Your Perfect Lufkin Weekend
Whether you’re a fan of the great outdoors, shopping extraordinaire, history lover, or looking to spend some quality family time, we’re planned the perfect weekend in Lufkin just for you. In the forested lake country of East Texas, Lufkin is a picture-perfect destination for outdoor lovers. Here's a dream itinerary of what you can pack into three days.
Explore the water
East Texas is blessed with an abundance of natural beauty, and outdoor family fun can be found around every bend.
Just minutes away from Lufkin rests the largest body of water wholly within the state of Texas. Covering 114,500 acres at normal capacity, Sam Rayburn is the most popular recreation area in the Pineywoods. Sam Rayburn Reservoir is also one of the top five bass fisheries in the United States, with the record for largemouth bass at 16.5 pounds.
With more boat ramps available than anywhere else in Texas, Sam Rayburn Reservoir is the very definition of accessible. Whether you desire the perfect fishing spot, relaxing sailing, or a safe place to waterski, Sam Rayburn Reservoir is the ultimate getaway.
Find Tex-Mex at its best
On your way back from the lake, stop at Cafe Del Rio to experience superior Tex-Mex in a festive atmosphere.
Try the award-winning, freshly marinated fajitas, hand-rolled-to-order enchiladas, and queso. If you are in the mood for seafood, you can't miss with the shrimp brochette — delicioso! Top it all off with a thirst-quenching signature Cafe Del Rio Swirl, voted the best margarita in town.
Roam the wilderness
The Neches-Davy Crockett Paddling Trail, a 9.2-mile designated Texas Paddling Trail, makes for a perfect half-day paddle with friends and family. Enjoy the beauty of East Texas as you serenely paddle through the Davy Crockett National Forest, and you may see alligators, otters, and many different species of birds. Visit the informative Texas Parks and Wildlife website for more information about how to get there, fishing, wildlife and ecology, nearby events and attractions, and other exciting information about this paddling trail.
Enjoy a Cajun twist
Savor dinner on the patio and listen to live music at Pelican Point, which specializes in authentic Southwest Louisiana Cajun cooking, infused with an Italian flair. It's food that feeds your soul, with a side of unmatched hospitality.
Take a Sawmill hike
The Sawmill Hiking Trail is a 2.2-mile, one-way hike in the Angelina National Forest that begins at Boykin Springs Campground and ends at the Old Aldridge Sawmill Site.
The trail follows a spring-fed creek that has a continuous flow of water, which only adds to the serene atmosphere. This trail even passes through the Neches River along an old tramway that was used until the 1920s to haul logs to the sawmill.
Start the day with a delicious breakfast at local favorite Lone Start Charlie’s Family Restaurant then spend the morning with the kids cultivating an appreciation of the natural world at Ellen Trout Zoo. Founded by Walter Trout in 1967, Ellen Trout Zoo is home to over 700 animals and is a fan favorite for Saturday activities. The animals, trains, and trails are sure to become a new favorite for your family too.
Visit Beautiful Downtown
Visit historic Downtown Lufkin for an afternoon of shopping, treats, and captured moments. Stop by Lia’s Kitchen for a delicious lunch. Lia’s is a cornerstone in the Lufkin Community and has been recognized for its outstanding sushi cuisines, excellent service, and friendly staff. Their restaurant is known for its modern interpretation of classic dishes and its insistence on only using high quality, fresh ingredients. After lunch, take a stroll downtown and visit the local shopping hot spots like Pink Leopard Boutique, Salt & Honey, Spruce, Market to Market, The Hanger Collection, Heritage Antiques, and many more. You can also grab a sweet treat at The Downtown Scoop, a coffee at Standpipe Coffee House, or delicious bread from Real Time Breads bakery. Make sure to stop and take pictures at one of the many murals downtown and grab a picture with the immersive Lufkin sign on west Shepherd Ave.
Dinner & A Show
Come taste the music at 58J Music Café. With their rustic atmosphere and delicious mouth-watering home-made dishes, located in the heart of Downtown Lufkin, 58J Music Café is the perfect way to end your fun filled evening.
If you have a taste for the arts, visit the historic Pines Theatre for a movie or production put on by the Angelina Arts Alliance. Located in historic downtown Lufkin, the newly refurbished and renovated Pines Theater is truly a community gem. This 459-seat multi-use venue offers a wide variety of programming to attract and entertain our patrons. Past featured artists include Kathy Mattea, The Bellamy Brothers, The Harlem Gospel Choir, and Damien Sneed, just to name a few! In partnership with the City of Lufkin, Angelina Arts provides its expertise in creating cultural experiences for the Pines Theater. Angelina Arts is the only professional performing arts organization in a 90-mile radius and thus serves all of deep East Texas.
A Taste of History
Enjoy the best burger in Deep East Texas when you stop for lunch at Ray’s Drive In. Ray’s has been family owned and operated since 1959 on Timberland Drive. Though it’s no longer 1959, Ray’s Drive in has stood the test of time and has become a tradition in Lufkin. Despite using high quality, fresh ingredients, having a vintage atmosphere, and the friendliest staff, what makes Ray’s Drive in unique, or rather timeless, is their drive-in capability. If you’ve never sat in your car and had a car hop wait on you, you’re missing out. It’s the perfect addition to your Lufkin trip bucket list.
Travel Through Time
In 1960, Dr. Neal Naranjo began a lifelong quest to find and preserve dinosaur bones. Each new fossil he collected laid the foundation for the Naranjo Museum of Natural History. Today the Naranjo collection contains several thousand fossils and is as comprehensive as it is diverse. With a meticulous eye for rare finds, the Naranjo Family has built a collection that rivals most urban museums. Now with ongoing dinosaur digs in two states and access to new fossils, the collection has outgrown its current space. The Naranjo Museum of Natural History aims to inspire and educate while preserving the past. The very, very past. Discover natural history through a hands-on approach. With more than 56 exhibits to explore the museum is a perfect place to discover, learn, and explore.
The Texas Forestry Museum is home to the story of the forests of Texas. The complexity of the natural resource, the legacy of the industry, and the current and future role of forest management practices can be explored through three galleries, outdoor exhibits, and an Urban Wildscape Trail. The Texas Forestry Museum offers an imaginative experience of history. With scavenger hunts, lawn games, nature art backpacks and playscapes, and a children’s wing including interactive exhibits, train table, sawmill town house, and fire tower, it’s and immersive learning experience for both kids and adults.
Since its inception in 1976, the Museum of East Texas has grown to become a dynamic cultural center. Originally in a historic 1906 church, the Museum contains an extensive collection of paintings and sculptures produced by East Texas artists as well as American, Latin American and European masters. The Museum offers a variety of public programs throughout the year and its commitment to visual arts education and cultural enrichment is the driving force behind all of its programs. Exhibitions, lectures, workshops, children’s events and fundraisers cover a wide range of interests and topics and are sure to appeal to everyone.