Northeast Texas

Tall pine forests in Texas? Yep. This region northeast of Houston and east of Dallas is so filled with mixed hardwood and conifer forests, in fact, that it is known as the 'Piney Woods.' And that's not all that's a bit of a surprise in this part of the state. The Northeast was the area in Texas most attached to the ways of the Old South, and subsequently affected by the Civil War. You'll find a traditional Southern influence in accents, antebellum architecture and Southern food here.

Though lacking in jaw-dropping superlatives, the gently rolling wooded terrain provides plenty of low-key thrills for nature lovers, especially around Caddo Lake. Pretty, small towns, such as Kilgore and Nacogdoches, are enough to beguile any visitor with their classic central squares and stately brick buildings. Jefferson was once a riverboat town, and is undeniably still the biggest draw in the area.