12 Best Places and Things To Do in Nacogdoches, Texas

Nacogdoches, Texas, often referred to as the “Oldest Town in Texas,” is a charming city that offers a blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. Located in the heart of the Piney Woods region, Nacogdoches boasts a rich heritage, outdoor recreational opportunities, and a thriving arts scene.

1. Lanana Creek Trail

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Nature enthusiasts will appreciate the Lanana Creek Trail, a scenic 2.5-mile paved pathway that winds through a lush forested area. Enjoy a leisurely walk or bike ride along the trail, which offers beautiful views, picnic spots, and opportunities for bird-watching. The trail is particularly stunning during the fall when the foliage turns vibrant shades of red, orange, and yellow.

2. Old Stone Fort Museum

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Learn about the region’s Native American history at the Old Stone Fort Museum, located on the campus of Stephen F. Austin State University. The museum exhibits artifacts and displays related to the indigenous peoples who inhabited the area centuries ago. Explore the reconstructed fort and the surrounding grounds, which offer scenic views of the surrounding countryside.

3. Sterne-Hoya House Museum

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Discover the history of Nacogdoches at the Sterne-Hoya House Museum, a beautifully restored 1830s home that now serves as a museum. Take a guided tour to learn about the lives of the Sterne and Hoya families, early settlers in the region. The museum displays period furniture, household items, and artifacts that provide insight into the city’s past.

4. The Durst-Taylor Historic House and Gardens

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the Durst-Taylor Historic House and Gardens, a beautifully restored Victorian home that showcases the lifestyle of a prominent Nacogdoches family. Explore the meticulously preserved interiors, stroll through the enchanting gardens, and learn about the history of the house through guided tours.

5. Ruby M. Mize Azalea Garden

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The Ruby M. Mize Azalea Garden is a stunning horticultural gem located in Nacogdoches, Texas. Spanning over 8 acres, this enchanting garden is a haven for azalea enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. It is a part of the Mast Arboretum, which is affiliated with Stephen F. Austin State University. The Azalea Garden showcases a breathtaking display of vibrant azaleas, along with other blooming plants and trees that create a kaleidoscope of colors. The garden is meticulously landscaped, with winding pathways, bridges, and benches strategically placed throughout,

6. Sterne Hoya House Museum

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The Sterne-Hoya House Museum is a historic treasure nestled in the heart of Nacogdoches, Texas. Built in the early 1830s, this beautifully restored house offers visitors a glimpse into the lives of two prominent families who played significant roles in the development of Nacogdoches and the surrounding region. The house was originally constructed for the Sterne family, who were influential merchants and civic leaders. The Sterne family played a vital role in the early settlement and development of Nacogdoches, and their house stands as a testament to their legacy. The architecture of the Sterne-Hoya House reflects the Federal style, with its symmetrical fa├žade, delicate detailing, and a spacious wrap-around porch.

7. SFA Mast Arboretum

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SFA Mast Arboretum is the Ruby M. Mize Azalea Garden, which we mentioned earlier. This garden is a stunning display of azaleas, camellias, and other flowering plants. During the spring season, the garden comes alive with vibrant colors as azaleas bloom in shades of pink, red, and white. It is a popular spot for photography, nature walks, and simply enjoying the serenity of the surroundings.

8. Piney Woods Native Plant Center

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The Piney Woods Native Plant Center is a botanical garden and research facility located in Nacogdoches, Texas. Situated on the campus of Stephen F. Austin State University, the center focuses on the conservation, propagation, and promotion of native plants found in the Piney Woods region of East Texas. The Native Plant Center is dedicated to preserving the unique biodiversity of the Piney Woods ecosystem and educating the public about the importance of native plants in sustainable landscapes. It serves as a valuable resource for homeowners, gardeners, and professionals in the horticulture and landscaping industries.

9. Old University Building

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The Old University Building, also known as the Old Main Building, is a historic landmark located in Nacogdoches, Texas. Situated on the campus of Stephen F. Austin State University, it holds great significance as the oldest structure on campus and as a symbol of the university’s rich history. Old University Building served as the primary academic and administrative building for Stephen F. Austin State University until the 1960s. The building exhibits Collegiate Gothic architectural style, featuring arched doorways, stone masonry, and intricate detailing that adds to its grandeur.

10. Nacogdoches Railroad Depot

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The Nacogdoches Railroad Depot is a historic landmark located in Nacogdoches, Texas. Built in 1911, this well-preserved structure served as a key transportation hub during the heyday of rail travel in the region. Today, it stands as a testament to Nacogdoches’ rich railroad history and serves as a community gathering place and museum. The Nacogdoches Railroad Depot was constructed by the Houston, East and West Texas Railway, which played a vital role in the development of Nacogdoches and the surrounding area. The depot served as a hub for passenger and freight transportation, connecting the region to larger cities and markets.

11. Banita Creek Park

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The park features a variety of amenities and attractions that cater to people of all ages. One of the main highlights of Banita Creek Park is its extensive trail system. The trails wind through the park’s lush vegetation, providing opportunities for walking, jogging, and cycling. These paths offer a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life and allow visitors to immerse themselves in the beauty of the surrounding nature.

12. Demonstration Garden

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A Demonstration Garden is an educational and practical garden that showcases various gardening techniques, plant varieties, and sustainable practices. It serves as a learning resource for gardeners, homeowners, and the community, providing inspiration and guidance on how to create and maintain beautiful and environmentally friendly gardens. Demonstration Gardens are typically designed and maintained by horticultural experts, master gardeners, or gardening organizations. They aim to educate visitors about gardening techniques, plant selection, soil management, water conservation, pest control, and other important aspects of sustainable gardening.

Nacogdoches, Texas, offers a perfect blend of history, natural beauty, and cultural experiences. Whether you’re exploring the city’s rich heritage, enjoying outdoor activities, or immersing yourself in the local arts scene, Nacogdoches is sure to leave you with unforgettable memories.