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Things To Do in Historic Jefferson, Texas


Nestled deep in the Piney Woods East Texas is the quaint town of Jefferson, Texas.  Jefferson was once the second largest city in Texas, with the largest inland port for steamboats to bring their goods.  Now a town of 2100 residents, it’s a tenth of the size it once was in it’s heyday.

Jefferson offers a wide variety of things to do during your stay.  Whether you are here for pleasure or business, you are likely to find something to meet your needs.

 Museums and Historic HomesBack to Top

Plan to take some time during your stay to tour a museum or historic home in town.  Here are a few to select from:

  • Jefferson Historical Society and Museum: Four floors of Marion County and Jefferson history. Call (903) 665-2775.
  • Jefferson Carnegie Library: An original Carnegie Library built in 1907. Call (903) 665-8911.
  • Gone with the Wind Museum: A 1,700 square foot museum, dedicated to Gone With the Wind, features one of the world’s largest private collections of memorabilia from this epic story of the Old South. Call (903) 665-1939.
  • Singleton Virginia Cross Home Tour: Historic antebellum home furnished in antiques of the period. Guided tour of home at 1.00 PM on Saturdays. Call (903) 665-3938
  • Excelsior House: The Excelsior House is the second oldest continuously running hotel in the state of Texas. The Excelsior House is open for tours weekdays at 2 pm and at 1 pm and 2 pm on weekends. Call (903) 665-2513.
  • Jay Gould's Rail car Atlanta: The “Atalanta” has a luxurious interior with four staterooms, lounge, dining room, kitchen, butler’s pantry and bathroom. Open daily 10 a.m.–3 p.m.


ANtiquing and ShoppingBack to Top

A short walk into the historic downtown area will offer many shops to browse through and find that sought after item for your collection.

  • Beauty and the Book: Unique bookstore and beauty salon in one. Call (903) 665-7520.
  • Blackburn's Factory Outlet: Factory Outlet Store for Blackburn’s jellies, preserves and syrups, gift baskets, custom framing, local cookbooks, knives, pottery and gift items. UPS Shipping Outlet. Call (903) 665-1128.
  • Brayden & Co. Antique Mall: Elegant and upscale antique furnishings and homewares. Call (903) 665-2762
  • Blessings Book and Gifts: Christian Books and Gifts. Listen to Christian music as you shop in Blessings.  This shop has Christian books (adult and children) gifts, crosses, collectibles, home decor, jewelry, bath and body, greeting cards, Christmas seasonally and more.
  • Der Baskit Kase Music Store: We buy, sell, make and repair string musical instruments and wind-up phonographs. Call (903) 665-7996
  • Der Book Vault: Rare and unusual antique books. Call (903) 665-7996.
  • Diamond "W" Western Decor: Collectible western art and decor. Call (903) 665-2882
  • Gold Leaf Antiques: Two extensive floors of collectible glassware, furniture, books and CASE® Knives. Call (903) 665-2882.
  • Jefferson Antique Mall: Retail-Antiques-Collectibles-Miscellaneous. 18 dealers under one roof. Call (903) 665-8852.
  • Jefferson Bottling Works: Antiques, collectibles & jewelry. Call (903) 239-2801.
  • Jefferson Farmers Market: Open Wed, Fri from 4pm to sundown and Sun from 1pm to 4pm. Organically grown and locally produced (within 50 miles) fruits, vegetables, honey, meats, eggs, baked goods, canned goods, crafts, soaps, lotions, and more. Call (903) 665-7076.
  • Jefferson Fudge Store: We offer a wide variety of homemade fudge, candies, jellies, jams and preserves. In addition we have a wide selection of gifts, collectibles and antiques. Call (903) 665-3562
  • Jefferson General Store: Authentic General Store with Soda Fountain, old time toys and gifts. Fresh made pralines & candy counter. Texas souvenirs. Famous Moody Dogs. Call (903) 665-8481.
  • Marshall Pottery: Marshall Pottery specializes in hand turned pottery straight from the potter’s wheel. Skilled artisans have turned the clay of East Texas for over one hundred years making beautiful, functional stoneware pottery. Each piece is truly a piece of art. Master Potters and Cobalt artist transform lumps of clay into wonderfully designed pieces of heirloom quality stoneware. Call 9903) 938-9201.
  • Momma and Me Antique Store: Antiques and Gift shop. An eclectic collection of vintage and antique jewelry including, cameos and Czech Crystal, Raz Holiday Decor & Florals (below wholesale), infants and children’s boutique. Call (903) 665-7225.
  • River City Mercantile Company: Antiques, glassware, Orientalia, silver, Scaffordshire wares, African art, cut glass, furniture, inkwells, kitchen and primitive antiques. Call (903) 665-8270.
  • Texas Treasure: Wind spinners, homemade quilts, rustic custom stars, Texas Souvenirs, College Collectibles and more. Call (903) 665-3757.
  • Three Rivers Antiques and Collectibles: 10,000 square feet of antique furniture, pottery, books, depression glass, old tools, railroad lanterns, and signs.
  • Yesteryear Nick Nacks: Gifts, collectibles, Christmas all year. Trendy clothes and shoes for ladies. New jewelry. Call (903) 720-8692.


Caddo LakeBack to Top

Only 20 minutes from Jefferson is a place unlike any other place in Texas.  Caddo Lake is home to gators, wetland birds, beavers, turtles, and many other critters.  A recreation paradise, you could spend hours winding your way through the islands of trees by kayak or canoe. If you want to hear some history, sit back and enjoy a guided tour of the boat channels on a wood burning steamboat, and after a long day of playing, sit back and sip a cool beverage on the patio of one of the restaurants that line the river.

To help you plan out your Caddo Lake adventure, here is a list of different tours and activities on this natural wetland.

  • Captain Ron's Gator Park and Petting Zoo: There is no where else in East Texas where you can feel your heart pound as you feed a gator. If you need something a little tamer, then enjoy feeding the petting zoo animals such as goats and pigs and peacocks. Captain Ron’s Gator Park and Petting Zoo is a fascinating place full of animals that you would not ordinarily see. Call (903) 789-2100.
  • Caddo Lake State Park: Caddo Lake State Park has been described as the Crown Jewel of the Texas Parks and Wildlife system.  This is the best place to rent and launch kayaks and canoes.  In addition to the kayaking and canoeing, you can enjoy fishing, swimming, picnicking, hiking and nature studies. Park is open 7 days a week.
  • Paddling Trails: Ten paddling trails are open on both the Big Cypress Bayou and Caddo Lake.  All trails are designed to be day trips and are clearly marked with trail markers.
  • Johnson's Ranch: It should not suprise you that the oldest inland marina in the state of Texas would be on theFull service marina (and oldest inland marina in Texas) on Caddo Lake. Call (903) 789-3213.
  • Billy Carter's Guide Service: If you are looking to have a more intimate and adventurous tours of Caddo Lake, then let us set you up with an outfitter.  These outfitters will take you deep into the swamps in Go Devil boats that seat 2 to 4 adults. Billy Carter is one of Caddo Lake’s most experienced guide. In addition to to sightseeing and photography tours, his team can also take you out for duck hunting, fishing, birding, and night time gator hunts on Caddo Lake. Reservations are required. Call (903) 789-3213.
  • Caddo Lake Outback Tours and Guide Service: Here is another option if you are interested in a Go-Devil boat tour. Caddo Lake Outback Tours specilizes in nature tours, scenic tours and photo tours getting into parts of the lake and swamp that other larger boats can’t reach. Reservations are required. Call (903) 789-3384.
  • Crip's Camp: If you are wanting to rent a boat and go out on Caddo Lake by yourself then Crip’s Camp will be your place to rent. The good folks at Crips Camp can also set you up with a fishing guide as well.  And next time you see our Tom, ask him about his breakfast here.  It’s a classic story. Call (903) 789-3223.
  • Big Pine Lodge: After a long day of boating, hiking and playing, it is now time to eat.  Big Pines Lodge is rebuilt from the original that burned down in 2009. Some of their specialties are catfish and steaks. Call (903) 679-3655.
  • Riverbend Restaurant: Sit on the deck hanging over the Big Cypress Bayou and watch the boats float up and down the river.  This newcomer to Uncertain Restaurant scene serves fried catfish and other East Texas classic cooking.  Riverbend Restaurant is located on the bend of the Big Cypress Bayou where it flows into Caddo Lake. Call (903) 679-9000.
  • Uncertain General Store and Gifts: You know that a restaurant that serves entrees such as “Sweep the Swamp” pizza has to be serving up some serious swamp food. Call (888) 325-5459.