Trendy Outlook
Trendy Outlook



25 Best Things to Do in Lufkin

Steve Jennifer
Updated: April 24th 2023



The historical city of Lufkin was founded in 1884 and is well known for its abundant natural surroundings which include dense forests that stretch for miles, parks, and open spaces as well as for being the center of arts and culture in Texas.

At first sight, the town may seem unassuming to you but get ready to be pleasantly surprised by it especially if you are a history nerd or want to enjoy recreational activities. The town and its community will give you a warm welcome and their southern charm will you’re your trip worthwhile.


01. Angelina National Forest

Lufkin is known for its rich natural resources and forests, and Angelina National Forest is one of them. Spreading over 153,180 acres of land, this beautiful forest is rich in plants and wildlife. One interesting fact about the forest is that it has been proved to be around since 8000 years and you can see traces of human existence here ever since.

You will also be able to enjoy exploring its vast wildlife on its numerous hiking trails and camping, boating, fishing and canoeing in the area. You can call beforehand to check on the current hours and any closures due to weather.


02. Sam Rayburn Reservoir

The reservoir is located in the center of the Angelina National Forest, covering over 114,000 acres. It is the largest manmade lake in the entire State and is a very popular attraction among locals and tourists alike where you can indulge in activities like camping, fishing, boating, hunting and even skiing depending on the season.

The reservoir also boats of rich flora and fauna and is one of the most beautiful and picturesque places in Lufkin. Call before going to know about timings and seasonal closures.


03. Davy Crockett National Forest

The national forest covers over 160,000 acres of land covered in wilderness, hills, streams and recreational areas. If you want to enjoy hiking, this is the perfect destination for you. You can also have a picnic and go camping and kayaking here.

The area is rich in flora and fauna and if you are feeling quite adventurous, you can also go exploring the wildlife and hunting for permitted animals like deer, turkey, waterfowl etc. Besides that, hiking in the forest will bring you across a few rare species as well. Visit the forest between 8 am and 4.30 pm from Monday to Friday.


04. Kurth Lake

If you want to escape the city and spend some time in isolated and beautiful surroundings, the Kurth Lake is the perfect place for you. Located six miles north of the city, it is a 726 acre reservoir.

The lake is home to many freshwater fish and you can spend up to three days near the lake fishing, boating, canoeing, hiking and enjoying the beautiful scenery around you. The lake remains open to public but make sure to get a city issued fishing permit.


05. Pines Theater

Pines Theatre is an important historical landmark in Lufkin and has been around since 1925. With a seating capacity of over 400 people, it is popular among residents and tourists alike who come here to watch classic movies, dance recitals, live music concerts and theatre plays.

Check their online calendar for the upcoming shows and plan accordingly so that you do not miss out on catching a show at this iconic cultural center.


06. Kit McConnico Park

If you want to spend some time surrounded by nature and away from the crowds, you will feel right at home at Kit McConnico Park. It has walking trails that take you over wooden bridges, creeks and isolated spots, mountain bike trails, picnic areas, a soccer field, a softball field and a playground.

It has something for everyone so that you can be socially active and adventurous or just relax on your own and spend some quiet time with a book, however you want. The park stays open from 5 am to 10 pm all week.


07. Texas Forestry Museum

Visit the Forestry Museum and learn about the rich history of forestry in the area as well as see the exhibits like old equipment, machinery, photographs etc to satisfy your curiosity about the rich forests located here.

Visit between 10 am and 5 pm from Monday to Saturday and explore the galleries, outdoor trails and understand the past as well as the future of the forests including the steps being taken to preserve the forests and the natural resources they provide. You can also take kids along so they can play dress up and learn how to use a sawmill in Timber Town as well as participate in other interactive exhibits.


08. Absolutely Fiction Books

If you are a book lover, do not miss out on this haven for readers. It is an independent bookstore with a friendly and welcoming ambiance. Explore the vast collection of books here including genres like classics, fiction, non-fiction, literary fiction, history, travel and so many more. Along with that, they also have a gaming section where you can try out and purchase from.

Don’t leave without treating yourself to a book. The bookstore opens between 9.30 am and 5 pm from Tuesday to Thursday, between 9.30 am and 10 pm on Friday and Saturday, and between 12 and 9 pm on Sundays.


09. Ellen Trout Zoo

The zoo was founded in 1967 and a place where you can see many rare wildlife species considering the zoo is home to more than 800 animals from all over the world.

Located at Ellen Trout Park, the zoo is covered in natural forests and houses lions, toucans, pink flamingos, snakes and so many other animals. Visit the zoo any day between 9 am and 5 pm and interact with various animals and you won't leave without a smile on your face.


10. Museum Of East Texas

Museum of East Texas once used to be an Episcopal church, but now you will be able to enjoy looking at various artworks including paintings and sculptures done by artists from different backgrounds and skill levels.

Along with that, you will also get to see items with historical and cultural significance like historical artifacts, equipment or furniture used by people from earlier ages etc. you might even catch a live concert held often at the museum if you are lucky. The museum opens between 10 am and 5 pm from Tuesday to Friday, and between 1-5 pm on Saturday and Sunday.


11. Angelina County Farmers Market

Unlike other Farmers Markets, you will find this one open all week except on Sunday and here you will get fresh and local produce with seasonal fruits and vegetables, honey, plants, furniture, artworks and so many other thing produced by local businesses.

While you shop and explore around the market, you will also enjoy live music and shows. This is a great place to take in the local culture and become familiar with the community.


12. Crown Colony Country Club

If you think you are good at golf, try your golf skills at this tricky course known as one of the most challenging in the state. Surrounded by tall pines, rolling ground and the challenging terrain that will take all sense of ease out of you, this course will challenge even the most skillful players.

Besides golf, it also has a tennis court, and swimming and dining areas. Visit between 11 am and 8 pm from Tuesday to Sunday and test yourself on this course with the "toughest hole" and enjoy the peaceful scenery around you while playing.


13. Downtown Lufkin

You cannot go to Lufkin without visit the heart and soul of this place- the downtown. This historic area is the hub of the city where you can enjoy shopping in different stores as well as try delicious food and international cuisines at some of the best restaurants in the city. Walk around the area, and enjoy the energy of this place and shop and eat to your heart's content.


14. The History Center

If you are curious and interested in history, visit the history center where you will get acquainted with the history of the region, as well as the state of Texas. Their displays include manuscripts, photographs and maps that tell fascinating stories from the past. You can explore the various exhibits and archives between 8 am and 5 pm from Monday to Friday.


15. Heritage Antiques & Art Studios

What is a trip without souvenirs? In this unique store in Lufkin, you will find a remarkable collection of antiques. You will be surprised by the items you will be able to find here. They also have an art studio upstairs where they exhibit art as well as a cozy book nook where you can sit and look at their book collection.

Open from Monday to Saturday, between 10 am and 5 pm, the store is a great place to buy souvenirs for your friends and yourself to remember this trip to Lufkin.


16. Ratliff Lake

Lufkin is a recreational heaven where you can enjoy the outdoors immensely. One such place is the Ratliff Lake where you can go hiking, swimming, camping and fishing.

If you want to chill by the lake, you can simply bring a blanket, a book and some snacks and have yourself a picnic. End the day by catching a beautiful sunset over the lake.


17. Temple Theater

Catch a live show at the Temple Theatre where artists from the local Angelina College as well as the touring artists from around the country perform. The theatre seats around 891 people and hosts events related to dance, music and drama.

Have a fun evening and catch a live drama performed by immensely talented artists on the stage. Make sure to get the show and timing information from their website and plan accordingly.


18. Atkinson’s Candy Company

This company has been around since 1932 and here you can get good quality and very tasty candy made from simple and clean ingredients. Visit this place to satisfy your sweet tooth and enjoy delicious treats including candies like Chick O Stick, Peanut Butter Bars, Gemstones and Black Cow.

They also make special sweets for specific occasions which you can enjoy from their kitchen straight. Visit between 8.15 am and 4 pm from Monday to Friday and add some sugary delight to this trip.


19. Kiwanis Park

Spend a fun day with your family at this beautiful park. It is surrounded by trees, and has a gazebo, a pavilion, hiking trails, swings and slides for children, a playground, a basketball court, tennis court, football court and picnic areas where you can also have a barbecue.

In the park, you will be able to spend time a relaxing time outdoors playing sports, eating food or just lying around in the sun.


20. Ford Chapel Rv Park

This park is spread over 12 acres and is conveniently close to many popular tourist locations in Lufkin. With facilities like wifi, clean showers, a Laundromat and security cameras all around the property, it is a great place to stay or even visit.

The ambiance here is very peaceful and you can almost feel like you are living away from the city and in a farm, just enjoying life. They also have picnic areas if you want to take a break from sightseeing and just relax. The park remains open all week between 7 am and 10 pm.


21. Naranjo Museum of Natural History

The museum was founded by the Naranjo family and is great place to learn about the history of life along with documents, specimens, fossils and artifacts collected during the lifetime of Dr. Naranjo. If you are as fascinated by fossils as Dr. Ross Geller, check out the collection of specimens at this museum which includes bones from dinosaurs, other extinct animals, sea creatures and even early humans.

They also have a room dedicated to stones, jewelry and Confederacy money printed before the start of Civil War. Check out their exhibits between 10 am and 6 pm from Monday to Friday, between 10 am and 5 pm on Saturday, and between 1 and 6 pm on Sunday.


22. Pawsitive Animal Encounters, LLC

End this trip on a high note by visiting this private zoo and having sweet and intimate interactions with the animals here. You can meet animals like squirrel monkeys, pythons, bearded dragons, tortoises and so many others from all over the world, feed them as well as play with them in a safe environment.

You can also bring kids here, and spend some time with these kind souls here from Monday to Saturday between 9 am and 5 pm, and on Sundays between 1 to 5 pm.


23. Pine Valley Raceway

If you are car racing enthusiast, visiting one of the fastest ¼ racetrack in Texas is a must for you. Spend some thrilling time watching drag races, diesel races and even kids races during the season and take your friends and family along.

If you want to get on the racetrack yourself, you can take part in drag racing and have fun on the track. Check the schedules for the races beforehand.


24. Rose Cottage Resale

I think we can all agree that thrifting is the new cool- it is environment friendly, it is easy on the pocket and you will be surprised by what you can find in thrift stores.

If you are also someone who loves thrifting, visit this thrift store in Lufkin; they have a really amazing and high quality collection of clothes, furniture and some very unique stuff which you can get at very affordable prices. The shop opens between 10 and 5 pm from Monday to Friday and between 10 am and 4.30 pm on Saturday.


25. Sake Café

Do not miss out on a sushi night at this beautiful Japanese restaurant where you can enjoy classic Japanese dishes with a new twist. The food here is mouthwatering and the service is really great.

Here is an idea for you-set up a perfect date night here with your loved one and gorge on Japanese delicacies. The café opens between 11 am and 10 pm from Monday to Saturday.