Water and wildlife, there’s no place like Angelina County, Texas to enjoy them all. Though not far from Dallas, Houston, Beaumont, or Shreveport, Lufkin seems like it is worlds away when it comes to nature. You will find great shops, museums, and plenty of festivals here but the pace is a bit slower. Hustle and bustle means the flapping of the bird’s wings, the thing of a well-placed golf ball, or a splash on the lake when the fish are biting
Each season in Lufkin has its splendor. In June you can paddle the waters of one of America’s less pristine rivers at the Neches River rendezvous. The summer also means boating, skiing, and fishing at Lake Sam Rayburn one of the top five best fisheries in the United States. Bring your tent, your hiking boots, and binoculars and take to the woods. Lufkin is nestled between the Davy Crockett and Angelina national forests. With 400,000 acres of national forest land practically in your backyard, there’s no better place to hunt or hike or enjoy the outdoors. The national forests enhance the quality of life by providing many outdoor recreation opportunities.
Don’t miss fall when the hardwoods burst forth in color and cyclists from all over take to the roads for the annual piney woods purgatory bike ride. That October ride is one of the state’s premier cycling events. Holidays bring parades, festivals, and shopping tours of downtown Lufkin. The first Street Art Center provides a place for area artists, writers, and musicians to show and sell their work. Christmas comes to life at the Exposition Center when volunteers transform it into an evening in old Bethlehem. And while the halls and trees are decked for the holidays at the Museum of East Texas, you can bet it shines bright year-round with exhibits of national and regional importance. During the summer, the museum becomes a recreation center welcoming hundreds of children to its renowned art camp.
Nothing tops the sprinkling of color in the woods when the wild azalea’s redbuds and dogwoods burst into bloom. The plenty of woods experience is naturally beautiful year-round but in spring it will take your breath away. It’s also when the Cowboys hit the arena for the Angelina benefit rodeo and the whole community clowns around for the greatest show on dirt. It’s boy howdy time on the streets as well in April as Lufkin throws that downtown hoedown to show off its revitalized business and arts district.
The arts are flourishing as well across town on the Angelina College campus, home of the Angelina Center for the Arts. The Arts Alliance delivers big city music dance and theatre experiences on the temple theater stage. Artist Lance hunter has transformed downtown Lufkin with murals depicting scenes from her history. View the Indian maiden Angelina for whom the county is named to the birth of the Brookshire Brothers grocery chain headquartered here in Lufkin. It’s no surprise Lufkin is home to the state forestry museum, the only one of its kind in Texas. It features the industry that gave Lufkin its start, Forest Products. In fact, the forest is so big there is an entire festival dedicated to it. Each fall, the Texas State Forest festival brings in more than 30,000 visitors to celebrate sawmills, Lumberjacks, wood products and the industry that put this city on the map.
This history and the history of the entire region is documented in a museum of its own – the History Center in Duvall. Delve a little deeper into the archives and learn the stories of the people, the land, and the industries that have made East Texas rich in culture and heritage. The wildest place in town at any time of year is the Ellen Trout Park and zoo. Considered one of the finest small-town zoos in the nation, it’s home to 800 wild and exotic creatures from around the world.
When it comes to experiencing Angelina County, your lodging options are impressive, from bed-and-breakfast to campgrounds and RV parks. Your dining options are as varied as your choice for lodging. From homegrown bakeries and fine dining venues to national and regional chains, there is something for every palate or pocketbook.