Tyler, named after the 10th US President John Tyler, has the largest rose garden in the country, earning it the nickname Rose City or the Rose Capital of America. In 1985, Tyler also marked the commencement of the Adopt-a-Highway movement. The total driving time from Houston to Tyler is 3 hours and 25 minutes.
It is possible to see many of Tyler’s attractions in a single visit because most tourist sites are quick but worthwhile experiences.
Below are the 10 fun things to do in Tyler.
1. Caldwell Zoo
The 85-acre Caldwell Zoo serves as a shelter for a wide range of species from all over the world. The zoo was first established in 1937 as a Child Development Laboratory where kids could interact with wildlife, including parrots, monkeys, and squirrels. It was recognized as a zoo sixteen after 16 years.
Currently, there are over 2,000 animals in the zoo, representing 250 species from North America, South America, and East Africa.
The zoo has two aquariums, a café, picnic spots, and a petting zoo for kids. Among the habitats and exhibits are the African Savanna, North America, South America, the African Aquarium, the Herpetarium, and a walkabout with wild birds.
Location: 2203 Martin Luther King Blvd. Tyler, Texas 75702
Tyler Rose Garden is a world-famous attraction that provides tourists with an amazing experience. It is set on 14 acres of perfectly maintained gardens with more than 35,000 rose bushes and more than 500 species. Mid-May and October are the best times to visit when the roses are in their greatest bloom.
After taking strolls in the garden, visit the Tyler Rose Garden Center & Rose Museum to learn more about the flower’s significance to the community and the elaborate festivities held around it, such as the Texas Rose Festival each year.
Location: 420 Rose Park Dr, Tyler, TX 75702, United States
Tyler State Park, located at the city’s northern edge, is one of the best places for outdoor enthusiasts and those looking for a little recreation.
The lovely park has several trees that are 100 feet or taller, a 64-acre lake, and several old buildings.
Following one of the many routes available, birders, wildlife watchers, campers, picnickers, hikers, geocachers, cyclists, and explorers will have much to do.
Location: 789 Park Rd 16, Tyler, TX 75706, United States
Discovery Science Place is a great vacation spot for families. It is uniquely situated inside a structure that housed a car dealership. Some attractions at Discovery Science Place include exploring paleontology, a kids’ television station, a mine, and exhibits that explore robotics and veterinary science.
Additionally, this is a great place for interesting educational and science-related toys and gifts. Simple attractions like a fish tank with a variety of goldfish, the DSP Train Set, and the Imagination Playground are also available for less intense but engaging fun.
Location: 308 N Broadway Ave, Tyler, TX 75702, United States
The Greek Revival Goodman-LeGrand House was constructed on a 9-acre piece of land. It was used as a shelter for families of refugees fleeing the Union Army during the Capture of New Orleans in 1862.
The Goodman family purchased the home after it was sold and had it renovated in the current Classic Revival design. It was converted into a museum and made accessible to the public, and it is free of admission fees.
Location: Goodman Park, 624 N Broadway Ave, Tyler, TX 75702, United States
Driving through the legendary Azalea District is another fascinating activity. The neighborhood consists of 36 sections of houses with a variety of architectural styles, from Queen Anne and Craftsman to ranch and Classical Revival.
The brown Azalea District markers placed above the street signs across the residential subdivisions make it simple to discover the district.
If you visit between mid-March and mid-April, you can take a tour of the historic neighborhoods on the Azalea & Spring Flower Trail, which allows visitors access to the gardens of local residents.
Location: 110 E. Charnwood Street Tyler, TX 75711
7. THE FOUNDRY
If you’re in the mood for a cup of coffee, go to The Foundry. The Foundry collaborates with Porch Culture, a small-batch, craft coffee roasting business in Tyler, Texas. The coffee is pure quality and locally obtained; thus, no extra additives are added along the way. The outcome is a coffee with incredible flavor.
Additionally, since Tyler is the rose capital of the United States, visitors are welcome to add rose syrup to any drink at The Foundry.
There is also an art gallery with ceramic works by local artist Jessica Sanders on display.
Location: 202 South Broadway Avenue Tyler, TX, 75702
Visitors who appreciate watching antique aircraft should definitely visit this little aviation museum inside Tyler Pounds Regional Airport. On the tarmac, you may witness a variety of historic planes, including the Lockheed F104A Starfighter, FJ-4 Fury, Russian MiG-17F Fresco C, and T-2C Buckeye.
Various displays covering military aviation history may be seen inside the museum, including artifacts, images, and unique collections of items like aviation headgear. The museum’s goals are to serve as a teaching tool and to recognize aviation pioneers.
While you’re there, get a bite to eat at the Sky’s the Limit Diner, which is amidst aviation artifacts.
Location: 150 Airport Drive, Suits 2-7, Tyler, Texas
Visit Mita Artisan Shoppe if you’re looking for more activities in Tyler, Texas, that involve shopping.
They provide a wide variety of colorful goods that make wonderful presents, souvenirs, and decor.
Everything is handmade and unique, including clothing, accessories, and decorative items.
Mita Artisan Shoppe is located in Bergfeld Center. It had humble beginnings when it was established in 2018 as a side hustle. But, when the owner Mita was fired from her job, she decided to make it her full-time work, growing it slowly and bringing in more items.
Location: 119 E 8th St, Tyler, TX 75701, United States
No visit to Tyler would be complete without indulging your palate in Stanley’s BBQ dinner and the welcoming atmosphere that comes with it. The restaurant has served the greatest pit-smoked foods in the area for over 60 years, including offering alternatives for vegetarians.
Stanley’s hosts free live music performances by up-and-coming neighborhood performers. In addition, more than 90 American bourbons, whiskeys, and rye are available at Stanley’s, and you can experience a tasting flight to decide which one is your favorite.
Location: 525 S Beckham Ave, Tyler, TX 75702, United States
Now you are done with Tyler but that’s not all Texas has to offer. Here are other places within Texas to check out for interesting activities and things to do: East Texas, Pearland, League City, Houston Heights, Pasadena, Houston First Ward, Clear Lake, Missouri City, Montrose, The Woodlands, Galveston, Friendswood, Lake Jackson, Conroe, The Woodlands, Deer Park, Baytown, Conroe, Rosenberg, Sugar Land, and Atascocita.