Tyler is the county seat of Smith County, in eastern Texas. The city is named for President John Tyler in recognition of his support for Texas' admission to the United States. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 83,650, though a 2005 demographics study commissioned by the city pegged the population at 101,106.
Tyler is referred to as the Rose Capital of America because of its large role in the rose-growing industry; about 20% of commercial rose bushes produced in the U.S. are grown in Tyler and Smith County and more than half of the rose bushes are packaged and shipped from the area. It boasts the nation's largest municipal rose garden and hosts the Texas Rose Festival each October.
Tyler Pounds Regional Airport (website) offers service to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport via American Eagle Airlines and to Houston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport via ExpressJet United Express.
Greyhound Lines bus service is available through a downtown terminal.
Tyler is located adjacent to several major highways. Interstate 20 runs along the north edge of the city, and U.S. Highway 69 runs north-south through the center of town. The city also has access to U.S. Highway 271, Texas State Highway 31, Texas State Highway 155, and Texas State Highway 110.
Texas State Highway Loop 323 was established in 1957 and originally encircled the city, which has continued to grow outside of the loop. Texas State Highway Loop 49, designed to be an "outer loop" around the city, is currently in the process of construction, with the first five-mile segment open for use on August 17th, 2006.
The city's Tyler Transit (website) runs buses run daily, excluding Sundays and holidays.
- Tyler Landis Museum , 1900 W. Front, Tyler, TX. A spectacular display of memorabilia and items related to Tyler's rose-growing industry and the Texas Rose Festival. Admission Fee, special exhibits have fees.
- Tyler Municipal Rose Garden, 1900 W. Front, Tyler, TX. Fourteen acres and 400 rose varieties testify to Tyler's standing as the "Rose Capital of the World". To view a wonderfully informative page about the Rose Garden, please click here. FREE Admission.
- The Bonner-Whitaker McClendon House, 806 W Houston, Tyler, TX. One of the finest examples of Eastlake Bracketed Victorian Architecture remaining in East Texas. Guided Tours depicting Tyler's political, cultural history from post-Civil War. Birthplace of noted Washington D.C. news correspondent, Sarah McClendon. Tours available by appointment only.
- Cowan Center, The University of Texas at Tyler campus, 3900 University Boulevard, Tyler, TX. The UT Tyler Cowan Fine & Performing Arts Center presents national and international touring arts and educational programming to enrich the cultural climate for the East Texas Region. Artists presented by the Cowan Center’s many series have included Bill Cosby, Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, David Copperfield, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Lyle Lovett, Momix, Gregory Hines, Tim Conway and Harvey Korman, and Broadway shows Miss Saigon, Annie, Chicago, Cats, and Stomp.
- Goodman Museum, 624 N. Broadway, Tyler, TX. A delight for antique lovers and historians, this Tyler landmark brings the past to life with original furnishings, photographs and memorabilia dating from the mid-1800's.
- Ballet Tyler. Ballet Tyler is made up of 20 local dancers from East Texas aging from 11 to 20. The purpose of the Ballet Tyler is to provide opportunities for both dancers and East Texas audiences to experience the fine art of dance at the highest possible quality.
- Dewberry Plantation. Listed on the National Register of Historic Landmarks, the Dewberry Plantation is the oldest two-story structure in Smith County. Guided tours take visitors back to the era of an 1850's Southern plantation.
- East Texas Symphony Orchestra. The East Texas Symphony Orchestra Association is guided by a dynamic and diverse Board of Directors which fosters the growth and development of the Orchestra to keep pace with the needs of the community. ETSO continues to strive to bring classical music to a broader segment of our community. The East Texas Symphony Orchestra... a sound discovery!
- Roseland Plantation. 2601 State Hwy 64W, Ben Wheeler, TX. The Roseland Plantation is a registered Texas State Historical Landmark. It encompasses a wedding chapel, ballroom and bed and breakfast made available for weddings and parties. The grand antebellum home was built in 1854 by Burwell Hambrick and was a cotton plantation that encompassed 3,000 acres. Mr. Hambrick built the first cotton gin in Van Zandt County. For many years it served as a stagecoach stop.
- Caldwell Zoo. 2203 Martin Luther King Blvd., Tyler, TX. More than 2000 animals from 250 species from Africa, North and South America live in natural habitats at the 85-acre park. The zoo includes a children's petting pen, two aquariums, picnic areas, a café that overlooks an African savannah and gift shops with original African items. The zoo also has seasonal presentations including: a bird show, alligator feedings, giraffe feedings, and elephant demonstrations. General Admission: Children 2 and under - Free, Children 3 through 12 - $4.00, Adults - $7.50, Seniors 55 and older - $6.50.
- The Discovery Science Place. 308 N. Broadway, Tyler, TX. Hands-on family fun for kids of all ages. View bats in the bat cave, trigger an earthquake into motion under your feet, snake your way through mysterious tunnels and explore the depths of a limestone cavern. Investigate the bones of "Big Ethel", the triceratops dinosaur. The Discovery Science Place offers three exhibit halls where kids of all ages are free to move around and explore.
- Hudnall Planetarium. 1200 S. Mahon, Tyler, TX. Multimedia presentations and "star parties" make for great family fun. Admission Fee. Open by appointment only.
- Tiger Creek Wildlife Refuge. 17544 Hwy 14, Tyler, TX. Tiger Creek Wildlife Refuge (TCWR) is an "Incorporated Animal Shelter" for the big cats. Tiger Creek provides rescue and rehabilitation of big cats that have been abused, neglected, or displaced. Tiger Creek provides a place for these great cats to live the remainder of their lives without threats in a stress-free environment that caters to the well being of the cats.
- Tyler Market Center, Hwy 69 North Between Loop 323 & I-20 In Tyler. Tyler Market Center is a veritable shopper’s paradise with something for the most discriminating shopper on your list (YOU)! From the hard to find gifts, to the very best prices on the things you need. Whether it’s new merchandise, arts and crafts, Antiques, Collectibles, Furniture, Food, Clothing, Pets or flea market items, you will most likely find it here! Tyler Trade Days held every 3rd Saturday weekend (rain or shine) from 9 AM to 5 PM.
- Tyler Museum of Art, 1300 South Mahon Ave., Tyler, TX, (Adjacent to Tyler Junior College). The Tyler Museum of Art is a wonderful destination for people seeking a dynamic, culturally-enriching experience in the visual arts. From its 700-piece permanent collection to a remarkable array of traveling exhibitions, the TMA is recognized as a major attraction for both tourists and local visitors. The Tyler Museum of Art’s permanent collection focuses on early and modern Texas artists, but has also been the recipient of several noted private collections.
- Tyler State Park, 789 Park Road 16, Tyler, TX. Camping, boating,swimming, hiking, canoe and paddleboat rental. 985 acre park around a spring-fed lake.
Virtually every regional chain restaurant can be found in Tyler. There is a growing number of excellent local restaurants with various fares that can be found in and around the city.
- Currents,1121 E 2nd St, 903 597 3771.
- Dakota's Steak and Chop House, 5377 S Broadway Ave, 903 581 6700, .
- Taqueria El Lugar, 1716 E Gentry Pkwy, 903 597 4717. Authentic non-Tex-Mex Mexican food.
- Villa Montez, 3324 Old Henderson Hwy, 903 533 1628.
- Stanley's Bar BQ Restaurant, 525 S Beckham Ave, 903 593 0311.
- Sonoma Grill, 5875 Old Bullard Road, ☎ 903-534-9779, . A casual gourmet grill with California style and Texas Taste edit
While you can buy alcoholic beverages by the glass inside restaurants and private clubs, Tyler is a dry city. You cannot buy bottles of liquor, beer, or wine (with state made and bottle wine being an exception to the law) within the city limits to consume outside of the clubs or restaurants.
- The Kiepersol Estates Winery is nestled in a beautiful 33-acre vineyard of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sangiovese, Syrah, Tempranillo, Mourvedre, Grenache, and Muscat de Alexandria grape vines. Hand-planted in April of 1998 and May of 1999, Kiepersol's first vinatge was in 2000 and they continue to grow in acclaim as well as production. They also own the KE Cellars inside the city limits of Tyler, where you can purchase Texas made and bottled wines.
- Hampton Inn Tyler, 3130 Troup Hwy., 1-903-596-7752, . This 77 room hotel has a pool, 24-hour gym, 24-hour business center, and 1,600 sq. ft. of meeting space. They offer free hot breakfast and WiFi, and are located on the southeast corner of the city near The University of Texas at Tyler and several golf courses.
- Hilton Garden Inn Tyler, 220 East Grande, 1-903-509-1166, . This 125 room hotel has a pool, 24-hour gym, 24-hour business center, and 2,100 sq. ft. of meeting space, and free WiFi. The on-site Great American Grill restaurant serves cooked-to-order breakfast and dinner in a relaxed atmosphere, and also offers evening room service and catering. It is located five miles south of the city center, just off Highway 69, near several golf courses, and in the heart of Tyler’s southern business district.
- Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites, 2421 E Southeast Loop 323, ☎ 866-642-0465, . edit
- Tyler Residence Inn by Marriott, 350 West Heritage Drive, ☎ 903-787-5899, . Guests of the Residence Inn Tyler enjoy a complimentary daily breakfast buffet and a weekday evening Social Hour Monday - Wednesday. Pets welcome! $124-$179. edit
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