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Mineola, Texas

Things To Do in Mineola

Mineola's downtown is dotted with more than forty historic markers that tell the story of the events that shaped the city. On your visit, you will travel back to a simpler time as you discover a friendly, pleasant town incorporated in 1873 when the railroads arrived.

Board a Train – Then and Now

Mineola is inextricably bound to its railroad history, and visitors can experience that sense of adventure in authentic and imagined ways. Jump aboard the Amtrak Texas Eagle, which stops in Mineola twice daily and travels from Chicago to San Antonio through major Texas cities. A trip on the westbound line will take you to Dallas, Austin, and San Antonio, while an eastbound trip will bring you to Longview and back home by dinnertime.

Parking at the depot is free and secure for overnight travelers. At the Historic Depot Museum, you will learn about Mineola's significant history as a railroad depot that connected major cities and helped bring new settlers west. Kids will enjoy the Mineola Mini Train that runs April through September, every second and fourth Saturday.

Visit the Royal Flying Circus Aviation Museum

Mineola honors the memory of aviator adventurers and thrill-seekers Henry and Bryce Wisener with a museum at historic Wisener Field airport. View a collection of their personal aircraft, automobiles, and artifacts on display at the Royal Flying Circus Aviation Museum. Walk through and see a Curtiss Jenny from World War I, a WWII Stearman biplane that was once flown by the Navy-Blue Angels, or a 1949 MG-TC sports car that belonged to the widow of a famous stunt pilot, Paul Mantz. Looking for a more hands-on experience? Visit the museum any time during operating hours to take part in a guided tour.

Take In a Rodeo

“Ride ‘em, cowboy!” Since 1963, professional rodeo cowboys and cowgirls have come to Mineola for a high-energy rodeo that brings spectators to their feet. The event benefits the Mineola Fire Department and is held over three nights every 2nd weekend in July.

The Mineola Fire Department Rodeo is serious business. A CPRA, LRCA, UPRA, and WPRA-sanctioned event, the rodeo includes bull riding, barrel racing, steer wrestling, ranch bronc riding, breakaway roping, team roping, tie-down roping, and more. Rodeo clowns, concessions, and a rodeo queen scholarship competition round out the festivities. You don’t want to miss the Mutton Bustin’ competition, where kids get to test their mettle by wrangling sheep.

See a Show in the Historic Select Theater 

With its “Last Picture Show” vibe, there’s nothing quite like Mineola’s historic Select Theater for seeing a movie or a live theater production. Located downtown and illuminated with its iconic neon marquee, The Select Theater is the oldest, continuously running movie theater in Texas, having first opened in 1920.

Its single screen, now supported by modern technology, is still the perfect place to take in a new release. The Select hosts live theater productions directed by Lake Country Playhouse along with cinema. Enjoy four productions annually, one each quarter, including a popular summer musical and a Christmas-themed show. 

Shop in Historic Downtown

Mineola’s downtown is an exciting place to stroll and shop. Pop into the many different stores that line the streets, chat with proprietors and pick up a gift, souvenir, or vintage item. Antique stores, gift shops, and boutiques are all part of the experience. Follow up your shopping with a bite or beverage inside one of downtown’s restaurants and bars.

Enjoy a Festival

This friendly town loves to throw a good festival. Visitors and locals love the town's annual festivals, put on by the Mineola Chamber of Commerce. The Iron Horse Heritage Festival takes place every year on the fourth Saturday in September, and it's full of family-friendly fun, starting with a trail run through Mineola Nature Preserve. Live music, pie-eating contests, weenie dog races, and a robbery reenactment fill the downtown streets. 

If that is not enough to rile you up, the first Saturday in May is Mineola's May Fiesta Day, which offers arts and crafts, food, music, and loads of fun for the whole family. Over Mineola Civic Center, the fourth of July celebration features entertainment, food, and fireworks. 

Sip Aboard the Mineola Main Street Wine Train

Grab your tickets early for the Mineola Main Street Wine Train; they sell out every year! One of Mineola’s top attractions, the Amtrak Texas Eagle, enables passengers to enjoy seamless day excursions into Dallas or Longview or points beyond. The experience becomes even more exciting when paired with Texas wines.

The wildly popular annual Mineola Main Street Wine Trian shuttles passengers west toward Forth Worth’s Union Station as they taste regional wines and enjoy entertainment and snacks. Once in Fort Worth, passengers dine at the restaurant of their choice, followed by a restful night in one of the city’s many fine accommodations. The next day is spent shopping and enjoying the city before boarding the 2 pm train back to Mineola.

Ring in the Season with the Christmas Parade and Holiday Lights

Santa Claus visits downtown Mineola every year! See beautiful Christmas decorations and the official tree lighting, enjoy a down-home Christmas parade and float competition, shop for gifts, and visit with friends old and new.

The Mineola Holiday Festival is held annually on the 1st Saturday of December to kick off the holiday season. Honors are awarded to floats with the most creative interpretation of the parade's annual theme. Children can sit on Santa's knee after the parade to tell him their Christmas wishes. He resides in a Gazebo adorned with white lights from top to bottom. As part of the celebration, a mini train is also on the move, decked out with Christmas lights.  

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Piney woods

Mineola, Texas