This Summer, pull yourself away from Netflix and try doing something out of the ordinary. Downtown Longview is super walkable and that makes it easy for anyone to explore a museum, see beautiful pieces of art, dine at a new cafe or check out some of our local historical sites. We made a quick list of some of our favorite fun things to do in Downtown.
1. Sip a lavender latte at Silver Grizzly Espresso
When the owners of downtown’s newest coffee shop were looking for a name for their business, they wanted a word that would evoke beauty, grandeur and the rarity of encountering something majestic. They settled on an iconic image of a lone Grizzly bear which now graces the exterior of their historic Tyler Street building. Inside, concrete floors are met with exposed brick walls. Beautiful wood accents are scattered throughout the mostly open interior. The Silver Grizzly baristas work hard at their pouring skills and serve up a latte with the best rosettas in the area. Their coffees are unparalleled and that means serving fresh, well-extracted espresso, and smooth, silky microfoam on the steamed drinks.
2. Step into a real bank vault at the Gregg County Historical Museum
Explore a wide range of local artifacts, including archaeological relics, displayed in a historic bank on the corner of Fredonia Street and East Bank Alley. Discover the fascinating story of the bank robbery that happened here in 1894 when famed outlaw, Bill Dalton, and three gang members rode into town to rob the First National Bank. This popular museum has received visitors from all 50 states and 36 foreign countries!
3. Have a picnic on the lawn of the Gregg County Courthouse
Dining-in is underrated so grab a to-go container of delicious eats at Lil Thai House, Cace’s Kitchen or Hick and Frog. Head to the plush South Lawn of the Courthouse and spread your blanket under the shade of a huge Live Oak tree. After the fun of dining alfresco, take in the stories from the three historical markers that are nearby. The beautiful blooms from the Crepe Myrtle trees and Azaleias are an added bonus.
4. Read a book or meditate at the new Sculpture Garden at Pelaia Plaza
In today’s busy, fast-paced world, catching a moment of quiet reflection is priceless. Grab the paperback that’s been on your reading list forever and head to a picturesque setting that invites quiet contemplation. This simple garden has existed at the northwest corner of Tyler and Fredonia streets since 2006, but recently it has been renovated with a modern art entrance and updated landscaping throughout. The zen that you experience on your visit will carry you peacefully throughout the rest of your day.
5. Shop for local treasures at Heartisans Marketplace
Gift-giving has never been more fun after discovering this special store on Methvin Street. At Heartisans, hand-crafted consumer products are produced in-house by skilled volunteers and program participants and sold in various venues. Profits generated provide the training and employment opportunities for program participants. Inside, you can learn to run an 1885 Chandler & Price letterpress printer. You will be introduced to all the working parts and the art of printing as you help create custom coasters and more.
6. Become a kid again at the Longview World of Wonders
Do you dream of developing the next great invention? Longview WOW is the place for you. Collaborate with friends or work solo to take a concept and make it reality through trial and error. With a thrilling collection of components at your disposal plus your imagination, create and explore the unlimited possibilities of this fun Tyler Street museum. Want to experience the fun without the crowds? Reserve the museum for a designated time for your own private soiree.
7. Sample a local brew at Oil Horse Brewing Company
In 1877 there was a tragic Longview fire that destroyed most of downtown, including the courthouse. One of the few structures to remain standing was the building that now houses Oil Horse Brewing. In honor of that dramatic year, the owners of the microbrewery named their Irish Red simply “1877”. Located on Tyler Street, this crowd-pleasing business opens its heavy iron doors every night of the week except Sunday and Monday.