Traveler photographer Bob Krist recently paid a visit to Paris… Paris, Texas that is. Here, he shares some of the charms of the city on the far, far, left bank of the Seine.
It may not be the City of Light, but the world’s second biggest Paris, in northeast Texas, is “worth a sidetrip” (as the Michelin Guides would say). You’ll know you’re in the right place when you see the Texas-style Eiffel Tower, 65 feet high and crowned with a big red cowboy hat. It’s no longer the second largest Eiffel Tower (darn you, Las Vegas!), but it’s the only one in the world with a hat.
Check out Bob’s picks after the jump…
For some French style pastry and superb sandwiches, stop by the Paris
Bakery, where owner Kit Lindsey makes everything from scratch…simply
the best coffee and croissant for miles around.
An afternoon winetasting at the Paris Vineyard
winery in the main square of town will yield some very nice surprises
as the local vintages are very respectable. Manager Matt McCormick can
guide you through the reds and whites in the Tuscan-inspired tasting
For museum buffs, Paris has two offerings. The Lamar County Historical Society Museum
features a wealth of displays of local history, including an entire log
cabin, preserved and reassembled in its entirety, as well as tools and
implements from the era.
The privately owned William and Elizabeth Hayden Museum of American Art
has no less than five galleries boasting a world-class collection of
originals from artists like Winslow Homer, John Singer Sargeant, Thomas
Hart Benton, Grant Wood, and a host of others. The museum traces the
progression of American art from the pre-Revolutionary times to the
present in a number of mediums.
Civil War buffs will enjoy the lovingly preserved Samuel Bell Maxey house. About to embark on a major restoration project of the exterior, the
Maxey House presents furnished rooms staffed with knowledgeable docents
who bring Civil War-era Paris to life with colorful anecdotes. Don’t
miss the historic Evergreen Cemetery, which includes the “Jesus in
Cowboy Boots” memorial on the Babcock family site. The story behind the
sculpture is a hoot.
And for a taste of what you can’t get in the other Paris, but you can get here, stop in on Tuesdays or Saturdays at the High Strung Bluegrass Band building on Hearne Avenue for some down-home pickin’ and singin’ and tasty fried fruit pies.
finally, be careful driving to your next stop in Texas. As I was
heading south towards San Antonio, I got pulled over and ticketed for
speeding in, I kid you not, Italy, Texas!
Photo Slideshow: Bob Krist