Make Plans for Summer Play Time


Most families and individuals alike have more leisure time in the summer than at any other time of the year. So it’s a common practice each year about this time for people to sit down with their calendars, a County Line Magazine or two or three, maybe some tourism brochures, notes jotted down with recommendations by friends, and in today’s day and age, their computers and mobile devices for easy access to the Internet.

This year the County Line eMagazine and mobile app is also available to help readers explore the region and find the best things to do and places to stay, dine, shop, hear music, see art, and more. Take some time to explore the site and years worth of articles on the treasures of the Upper East Side of Texas.

You can scan the QR code at left or go directly to to begin your journey.

We also encourage planners to look at the County Line past issues. Special editions like the Best of the Upper East Side of Texas will show what the magazine’s readers find they enjoy most in the region and there’s no better recommendation than that.

Some of the best times to be had are just exploring our small towns, each with their own special offerings and most with good lodging nearby, some of which are a destination themselves. Here are a few but check the eMagazine for many more when making plans.

Starting in the Northwest corner Sulphur Springs offers inviting sidewalk shops and restaurants overlooking the beautifully-landscaped courthouse plaza with a playful water fountain, outstanding   vintage award-winning courthouse and veterans memorial display, and America’s only public restrooms with see-through walls.

Paris has its own Eiffel Tower and a downtown area unmatched by any other in the region with great shopping and dining opportunities and a nearby beautiful walking path.

Heading towards our Northeast corner of the region is Winnsboro with an active arts scene, live music, great restaurants and shopping, as well as several good big events held during the year.

Mineola is a fun town with a great historical museum, music on the streets every Saturday, an Amtrak station that picks up passengers right downtown, the award-winning Mineola Nature Preserve, and many shops and restaurants. It’s home to the Select Theater, a nationally protected historical site still showing current movies every week. Numerous big events take place in Mineola during the summer and throughout the year.

On the east side of the region is Longview, Marshall, and Jefferson, all with excellent opportunities for enjoying leisure time.

South of Interstate 20 is Canton, known worldwide for its First Monday Trade Days but it also has a great downtown museum, restaurants, and shopping, and Splash Kingdom among other fun things to explore there.

Ben Wheeler has a couple of good restaurants, both with wine and beer, and one with full bar, and full menus. They offer live music Thursday through Saturday and special events throughout the year. The town also satisfies artist lovers and shoppers with several unique shops and galleries in town.

Edom has 40 years with artists presenting their pieces along Highway 279 including pottery, jewelry, birdhouse art, and photography. The Shed Cafe offers down-home cooking and Blue Moon Gardens a few miles east of town is a must to visit.

Corsicana is in the midst of a downtown revitalization with events, dining, art, and more happening on a regular basis.  A popular entertainment experience for many is Cinergy Cinemas & Entertainment center, combining movies, mini golf, go-karts, arcade, food and even a variety of beer and wines for adult patrons. For more, go to

Nacogdoches boasts many accomplished authors, film makers, artists, as well as having the claim to fame as the oldest town in Texas. From antiquing to nature walks the town holds a natural beauty and deep history that attracts visitors of all ages.

Sometimes referred to as “the lake country” there are many opportunities for fishing, boating, swimming, canoeing, and other water fun activities throughout the region including Caddo Lake, Lake Fork, Lake Palestine, and Cedar Creek Lake.

Other locations in the Upper East Side of Texas certainly worth some play time are the Longview Museum of Art, The Waterpark at The Villages on Lake Palestine in Flint, Fire Mountain Amusements in Tyler, Music City Texas Theater in Linden,  the Creative Arts Center in Bonham, The Links at Lands End in Yantis, East Texas Oil Museum in Kilgore, Tyler Arts District, Hotel Fredonia in Nacogdoches, the Avinger community, the Salt Palace in Grand Saline, and Heritage Park in Edgewood.

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