Welcome home to the small southern charm of Athens, Texas! Striving to retain the many qualities of a larger city, while providing a small-town lifestyle, Athens is the ideal place to live, work and play for those who want the benefits of a smaller city, but still desire easy access to larger metropolitan areas. With a variety of family-friendly destinations like the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center, East Texas Arboretum and Botanical Society, Henderson County Regional Fair Park Complex and more, you're sure to embark on an activity that will satisfy the entire family!
Wine and craft beer lovers will enjoy four local wineries in and around Athens and a new craft brewery in the heart of downtown Athens. Historic Downtown Athens contains a variety of beautiful buildings built in the early 1900's that surround the 1913 Henderson County Courthouse, one of the most unique courthouses in Texas! In Athens, all roads lead to downtown, making it truly the heart of the city. The result is a bustling mix of activity and energy making the area a destination for tourists and locals alike. Come explore the streets of downtown to check out attractions like the Henderson County Historical Museum, art galleries with local and regional artists' work, antique shops, retail, and more!
Downtown Destinations on the Square include:
• Athens Brewing Co.
• Athens Screen Printing
• Carlton Lindsey Furniture Gallery
• Come And Take It
• East Texas Book Exchange
• Henderson County Historical Museum
• Henderson County Public Library
• Kathy's Boutique
• Railway Café
• East Texas Screen Printing/SNL Customz
• Somewhere In Time (Antique Store)
• Top Fuel Vapors
• Xtreme Business Services (Antique Store)
• WaWa's Seafood Shack
Cedar Creek Lake is the fourth largest lake in Texas. It is 18 miles long and is located about an hour southeast of Dallas, Texas. Cedar Creek Lake is one of the most popular lakes offering great boating, swimming, fishing, and beautiful scenery. Cedar Creek Lake has 320 miles of shoreline and is 18 miles long which offers plenty of space for everyone. The fishing on Cedar Creek Lake is excellent for White and Hybrid Striped Bass and you'll find it good for Largemouth Bass, Catfish and Crappie where the water is clearer. There are several towns near Cedar Creek Lake where you can find dining, shopping and annual festivals.
Richland Chambers Lake is 44,752 acres and boasts 330 miles of shoreline making it the 3rd largest lake in Texas. Located about an hour south of Dallas on I-45. It's perfect for families, anglers and boaters who want a relaxing lake experience. There are several free public boat ramps at various locations throughout the lake, and a couple of fee-based marinas. The water is clean and pleasant to swim in and great for all kinds of personal watercraft, including jet skis and sail boats. There is a large east-west expanse on the Richland arm of the lake that is reported to be the largest inland sailing basin in the state. It is host to several fishing tournaments throughout the year. Fish include crappie, sand bass, catfish, hybrid striper, etc.
Lake Athens is just outside Athens and is beautiful little lake with a great marina and on-site restaurant. Bass tournaments fill the lake with seasoned fishermen and families enjoying a day on the water. Ski boats, jet skis and tubing are all welcome. Boaters enjoy swimming at the beach-like docking area by the damn. And the nearby Texas State Fish Hatchery is a must visit for all ages.
Lake Palestine is 18 miles long and located about 15 miles southwest of Tyler, Texas, the result of a dam on the Neches River. Lake Palestine is the largest lake in the Tyler area and provides recreation and outdoor activities for everyone, with boating, water skiing, houseboating, camping, RVing, canoeing, hiking, biking and fishing. It is also the location of popular camps such as Pine Cove Christian Camps and major attractions such as the Villages Resort. The lake is very popular for largemouth bass tournaments due to its consistent success.
Athens parks enhance the lives of residents and visitors and are key to the future growth and prosperity of the city. Athens boasts nearly 200 acres of dedicated park and greenway space.
Coleman Park is the primary athletic complex in Athens, including baseball and soccer fields. Concession Stand and Restroom facilities provide dedicated concession space to the local baseball and soccer associations. In addition, Coleman Park offers an outdoor pavilion open year-round available for park patrons to utilize.
Cain Park boasts 85 acres of recreational facilities, sports fields and traditional park and open spaces. The newly revitalized Cain Center, softball fields, fishing pond, walking trail, and disc golf course are just some of the many amenities you will find at Cain Park.
Kiwanis Park is Athens' designated children's park. It boasts many different kinds of playground equipment for children of all ages. Kiwanis Park is also home to the Kiwanis Park Splash Pad, open during the summer.
O. D. Baggett Park is an amenity-rich park, boasting two basketball courts, baseball fields, a pavilion and playground equipment. The park is named in memory of Judge Baggett, who served the Athens community in multiple civic and governmental capacities during his life.
Other parks and open spaces include, Peach Park, Ginger's Park, West Park and New Haven Park.
Residents of Athens are very proud of their heritage. Athens is proud to be the original "Home of the Hamburger," as well as, the home of the longest running fiddle contest in the country! With new events taking place each year, this city continues to celebrate a handful of events that have stood the test of time! Be sure to join in the festivities at one of these events that celebrate the unique culture and heritage of Athens.
Love Music? The Athens Old Fiddlers Contest and Reunion is known nationwide and is the oldest such contest that has run continuously year after year. Fiddler's celebrated its 87th year in 2018 and the contest takes place the last Friday and Saturday of May. In addition to the contest, there are concessions, novelty vendors, carnival rides and more! This is a longstanding tradition that music lovers, young and old, won't want to miss!
Each year in September, Athens hosts the Uncle Fletch Hamburger Festival to celebrate the city's heritage and enjoy a variety of hamburgers, games, live music and more! Athens, Texas, lays claim as the "Home of the Hamburger." History proves that Uncle Fletch Davis invented the hamburger and shared his invention at the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair. The city is proud to say that the Texas Legislature has proclaimed Athens as the Official "Home of the Hamburger."
Spend the holidays in Athens and join in for the Annual Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting on the square. The annual lighting of the tree and Christmas parade takes place in downtown Athens and is sponsored by the City of Athens. Ring in the holiday season on the first or second Saturday of December with an Athens tradition that your entire family won't forget!
In addition to the events that the City of Athens hosts each year, there are a multitude of outstanding organizations in Athens that put on some of the best annual events in Texas! Join in the longstanding Henderson County GO TEXAN rodeo at the Henderson County Fairgrounds. And, check out the monthly events at one of the four area wineries and local brewery. Plus, take part in the Athens Eggfest at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center, where Big Green Egg fans from all over the country engage in a BBQ competition like no other!