Historic Downtown Marshall

When the weather turns cold, the self-proclaimed “Center Stage” of East Texas, attracts tourists with its famous Wonderland of Lights. And have you tried the raspberry-chipotle burger?
STREET SMARTS
1901 Historic Harrison County Courthouse

1. 
1901 Historic Harrison County Courthouse

Designed by the prolific courthouse architect James Riely 
Gordon, this buttercream-yellow Renaissance Revival landmark 
is notable for its unusual 
Lady Justice (she has wings) 
and its beautiful stained-glass dome, the inside of which you can see during the guided tours offered on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Every winter, the building is bedecked with 200,000 twinkling bulbs, and an ice rink is set up on the front lawn for the Wonderland of Lights, a beloved holiday festival, now in its twenty-fifth year, that boasts a snow-tubing hill, strolling carolers, and a nightly light show. 
 100 Houston, 903-935-8417

2. The Blue Frog Grill

Emblazoned across the top of the menu at this casual brick-walled restaurant is the directive “Eat like a local.” Which means you should order the two most popular items: the sweet-potato chips and the crab cakes. The former are sliced as thin as Communion wafers and seasoned with balsamic sea salt; the latter are thick fried patties of claw meat from crabs caught off Georgia’s Jekyll Island. At dinner, the kraft paper on the tables is replaced with white tablecloths, and executive chef Brett Spivy sends out entrées that range from a twelve-ounce ribeye with a 
port-wine demi-glace to fried chicken wings served atop a Belgian waffle. 101 W. Austin, 903- 923-9500, bluefroggrill.com

3.
 The Weisman Center

For more than a century, this 
spacious, three-story building 
housed Joe Weisman and 
Company, one of the state’s first 
department stores. The historic site is now a shopping co-op that 
sells 25 local vendors’ wares, such 
as Robert Dyer’s hand-turned 
wood and acrylic pens and James E. Sanders’s intricately carved stoneware vases. There’s even a cafe, 
Central Perks, where you can treat yourself to a frozen white-chocolate Perkuccino or a raspberry-
chipotle burger. 211 N. Washington, 903-934-8836, theweisman.com

4.
 Charley and Bella’s

When it comes to holiday window displays, Manhattan department stores have nothing on this festively appointed home decor and gift shop. Once inside the expansive space (it’s divided into a “his” side and a “hers” side), you’ll quickly load up on gifts—Pass Christian exfoliating loofah soaps, say, or customizable Maple Leaf at Home cutting boards—for your nearest and dearest. Meanwhile, your own wish list will grow after you dab on a little of the Farmhouse Fresh Whoopie Cream and eye that three-drawer GuildMaster chest. 
 216 N. Washington, 903-938-6445

5.
 Michelson Museum of Art

When Leo Michelson died, in 1978, his widow didn’t want his Post-Impressionist portraits, landscapes, and still lifes to languish in the storage vaults of a large museum. So she donated his oeuvre to Marshall, where this small museum houses more than a thousand of his paintings, drawings, and prints, including Red Cactus Flower, an oil-on-canvas filled with dozens of imprecise, intensely pigmented blooms. Also on display in the newly renovated galleries are twentieth-century works by the likes of Milton Avery and Joseph Stella. 216 N. Bolivar, 903-935-9480, michelsonmuseum.org

6. The Linen Peddler

This jewel box of a boutique (you can’t miss its bright chartreuse facade) is filled with the sort of high-end home goods that optimistic brides-to-be love to add to their registries: Italian Sferra sheets with sumptuous thread counts, delicate mouth-blown Juliska pitchers, luxurious velvet-silk Aviva Stanoff pillows. There’s also a recently expanded children’s section in the back. Between the hand-painted Ribbit-Ribbit picture frames (made in Wylie) and the organic Pom Pom at Home crib duvets, yours could be the best gift 
at your co-worker’s baby shower. 
  211 N. Bolivar, 903-935-3530

7.
 R&R Bakery and 
Coffee Shoppe

Most of the treats at this cafe are made from recipes passed down from the original owner’s family, 
like the lemon icebox pie, which has a whipped topping that current co-owner Shauna Putnam will describe only as “not a meringue.” It’s usually gone before closing time, as are the oatmeal-chocolate-chip-walnut cookies, perfect for dunking into your latte (this is the only place in town that brews Starbucks coffee). Lunch is 
offered too, but you won’t be judged for going straight for the sweets. 115 E. Houston, 903-935-3380, 
 randrbakeryandcoffeeshop.com 

More Texas Monthly

Loading, please wait...

Most Read

  • Viewed
  • Past:
  • 1 week