Located in rolling hills, deep woods and pasture land, East Texas has a wide range of appeal, and things to do in the cities and on short road trips.
From world-class golf courses, walking trails, cultural attractions, state parks, festivals, antique shopping, fall motoring and art museums, the East Texas area has something for everyone.
East Texas has large cities and interstate highways. But it also has many rural areas, quaint small villages and hundreds of miles of back roads and scenic highways.
For those that enjoy shopping but prefer quieter shops in quaint small towns with little traffic, this is the road trip for you! We venture to Edom and Canton, with other shops and dining options along the way, and a final meal in Chandler on the way back to Tyler. It's only an 89 mile loop from Tyler, and back!
You could also make this shopping loop starting in Dallas, and on to Canton and Edom.
Route of the shopping spree and road trip west from Tyler
Click map for details at Google Maps
You can start your East Texas shopping tour anywhere, and have an exciting journey!
However, Tyler is an excellent, central starting point for those taking day trips, and with a large selection of hotels and restaurants, is a great place to spend relaxing evenings after a day on the roads.
Tyler is the Rose Capital of America, the home of the nation's largest municipal rose garden. Tyler Rose Garden features more than just 40,000 rose bushes, including a wooded area with towering trees, and numerous Japanese Maples that sport bright fall foliage. The Texas Rose Festival is held annually in mid-October.
Tyler's Azalea National Historic District, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, comprises about 950 homes built in the first half of the 20th century, with a large concentration of structures from the 1930s when the oil boom had a huge economic impact on Tyler.
Tyler's shopping malls and stores offer a diverse selection of shopping opportunities and venues, from regional shopping centers with local and national merchants to small locally-owned boutiques.
It is the largest retail center in East Texas, and the largest between Dallas and Shreveport. One of Tyler's major retail shopping corridors is South Broadway Avenue commercial corridor, a great place to shop in Tyler.
Shopping opportunities in Tyler increased in 2014 when The Village at Cumberland Park, located at the intersection of South Broadway Avenue and Toll 49, opened its first phase of stores. It offers a huge variety of shops, restaurants, entertainment and more.
The regional Broadway Square Mall is conveniently located at 4601 South Broadway Avenue, at the corner of South Broadway Avenue (U.S. Highway 69) and Loop 323, and contains 95 shops and nine food-related stores.
After exploring Tyler, let's get started on that shopping spree to the west!
From Tyler, head west on Texas Highway 64 ... a few miles out of town and just past Tyler Pounds Airport is Hand Nurseries, on the right at 15522 Highway 64.
Blue Moon Gardens in Edom
Hands offers an incredible selection of plants, all top quality. Also available is a large inventory of fine pottery and yard ornaments. It is privately owned and managed ... we shop there, and highly recommend it!
Visit Hand Nurseries on Facebook for opening hours, photographs, current inventory and more. Phone 903.316.9356 for more information.
As you leave Hand's continue on Highway 64 past Toll 49, and veer to the left onto Highway 279.
Before arriving at the village of Edom, on the left side of the road is Blue Moon Gardens.
We make special trips to this excellent nursery every year. The quality of all of their plants is excellent, and their selection of butterfly and hummingbird-friendly plants is huge.
Their inventory of yard, pottery and outdoor fountains is extensive.
The grounds themselves at Blue Moon are very well done and make a great place for walks, and the inside gift shop and garden center are not to be missed!
Plus, their new outdoor pizza kitchen is beautiful. Blue Moon also offers a variety of interesting and informative classes.
The Shed Cafe in Edom
Just past Blue Moon on Highway 279 is Edom, a lovely small community of restaurants, art galleries and more.
It is also the home to spring and fall art shows well known in all of Texas, and the Second Saturday Art Jam.
We love to visit and have lunch at Edom, and attend the Edom Festival of the Arts.
We always enjoy a meal at The Shed Cafe, and visits for berry picking in the early summer at nearby Blueberry Hill Farms.
Artisans in pottery, silver jewelry, glassware, macrame, and leather crafts live in town and operate attractive shops.
We like to shop at Potters Brown, Zeke & Marty, Arbor Caste Birdhouses, and other shops along the main street.
Potters Brown in Edom, Texas ... since 1971 ... created by artists Doug and Beth Brown
As you leave Edom on 279 heading west, you might find time to stop and visit Ben Wheeler, Texas. It is home of the famous Feral Hog Festival.
As you join Highway 64, head west to the City of Canton, the county seat of Van Zandt County, located about 60 miles east of Dallas and 40 miles west of Tyler.
The Pavilion Entrance at First Monday Trade Days in Canton
Canton is a Texas Main Street City, a National Main Street City, and a National Preserve America City. The historic downtown district features unique shops, restaurants, galleries and shopping open year-round, not just on First Monday flea market weekends.
It is home to the First Monday Trade Days, considered the largest free flea market in the United States. First Monday tis held on Thursday - Sunday preceding the first Monday of each month. Up to 100,000 visitors can shop there in a given weekend, hunting bargains from the 6,000 vendors located on hundreds of acres.
It has become known by shoppers from all across Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma as THE place to buy home decor, furnishings, antiques, clothing, crafts, jewelry, gifts, and collectibles.
We shop in Canton not only during First Monday flea market weekends, but at other times as well, frequenting the shops around the square downtown.
Wade's Place in Chandler, Texas
After your shopping trip in Canton, head east on Interstate 20, and then off on quiet backroads to the small town of Chandler on Highway 31. Take Exit 540 from I-20 onto Highway 314 south. Stay on 314 through Edom down to Highway 31 ... turn left onto Highway 31 at Brownsboro, and head east to the town of Chandler.
Wade's Place is located at 104 East Main Street, a couple blocks south of Highway 31, at the railroad tracks.
The last six years we have purchased our live crawfish from Wade's in Chandler. We've met Wade, and he runs a great seafood restaurant, serving crawfish, shrimp, fish, gumbo, hand-cut rib-eye steaks, burgers, salads and much more.
We dine at Wade's regularly, and it is highly recommended for great food, friendly service and a comfortable, down home atmosphere.
Phone Wade's at 903.849.2729 for more information and opening hours.
After a leisurely meal at Wade's, it's a short drive back east into Tyler on Highway 31.