In case you’re geographically challenged and not well-versed in southeastern nomenclature, Texarkana is so named because it lies on the border between Texas and Arkansas.
Texarkana, Arkansas isn’t very big, but it’s large enough to be the 12th largest city in the state and is the county seat of Milner County.
The land that’s now part of the town was originally the home of a regional railroad depot; as the area’s economy grew over the years, so too did the city.
The town is located just off Interstate 30 near the Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana borders.
Below are 15 things to do in and around Texarkana.
1. The P.J. Ahern Home
One of the town’s most well preserved historical sites is the P.J. Ahern Home.
Built in the classical revival-style in the early part of the 20th century, it has been maintained and restored to look much like it did back then.
In addition to giving guests a glimpse into the lifestyle of the well-to-do residents nearly 100 years ago, the home is now a museum full of exhibits and era-specific items.
The Ahern Home is located downtown in the Quality Hill Historic District, so it’s convenient to get to and surrounded by other quaint neighborhoods, homes, and businesses.
2. State Line Post Office and Federal Building
Rumor has it that the post office in downtown Texarkana is the second most photographed post office in the country.
That’s a pretty bold claim, but whether it’s true or not, you’ll still want to stop by, take a look and snap a few shots yourself.
It’s one of those quirky and cool places you’ll find all over rural America, where you can actually stand in two states at one time, which begs the question: if you committed a crime that way, who’d have jurisdiction?
You won’t need to spend much time here to get the full effect.
3. Museum of Regional History
Located in a historic theater building that had fallen on hard times, the Museum of Regional History is full of displays, exhibits, and artifacts from a wide range of eras, from the time before the country’s settlement all the way to World War II and beyond.
The old theater in which the museum is housed was a Texarkana icon for years and included many plays, musical presentations, and other live events in the years before the advent of movies.
The museum is relatively small, and you won’t need to spend a lot of time to see all that it offers, but it’s well worth a visit as it’s a unique tidbit of Americana.
4. Haunted Texarkana Ghost Walk
According to those in the know, Texarkana is full of dark corners, spirits of the undead, and more ghastly and ghostly tales than any other town around.
If that sounds like something you’d like to experience up close and personally, sign yourself up for the Haunted Texarkana Ghost Walk.
This tour is guided by a local that knows the creepiest places and darkest tales that make the area so haunted. Though some of them may be urban legends, more than a few are based on the historical record and involve cold-blooded murders, double-crosses and other sordid tales.
5. 1894 Gallery
Located in Texarkana’s 1894 City Market, the 1894 Gallery is considered by many to be one of the town’s finest galleries.
The historic building in which the gallery is located was once a grocery warehouse that supplied stores in the area; now, it houses other shops and businesses in addition to the gallery.
Many of the items on display are from local and regional artists, but there are some from popular and nationally known ones featured as well.
From carvings and paintings to sculpture and blown glass, the gallery has a little bit of everything; you’re welcome to stop by and take a look anytime.
6. Four States Auto Museum
If you’re a car buff on a budget, a trip to the Four States Auto Museum would be a wise way to spend a few morning or afternoon hours.
The museum is free to visit and isn’t very large, but the collection consists of around 15 cars that have been carefully restored to nearly original condition.
Previous guests have noted that the museum and automobiles are immaculate and that the staff members are always willing to answer your questions.
The cars on display change occasionally, but they’re all interesting glimpses into the past; each has a sign explaining what it is and why it’s significant.
7. Texarkana Symphony Orchestra
Though you may not associate Texarkana with world-class symphony music, catching a presentation at the Texarkana Symphony Orchestra could change that perspective.
Located in the Perot Theatre building, it was established to provide an enjoyable and comfortable venue for the enjoyment of symphonic music.
The season is generally from September to May, and in addition to orchestral music, they host a number of other performances throughout the year – even providing educational and instructional courses for budding musicians as well.
There’s now a Texarkana Youth Symphony Orchestra, so take advantage of this wonderful community resource if you can.
8. Draughon-Moore Ace of Clubs House
The Draughon-Moore Ace of Clubs house was built in 1885 and resembles the shape of a club found on a deck of playing cards.
Rumor has it that it was bought and paid for with winnings from gambling; it’s a unique bit of Americana architecture that is worth a look.
Much of the home’s furnishings are original and were considered luxurious by the standards of the day.
Due to its popularity, the home has been featured on some television shows, like The Antiques Roadshow and America’s Guide to Historic Homes hosted by Bob Villa.
9. Holiday Springs Water Park
As you might expect, summers on the Texas – Arkansas border can be brutally hot. If staying at home with the curtains drawn or walking around a mall aimlessly don’t sound like fun, consider spending a few hours at the Holiday Springs Waterpark.
Located on Crossroads Parkway in Texarkana, this is the town’s premier destination for those who want to beat the heat.
They’ve got all the family-friendly amenities you’d expect, and with slides, pools and a splash pad, the little ones will be entertained for hours.
It’s pretty inexpensive too, so check out their website for specifics.
10. Bobby Ferguson Park
Bobby Ferguson Park is one of the largest in Texarkana and is a favorite destination for families who want to stretch their legs and enjoy some time outdoors.
The park includes a sizable lake, wooded areas, and lots of well-marked walking trails. Though it’s nice at any time of year, it’s particularly beautiful in the fall and spring.
The trails are open to walkers, runners, and cyclists, and the kids will have a great time splashing in the lake and feeding the ducks.
Dogs are allowed, but regulations stipulate that they’re kept on leashes at all times.
11. Texarkana Farmer’s Market
Located in Texarkana’s historic downtown district, the open-air Texarkana Farmer’s Market is the place to go to rub elbows with the locals, browse lots of amazing products you won’t find anywhere else, and just have an all-around good time.
As you might expect, nearly everything is grown or produced locally. In addition to fresh produce, you’ll find health and body products, arts and crafts, and tasty prepared food like local honey and baked goods.
Located on Texas Boulevard, they are open early in the morning on Saturdays, Tuesdays, and Thursday, so check their website for more information before heading out.
12. Owl’s Nest Flea Market
Whether you’re after a one of a kind item or a set of used dishes to put in your motor home, The Owl’s Nest Flea Market may be one of the few places you can find both.
It’s located on Texas Boulevard and is easy to get to from I-30, so if you’re just passing through, it won’t get you too off track.
Though it doesn’t look too impressive from the outside, the inside is filled with a wide array of sale items, including antique furniture, housewares, and lots of other knick-knacks and keepsakes that make great gifts and home decorations.
Past guests have said the prices are reasonable compared with similar markets elsewhere.
13. Lindsey Railroad Museum
The introduction of the railroads was largely responsible for the economic growth that took place in the Texarkana area in its early years.
The Lindsey Railroad Museum is a free attraction, and even if you’re not a big train aficionado, you’ll probably still find it interesting and well worth a visit.
Much of the museum includes original items. Though it doesn’t exhibit any actual trains, there are enough engaging exhibits and displays to make it both fun and educational.
The museum is generally open on weekends and is staffed with docents who can show you around or answer any questions you may have.
14. Hopkins Icehouse
Located inside a historic building from the early 1900s in downtown Texarkana, the Hopkins Icehouse is a popular eatery due to its trendy location, tasty food, and comfortable atmosphere.
The business is locally owned and operated and is open for lunch and dinner every day.
Some of the perennial menu favorites are gourmet burgers, fresh salads, chicken, and waffles.
If you’re looking for a nice way to spend a Sunday morning, they offer brunch too.
Friday and Saturday nights are for open mic night and live music respectively, but regardless of when you go, you’ll be in for delicious food and a great time.
15. Wright Patman Lake
Texarkana’s Wright Patman Lake is one of the region’s most visited lakes, especially by anglers, who come to try their luck with the numerous species of game fish.
Perhaps the most popular is the white bass, which is relatively easy to catch, a good fighter, and good eating too.
Flathead catfish, largemouth bass and crappie are also found in the lake. But remember that whether you’re an Arkansas native or a visitor from another state, you’ll need to have the proper fishing license or risk getting a hefty fine.
If fishing isn’t your thing, that’s okay; the lake offers tons of other activities like swimming, camping, and boating.