Mineola Nature Preserve
Ease into the peace and calm of nature at the 2,911-acre nationally known Mineola Nature Preserve, a sanctuary on the Sabine River. It is a multi-faceted public preserve located just outside of town and an experience you cannot pass up during your stay.
Home to 193 species of birds and buffalo, longhorn cattle, and other wildlife, the Mineola Nature preserve is a pristine escape to the undisturbed woodlands and wetlands of East Texas. Amid the quiet of nature, hear birds chirp and sing, and you will understand why Mineola is called the Birding Capital of East Texas.
There are plenty of activities for outdoor adventure seekers of all ages in this quaint town. Explore the walking and equestrian trails that wind through the acreage. Watch an active beehive behind safety glass on Johnnie Bend Trail. Take a ride on a mountain bike trail. Drop a line in a fishing hole or test your skills with a bow and arrow at the archery range. There’s even an 18-hole disc golf course with a playground for the kids.
RV enthusiasts can find convenient hook-ups that include horse pens for overnight stays. Primitive-style camping is also available for those who don’t mind living off the beautiful land. Two pavilions complete with restrooms provide a comfortable spot for a break. This natural wonderland is also a popular location for community events and corporate retreats.
Mineola Downtown Historic District
With its brick-lined streets, cheerful storefronts, and carefully preserved history, downtown Mineola feels like “Main Street, USA.” Listed on the National Registry Historic Places, the charmingly historic downtown is awash in welcoming shops, restaurants, historical markers, and attractions.
Antique shops hold regional treasures from days gone by, while new boutiques feature clothing, gifts, jewelry, and more. Stroll along to find plenty of locally owned bars and eateries preparing homemade cheesecake, fried pies, baked goods, burgers, and authentic Texas barbecue.
At the iconic East Texas Burger Company, visitors worldwide have documented their experience at the restaurant through handwritten napkin notes tacked to the walls. When the sun goes down, the area is a great place to grab drinks and take in some live music.
Iron Horse Square
Mineola’s railroad heritage comes to life in picturesque Iron Horse Square, situated downtown between Front and Commerce Streets along the original Union Pacific Railroad tracks. This five-acre square is a slice of Americana that takes you back to the days of steam engines and westward expansion.
The square is home to the famed Mineola Mini Train, a free attraction for children and adults. The famous ride, a replica of a Union Pacific engine, seats up to 36 passengers on its three open-air cars. It operates on the 2nd and 4th Saturday, April through October, and during holidays and special events.
The square also includes a charming open-air pavilion for community events, including the Saturday farmers market, held from May to October. A train-themed playground and a small, free library provide engaging activities for little ones.
Mineola Historical Museum
Located on what was once the town’s post office, the Mineola Historical Museum is a window into the natural, historical, and cultural history of this fascinating small town. The 4,200 square foot space includes a telegraph office exhibit, a replica of the historic Select Theater along with original theater equipment, original post office boxes, replications of a mid-century physician’s and dentist’s offices, military history, and memorabilia from the local watermelon festival and its festival queens.
Fitting for its location inside a 1937-era post office, the museum also features a restored WPA post office mural called “The Horse and Buggy Give Way to Modern Methods of Mail Transportation.” Admission is free. The museum is open Thursday through Saturday from 10 am to 3 pm. Parking is located behind the building, and Group tours are available by request.
Mineola Civic Center RV Park
Inside the Mineola Civic Center RV Park, you’ll see families picnicking, RV enthusiasts relaxing, and giggling kids enjoying the cool and colorful splash pad. These are just a few of the activities happening within this multi-use amenity located just one mile from downtown.
RV enthusiasts come from all over the country to the Mineola Civic Center RV Park for group gatherings or individual stays under East Texas blue skies. The RV park features a comfortable arrangement of concrete level pads with 30 amp or 50 amp hook-ups for sewer, water, and fast wi-fi.
Grassy areas around rigs make it easy to set up chairs and enjoy the outdoors. Lighted tennis and pickleball courts, picnic areas with barbecue grills, walking and running paths, and the John J. and Rheba Myers Splash Park keep every age group happy and busy. The Peggy & Jack Jones Pavilion is a large, covered area with air-conditioned restrooms, a seasonal concession stand, and cultured marble showers located through a private entrance for registered RV guests only.
The site’s centerpiece is Meredith Hall, a flexible events space with a ballroom and meeting rooms that can be used for weddings, family reunions, corporate retreats, and more. RV groups with at least 10 RVs are given a free meeting room.
Mineola Country Club
Don’t let the name fool you. The historic Mineola Country Club is open to the public seven days a week, and you do not have to be a member to enjoy its amenities. Play on the club’s lauded 9-hole course that is considered one of the best in Texas. Initially built in 1932, the club and course attract both locals and visitors for a day at the links. Take a dip in the swimming pool, grab a bite at the restaurant or enjoy a drink on the sunset pavilion overlooking the first hole. Tee time reservations can be made online.