Texas Forest Trail Region

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

Historic Downtowns

Brownsville street scene


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

  • December 16, 2017 (All day) to January 13, 2018 (All day)

    Farmer's Market Pavilion
    815 W Spring St
    Palestine  Texas  75801
    United States

    The Holiday Farmers Market & Craft Show offers goodies including locally grown fresh produce, baked goods, homemade preserves and handcrafted gifts created by local artisans.

  • December 16, 2017 - 10:00am to January 13, 2018 - 2:00pm

    Corner of Sycamore and West Oak Sts.
    101 W Oak St
    Palestine  Texas  75801
    United States

    Join us in the Historic Palestine Main Street District at Santa's Workshop where you can have your picture taken with Santa, play with toys and trains and write a letter to Santa. 101 W. Oak St. 903-723-3014

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.

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