These Activities Get Voters' Approval

The Winnsboro Cultural District captures the distinction of being the Best Arts or Cultural Destination in recent readers' poll.

Life's short. Experience the best! That's good advice ... and the recent Best of the Upper East Side of Texas contest points the way.

The annual contest drawing votes from the readers of County Line Magazine has revealed great experiences worthy of activities by one and all. Check out the winners in categories like best winery, arts district, and golf course. [For the complete list of winners across all categories, visit]

Best Winery

Grand Oaks Vineyards & Winery. Mineola. Grand Oaks takes their names from the original oak trees that still reside on the property. They host more than 1,800 hand-planted grapevines and are open to the public for tours and wine tastings. They serve a series of dry and semi-sweet red wines; off-dry and semi-sweet white wines; all made from the fresh grapes harvested on the property. Grand Oaks currently grows Tempranillo, Mourvedre, Syrah, Lenoir/ Black Spanish, Chenin Blanc, and Blanc du Bois, all of which derive from both Spanish and French heritages, as well as a few American hybrids. 2455 County Road 2724. (903) 569-2801.

Best Museum

Northeast Texas Rural Heritage Center. Pittsburg Two museums in one including the Depot Museum and the Farmstead Museum. The Depot houses an array of antiques and artifacts including a focus on the native Caddo Indians in an archeology exhibit. Also included is a firetruck, a steam engine, a wildlife diorama, and a small art gallery as well as the famous Ezekial Airship, a flying machine built in 1902. 204 West Marshall, (903) 946-3243, www.

Best Arts or Cultural Destination

Winnsboro Cultural District. The Texas Commission on the Arts selected the Winnsboro Cultural District as an official district of the state in 2009. The district has numerous offerings for visual and performing arts as well as culinary artistry. The district is anchored by the Winnsboro Center for the Arts which features ongoing art exhibits, a gift shop, and monthly musical and other performances on The Bowery Stage. The Winnsboro Art & Wine Festival is held each year in November bringing local, state, and national artists. In 2018, Culture Club Art Gallery opened downtown featuring a collection of talented artists working in a variety of art mediums.

Best Attraction

The Gentle Zoo. Forney. This place has a petting zoo, playground, picnic area, indoor party room, train ride, giant maze, a giant jumping pillow, and more. The animals are conditioned to be handled and pet by children and adults alike. Many are rescues from shelters, private homes, and sanctuaries in Texas. They have llamas, an umbrella cockatoo, peacocks, Sulcato tortoise, emus, goats, kangaroo, unusual animals like the coatimundi and capybara, a Chincilla, a tegu, and a bearded dragon. 12600 FM 2932, (469) 834-2857,

Honorable Mention: Galaxy Drive-In, Ennis

Best Golf Course

Crown Colony Country Club. Lufkin. Resting on 750 acres of rolling hills and surrounded by the historic tall pines of East Texas, golfers can play in luxury on the 18-hole course. Established in 1979, the Crown Colony hosts a tennis court, villas, and a large banquet hall for special events and catering. The course is open to the public. 900 Crown Colony Drive. (936) 637-8811.

Hall of Fame: Links at Land’s End, Lake Fork

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