Downtown Nacogdoches

Shop your way through the historic heart of Texas’s oldest town.
Downtown Nacogdoches
Sloane’s Antiques, 404 E. Main
Photograph by Darren Braun

1. Olde Towne General Store

After learning about Nacogdoches’s colorful past at the visitors center across the street, stop in at this down-home deli for sustenance. The chalk-board menus list appetizing offerings—corned beef sandwiches, deviled eggs, loaded baked potatoes topped with barbecue sauce—that’ll bring you back to your grandma’s kitchen. If you accidentally tell Granny that the buttermilk-pecan pie surpasses hers, make it up to her with a gift of canned black-eyed-pea relish and pickled asparagus. 205 E. Main, 936-560-3210, olde-towne-general-store.com

2. Hotel Fredonia

You don’t have to be an overnight guest to appreciate this fifties-era boutique hotel. Locals traipse through the resplendent lobby—past the pianist at the baby grand, past the plant-filled atrium—to have a nightcap at the Nine Flags Bar and Patio or to dine at J. McKinney’s (where the honey-chipotle-glazed salmon is a standout). On the weekends, crowds gather on the patio for evening jazz concerts, which means you shouldn’t book one of the poolside cabana rooms if you’re early to bed. Opt instead for accommodations in the tower. 200 N. Fredonia, 936-564-1234, hotelfredonia.com

3. The Cole Art Center

A decade ago, after outgrowing its campus gallery, the Stephen F. Austin State University School of Art took over this historic corner building (the Marx Brothers performed here when it was an opera house). The two-story satellite space hosts special exhibitions year-round. On view this month: “Message From Siberia,” 25 works on paper loaned from Russia’s Novosibirsk State Art Museum, and “Storm Chaser,” a selection of Jim Reed’s extreme-weather photographs and artifacts from Hurricane Katrina. 329 E. Main, 936-468-5500, art.sfasu.edu

4. Shelley’s Bakery Cafe

It’s embarrassingly trendy to wax rhapsodic about cupcakes these days, but Shelley Brophy’s confections—particularly the chocolate-on-chocolate and the vanilla topped with caramel buttercream and brickle bits—are worth the hype. And while overindulging is possible, it will be less likely if you’ve already filled up on a salad of fresh butter lettuce drizzled with mandarin vinaigrette and a French ham panino

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