(StatePoint) Travel to the Piney Woods of East Texas and find yourself in a place unlike any other in the Lone Star State. Rolling hills, pine forests and magnificent lakes can be found within this region, where the warmth of Southern hospitality is alive and well. This season, consider a four-day East Texas tour for your next long weekend getaway, to enjoy three unique East Texas towns:

• Tyler, the “Rose Capital of America,” home of the largest rose garden in the country.

• Kilgore, the “City of Stars,” a boomtown with 60 oil derricks topped with lighted stars dotting the skyline.

• Palestine, home of the “Official Railroad of Texas” and the Texas Dogwood Trails Celebration.

Day One & Day Two Morning: Kilgore

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When you’re ready to hit the road, head over to Kilgore. Tour the Rangerette Showcase and Museum and see its vast and storied history. Satisfy your hunger by munching on burgers or tacos at The Back Porch. Then explore the East Texas Oil Museum, housing authentic recreations of oil discovery and production in the early 1930s.

In the evening, see the delights of the “World’s Richest Acre,” a Texas Historical Landmark with lit up oil derricks. For a classic theater experience, watch the “Sweethearts of the Gridiron,” featuring the first woman’s dance-drill team, at the historic Texan Theatre.

Kilgore offers plenty of options for an overnight stay to keep the weekend going. In the morning, visit the Texas broadcasting museum before heading to Tyler. More information is available at visitkilgore.com or call 903-218-6896.

Day Two & Day Three Morning: Tyler

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With Tyler known as the “Rose Capital of America,” there is no better place to start than the Rose Garden and Museum. Once you’ve learned a little history about the Rose Growing industry and the Texas Rose Festival, head over to The Potpourri House and enjoy a midday break for shopping and lunch.

Then tour the Historic Aviation Memorial Museum and view military aircraft up-close. Next, take in some shopping and sampling at Sweet Gourmet, a premier culinary store. The views of the beautiful Historic Azalea/Brick Street District make for a great afternoon drive and sight-seeing, before it’s time to enjoy a tasty meal at one of the fun local restaurants.

Before heading to Palestine, check out the American Freedom Museum, where you will step into history and discover the journey of those in our nation’s military, who have heroically sacrificed to ensure the many freedoms we enjoy today. Then on to Kiepersol Vineyard, Winery & Distillery for a taste and tour. For more information, download the free Visit Tyler TX app, visit visittyler.com. or call 800-235-5712.

Day Three & Four: Palestine

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Start your afternoon in Palestine by heading for lunch in Old Town where you’ll find a local favorite, Pint & Barrel Drafthouse. Take in the historic architecture of what was once the industrial zone for the City of Palestine, try the famous pies at Oxbow Bakery, then walk over to visit the unique shops nestled in “the hollow.”

A ride aboard the Texas State Railroad Train, the “Official Railroad of Texas,” is next on the list. Hop aboard the newly refurbished steam train for a special round trip excursion. Then visit one of the “coolest hardware stores on the planet,” Braly’s Ace Hardware, set in a uniquely restored 1938 elementary school. The fun increases after visiting Tahwahkaro Distilling Co. and tasting whiskey ”made to roam“ and catch a behind-the-scenes tour of the distilling process. Stop in for dinner at Switch Brick Oven Pizza & Wine Bar before heading to a 108-year-old hotel, where you can enjoy a nightcap from the speakeasy bar and a walk through the fine art gallery.

Wake to breakfast and a tour of Eilenberger Bakery, one of the oldest continuously operated bakeries in Texas. Explore the Railroad Heritage Center and then take a self-guided driving tour of Davey Dogwood Park, featuring 5.5 miles of paved driving trails and miles of hiking and biking trails. For more information download the free Visit Palestine, TX app, visit www.visitpalestine.com or call 800-659-3484.

Photo 1 Credit: (c) Louis Guzman

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