Athens, TX

Who needs to travel to Greece when you’ve got a Texas version right here.  While Athens, TX may not have 7,000 years of history and the Acropolis, there is way more to do in this East Texas town than you might think. To download this episode or purchase it on DVD – please CLICK HERE.

To learn about the history of Athens start on the Henderson County square at the Henderson County Historical Museum.  You’ll see flags from the civil war, gentlemanly mugs with guards to protect your mustache, and details about how Athens became the “Black-eyed Pea Capital of the World.”  You’ll also learn how an Athens native named “Old Dave” and/or “Uncle Fletcher” invented a little thing we call the hamburger.  Yes!  Right here in Athens.

When your stomach starts growling, head over for a hamburger of your own at the Railway Cafe.  Whether you’re eating the burgers, pasta, crab cakes, or daily special, this modern and casual restaurant has some of the best food I’ve found in Texas.  The pimento cheese bacon burger is knock-your-socks-off amazing.  For the best pizza in town (and possible East Texas) head over to Rounder’s Pizza.  I recommend the “Hornet” with pepperoni, burger, bacon, and “bud-burner” wing sauce putting a little kick in each slice.

The town biggest attraction is definitely the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center.  This is the primary place where Texas Parks and Wildlife raises many of the fish to repopulate our Texas lakes and rivers.  They give a really great tour and have tons of freshwater tanks filled with everything from alligators to catfish.  Don’t miss the SCUBA show where an underwater divers feeds and talks about our native fish.  You can also get a tour of the “Sharelunker” program aimed at raising the biggest large-mouth bass our state can stock.

If you’re looking to get into the water, then just a few blocks from the square is the Athens SCUBA park.  This Mediterranean-blue lake is full of sunken planes, boats, and obstacles that make it one heck of a fun place to dive.  You’ll love it.  They have gear rental on site, and can even get you certified if you aren’t.

Finally for a high-flying, thrilling adventure, head to nearby New York, Texas for a zip line adventure with NY TX Zipline Adventures.  You’ll be amazed at this hidden mountain range in East Texas and feel free as a bird flying through the pines.  I’ve zipped a lot in Texas, and this one is truly unlike any others.