Texarkana Travel Guide

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Texarkana Travel Guide

Texarkana Local History

The territory around Texarkana, was traversed by the Great Southwest Trail which, had been the main line of travel between the Indian villages of the Mississippi Valley, and the West and Southwest. On the lands around Texarkana, the Grand Caddoes, peaceful and sedentary, tilled their rich fields of maize, vegetables, and melons, and maintained six villages on the banks of the Red River. By 1719, the French had infiltrated the Territory and set up a fort and trading post and, ensuring that the Caddoes migrated slowly westward.

As early as 1840, rudiments of a permanent settlement in the old Caddo Territory began to take form and, shortly thereafter, the stamp of official approval was awarded in the form of a post office. Location of this institution was at Lost Prairie, some 15 miles east of the present site of Texarkana. Railroads were quick to see the possibilities of this vast new territory and, in the late 1850's, the builders of the Cairo and Fulton, railroads were pushing their railhead steadily across Arkansas. The Red River Bridge was opened on March 20, 1874, and from that date, trains have run directly from Texarkana to St. Louis.

It is not officially known who gave Texarkana its name. One popular version credits a Colonel Gus Knobel who, surveying the Iron Mountain Railroad right-of-way from Little Rock to this section, came to the state line. He marked the name as "TEX-ARK-ANA", and is believed to have derived it from TEXas, ARKansas, and LouisiANA.

Texarkana Attractions

Top Attractions

Regional Arts Center - The beautifully renovated Regional Arts Center is housed in the 1909 United States District Courthouse. The building is an example of Classical Revival architecture featuring ornate plaster, a copper cage elevator, and a grand hall with a 26 foot ceiling. It serves as the focal point for the visual arts, and houses the only art museum in the region featuring national touring, juried and invitational exhibitions. The year-round programming also includes classes, lectures, workshops, film series and tours. Inside the Center is a Gift Shop, filled with unique gifts, which is not to be missed. The Arts Center is located on the corner of 4th & Texas Boulevard, Texarkana. Tel: 903/792-8681.

Museum Of Regional History - Located in the oldest brick building in Texarkana, the Historical Museum offers a wide range of exhibits. Visitors will enjoy the Victorian Parlor, an interactive musical exhibit dedicated to Scott Joplin, the 'Father of Ragtime Music'. Other exhibits include replicas of a Doctor's Office, an 1890's Farmstead model, and other displays depicting the early history of Texarkana. There is also an exhibit that focuses on the Caddo Indians that lived in the area and includes Caddo pottery, tools, and other artifacts. The Museum is open Tuesday to Saturday, 10am to 4pm. Admission is $4 adults, $3 students/children age 5 and up, $3.50 senior citizens, free for children under five. The museum is situated at 219 State Line Ave. Tel: 903/793-4831.

State Line Post Office And Federal Building - Built in 1932-33, the structure features a base of pink granite from Texas and walls of limestone from Arkansas. This, most unique, feature of Texarkana is the only U.S. Post Office situated in two states. The Post Office straddles Texas and Arkansas and has separate zip codes, 71854 for Texarkana, Arkansas and 75501 for Texarkana Texas. Texarkana boasts this to be the most photographed courthouse in the United States, second only to the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. The Post Office is located on 500 State Line Avenue.

Scott Joplin Mural - Visitors to Texarkana should check out the Scott Joplin Mural. It is a colourful, outdoor mural which depicts the life and accomplishments of the Pulitzer Prize winning composer and area native, Scott Joplin. The mural also features accurate musical notes of the final measures of Joplin's famous song, The Entertainer. This catchy tune stirred a revival of interest in ragtime music. Located on the south wall of the building at 311 Main, near the Perot Theatre.

Ace Of Clubs House - This is a spot that should not be missed while visiting the area. The uniquely designed house was built in 1885. Legend has it that entrepreneur James H. Draughon built the 22 sided house with the winnings from a poker game, and that the winning card was the Ace of Clubs. Each room represents a specific period in the history of the house and reveals interesting insights into the life-style of the families who lived there. The House is open Tuesday to Saturday, 10am to 4pm. Admission is $5 adults, $3.50 students, $4.50 senior citizens, free for children under 5. Group tour rates and guided tours are available. The House is located at 420 Pine Street. Tel: 903/793-4831.

Park Place Restaurant A unique Five Star dining experience. You will enjoy the highest quality steak and seafood in a relaxed atmosphere. Great for romance or just visiting with friends. Chef Hooshang and his talented team ensure outstanding service beyond your expectations. You can also enjoy live entertainment each Saturday night in the bar. There is a separate banquet room for special events or meetings. Visit the website at www.parkplacefinedining.com
submitted by Karen Forbing, 03/03/06

Texarkana Shopping

JC Penney - An all time favourite shopping spot for young and old. A visit to this shop will leave you somewhat breathless, and your wallet slightly lighter. Located at 61 Central Mall, Texarkana. 903/832-1561..

Liberty Square - Offers the visitor a selection of little gift shops, well known specialty shops and other retail stores. A stroll in this area is worth the effort and there is numerous street cafes to relax and have a drink. Located on 3115 S Lake Dr, Texarkana. Tel: 800/508-8161. .

Sam's Club - This is the place to go if you ant to buy sport equipment, souvenirs, athletic wear and other sporting goods. Whatever you need, you are sure to find it here. Located at 3610 Saint Michael Dr, Texarkana. Tel: 903/838-4338.

Texarkana Activities

Discovery Place Museum - The young and the young at heart will enjoy looking into the past and future while visiting this unique museum. The Discovery Place Museum has a one-of-a-kind 12 ft. sound wall, giant animal murals, and large scale hands-on permanent exhibits focusing on science, history and human perception. A special dress-up theatre and tot spot for younger visitors also create an atmosphere where learning comes alive for the entire family. Open Tuesday to Saturday, 10am - 4pm. Admission: $4 per person, children under five are free. Located at 215 Pine Street. Tel: 903/793-4831..

Historic Perot Theatre - Marvel at the Perot Theatre located in downtown Texarkana. The theatre is a jewel in the region, bringing the best of Broadway, classical music, ballet, jazz, modern dance and more to Texarkana. First opened in 1924 as the Saenger Theater, Emil Weil's Italian Renaissance design is an architectural marvel. Through the generosity of native son H. Ross Perot, his sister Bette Perot, and area residents, the beautiful old theatre was saved and restored into one of the nation's major performing arts centers. Throughout the year, the Perot Theatre Series brings national and international productions to the region. Located on 219 Main Street. Tel: 903/792-8681.

Texarkana Restaurants and Bars

Arkansas cuisine is not just limited catfish, barbecue and chicken. Ethnic and regional restaurants serve Mexican, Greek, Chinese, French, Italian, Indian, German plus steak, pizza and sushi. Fish and seafood, including rainbow trout, are plentiful on many menus as are other healthy choices. .

Homemade yeast rolls and cornbread make a tasty accompaniment as does a frosty mug of iced tea or glass of Arkansas wine. Just be sure to save room for dessert and coffee or perhaps a specialty ale from an Arkansas micro brewery.

Texarkana Restaurants

Timothy's - This attractive neighbourhood restaurant serves extraordinary food at surprisingly reasonable prices. Here visitors will feel comfortable dressed up or casual. Timothy's bar offers an exciting atmosphere, where you can come to listen to music or watch the game. Happy Hour 5-7 nightly. Located at 4115 N Kings Hwy Ste 111, Texarkana. Tel: 870/831-5999.

Big Jake's BBQ - Undoubtedly the best choice if you are in the mood for some authentic Southern BBQ. Big Jake uses a slab of pork ribs or pork shoulders, and slow roast the pork for 12 hours or so. Patrons have a choice of a pepper-and-vinegar sauce, a pepper, vinegar, and catsup sauce, or a sweet mustard sauce. Located on 1386 Blvd, Texarkana. Tel: 870/793-1169.

Lake Country Restaurant - This up market, fine dining establishment is a good spot for romantic dinners or special occasions. Slightly on the pricey side, visitors will not be disappointed with the quality of food and service they receive. The menu is quite extensive and changes regularly. Noteworthy is the wild game is featured on the menu, which is served with an orange glazing and roast vegetables. The restaurant is located on 3920 State Line Ave, Texarkana. Tel: 870/773-1550.

Bryce's Cafeteria - This restaurant has been noted in both the New Yorker magazine and in Southern Living magazine. This family owned and operated cafeteria, established in 1931, serves great fresh home cooked Southern cuisine. Located at 2021 Mall Drive. Tel: 870/792-1611.

Texarkana children's activities

Discovery Place Museum - The young and the young at heart will enjoy looking into the past and future while visiting this unique museum. The Discovery Place Museum has a one-of-a-kind 12 ft. sound wall, giant animal murals, and large scale hands-on permanent exhibits focusing on science, history and human perception. A special dress-up theatre and tot spot for younger visitors also create an atmosphere where learning comes alive for the entire family. Open Tuesday to Saturday, 10am - 4pm. Admission: $4 per person, children under five are free. Located at 215 Pine Street. Tel: 903/793-4831..

Historic Perot Theatre - Marvel at the Perot Theatre located in downtown Texarkana. The theatre is a jewel in the region, bringing the best of Broadway, classical music, ballet, jazz, modern dance and more to Texarkana. First opened in 1924 as the Saenger Theater, Emil Weil's Italian Renaissance design is an architectural marvel. Through the generosity of native son H. Ross Perot, his sister Bette Perot, and area residents, the beautiful old theatre was saved and restored into one of the nation's major performing arts centers. Throughout the year, the Perot Theatre Series brings national and international productions to the region. Located on 219 Main Street. Tel: 903/792-8681.

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