12 Things To Do in Texarkana, Arkansas

Texarkana, Arkansas is a unique city that straddles the Texas-Arkansas border. With one foot in each state, Texarkana has a diverse culture and geography perfect for many different interests and activities. From historic sites to outdoor adventures, Texarkana has something for everyone.

This article explores 12 of the top things to do when visiting this bi-state region. Learn about fascinating attractions like the Texarkana Regional Arts and Humanities Council, walk or bike the scenic Bringle Lake Trails, or discover the region’s musical heritage at the Texarkana Country Music Museum.

Families will love the hands-on exhibits at the Discovery Place Children’s Museum and the wildlife at Spring Lake Park. There’s tasty food, unique shopping opportunities, and beautiful outdoor scenery. Read on for an in-depth guide on making the most out of your Texarkana, Arkansas vacation.

Explore Downtown Texarkana

As the cultural heart of Texarkana, the downtown district features historic buildings, unique architecture, and great dining and entertainment options. Start your visit at the Texarkana Chamber of Commerce’s Visitor Reception Center to pick up maps and brochures on current happenings and attractions. Then take a self-guided walking tour to see landmarks like the 1926 Perot Theatre, 1910 Union Station, 1939 U.S. Post Office and Courthouse, and the 1886 Grim Hotel.

Pop into the shops, cafes, and restaurants housed in these aging structures and learn about the city’s past through plaques, displays, and enthusiastic locals happy to share stories. End your downtown exploration with a show or concert at one of the restored performing arts venues or live music joints to round out the cultural experience.

Discover Art and Culture at the Texarkana Regional Arts and Humanities Council

For insight into the local art, history, and cultural scene, pay a visit to the Texarkana Regional Arts and Humanities Council (TRAHC). Housed in the 1925 Union Station, this vibrant hub offers varied exhibitions and programming. Browse the three gallery spaces showing works by regional artists. Check the events calendar for concerts, artist receptions, workshops, art classes, and lectures. And don’t miss the Anchor, an intricate large-scale art installation piece made from railroad spikes on the grounds outside.

While you’re there, take time to wander through the 1925 Union Station lobby to admire original chandeliers, marble, tilework, and the natural light from the grand arched windows. Then stop into the Texarkana Museum System exhibit housed inside to uncover more about the city’s railroad, cultural, African American musical heritage.

Hike or Bike Along Bringle Lake Trails

Get out into nature and soak up scenic views along Bringle Lake and Spring Lake Park’s winding trails. Located on either side of State Line Avenue dividing Texas and Arkansas, these two connected parks give outdoor enthusiasts over three miles of tree-lined pavement ideal for walking, jogging, biking and rollerblading through serene woods and wetlands.

Keep your eyes peeled for local wildlife like red-eared slider turtles sunbathing on logs and branches or great blue herons silently hunting the shores. Pack a lunch or snacks to enjoy at one of the parks’ pavilions and picnic areas along the route. Don’t forget your camera to capture photos overlooking the peaceful lakes ringed with fragrant water lilies.

Learn Regional History at the Texarkana Regional History Museum

For a compelling look back through the city’s past, make your way to the Texarkana Regional History Museum located inside the 1925 Union Station. Operated by the Texarkana Museum System, this expanding museum traces regional history from Caddo Native American tribes and early frontier settlers through the railroad boom and notorious outlaws in the 1800s to artifacts representing music, cultural heritage and prominent figures who impacted Texarkana over the last two centuries.

Of special interest is an exhibit exploring the motorways history tied to the intersection of two major roadways here. Let museum staff take you on a guided tour to provide context and answer questions. Then wander through the Johnson History Gallery showcasing memorabilia collections on loan from prominent families, businesses and community organizations.

Explore Hands-On Kids Activities at Discovery Place Children’s Museum

For kid-friendly fun, head over to the Discovery Place Children’s Museum offering interactive STEAM-based (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) exhibits and activities. Conveniently located downtown, this busy museum gives families endless educational entertainment through unique permanent displays and rotating traveling exhibits.

Preschoolers can roleplay and let imagination soar dressing up in costumes, playing grocery store in kid-sized structures, building towers from corn and funnels, or climbing a pint-sized rock wall. School-aged kids will love programming robots, using pulleys and levers to move balls overhead, experimenting with kinetic sand, and acting as architects designing structures to withstand “tornado tests.” Parents can get in on the action while reinforcing learning through play. Visit the website or call ahead to find out about special programs and demonstrations included with admission.

Sample Local Beer on a Brewery Tour

Beer aficionados visiting Texarkana have a new option for tasting local brews – take a tour of downtown’s first craft microbrewery. Opened in 2017, the Texarkana Brewing Company crafts five year-round beers along with seasonal offerings.Stop by their Taproom just off Broad Street to taste test pours, join a guided brewery tour explaining the beer making process and history, or sign up for special tasting events.

Pull up a stool at the friendly bar serving Texarkana Brewing drafts, other domestic and local craft beers. Play games like giant Jenga or cornhole in the backyard beer garden. And peruse the merch corner for cool TN Brewing Co. souvenirs like pint glasses, koozies, and tees to remember your time here. Contact them online to ask about special small-batch brews currently on tap.

Stroll Through History at Oaklawn Cemetery

Established in 1835, Oaklawn Cemetery remains an active burial site while also providing visitors a lush park space to walk, run or bike along meandering paths. But more than just scenic views, these historic grounds honor many important Texarkana citizens influential in developing and shaping the community over nearly two centuries.

Within the cemetery confines sit seven Texarkana mayors, several congressmen, decorated war veterans dating from the Civil War to Vietnam, plus numerous state representatives, judges, bankers, attorneys, publishers and developers who played pivotal roles locally. Download the Oaklawn Cemetery Walking Tour brochure from the Texarkana Museums System website. Then take a quiet, reflective self-guided stroll to explore the cemetery’s rich history firsthand reading the inscribed granite memorials commemorating lives past.

Discover Musical Roots at Texarkana Country Music Museum

Few folks realize Texarkana’s significant contributions to early country, gospel, bluegrass and rockabilly music history. The non-profit Texarkana Country Music Museum documents the regional influence through exhibits and archives focused on hometown musicians, singers and songwriters who helped shape emerging musical genres.

The museum collection holds over 3,000 phonograph records documenting America’s musical roots evolution from early blues artists of the 1920s to modern country icons. Peruse personal items donated by musical greats like Bob Wills, Jim Reeves, and Townes Van Zandt who lived in the region. Other rare artifacts connect visitors with Texarkana’s role in the early days of country music radio broadcasts, recording studios and concerts. Check event listings for live music performances at the museum’s cozy Pickin’ Porch stage.

Shop for Antiques and Vintage Treasures

Beyond the usual retail chains, Texarkana holds over a dozen antique, vintage, secondhand and collectible shops stuffed with unusual home goods and furniture to sort through. Most lie clustered downtown or along the Texas Boulevard corridor making browsing easy. Look for offerings ranging from fine antiques like chandeliers and claw foot tubs to ’50s Formica tables, quirky lamps, vintage clothing, china, glassware, books, vinyl records, Downton Abbey-esque tea pots and more bizarre relics from the past.

Standouts include McKelvy House Antiques occupying an 1895 Victorian home filled floor to ceiling, and Tre’Ziques Resale specializing in consigned furniture painted in trendy chalk paint finishes. Unearth rare Texarkana souvenirs highlighting local history at Remember When or Western Trails Antiques while also taking home a slice of the past.

Experience Wildlife Up Close at Spring Lake Park

A scenic green space teeming with wildlife sits minutes from downtown Texarkana. Covering over 40 woodland acres, Spring Lake Park provides great birdwatching and animal observation opportunities within a peaceful setting. Follow walking paths around the 20 acre impound lake to spy waterfowl like mallard ducks, coots, cormorants hanging out alongside stately swans, cranes and herons. Around 100 species make their home here thanks to ideal habitat with wetlands, grasslands and mature hardwood trees.

Spring Lake’s year-round aviary residents include red-tailed hawks, belted kingfishers, eastern meadowlarks, painted buntings and red-shouldered hawks. Bring your zoom lens to snap photos from observation decks along the route. Interpretive signage identifies species and fun facts while guided nature walks occur monthly. Special events like Butterfly Counts allow families to get hands-on learning about local ecology and wildlife up close.

Chow Down on Comfort Food Classics

Texarkana embraces its Southern food roots serving up plenty of stick-to-your ribs comfort food, savory BBQ and fried favorites across both downtowns. Long-time establishments like Minnie’s Restaurant occupy retro diners dishing out chicken fried steak, meatloaf, chicken pot pie and daily blue plate specials. Brenda’s Folis Fare creates family recipes from scratch including fried catfish, fried green tomatoes, homemade cakes and breads passed down generations.

Join the locals at Rocky’s Too cafe for chicken fried bacon, loaded hashbrown bowls and monster-sized cinnamon rolls. And residents largely consider Danny’s Dairyland home to the best old fashioned burgers, crispy onion rings and handmade milkshakes in town. For quintessential Southern BBQ, locals swear by the tender brisket, fall-off-the-bone ribs, spicy sausage and sides at Ray’s Drive In and Wright’s BBQ. Leave room for dessert – Fried pies come highly recommended.

Catch a Show at Perot Theatre

As the grandest spot to take in outstanding local and nationally touring musical, comedy and Broadway acts, the 1926 Perot Theatre shines as Texarkana’s premiere performing arts venue. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this ornate theatre underwent extensive restoration before reopening in 2006 to host over 100 concerts, ballets, operas, musicals and events annually.

The elegant gilded Spanish baroque interior modeled after opera venues transforms audiences back in time. In 2023, the wildly popular Broadway musical Wicked stops in Texarkana for the first time during its national tour. Of course, the Perot also highlights talented local arts organizations like the Texarkana Symphony Orchestra, Symphony of the Pines orchestra, First Night gospel choir, plus youth theatre and dance studios allowing rising stars to perform onstage.

Before or after shows, enjoy drinks under twinkling bistro lights on the Perot’s tree-covered terrace overlooking the downtown district. A packed event season gives visitors prime entertainment options while discovering the rich cultural community thriving here.


For both history buffs and outdoor enthusiasts, couples and families, Texarkana offers delightful attractions and activities for all interests. Learn about prominent past inhabitants at the Regional History Museum before seeing where many are buried at historic Oaklawn Cemetery. Hike scenic wooded trails around Bringle and Spring Lakes alive with native birds and wildlife. Tap your toes to country hits at the Country Music Museum then catch a Broadway-worthy show inside the opulent 1926 Perot Theatre.

Of course you’ll want to sample homecooking classics, craft beer and scope out vintage secondhand shops too. Whenever visiting this unique bi-state region, allow a few extra days to fully experience the distinctive Texarkana vibe straddling Texas and Arkansas cultures.

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