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Texas Forest Trail Region

Participant in the Texas Historical Commission's
Texas Heritage Trails Program

Historic Downtowns


Brownsville street scene

MAIN STREET REPRISE

Main Street was once the heart and soul of communities all across Texas. But after we began our mass exodus to the suburbs during the second half of the 20th century we saw the collapse of a lively downtown in almost every community in the state. Merchants folded, businesses relocated, movie theaters shut down, and citizens stopped traveling downtown to work, shop, and socialize. "Won't be much to do in town with the picture show closed," Duane says to Sonny in the famous adaptation of Larry McMurtry's The Last Picture Show. "Yeah," Sonny replies. It was a prescient exchange that echoed all over Texas. But fast-forward to the present and discover a revitalization of historic downtown Main Street occurring in communities from the Rio Grande Valley to the Panhandle-Plains.

Unlike the generic, big-box reality of the outlying suburbs, our downtowns define who we are, where we came from, and, thanks to a renewed appreciation in our historic city centers, what we want to become as Texas communities. Visit your own downtown or one of the over 80 Texas Main Street Program cities across the state. You'll find historic buildings and town squares bustling with culture, cuisine, and commerce. A good place to spend the day or a lifetime.



Upcoming Events

  • February 23, 2017 - 4:30pm to February 26, 2017 - 9:00pm

    downtown Port Arthur
    Procter Street
    Port Arthur  Texas  77642
    United States

    Mardi Gras of Southeast Texas - Feb. 23-26, 2017. Celebrate 25 Years of Enchantment. Weekend prior to Ash Wednesday; dates vary. Catch beads from lighted parades, dance at live concerts and feast on Cajun delights.

  • February 24, 2017 (All day) to February 26, 2017 (All day)

    Downtown Jefferson
    Austin St.
    Jefferson  Texas  75657
    United States

    The Krewe of Hebe celebrates their 28th Annual Mardi Gras Upriver!


Mobile Tour

Town Square Walk Around mobile tour home page.Explore historic Texas towns with the Town Square Walk Around mobile tour, featuring a rich blend of images, videos, maps, and useful visitor information for exploring historical sites across Texas. Download the app directly to your iOS or Android device. (NOTE: If you are opening the mobile tour on a desktop, narrow your browser window to resemble mobile screen proportions for a better view of the content and options.)

Cities featured in the mobile tour include: Gainesville, Denton, Dallas, Waxahachie, Hillsboro, West, Waco, Georgetown, San Marcos, New Braunfels, San Antonio, Cotulla, and Laredo.