Tyler Texas Online City of Jefferson, Texas ... travel, tourism, hotels, B&B, shopping, maps and photos

Jefferson Texas

The City of Jefferson is the county seat of Marion County, Texas, north of Marshall and south of Linden. Nearby are the communities of Uncertain and Karnack. Nearby is Caddo Lake.

It is located on U.S. Highway 59 and Texas Highway 49. The Jefferson Zip Code is 75657, and its Area Code is 903. Its population in 2020 is about 2,000 residents.

Jefferson became a port of entry into the Republic of Texas and then the State of Texas. It was a major shipping port for agricultural products, especially cotton. Obstructions were removed from Big Cypress Bayou in 1845, allowing steamboats to reach Jefferson from New Orleans. Jefferson’s "Golden Era" as a steamboat port lasted from 1845 until 1875.

Hotel and B&B Information for Jefferson

Visitors to Jefferson can choose between a wide variety of excellent B&Bs and other lodging. Jefferson offers hotels and bed & breakfasts, including those listed and reviewed below at TripAdvisor.

Click to find the best deal, compare prices, make reservations and read traveler reviews about hotels in Jefferson, Texas

Delta Street Inn

White Oak Manor Bed & Breakfast

Carriage House Bed & Breakfast

Other Jefferson Hotels and Bed & Breakfasts

Vacation Home Rentals in Jefferson

Planning a trip to Jefferson and need a vacation rental?

Find the best deal, compare prices, make reservations at TripAdvisor
and read what other travelers have to say about vacation rentals in the Jefferson area

Vacation home rentals near Jefferson in Upper East Texas Vacation home rentals near Jefferson in Upper East Texas
Jefferson Texas Vacation Home Rentals Vacation home rentals near Jefferson in Upper East Texas


Attractions and Things to Do in Jefferson

Today, Jefferson is a tourism center, with popular attractions including Jay Gould's railroad car, the Jefferson Historical Society Museum, Sterne Fountain, the Jefferson Carnegie Library, Excelsior House, and the bayous formed by Big Cypress Bayou located in and around the city.

A trip to Jefferson is a journey back through time to a bustling 19th century riverport. Jefferson is a great locale with antique shops lining the original brick streets, horse-drawn carriage tours, and boat trips down the bayous and around Caddo Lake.

The Christmas season is Jefferson is full of events, such as the Christmas parade, Jefferson Candlelight Tour of Homes, Nauty & Nice Pub Crawl, the Christmas B&B Crawl, and Wassail Walk.

Things to Do in Jefferson
Traveler reviews and photos at TripAdvisor


This pre-Civil War town with its scenic streets, charming restaurants, quaint bed & breakfasts, and picturesque landscapes is the perfect setting for weekend getaways, weddings or other trips and events.

Made in the Shade in Jefferson, Texas
Made in the Shade in Jefferson

Experience the Historic Jefferson Railway, home tours, Christmas parade and festivities, the Jefferson Historical Museum, flea markets, and rummage sales.

Shopping is always a popular event in Jefferson! Visit local boutiques like Made in the Shade at 118 E. Henderson Street, and the nearby Art on the Bayou Gallery.

Boat Tours on Area Waters

On nearby Caddo Lake, ride Captain Ron's tour boat into the nearby swamps and paddle the kayak and canoe trails at Caddo Lake State Park.

Another popular water adventure is Turning Basin Riverboat Tours. The bayou tour takes about one hour and is mostly a narration concerning the history of Jefferson in regard to the steamboat business from here to New Orleans, information about area trees, plants and wildlife along the bayou and whatever other subjects that may pop up. The tours do not stick to a prepared script or recite a memorized speech. Each tour guide does his or her own research and puts together their own style of guiding.

The old stone Texaco gas station in Jefferson Texas (staff photo)
The old stone Texaco gas station in Jefferson Texas


RV Parking

For those visitors with recreational vehicles, check out the Diamond Don RV Park and Jefferson Ice Express and RV Park.

Scenes Around Jefferson

Jefferson Texas Historical Society Museum

Jefferson Historical Society Museum

The museum building was constructed in 1888 - 1890 as a Federal Courthouse and Post Office, remaining in use until 1961. It was purchased by the Jefferson Historical Society in 1965 to be the permanent home of the museum.

The museum was formed for historical and literary purposes, including the discovery, collection and preservation of books, pamphlets, maps, genealogies, portraits, paintings, relics, manuscripts, letters, journals, and and all articles and materials which pertain and relate to the history of Jefferson and Marion County, Texas.

 The museum is a great place to begin your visit to Jefferson and learn more about the history of this fascinating city. It is located at 223 West Austin Street in Jefferson. Phone 903.665.2775, or

visit the Jefferson Historical Society Museum website for more information

Jefferson Historical Society Museum
Traveler reviews and photos at TripAdvisor

Uncertain Texas ... close to Jefferson
City Limit - Pop 85
Uncertain, Texas city limits ... population 85
Uncertain Texas ... nearby Jefferson
and Caddo Lake
Uncertain Texas ... close to Jefferson in Upper East Texas
Mural in downtown Jefferson Texas ... "The Golden Era" (staff photo)
Scene in downtown Jefferson Texas

Captain Ron's Swamp Tours near Jefferson in East Texas

Captain Ron's Swamp Tours

Take a tour on a 28-foot pontoon boat for an entertaining tour of Caddo Lake’s unique and diverse ecosystem. The covered boat seats up to 16 people comfortably.

Enjoy some good humor, history, and wildlife in one of the largest water forests in the world!

Captain Ron's website for tour info

Captain Ron's Swamp Tours
Traveler reviews and photos at TripAdvisor

Spanish Moss along Government Ditch in the Caddo Lake area
Miles of Spanish Moss in Caddo Lake

Jefferson General Store

The popular Jefferson General Store at 113 E. Austin Street, downtown ... don't miss it!

visit the Jefferson General Store website for information

Jefferson General Store in East Texas

Jay Gould's Railroad Car

Jay Gould's special train car "The Atalanta" is on display in Jefferson on Austin Street across from the Excelsior House Hotel. The private 88-foot parlor car has a luxurious interior with four staterooms, lounge, dining room, kitchen, butler's pantry and bathroom.

Jay Gould's Railroad Car in Jefferson, Texas

Caddo Lake

Caddo Lake is a 25,400 acres lake and wetland on the border between Texas and Louisiana, in northern Harrison County and southern Marion County in Texas and western Caddo Parish in Louisiana.

Caddo Lake in East Texas

This lake was the only natural lake in Texas until it was artificially dammed in the early 1900s when oil was found and for flood control in 1914. A new dam replaced the old one in 1971.

Some of the cypress trees in the swamp are more than 400 years old.

The average depth of the lake is 8 to 10 feet, with the deep water in the bayou averaging about 20 feet. The lake contains 71 species of fish, and it is especially good for crappie and largemouth and white bass.

The denseness of the swamp creates an inviting maze for paddlers in kayaks and canoes. On the Texas side, at Caddo Lake State Park, there are 10 kayak/canoe trails, with names like Hell's Half Acre, Cathedral Trail, Old Folks Playground and Turtle Shell Trail. The trails are marked, and maps are provided.

For more information on the park, located at 245 Park Road 2, Karnack, TX, phone 903.679.3351 ... read more about Caddo Lake.

Lake O' the Pines

entrance area to Brushy Creek Park at Lake O' the Pines in East Texas
Brushy Creek Park at Lake O' the Pines

Lake O' the Pines is located on Big Cypress Creek in the Cypress River Basin, west of Jefferson, and 25 miles northeast of Longview in Marion, Morris, Upshur, and Camp counties. It has a surface area of 16,919 acres, and a maximum depth of 49.5 feet. The lake was impounded in 1956.

This lake's diverse fish community offers many angling opportunities. White bass are native to the Cypress River Basin; the population is abundant and contains many legal-size fishes. Crappie, also popular with anglers, are quite abundant with large proportions of legal-size fish available.

Read more about the Lake O' the Pines

Caddo Lake National Wildlife Refuge

On October 19, 2000, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service approved the establishment of the Caddo Lake National Wildlife Refuge on portions of the Longhorn Army Ammunition Plant. The refuge purpose is the management, conservation, and protection of migratory birds and other fish and wildlife. This bottomland hardwood forest ecosystem provides essential habitat for a diversity of migratory and resident wildlife species in Texas.

The 8,416-acre Longhorn Army Ammunition Plant (LHAAP) installation is located between State Highway 43 and Caddo Lake in Karnack, Harrison County, approximately 14 miles northeast of Marshall, and approximately 40 miles northwest of Shreveport, Louisiana. The Monsanto Chemical Company selected the site in December of 1941 to produce TNT. The Thiokol Chemical Corporation, awarded a contract in 1952 for producing solid-fuel rocket motors for the army, built a facility at Longhorn for that purpose between 1953 and 1955. Rocket motors of various kinds were produced at Longhorn until early 1971.

The site is in a rural area and operated from 1942 to 1997, historically manufacturing TNT, rocket motors and various pyrotechnic items. It also played an important role in the destruction of rocket engines as part of the agreement between the United States and Russia via the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Agreement in 1987. The Longhorn Army Ammunition Plant was listed as a Superfund site on the National Priorities List on August 30, 1990.

The Caddo Lake National Wildlife Refuge and the Caddo Lake Institute restored the old armory guard station to provide information and species photos to explain to the public why portions of Caddo Lake and the refuge are one of 26 sites in the United States to be recognized as “Wetlands of International Significance” under an international treaty signed by over 150 nations.

An auto tour offers a great all-season way to see wildlife and habitats in the Refuge. By using the car as a viewing blind, visitors can often see more wildlife than on foot.

The Refuge is located northeast of Marshall in Harrison County. Read more about the Caddo Lake National Wildlife Refuge at the FWS and phone 903.679.9143

More about the history of the Wildlife Refuge and Longhorn Army Ammunition Plant at KETK (September 22, 2023)

Map of the Refuge
Caddo Lake National Wildlife Refuge map in East Texas
Refuge Auto Tour Sign
Sign for the Auto Tour Route at the Caddo Lake National Wildlife Refuge in East Texas
Swamp scene at the Refuge
Swamp scene at the Caddo Lake National Wildlife Refuge in East Texas
Longhorn Ammunition Plant Ruins
Ruins of the Longhorn Ammunition Plant at the Caddo Lake National Wildlife Refuge in East Texas

Interactive Map of Jefferson

Map Showing the Location of Jefferson in Upper East Texas

Map Showing Location of Jefferson in Upper East Texas


More Jefferson Information

Jefferson - Marion County Chamber of Commerce

Visit Jefferson Tourism Department

City of Jefferson

Annual Jefferson Historical Pilgrimage

Cypress River Airport in Jefferson

Jefferson Independent School District

Marion County

Other East Texas Attractions and Things to Do

Texas state line concrete marker near Waskom
Texas state line concrete marker near Wascom

While visiting the Jefferson area, you may want to take other interesting day trips in several directions around East Texas:

    • Gladewater - antique capitol of East Texas, Gusher Days, Roundup Rodeo, Helen Lee Daffodil Gardens
    • Caddo Lake State Park
    • Gilmer - East Texas Yamboree, Historic Upshur Museum, Lake Gilmer
    • Stand in three states at once! The states of Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas meet just to the southeast of Atlanta at the Ark-La-Tex Three States USGS Monument.
    • Kilgore - home of the East Texas Oil Museum and Kilgore College
    • Longview - Gregg County Fair & Exposition, Longview Museum of Fine Arts, R.G. LeTourneau Museum, Great Texas Balloon Race, historic buildings, shopping, restaurants
    • Marshall - Michelson Museum of Art, Starr Family home State Historic Park, Harrison County Historical Museum, Ginocchio Hotel, T&P Railroad Museum, Christmas Wonderland of Lights
    • Carthage - Texas Country Music Hall of Fame, East Texas Oil & Gas Blast, Piney Woods Quilt Festival Rode Jamboree
    • Henderson - Heritage Syrup Festival, Howard Dickinson House Museum, Depot Museum, antique shopping, Historic Downtown Square
    • Canton - First Monday Trade Days, Texas Horse Park, Splash Kingdom Water Park
    • Tyler - Municipal Rose Garden, Azalea Trails in the spring, Texas Rose Festival, TJC Planetarium, Caldwell Zoo, Tyler Museum of Art, Lake Tyler, Rose Rudman Recreational Trail, Cotton Belt Depot, Goodman-LeGrand House