The House of the Seasons, one the many fine lodging experiences in Jefferson, Texas
It is located on U.S. Highway 59 and Texas Highway 49. The Jefferson Zip Code is 75657, and its Area Code is 903. Its population in 2020 is about 2,000 residents.
Jefferson became a port of entry into the Republic of Texas and then the State of Texas. It was a major shipping port for agricultural products, especially cotton. Obstructions were removed from Big Cypress Bayou in 1845, allowing steamboats to reach Jefferson from New Orleans. Jefferson’s "Golden Era" as a steamboat port lasted from 1845 until 1875.
Attractions and Things to Do in Jefferson
Today, Jefferson is a tourism center, with popular attractions including Jay Gould's railroad car, the Jefferson Historical Society Museum, Sterne Fountain, the Jefferson Carnegie Library, Excelsior House, and the bayous formed by Big Cypress Bayou located in and around the city.
A trip to Jefferson is a journey back through time to a bustling 19th century riverport. Jefferson is a great locale with antique shops lining the original brick streets, horse-drawn carriage tours, and boat trips down the bayous and around Caddo Lake.
The Christmas season is Jefferson is full of events, such as the Christmas parade, Jefferson Candlelight Tour of Homes, Nauty & Nice Pub Crawl, the Christmas B&B Crawl, and Wassail Walk.
||Things to Do in Jefferson
Traveler reviews and photos at TripAdvisor
This pre-Civil War town with its scenic streets, charming restaurants, quaint bed & breakfasts, and picturesque landscapes is the perfect setting for weekend getaways, weddings or other trips and events.
Made in the Shade in Jefferson
Experience the Historic Jefferson Railway, home tours, Christmas parade and festivities, the Jefferson Historical Museum, flea markets, and rummage sales.
Shopping is always a popular event in Jefferson! Visit local boutiques like Made in the Shade at 118 E. Henderson Street, and the nearby Art on the Bayou Gallery.
Boat Tours on Area Waters
On nearby Caddo Lake, ride Captain Ron's tour boat into the nearby swamps and paddle the kayak and canoe trails at Caddo Lake State Park.
Another popular water adventure is Turning Basin Riverboat Tours. The bayou tour takes about one hour and is mostly a narration concerning the history of Jefferson in regard to the steamboat business from here to New Orleans, information about area trees, plants and wildlife along the bayou and whatever other subjects that may pop up. The tours do not stick to a prepared script or recite a memorized speech. Each tour guide does his or her own research and puts together their own style of guiding.
The old stone Texaco gas station in Jefferson Texas (staff photo)
Hotel and B&B Information for Jefferson
Visitors to Jefferson can choose between a wide variety of excellent B&Bs and other lodging. Jefferson offers hotels and bed & breakfasts, including those listed and reviewed below at TripAdvisor.
Vacation Home Rentals in Jefferson
Dining and Restaurants in Jefferson
Those visiting and touring the Jefferson area have a wide choice of dining experiences, from Auntie Skinner's Riverboat Club to the Austin Street Bistro, from Don Juane's Mexican Restaurant to many others. The options are plentiful!
Scenes Around Jefferson
Jefferson Historical Society Museum
The museum building was constructed in 1888 - 1890 as a Federal Courthouse and Post Office, remaining in use until 1961. It was purchased by the Jefferson Historical Society in 1965 to be the permanent home of the museum.
The museum was formed for historical and literary purposes, including the discovery, collection and preservation of books, pamphlets, maps, genealogies, portraits, paintings, relics, manuscripts, letters, journals, and and all articles and materials which pertain and relate to the history of Jefferson and Marion County, Texas.
The museum is a great place to begin your visit to Jefferson and learn more about the history of this fascinating city. It is located at 223 West Austin Street in Jefferson. Phone 903.665.2775, or
|Mural in downtown Jefferson Texas
... "The Golden Era" (staff photo)
|Uncertain Texas ... close to Jefferson TX
and Caddo Lake (staff photo)
Captain Ron's Swamp Tours
Take a tour on a 28-foot pontoon boat for an entertaining tour of Caddo Lake’s unique and diverse ecosystem. The covered boat seats up to 16 people comfortably.
Enjoy some good humor, history, and wildlife in one of the largest water forests in the world!
Spanish Moss along Government Ditch in the Caddo Lake area
Jefferson General StoreThe popular Jefferson General Store at 113 E. Austin Street, downtown ... don't miss it!
Jay Gould's Railroad Car
Jay Gould's special train car "The Atalanta" is on display in Jefferson on Austin Street across from the Excelsior House Hotel. The private 88-foot parlor car has a luxurious interior with four staterooms, lounge, dining room, kitchen, butler's pantry and bathroom.
Caddo Lake is a 25,400 acres lake and wetland on the border between Texas and Louisiana, in northern Harrison County and southern Marion County in Texas and western Caddo Parish in Louisiana.
Some of the cypress trees in the swamp are more than 400 years old.
The average depth of the lake is 8 to 10 feet, with the deep water in the bayou averaging about 20 feet. The lake contains 71 species of fish, and it is especially good for crappie and largemouth and white bass.
The denseness of the swamp creates an inviting maze for paddlers in kayaks and canoes. On the Texas side, at Caddo Lake State Park, there are 10 kayak/canoe trails, with names like Hell's Half Acre, Cathedral Trail, Old Folks Playground and Turtle Shell Trail. The trails are marked, and maps are provided.
For more information on the park, located at 245 Park Road 2, Karnack, TX, phone 903.679.3351
Lake O' the Pines
Lake O' the Pines is located on Big Cypress Creek in the Cypress River Basin, west of Jefferson, and 25 miles northeast of Longview in Marion, Morris, Upshur, and Camp counties. It has a surface area of 16,919 acres, and a maximum depth of 49.5 feet. The lake was impounded in 1956.
This lake's diverse fish community offers many angling opportunities. White bass are native to the Cypress River Basin; the population is abundant and contains many legal-size fishes. Crappie, also popular with anglers, are quite abundant with large proportions of legal-size fish available.
Interactive Map of Jefferson
Map Showing the Location of Jefferson in Upper East Texas
More Jefferson Information
Other East Texas Attractions and Things to Do
Texas state line concrete marker near Waskom
While visiting the Jefferson area, you may want to take other interesting day trips in several directions around East Texas:
- Gladewater - antique capitol of East Texas, Gusher Days, Roundup Rodeo, Helen Lee Daffodil Gardens
- Caddo Lake State Park
- Gilmer - East Texas Yamboree, Historic Upshur Museum, Lake Gilmer
- Kilgore - home of the East Texas Oil Museum and Kilgore College
- Longview - Gregg County Fair & Exposition, Longview Museum of Fine Arts, R.G. LeTourneau Museum, Great Texas Balloon Race, historic buildings, shopping, restaurants
- Marshall - Michelson Museum of Art, Starr Family home State Historic Park, Harrison County Historical Museum, The Weisman, Ginocchio Hotel, T&P Railroad Museum, Christmas Wonderland of Lights
- Carthage - Texas Country Music Hall of Fame, East Texas Oil & Gas Blast, Piney Woods Quilt Festival Rode Jamboree
- Henderson - Heritage Syrup Festival, Howard Dickinson House Museum, Depot Museum, antique shopping, Historic Downtown Square
- Canton - First Monday Trade Days, Texas Horse Park, Splash Kingdom Water Park
- Tyler - Municipal Rose Garden, Azalea Trails in the spring, Texas Rose Festival, TJC Planetarium, Caldwell Zoo, Tyler Museum of Art, Lake Tyler, Rose Rudman Recreational Trail, Cotton Belt Depot, Goodman-LeGrand House