East Texas is known for its pine trees, its azaleas and roses, beyond the shear beauty of the East Texas landscape, there are many destinations within East Texas that qualify as 'must see'! These must see places aren't only for vacationers visiting our beautiful part of the great state of Texas, these places are also for locals too!

Among the places on this list is a drive thru safari to the east of Jacksonville, in Recklaw, that my family really enjoys visiting a couple of times each year.  Cherokee Trace Drive Thru Safari is home to numerous wildlife from around the world in which you drive thru the countryside observing these animals in nature, not in cages. They're free roaming and quite spectacular! There are many choices for you and your family on our following list that includes family centered activities to adult activities.

When you're trying to come up with a plan with the family for a weekend event, or visiting East Texas and wanting to know what there is to do here, consider these following 'must see' East Texas destinations!

  • Caldwell Zoo via Facebook
    Caldwell Zoo via Facebook

    Caldwell Zoo

    2203 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. - Tyler


    Plan to spend a couple of hours walking around this 85 acre zoo exploring wildlife from all corners of globe.

  • Thinkstock

    Cotton Belt Depot Museum

    210 E. Oakwood St. - Tyler


    Your kids will not want to leave this one of a kind train museum sitting along side the tracks of the Union Pacific Railroad! There is railroad memorabilia along with several model train exhibits in operation.

  • Matt Cardy, Getty Images
    Matt Cardy, Getty Images

    Tyler Rose Garden

    420 Rose Park Dr. - Tyler


    It's fitting we have a rose garden in the rose capital of Texas! Visitors can walk through and get swept away thanks to the aroma of beautiful roses of all varieties and color in bloom.

  • Google

    Tyler State Park

    789 Park Rd. 16 - Tyler


    Spanning over 900 acres north of Tyler, this state park offers patrons numerous biking and walking trails, fishing, camping, hiking, paddle boating and more!

  • Tiger Creek Wildlife Refuge via Facebook
    Tiger Creek Wildlife Refuge via Facebook

    Tiger Creek Refuge

    17552 FM 14 - Tyler


    Committed to the preservation of life for tigers, lions and leopards, Tiger Creek is the home for abused, neglected and unwanted tigers and other big cats. More than 40 big cats live on this refuge.

  • Thinkstock

    Kiepersol Estates Vineyard

    3933 FM 344 East - Tyler


    This local winery is changing the perception that wine just doesn't come from northern California! Kiepersol grows and produces artisan wines that are manufactured and sold right here in East Texas!

  • Google

    Brookshire's Wildlife Museum & Park

    1600 WSW Loop 323 - Tyler


    An educational destination for kids of all ages! This museum has more than 450 mammals, eptiles, birds and aquatic animals on display from Africa and North America. The museum is free and also has a huge attached playground for the kids to explore.

  • Google

    Discovery Science Place

    308 N. Broadway - Tyler


    A destination for any kid! This museum hosts interactive exhibits for everyone, like the dino dig, TV station, rock climbing wall, playing the role of a banker, baker, grocer, a trial lawyer, judge, bailiff and more! This is so much interactivity happening within the Discovery Science Place.

  • Gregg County Historical Museum via Facebook
    Gregg County Historical Museum via Facebook

    Gregg County Historical Museum

    214 N. Fredonia St. - Longview


    Displaying Gregg County's rich cultural history, this museum displays antiques along with historical photos and so much more as its related to the history of Gregg County, Texas.

  • Mandee Montana
    Mandee Montana

    Longview Museum of Fine Arts

    215 E. Tyler St. - Longview


    With a mixture of permanent and traveling exhibits, the Longview Museum of Fine Arts plays host to so much more throughout the year.

  • Longview World of Wonders via Facebook
    Longview World of Wonders via Facebook

    Longview World of Wonders

    112 E. Tyler St. - Longview


    An imagination playground for kids of all ages! The kids, and adults too, can build it in the invention garage, shop in the market and opening soon an interactive exhibit about energy and coal, natural gas and oil with many more activities too.

  • Cheokee Trace Drive-Thru Safari via YouTube
    Cheokee Trace Drive-Thru Safari via YouTube

    Cherokee Trace Drive Thru Safari

    1200 County Road 4405 - Jacksonville


    Spanning more than 300 acres, this drive thru safari features dozens of endangered and exotic animals in a natural setting.

  • East Texas Oil Museum via Facebook
    East Texas Oil Museum via Facebook

    East Texas Oil Museum

    1201 S. Henderson Blvd. - Kilgore


    Centered within the heart of East Texas oil country and close to the worlds richest acres (in number of oil derricks), this museum takes a look at how the oil industry shaped the East Texas economy after the oil boom of the 1930's and beyond.

More From Mix 93.1