Seniors Stop In Palestine

Dogwood Bloom Watch

This senior had never known that there was a Palestine, Texas in East Texas until I visited relatives who lived in rural Anderson County. Palestine is tucked deep in the Piney Woods, 100 miles southeast of Dallas and 150 miles north of Houston.

The population runs right at 20,000 happy Palestinians in this county seat and was named after Palestine, Illinois, by Daniel Parker, a settler who was originally from Illinois. Palestine is a designated Texas Main Street City and exhibits historic architecture from the early 1800′s through the 1950′s. Main Street District covers 44 blocks and is filled with eclectic boutiques, antique stores, cafes, bakeries, and diverse restaurants.

Davey Dogwood Park: A Senior Favorite


On my first visit to Palestine, I became acquainted with Davey Dogwood Park. As a master gardener, I had never seen so many beautiful dogwood trees in one spot. Texas Monthly added Davey Dogwood Park to their travel bucket list. In the article, “The Bucket List: 63 Things All Texans Should Do Before They Die,” Davey Dogwood came in at #56.

The annual Texas Dogwood Trails Celebration began in 1938. Davey Dogwood Park became the main location of the annual event in 1944, when Mr. M. A. Davey, a local oil man, bought the land and donated it to the county to be used as a park. The festival occurs each spring over the last two weekends of March and the first weekend in April.


The “official” city site has a train on it and for good reason. The arrival of the International-Great Northern Railroad in 1872 led to the demise of local river shipping, as the railroad opened year-round travel to the east, to Houston, and to Laredo.

The railroad also changed the face of the town and senior visitors will note several tracks that run right through its center. The Union Pacific Railroad maintains a strong presence today. The historic Texas State Railroad offers both steam and diesel excursions that travel between Palestine and the nearby town of Rusk.  Special events throughout the year include The Polar Express, The Lone Ranger, and the Dinosaur Train rides.

Seniors Take In East Texas Culture


If you wish to really take in the culture of East Texas, visit The Museum for East Texas Culture, a major attraction for many senior tourists. More culture is exhibited at the Howard House Museum that showcases elegant Greek Revival architecture of the late-19th-century.

The Museum is an official Texas Historical Landmark. Senior visitors will find period furnishings, artworks, and other memorabilia evocative of a familial residence in the 1880s. It lies right in the heart of town.

A wide variety of attractions welcome visitors of all ages to Palestine, including the Anderson County Courthouse, the Texas State Railroad, the Palestine Community Forest, and Elmwood Gardens. Today Palestine relies heavily on tourism, with history and nature being the biggest draws.  jeb


  1. Thanks for visiting the Piney Woods of East Texas. We hope you come back to Palestine, Texas. Greatly appreciate the blog post!

Leave a reply

Find Your Destination

Travel DestinationsTypes of Vacation/Travel
  • Polls

    Where would you most like to travel in 2013?

    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...