Situated on the state line between Texas and Arkansas is a city that’s truly Twice as Nice! It’s just the right amount of friendly to visitors and residents, combined with a down home Southern hospitality that will make you want to stay for a good long while. Founded in 1873, Texarkana quickly emerged as a vital hub for trade and commerce due to its strategic location. Since its founding days, Texarkana has evolved into a bustling center of activity, new developments, event venues, and more, creating an oasis in the far northeast corner of the state that can sometimes feel far-removed from the hubbub of the chaotic larger cities Texas has grown into, in the best kind of way.
The very essence of Texarkana’s beginning has a story begging to be told; entrepreneurs and pioneers, looking for opportunity and finding it right where three states and two railroads intersect. Since January of this year, Texarkana has been celebrating its Sesquicentennial, marking 150 years of growth, development, and community. A time capsule, a sesquicentennial ball, a concert, and many other activities have already taken place in the community, with a final hoorah planned for December 8, 2023, the date commemorating the sale of the first city lots back in 1873. The town looks forward to burying the next time capsule on its founding day and passing on the torch to the next committee who will unearth it in 2073.
As the community celebrates its past, local community leaders, businesses, and residents also join together to appreciate the new life continuing to grow in the heart of downtown. It’s rare to have so much under development at the same time, however several big projects currently underway downtown are creating a synergy that’s hard to miss.
Among the most anticipated revitalization efforts is the restoration of the Hotel Grim, originally built in 1925. Once a symbol of opulence and elegance in the early 20th century, the hotel had fallen into disrepair over the years. However, a renewed commitment to preserving this historical landmark and meticulous restoration began in 2021, bringing the Hotel Grim back to its former glory. The Grim is slated to open in late 2023 as multifamily housing and community gathering space. The reimagined hotel now stands as a testament to Texarkana’s resilience, offering both residents and visitors a glimpse into the city’s history.
This huge cornerstone of downtown, along with a newly renovated United States Post Office/Courthouse square, tons of public art, a new outdoor event venue, a shared entertainment district on both sides of the state line, live music, spectacular performances, community events, and more keep drawing crowds to downtown Texarkana, and provide fun and delight for residents and visitors. If you haven’t been to Texarkana in a while, or haven’t been at all, now is the time to check it out.
Looking forward, on April 8, 2024, Texarkana will be in the path of totality for a rare and awe-inspiring total solar eclipse. The unique location of the city will allow visitors to see this celestial event while being in two states at once. While visitors may come to gaze at the sky, there is more fun to be had in Texarkana once the show is over. There is something for everyone, whether you’d like to spend more time in the outdoors at one of the beautiful city parks, golf courses, or take a shot at the Bringle Lake bike trail if you’re feeling adventurous. If you’re not up to being sporty, then feel free to stick around and enjoy the downtown Arts and Historic District which offers eye-catching murals, educational exhibits, and entertainment for the whole family. While you’re there, don’t forget to grab a bite to eat at one of the locally owned restaurants and take your photo in two states at once in front of the United States’ second-most photographed post office, the U.S. Federal Courthouse and Post Office on State Line Avenue.
As founding day and the solar eclipse approach and Texarkana pauses to celebrate so many great things, it’s the perfect opportunity to be proud of how far the community has come. The twin cities formally invite you to join in a season of excitement, tourism, and doing what Texarkana does best—coming together to make things twice as special. Whether it’s the burying of the time capsule in December, a Texarkana Symphony Orchestra concert, a Juried Art exhibit at Texarkana Regional Arts Center, watching art created at Downtown Live!, or taking in the solar eclipse with a crowd, please come check out what Texarkana has to offer.