Longview, Texas offers the perfect mix of friendly small-town charm and first-class events and attractions you might expect to find in the big city. From ballets and symphonies to a dynamic theater scene, Longview's cultural pedigree is second to none. But that doesn't mean residents have forgotten their roots. Like any Southern town worth its salt, Longview celebrates its heritage of blues music, rodeos, high school football, and food.
Longview began in the early 1870’s, when Ossamus Hitch Methvin, Sr. persuaded the Southern Pacific Railroad to extend its track westward through his land. Legend has it that the great view from Methvin's house gave rise to the town's name. The rough and tumble cotton and lumber town grew steadily until the Great Depression, and was consequently revived by the discovery of oil in East Texas. During that time, the population doubled, dozens of new businesses opened, and the city of Longview was cemented as the commercial and cultural hub of Gregg County.
Visitors can experience the city's rich history by visiting any of a number of terrific museums in Longview, such as the East Texas Oil Museum and the Longview Museum of Fine Arts. Or, for something a little more fast-paced, catch a Longview Lobos high school football game or start one up with friends at one of Longview's many parks. Though the weather is generally mild throughout the year, a quick swim or a frolic in one of the public splash pads are great ways to cool down in the summer heat.
With its location in the heart of East Texas Piney Woods, Longview is a great place to set up headquarters for day trips to nearby state parks and lakes. For instance, Lake Fork is one of the best largemouth bass fishing lakes in the United States, having produced the top six largest fish on record for the state. The natural Caddo Lake is another excellent fishing lake that's also popular with campers, hikers, and nature lovers. Gorgeous scenic views can be found at Tyler State Park, a popular recreational area that features 13 miles of hiking trails, a 64-acre spring-fed lake ideal for swimming and boating, and full-featured campgrounds for overnight stays.
Longview is just a short drive from three wineries, making it a must-visit destination for oenophiles. Enoch’s Stomp Vineyard in nearby Harleton offers amazing views of its lush, rolling hills from its tasting room deck and dining lodge, while Fairhaven Vineyards in Hawkins pours several Lone Star International Wine Competition award-winning wines. And at the Los Pinos Ranch Vineyards in Pittsburg, Texas, you’ll find not only great reds and whites, but one of the best culinary experiences in the region.
Visit today and discover all that Longview has to offer!