Tyler’s love affair with roses began at the turn of the 20th century, when a disastrous blight wiped out millions of peach trees, a significant agricultural product in East Texas at the time. Many farmers switched to growing roses, a choice that would create one of the most significant industries of its kind in the country. The success of this industry would inspire the Texas Rose Festival, an annual event known for its pageantry that is a veritable Tyler institution. Along with the festival, Tyler is home to the impressive Tyler Municipal Rose Garden, a sprawling 14-acre garden that houses more than 32,000 rose bushes and more than 500 varieties of roses. Exploring this rose garden, the largest of its kind in the United States, is an essential experience for any visitor to Tyler, but it’s not the only way to get in touch with nature.
East Texas, with its gently sloping landscape, dense woods, spectacular lakes, and fall colors, has much to offer those who love nature, and Tyler affords easy access to some of the region’s prettiest places. Start at Tyler State Park, which is home to a pristine 64-acre lake surrounded by a forest of 100-foot-tall trees. The park’s gorgeous lake is an ideal setting for fishing, swimming, and boating, and there are 13 miles of hiking trails to explore and a variety of campsites to hang your hat at. If that’s not enough, head to Lake Palestine or Lake Tyler, two lakes that are among the best bass fishing spots in East Texas. All three places are within just 15 miles of downtown Tyler, so you don’t have to go far to enjoy East Texas’ captivating countryside.
Not enough for you? Cruise through one of Tyler’s historic neighborhoods, such as the Azalea District, visit the spectacular Caldwell Zoo, catch a live performance at the beautifully restored Liberty Hall, Tyler Civic Theatre, or UT Tyler Cowan Center, or view a fascinating collection of aircraft at the Historic Aviation Memorial Museum.
Tyler’s delightful rose garden, historic homes, fascinating museums, and spectacular scenery make it a compelling destination for your next Texas vacation. So what are you waiting for? Plan your next adventure to the Rose Capital of America today.
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