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 [dead link] offers service to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport via American Eagle Airlines.
The city's Tyler Transit [dead link] buses run daily, excluding Sundays and holidays. 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 under construction, with the first five-mile segment open for use on August 17th, 2006.
- Tyler Landis Museum, 1900 W. Front. 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. Fourteen acres and 400 rose varieties testify to Tyler's standing as the "Rose Capital of the World". FREE Admission.
- The Bonner-Whitaker McClendon House, 806 W Houston. 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 on Fridays and Saturdays year-round.
- Cowan Center, 3900 University Blvd (The University of Texas at Tyler campus). 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. 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-1800s.
- 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 1850s 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 the community.
- 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. 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. 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. 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. Multimedia presentations and "star parties" make for great family fun. Admission Fee. Open by appointment only.
- Tiger Creek Wildlife Refuge., 17544 Hwy 14. 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, 69 North Between Loop Hwy 323 & I-20. 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 9AM to 5PM.
- Tyler Museum of Art, 1300 South Mahon Ave (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 Rd 16. Camping, boating,swimming, hiking, canoe and paddleboat rental. 985 acre park around a spring-fed lake. Popular with mountain bike enthusiasts.
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, ☏ .
- [dead link] Dakota's Steak and Chop House, 5377 S Broadway Ave, ☏ .
- Taqueria El Lugar, 1716 E Gentry Pkwy, ☏ . Authentic non-Tex-Mex Mexican food.
- Villa Montez, 3324 Old Henderson Hwy, ☏ . Latin food just outside of town. Fairly pricey, but very good.
- Stanley's Bar BQ Restaurant, 525 S Beckham Ave, ☏ . Local barbeque, home of the Mother Clucker, ranked by Texas Monthly as the best sandwich in the state of Texas in 2014. Highly recommended.
- [dead link] Sonoma Grill, 5875 Old Bullard Rd, ☏ . A casual gourmet grill with California style and Texas Taste
- Daniel Boone's Grill & Tavern (Daniel Boone's), 1920 ESE Loop 323, ☏ . Mo-Th 11AM-9PM; Fr-Sa 11AM-10PM; Su 10AM-8PM. County cooking, homestyle meals, and cold drinks. Alcohol is served, and they have a children's menu. Vegetarian options available.
- Little Italy, 3320 S Broadway Ave, ☏ . Locally run Italian food. Very good, and fairly cheap as well.
- Andy's Custard, 6106 S Broadway Ave, ☏ . Serves frozen custard. Fairly busy at nights, but lines move quickly.
- Country Tavern, 1526 Fm 2767, Kilgore, TX, ☏ . If you're willing to make the trek, this restaurant is worth the drive. There isn't a formal menu, but you don't really need one. This place has the best ribs in the area, and it's worth a visit if you're around East Texas. They also serve brisket and some sausage.
- Lola's Handmade.
Smith County (which Tyler is within) is a partially dry country in Texas. This means you cannot purchase liquor within city limits, unless it is being consumed in a restaurant or club. You can generally purchase wine and beer grocery stores or other approved retailers. If you want to buy bottles of liquor for off-premise consumption, you have to drive out of the country (~20 miles or so).
There are several winers and breweries that have popped up in and around Tyler:
- The Kiepersol Estates Winery. 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. Additionally, there is a nice restaurant attached to the side.
- True Vine Brewing Company
- Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites, 2421 E Southeast Loop 323, toll-free: .
- [dead link] Tyler Residence Inn, 3303 Troup Highway, ☏ . $129-$229.
- [formerly dead link] America's Best Value Inn and Suites, 2828 W NW Loop 323, ☏ . Check-in: noon, check-out: 2PM. Offers 85 clean, comfortable, newly remodeled rooms with a complimentary full continental breakfast, outdoor pool, gazebo, private rose garden, picnic area, truck parking, computer with internet access, fax and copy service, exercise facility, and meeting rooms. Each room features a coffee maker, hair dryer, mini-fridge, iron and ironing board, high speed internet, shower massage heads, alarm clock radios, remote controlled 25 in. TV with Showtime plus expanded cable, and free local calls. 65.
|Routes through Tyler|
|Fort Worth ← Dallas ←||W E||→ Kilgore → Shreveport|
|Greenville ← Emory ←||N S||→ Lufkin → Beaumont|
|END ←||S N||→ Gladewater → Mount Pleasant|
|Corsicana ← Athens ←||W E||→ Kilgore → Longview|