Texas Travel

City Spotlight: Nacogdoches

By Kristy Alpert 4.4.16

Known as the Garden Capital of Texas, the blossoming city of Nacogdoches boasts some of the deepest roots in Texas history. The city’s preserved buildings, remarkable parks, and Texas charm make it a popular East Texas destination.

Nacogdoches was settled by the Caddo tribe more than 300 years ago, and it’s still going strong. Home to Stephen F. Austin State University as well as Texas’ largest azalea garden, the city also is becoming noteworthy as a birdwatcher’s paradise.

The unique gardens and green spaces have become a favorite nesting place for rare birds like the red-cockaded woodpecker, the brown-headed nuthatch, and the Bachman’s sparrow. Locals and visitors alike share afternoons with these species in any of the numerous parks around town, including the Ruby M. Mize Azalea Garden, the Piney Woods Native Plant Center, and the Durst-Taylor House and Gardens.

Hiking and biking are part of the culture around these parts, and getting to meet with the locals is just as easy as heading out for a morning stroll along the waters on the Lanana Creek Trail or grabbing a smoothie or cup of fro-yo at The Frozen Goat off North Street.

This year, the city is celebrating its tricentennial on top of the usual roundup of festivals and celebrations — the Texas Blueberry Festival, the Nacogdoches Music Festival, and Pioneer Day at Durst-Taylor House and Gardens.

If you make it out to Nacogdoches during blueberry season, make sure to stop at The Blueberry Place, where you can fill your buckets and your bellies with fresh-picked blueberries … or pick your own.

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