Tyler Texas Online The City of Center, Texas ... location, things to do, attractions, population, area code and photos

The City of Center, Texas

Historic Shelby County Courthouse in Center, Texas
Historic Shelby County Courthouse in Center, Texas

The City of Center is the county seat of Shelby County Texas, about 135 miles north of Beaumont. It is also 33 miles northeast of Nacogdoches, and 59 miles south of Marshall.

The city is situated at the crossroads of U.S. Highway 96 and Texas Highways 7 and 87. Its population is 5,221 residents according to the 2020 Federal Census.

Shelby County is on the eastern boundary of Texas, across the Sabine River from Desoto and Sabine parishes in Louisiana. The county is bounded on the south by San Augustine and Sabine counties, on the west by Rusk and Nacogdoches counties, and on the north by Panola County.

Shelby County was one of the original thirteen counties in Texas, organized by the Republic of Texas Congress in 1837. The county was named for Issac Shelby, an American military hero and Governor of Kentucky. 

Center is named for its location at the geographic center of the county. Its post office was first opened in 1866.

The Center Zip Code is 75395, and its Area Code is 936. For more information, visit the official website of the City of Center.

The Center City Hall is located at 617 Tenaha Street, Center, TX, 75395-3552. Phone 936.598.2941.

Center Texas and Shelby County Information & Resources

Area Tourism and Attractions

Center, Texas City Park
Center, Texas City Park

Shelby County is known as the "Gateway to the Texas Forest Country".

Center is located near Lake Pinkston and the massive Toledo Bend Reservoir, both offering camping and fishing amenities. The nearby Sabine National Forest offers numerous outdoor recreational options such as fishing, hunting, biking, and camping.

The county is a bird watcher's paradise and home to hundreds of species, populated by graceful water fowl and beautiful deep woods songbirds.

The historic Shelby County Courthouse, located downtown, is a 2-story Romanesque brick structure. The Shelby County Museum includes a variety of exhibits and artifacts about the area.

Popular local events include the What-A-Melon Festival in early July, and the East Texas Poultry Festival in October.

Toledo Bend Reservoir

Camping area at Toledo Bend Reservoir... summer of 2021
Camping area at Toledo Bend Reservoir... summer of 2021 (Staff photo)

Toledo Bend Reservoir lies along the Texas-Louisiana border east of the City of Center. This massive 185,000 acre lake is a project of the States of Texas and Louisiana, and has both recreational and power generation benefits.

As the largest man-made lake in the south, Toledo Bend forms a portion of the boundary between the states of Texas and Louisiana. The lake extends 65 miles to the north to near Logansport, LA.

Boating, fishing, skiing, camping, hiking, golfing and other recreational activities are popular around this lake. RV resorts, campgrounds, resorts, restaurants, marinas, and motels are all available along the 1,200 miles of shoreline of the reservoir.

In 2015, Bassmaster Magazine selected Toledo Bend Reservoir as the top fishery in the United States. Toledo Bend ranked above 230 potential lakes after the magazine conducted research and personal interviews with anglers from around the U.S.

Read more at Toledo Bend Reservoir


Sabine National Forest

Sabine National Forest in Deep East Texas

Located in the pineywoods of east Texas, the 160,656-acre Sabine National Forest is the easternmost of the four national forests in Texas and forms part of the boundary between Texas and Louisiana.

The forest is situated on the western slopes of the Sabine River watershed within Sabine, San Augustine, Shelby, Jasper, and Newton counties.


While visiting the Center area, you may want to take other interesting day trips in several directions:

    • Livingston - Polk County Memorial Museum, Pedigo Park, Trade Days, Locomotive No. 5, Lake Livingston, Sam Rayburn Reservoir
    • Coldspring - Davy Crockett National Forest, Sam Houston National Forest, Lake Livingston, Double Lake Recreational Area
    • Groveton - Ratcliff Lake Recreation Area, Davy  Crockett National Forest
    • Crockett - Houston County Museum, Monroe-Cook House, Houston County Lake, Grapeland Drive-Thru Safari, Piney Woods Fine Arts Association
    • Lumberton - Big Thicket National Preserve, Village Creek State Park, Village Creek Paddling Trail, and the Roy E. Larson “Sandyland” Sanctuary, The Ice House Museum, Kirby-Hill House, Hardin County Museum, County Seat Music Hall, Pelt Farm Museum, and Kountze Trade Days.
    • Jasper - Toledo Bend Reservoir, Sandy Creek Park, Azalea Festival in March, Air Show in April, Jasper Lions Club Rodeo in May, a Fourth of July Celebration, and the Fall Festival in October. 
    • Woodville - Tyler County Dogwood Festival, Festival of the Arts and the Harvest Festival. Outdoor activities abound in the nearby Martin Dies Jr. State Park and the Big Thicket National Preserve.
    • Newton - Toledo Ben Reservoir, Sam Rayburn Reservoir
    • Hemphill - Recreational opportunities abound in the Hemphill area, with its closeness to the Sabine National Forest, Toledo Bend Reservoir, Sam Rayburn Reservoir and the Trail Between the Lakes. Also popular attractions are the Sabine County Jail Museum and Vergie Speights Memorial Library. In town is the Patricia Huffman Smith NASA "Remembering Columbia" Museum
    • Port Arthur - Pompeiian Villa, Sea Rim State Park, Museum of the Gulf Coast, Sabine Pass Battleground State Historical Park, Dutch Windmill Museum and the French House
    • Orange - Frances Lutcher Theater for the Performing Arts, Sangri La Botanical Gardens, W.H. Stark House, Stark Museum of Art, Blue Elbow Swamp & Tony Houseman WMA
    • Nacogdoches - Spring azalea trails, Ruby Mize Azalea Garden, Mast Arboretum
    • Rusk - Texas State Railroad, Cherokee Civic Theatre, Grapeland Drive Thru Safari
    • Lufkin - Ellen Trout Zoo, Cotton Square Heritage Park, First Street Arts Center, Texas Forestry Museum
    • Beaumont - Ben J. Rogers Regional Visitors Center, Beaumont Botanical Gardens, Crockett Street Entertainment District, McFaddin-Ward House and Museum, Texas Energy Museum, Fire Museum of Texas, Babe Didrikson Zaharias Memorial Museum, St. Anthony Cathedral Basilica, and the Big Thicket National Preserve
    • Tyler - Municipal Rose Garden, TJC Planetarium, Caldwell Zoo, Tyler Museum of Art, Lake Tyler, Lake Palestine, Rose Rudman Recreational Trail, Cotton Belt Depot, Goodman-LeGrand House
    • Toledo Bend Reservoir - boating, fishing, swimming, marinas, hiking, camping, golf, resorts, restaurants

Center Texas Hotels and Motels


Find the best deal, compare prices, make reservations, and read what other travelers have to say about hotels in Center

Hampton Inn & Suites

Holiday Inn Express & Suites

Sleep Inn & Suites

Best Western Plus Classic Inn & Suites

Super 8

America's Best Value Inn


Map of Center Texas (courtesy of Google Maps)

Map Showing Location of the City of Center in Deep East Texas

Map Showing Location of the City of Center in Deep East Texas

Welcome to Center Texas!
Welcome to Center, Texas