Monday, January 30, 2012

Totally Texas -- Expedition to East Texas

Even if it’s not First Monday Trades Days, my family stops at the Dairy Palace in Canton on every expedition to East Texas. Located at the junction of I-20 and Highway 19, the Dairy Palace is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It offers more than hamburgers and serves shakes and cones made with a multiplicity of Blue Bell ice cream flavors. Take quarters so the kids can play video games while they wait (but not long) for their orders to get cooked. For a complete menu, see

This coming weekend, though, is the First Monday flea market in Canton. A quick review for anybody not from around here -- despite the name, the market runs Thursday through Sunday BEFORE the first Monday of each month. This month, that’s February 2-5. Crowds are lightest on Thursdays, with about seventy percent of vendors already in town by then, according to at least one site,

Canton is just off I-20, about an hour’s drive east from Dallas. You can reach it from exits off I-20 to Highway 64 or Highway 19, which is the main drag past the market. Vendors in most of the covered buildings take credit or debit cards, but bring cash for parking (most convenient sites start at $5) and for vendors in the open areas. I go with goals in mind, but keep my mind open for wonderful surprises.

For more information about Canton’s First Monday Trades Days, see my post of June 27, 2011. Fortunately, the discussion of dehydration is less likely to apply at this time of year.


Trades Days, however, are not all the near end of East Texas has to offer. I’ll blog more next week about the Second Saturday Art Trail in Ben Wheeler and Edom. But shops are open in both towns Thursday through Sunday, year round. (Usually 9-5, but hours can vary.) Take Highway 64 east from Canton to FM 279. (You’re nearly there when you see the billboard for Edom blueberries -- not ripe at this season, alas.)

In Ben Wheeler recently, the whimsical art at the Blue Moose and Flying Fish galleries, among others, caught my eye. In nearby Edom, make time between shopping for art and
antiques to pick up a pie from the Edom Bakery & Grill. The restaurant made County Line magazine’s Upper East Side of Texas Hall of Fame for its pies in an array of flavors. See


Gardeners will want to travel still further east on FM 279 to Blue Moon Gardens, or to FM 279’s eastern junction, rejoining Highway 64, all the way to Tyler. The grounds of Tyler’s Municipal Rose Garden, 420 Rose Park Drive, are open year round, from dawn to dusk. In winter, check out its camellia garden. The weather channel predicts possible showers in Tyler Friday and Saturday. But if the weather is fair, bring a picnic -- maybe a pie. See

No comments:

Post a Comment