This article is a part of the 2023 Spring Travel Guide, a sponsored collection brought to you by our travel advertising partners. You can find more spring travel destinations and events here.

A mild breeze makes its way through the tall trees, bringing in the refreshing scent of a new season. The sound of people talking in the distance as they meander across a well beaten path leading through the forest, grateful for the chance to stretch their legs. The drive to small town USA has just begun and the first stop…Davey Dogwood Park in Palestine, Texas.

Expect the Unexpected

The Texas Dogwood Trails Celebration grew into a city-wide three week long celebration centered around 21 days of the blooming cycle of the dogwood tree.  Historically, the flowers appear the last two weeks in March and the first week in April, although Mother Nature likes to make her own schedule from year to year. The celebration continues in its 85th year with festivals and events commemorating the importance and significance of the dogwood, a tree unexpectedly found in Texas.

In Davey Dogwood Park, a magical path welcomes spring. Wandering along a one-mile trail, you might spot a fairy garden tucked at the bottom of a tree, beneath a fallen branch, or along a riverbank. Each year, a new colony of fairy garden homes appear in the park attracting hundreds of guests to view the tiny homes nestled throughout the dogwoods in bloom. Made from natural materials such as pinecones, beans, twigs, rocks, and sand, these gardens are open to the public for viewing mid-March through April.

Easy Goin’ Keeps Us Going

A laid-back attitude is all you need for the Old Time Music and Dulcimer Festival celebrating its 20th year of finger pickin’, toe tappin’, knee slappin’ fun. This festival serves up five concerts over three days each showcasing talent from across the nation. With jam sessions and workshops all weekend, guests can participate at any level. The mornings are open for workshops, but the afternoons are free for jamming. Just want to listen? Find your way to one of the five concerts hosted over this three-day musical event. 

And since laid back seems to be a theme, relax to the sound of the metal rails beneath your feet as a passenger aboard the Texas State Railroad. Broaden your senses on a four-hour journey aboard a vintage passenger train car.  Weekly excursions are offered year-round with special events during the Texas Dogwood Trails Celebration. Passengers will enjoy the arrival of spring as they gaze out the picture windows across the landscape, in the same fashion as it was to travel 100 years ago. The journey crosses 24 bridges and the piney woods are home to more than 100 species of birds including the endangered Red-cockaded Woodpecker.

Step Back in Time

Welcome to 1836! This one-of-a-kind Western event hosted at Diamond B Ranch features chuckwagon races, cowboy style match race, pasture roping, barrel racing, and gun shooting. Arrive early and camp onsite for a full week of fun including trail rides with your horses followed by dutch oven cooking classes; learn hoof care skills; or listen to live music and watch barn dances while indulging in the fun of many karaoke sessions—it’s an adventure you don’t want to miss!

Named “One of the Coolest Hardware Stores on the Planet,” Bralys Ace Hardware has been a family owned and operation for 90 years and is housed in a 1938 elementary school. Classrooms were taken down to the studs and the original slate chalkboards were trimmed to make each department signs. As you “walk the halls” you’ll find teachers cabinets housed the paint department and even a hand crank pencil sharpener affixed to the door jamb of one of the classrooms.

Big City Music from Small City Roots

It’s a Texas-sized party as multi-platinum Southern Rock and Country band Whiskey Myers make their return to their hometown! The 5th Annual Wiggy Thump Festival brings an evening full of red dirt, gritty authenticity, and a supporting line up, including Mark Chesnutt, Tanner Usrey, and more that will have your boots scootin’ all evening.

Seeing the dogwoods is more than enough reason to visit Palestine this spring, but that’s not all the town has to offer. Take in all the historic architecture, which has more buildings on the National Register of Historic Places than any other mainland city in Texas, or taste what lies behind the pine curtain and experience the foodie scene from fine dining to pub fare. Home to the Texas Dogwood Trails Celebration, Palestine is graced with stately homes, gorgeous scenic drives, and a Texas friendly welcome that offers a true Southern experience.

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