Paris, Texas true day trip getaway destination

Sidewalk bistros, the art district, the Eiffel tower; no it’s not France, but East Texas.
Published: Oct. 4, 2021 at 8:35 AM CDT
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PARIS, Texas (KLTV) - Sidewalk bistros, the art district, the Eiffel tower; no it’s not France, but East Texas.

About 2 hours north of Tyler and Longview along U.S. Highway 271, Paris sits just minutes away from the Oklahoma border.

One of the big draws is the replica ‘Eiffel tower’, wearing a distinct red cowboy hat.

Constructed in 1993, it’s a scaled-down model of the original and is a frequent site for tourists.

“We’re very family-oriented. We have great local support in our town. More businesses are moving downtown,” says chamber of commerce member April Newman.

Strolling through the old downtown area it’s an atmosphere of good neighbors.

“We’ve got some fantastic restaurants, a lot of antique stores. And that’s what we try for, soon as you walk in the door we say make yourself at home,” says fellow chamber member Johnny Lee.

Paris has one of the few pump track training facilities, which is frequented by top-competitive BMX racers.

It’s a momentum track where speed is controlled by navigating the valleys.

“It’s called pump track because you don’t take any pedals. You use your body to gain momentum over the rollers and corners. I’m a professional BMX racer and I’m going to the world championships in Portugal,” says Shealen Reno.

Paris was incorporated by the congress of the Republic of Texas in 1845. The community was named for Paris, France, by one of the founders’ employees.

A short walk from the tower is Red River Valley Veterans Memorial. A tribute to all who have served. A favorite for visitors who come from all over.

“It’s from Tyler it’s from Plano it’s from Mckinney, places like that.

If you’re from a larger city, it’s nice to get out and see some of the old downtowns, because years ago we thought maybe it would die. The downtown started to crumble but they’re gaining new life,” says Paris restaurant owner John Bratcher.

After being hit by a tornado in 1982, local businesses invested nearly 7 million dollars in renovating and revitalizing the downtown area, much of which has a distinct French influence.

“We’re really unique and we feel like Paris is unique. when we do things here we want to be unique,” Bratcher says.

The downtown area is full of shops and restaurants. numerous hotels and bed and breakfasts are available.

Paris also has numerous ‘wine’ tasting events, in keeping with their ‘French’ connection, throughout the year, and they have extensive walking and running courses called ‘Trail de Paris’.

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