I’ve lived in Tyler for six years now, and am so blessed and grateful to call it home.
The first thing most people think of when they hear about Tyler is roses. And everything you’ve heard is true: Tyler is the Rose Capital of the World! Our rose gardens are really lovely, and the Rose Festival that happens every October is quite the spectacle. There is a Rose Queen, a Rose Parade, the Queen’s Tea, and the Queen’s Coronation, among other things. But if you miss that weekend, you can still visit the Rose Festival MUSEUM (true story) or the Rose Gardens for free anytime.
A lesser-known event, though no less gorgeous, is the spring Azalea Trails. In the historic brick streets near downtown, you can tour through private gardens and treat yourself to views of cascading flowers that pour from the bushes like waterfalls. It’s one of my favorite times of the year!
Also not to be missed is the Caldwell Zoo, which is one of the best small zoos in America. I’ve been going to this zoo with my grandparents since I was a little girl, and it never loses its charm.
The East Texas State Fair is a cheesy, country, tiny little spectacle of a fair that comes to Tyler every September. AND I LOVE IT. I love to drag my friends out there with me to eat cotton candy and fried food, walk through the livestock pavilions (“Oh I’m not here with these fellas! I’ve got a pig in competition over at the livestock pavilion and I! Am gonna win that blue ribbon!“), and laugh about the arts and crafts that have won blue ribbons for unknown reasons. And if I am really lucky, I can usually convince someone to ride the Ferris wheel with me. My favorite. (I’m literally smiling right now just thinking about it.)
The last stop on our mini-tour is a relatively new addition to Tyler. The Liberty Hall Theater is a restored building on the downtown square. I have been waiting for this theater to be reopened almost since I first moved to Tyler, and they finally completed the restoration last fall. Since then this movie-loving girl has LOVED getting to see such favorites as “The Sound of Music,” “Casablanca,” “A League of Their Own,” and “Psycho” on the big screen. From a balcony.
Sigh. The best.
All that to say: come visit me in Tyler! We’ll have a good time.