the shoes of an astronaut.

At Discovery Science Place, there are hands-on exhibits and STEM-related activities for your kids to participate in. Your family will be learning and growing at Discovery Science place without even realizing it.

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Play ping pong under the stars (and more) at The Grove.

From having a space for weddings, a to-go market, a lively bar, BBQ, playground for kids, and more, The Grove offers something special to the Tyler area. As you start walking around The Grove, you will discover something new around every turn you take, making for a great night out with friends and family.

The Grove has something for everyone to enjoy. You can try your hand at outdoor games by engaging in a friendly game of ping pong or cornhole. You can also sit back and relax with a delicious cocktail while you enjoy live music on the back porch of The Grove.

Kids can spend their time at the playground that is equipped with a small house and tiny grocery cart for kids to use their imagination all day long.

two ping pong mallets sitting on the corner of a ping pong table

Grab an ice-cold beer at True Vine Brewing.

True Vine brewing is a Tyler staple that is one of the best places to visit in Tyler. Grab your friends and visit True Vine Brewing where you are immediately greeted by lights strung throughout the trees and live music coming from every which way.

Attached to True Vine Brewing is Sola Bread where you can grab a made from scratch wood-fired pizza to accompany your beer. If you are not a fan of pizza, you can also grab breakfast treats at Sola as well.

True Vine Brewing is known for hosting incredible events throughout the year such as Octoberfest, Chili Tasting Festival, and market days.

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Enjoy the Azalea Trails.

Roses aren’t the only flower Tyler is known for–each March, azaleas are also celebrated in town!

The Azalea Trails aren’t literal trails, more of a nickname for the neighborhoods where you can find the best blooms, but you can use their website to find the best spots.

If you’re visiting Tyler in the spring, be sure to add the Azalea Trails to your list of what to do in Tyler!

white colonial style house in tyler texas with pink azaleas blooming in front. tyler is one of the best san antonio weekend getaways

Soak in the views of a vineyard at Kiepersol Distillery and Winery.

Kiepersol Distillery and Winery is a must-stop when exploring the best things to do in Tyler. A one-of-a-kind East Texas gem, Kiepersol is hidden behind a subdivision and when you pull up you will be amazed at the sights you see. After you trek up the stairs, you will be greeted by miles of vineyards and east Texas forests all around you.

Grab a mixed drink at the distillery, go on a winery tour, or attend a yearly event at Kiepersol to truly get the most out of your time visiting this amazing site.

Check out Tyler’s historic homes.

Tyler is home to some beautiful, 19th-century architecture. Some of the historic mansions, such as the McClendon House and the Goodman Museum, operate as house museums today.

Whether or not you choose to tour the interiors, though, it’s still worth checking out the beautiful exteriors when exploring the best things to do in Tyler.

white victorian era mansion in tyler texas

Float on a lazy river.

The Village apartment complex has an incredible waterpark that many locals and visitors use to beat the heat each summer.

The Waterpark at the Villages consists of a lazy river to sit back and relax and plenty of slides for your entire family to enjoy. There are smaller pools for younger children as well as playgrounds that have water features for everyone to enjoy.  

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Head downtown to do some shopping.

Downtown Tyler has multiple unique local shops that are perfect to grab a souvenir or two while also seeking out one of the most fun things to do in Tyler.

One popular example is 903 Handmade, which is a local shop that is stocked full of gifts that are all handmade by local artisans.

As you stroll around 903 Handmade you are sure to find something that will leave you in awe of the creative abilities that these artisans have. They have homemade soap, graphic tees, jewelry, and more so everyone is sure to find something that they want or need.

Moon River Naturals is another unique downtown shop that specializes in homemade soaps, scrubs, lotions, and more. Moon River Naturals started on a homestead and was recently moved into a cute building downtown. All of the products at Moon River are homemade and made with natural ingredients.

downtown buildings in tyler texas

Go for a stroll at a local park.

Rose Rudman Park in Tyler consists of miles of trails as well as playgrounds for everyone to enjoy. Load up your bikes or simply go for a long walk in the crisp East Texas air and enjoy every minute of your East Texas adventure.

Marvel at otherworldly beauty at the CESSE Planetarium.

The Center for Earth and Science Space Education Planetarium (say that five times fast!), also simply known as the Tyler Texas Planetarium, is housed at Tyler Community College and is one of the most unique things to see in Tyler.

Don’t miss the chance to see far beyond Earth during your trip to Tyler!

view of the milky way as displayed in a planetarium

Laugh the night away with a comedy show.

Card 53 is well known in Tyler because it is a great night out and will provide you with plenty of laughs. Card 53 comedy focuses on improv comedy and uses words that the audience writes on cards to guide their comedy show, making each show unique and fun.

Grab tickets for your friends and get dinner at Don Juan’s Mexican restaurant before your night full of laughter to make the most of your night out. Card 53 is sure to have you laughing all night and keep you on the edge of your seat the entire night.

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Enjoy one of Tyler’s most popular coffee shops.

The Foundry is a great stop along your Tyler adventure, so you can get your caffeine fix before you begin your journey. The Foundry is located near downtown Tyler, and often has events throughout the year such as live music and trivia nights.

This quaint coffee shop has unique flavors if you want to try something new such as Lavender coffee and the baristas are great at creating something that will fit your coffee palette.

barista pouring cream into a cappuccino in a white cup

Experience amazing works of art at the Tyler Art Museum.

At the Tyler Art Museum, you can walk through multiple exhibits that boast unique and creative works of art.

You can check out the over 800 works of art that are located in the permanent year-round collection or discover unique art in the rotating exhibits that change throughout the year.

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Eat at one of Texas Monthly Top 50 BBQ joints.

Stanley’s BBQ in Tyler, Texas has been a part of Texas Monthly’s Top 50 list for years, and the moment you eat there, you will understand why this is absolutely one of the best places to visit in Tyler.

To make the most of your visit, grab a plate of jalapeno sausage and ribs and sit out on the back porch while you soak in the live music that flows through the air.

pitmaster holding a brisket cut in half, a classic of texas barbecue

Go fishing at The Boulders on Lake Tyler.

The Boulders has been recently renovated and provides visitors with an incredible fishing dock as well as a bait shop to grab everything you may need. Lake Tyler is an amazing site to catch glimpses of wildlife from waterfowl to beavers and everything in between. Sit back, grab a fishing pole, and soak in the views while you wait for your catch of the day.

You can simply visit for the day or set up camp at their multiple campsites to wake up to a sunrise over beautiful Lake Tyler. Besides campsites, they also have four cabins that you can rent for a wonderful weekend getaway.

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Where to Stay in Tyler, TX

Looking for the best places to stay in Tyler? These popular (and well-reviewed) properties have you covered!

Hampton Inn & Suites — This property is a perfect hotel to book while you are in Tyler and comes with plenty of amenities.

At the Hampton Inn & Suites, you will have a spacious room and breakfast will always be included, allowing you to fuel up before you start your day.

Check rates & book your stay at the Hampton Inn & Suites!

Residence Inn By Marriott — This property is a nicer hotel located in Tyler, Texas that will have you completely taken care of.

At Residence Inn, every room will be equipped with a full kitchenette as well as a refrigerator and breakfast will be complimentary every morning.

Check rates & book your stay at the Residence Inn By Marriott!

2 photos of tyler attractions: rose garden and azaleas. black and pink text reads "17 fun things to do tyler tx"

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