Visit Texas’ ‘Oldest Town’ For Piney Wood Trails, Comfort Food And Retro Accommodations

Nacogdoches in East Texas is often overlooked as a vacation destination, but the town’s welcoming vibe and wooded landscape make it good for a weekend recharge.

By Marika FlattNovember 7, 2019 12:58 pm,

East Texas is often overlooked as a weekend vacation destination. But there’s something about the beautiful, peaceful piney woods that recharges the mind and spirit.

Nacogdoches is considered the oldest town in Texas, at least that’s what locals contend. And with the combination of the beautiful campus of Stephen F. Austin State University and the crunchy pine needles underfoot, “Nac” has a knack for welcoming visitors.

Courtesy Fredonia Hotel via Texas Lifestyle Magazine

The courtyard of the Fredonia Hotel, which opened in the 1950s.

Vintage and vibrant, the Fredonia Hotel offers an old-timey feel with a super-cool vibe. From the outside, it looks like a refurbished relic from the 1950s; inside, there’s a lobby with striking lighting and posh fabrics. It really feels like a trip back in time. The hotel’s 1st City Cafe offers savory dishes and delicious desserts. Start the day with an on-demand omelet or the Lumberjack Breakfast – an homage to Stephen F. Austin University’s mascot.

Another great restaurant is Maklemore’s Ale-House & Bistro – known as Maks. It offers a large craft beer selection and live music on weekends. Most locals come for the gourmet stacked burgers and fried mac ’n’ cheese balls.

Located just off a busy railway, Auntie Pasta’s restaurant serves some of the finest Italian food in East Texas. Start with house-made fried cheese, which comes with piping hot French bread in a bag. The ambiance is ideal for a big family dinner or an intimate date night.

In downtown Nacogdoches, with its charming brick-lined streets, is Dolli’s Diner. Known for its generous portions, it’s a good spot for extra-hungry eaters. Dolli, with her colorful apron and knee-high socks, welcomes guests with a smile. Like the menu says, it’s “Not fast, not fancy, just good food!” Sit on the barstools and order funnel-cake fries, a shake or an old-fashioned float.

Enjoy a glass of wine at Red House Winery, which has a tasting room and a relaxing patio.

The Heart of Texas Gift Gallery has a great selection of Nacogdoches and East Texas souvenirs. Don’t forget to say “Hello” to Gracie, the store’s unofficial canine greeter.

For nature lovers, the hiking trails around Nac are beautiful, shady and full of pine trees. Try one of the many trails around town like Lanana Creek Trail, Banita Creek Trail or the Stephen F. Austin Interpretive Trail. Each provides a shady path for walking or jogging.