Plan a trip to Paris this year, Paris Texas that is. No passport needed. This quaint town nestled in the Northeast part of the state on the western edge of the Piney Woods was named the “Best Small Town in Texas” by Kevin Heubusch in his book The New Rating Guide to Life in America’s Small Cities (1997) Paris has four museums with varied offerings. For the history buff, visit the Sam Bell Maxey House state historic site. Bell, a major general in the Confederate army and later a two-term senator, built the home in 1868 in High Victorian Italianate style and it remains filled with over 10,000 artifacts from the Bell family. Valley of the Caddo Museum and Cultural Center offers exhibits depicting the history and heritage of the area. Also see the Lamar County Historical Museum, Lamar County Genealogical Library and consider a visit to the Red River Valley Veterans Memorial. Historic Walking Tours and Driving Tours are available at the Lamar County Chamber of Commerce, and our Trolley de Paris can be rented for groups to take a tour around the City. Paris offers events for all ages and interests. Annual events include the ASA Southwest Shootout Archery Tournament in April, on the grounds of the Love Civic Center. Paris is a regular cycling destination with the Tour de Paris Bicycle Rally, an event that began with a few cycling enthusiasts in1984 that has now grown to an average of 1,700 participants every July. Many other hike and bike trails wind through the Paris area including the Trail de Paris, the Barber Hills Mountain Bike Trail at Pat Mayse Lake, and the Northeast Texas Trail is known as the NETT — a 130-mile recreational trail rolling through 19 towns and 7 counties. When completed it will be the longest trail in Texas! (If you didn’t bring your bike, you can find Bike Rentals at the Love Civic Center). NETT is already being used for walking, bicycling, and equestrians to enjoy “One Heck of a Trek” through the picturesque countryside from Farmersville to New Boston with Paris in the middle! The Texas Balloon and Music Festival aligns with the Tour de Paris. Here you can see hot air and gas balloons, enjoy live music and local food, and entertain the whole family with plenty of kid-friendly activities. Other events include the Paris Horse Club Rodeo the Red River Valley Fair, Square Dance Conventions, Antique Car Shows, Festival of Pumpkins, Mannequin Night, Southern Drag Boat Race, Holiday in Paris, and also live theater productions. Make sure to try the lunch special at Crawford’s Hole in the Wall, or some upscale pub food at 107 on the square, or grab some pastries at the Paris Bakery. Be sure to take a morning or evening stroll around the Paris town square. And don’t leave Paris without a photo in front of the famous 65 ft Texanized Eiffel Tower topped with a Red Cowboy Hat. Paris is always a good idea!    

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