The Best Towns Worthy of a Visit

If anything comes close to state pride in Texas, it's community spirit. The readers of County Line Magazine have recognized several towns for the Best of the Upper East Side of Texas contest that deserve a salute -- as well as a visit.

Check out these noteworthy places and make plans to see them in person soon. (For the complete list of winners across all categories, visit

Best Downtowna: Old Town Palestine.
Proof that a “downtown community” doesn’t have to center around a courthouse or otherwise be centrally located, Old Town Palestine is a lively neighborhood of revitalized historic structures that has everything one needs within walking distance for a fun time. About two blocks west of the Anderson County Courthouse, this is where you’ll find many of the locals congregating for concerts or just sharing a beer or cup of coffee. Hambone’s Cajun Grill serves up beer and boiled shrimp, crawfish, and all the fixins for those that enjoy Cajun cooking. Shelton Gin often has live music and other special events. Wells Creek Crossing is a superb gift and home decor shop and adjacent to  Cream & Coffee. A must experience is dining at Pint & Barrel Drafthouse, a pub-type  environment with craft beer and delicious food — try the cup of Cheddar Poblano soup with a Green Grilled Cheese sandwich with a couple of Fried Green Tomatoes on the side. Be sure to leave room for amazing pie from Oxbow Bakery with so many homemade pies to choose from you may have to try a few. Nestled in the heart of Old Town is Fig Tree Manor Bed & Breakfast, or visitors can stay at Redlands Hotel just a few blocks away, and multiple hotel chains are available. (903) 723-3014.

Hall of Fame: Winnsboro

Best County Courthouse: Wood County.
Quitman. The current Wood County Courthouse was designed and built in 1924 and 1925, after the previous one burned. The county added an annex in 1950, but the courthouse retains its Classical Revival style, with features including a grand stair with raised entry, a four-column temple front, and a full entablature with dentil molding and pediment. 100 S Main St. (903) 763-2716.

Hall of Fame: Hopkins County, Sulphur Springs

Best Improved Town: Ennis.
Ennis is working through a master plan that has the city doing many projects that have a positive impact on its downtown. This year, they did a complete infrastructure update and beautification of Dallas Street. They hosted Ennis Autumn Daze as their first festival on the newly opened street to the delight of the community and visitors alike. They have a new Welcome Center downtown and several new businesses. Other plans include beautification of Knox Street, installation of outdoor speakers, and renovation of the Ennis Avenue underpass. (972) 878.4748.

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