Mother Nature always provides a breathtaking display of elegance when the Redbuds add a bright pop of magenta to the winter landscape in the parks and forests throughout the area and soon to follow is the native dogwood, opening as a small green bud and pillowing out into a white clover shaped blossom. Distinguished by their blossoms, berries, and distinctive bark the dogwood tree is known as a symbol of renewal and new beginnings. Stories, myths, and cultural references surrounding this flowering tree, abound. The arrival of Spring and Palestine, Texas is the place to witness the splendor of the dogwood in full bloom. Home to the Texas Dogwood Trails Celebration, this annual celebration takes place March 18-April 3 and offers many ways to honor this symbolic and captivating flowering tree.
Hop Aboard a Vintage Train Riden the Spring
Take a step back in time while being a passenger aboard the scenic Texas State Railroad, the official railroad of Texas. From the moment you step on-board one of the handsomely refurbished train cars, you’ll feel like you’ve been transported to a simpler, more leisurely time where the distractions and annoyances of our modern world suddenly disappear. Breathe deep, order a drink and relax as you lose yourself on a four-hour, 25-mile rail journey through the Piney Woods of East Texas where history is just part of the journey.
Davey Dogwood Park and the Hidden Fairy Garden Trails Garden Trails in Davey Dogwood Park
The Texas Dogwood Trails were born in 1938 when 2 friends noticed the early blooms marking the arrival of spring in the area and wrote to the local newspaper to invite visitors to come look at the unique landscape in full bloom. Once the word got out, the following year 20,000 visitors came for the blooming season. A few years later, a local citizen dedicated an exceptional plot of Dogwood trees to creating a Davey Dogwood Park.
Today, this 254-acre park offers a multitude of ways to take in the beauty of the park. Cruise the 5.5 miles of driving trails. Or better yet, if you’re looking to fully immerse yourself in the captivating dogwood tree, there are over 8 miles of unincorporated hiking and biking trails as well as scenic views and picnic areas. Visit March 18- May 31 to see how many of the hidden fairy gardens you can find tucked away along the Fairy Garden Trail amongst these magical paths.
Jam out at the Old Time Music & Dulcimer Festival photo by Dana Goolsby
No road trip would be complete without a soundtrack and a stop at the Old Time Music & Dulcimer Festival. Celebrating its 19th year in Palestine, this lively festival showcases musicians playing everything from mountain dulcimers to fiddles and autoharps. Running March 24-26th, you’ll see the finest dulcimer and old-time music artists in the country and even have a chance to jam with some of them! Not quite there yet? Just kick back and enjoy the variety of daily live performances, workshops, and opportunities to meet and visit with master musicians, at this one-of-a-kind musical spectacular.
Shop Historic Palestine
Palestine Texas boasts an award-winning main street that is perfect for retail therapy. Antique lovers, start with Star of Texas Antiques which is considered one of the most premier antique stores in Texas. You can’t go wrong at Duncan Depot Antiques which offers, “primitive to retro and most everything in between.” Browse, shop, and support unique businesses such as Braly’s Ace Hardware known as, “One of the Coolest Hardware Stores on the Planet.” Enjoy a cup of coffee and satisfy your thirst for everything unique at Wells Creek Crossing and Cream & Coffee, an eclectic shop featuring sculptural and painted art and unique finds from brand new to shabby chic and rustic to vintage. Enjoy the fabulous shops offered in this culturally rich and vibrant downtown area.
Named by Texas Highways Magazine as a Top 40 Travel Destination, Palestine has historical sites, arts and cultural events, architectural gems, festivals, outdoor fun, and nightlife—all with loads of East Texas charm. Spring is here and Palestine, Texas is a must for those of you that wish to soak up the beauty of the dogwood tree and say goodbye to winter. For a day or a whole weekend, a trip to Palestine promises fun and rejuvenation for all. See everything that the season offers at visitpalestine.com.