I'm sitting on a bench in Coleman Park, watching three guys, a gal and a small boy fishing off a pier and I can't help but feel a bit envious. On this breezy, blue-sky afternoon, I'd rather be there, lakeside, casting a line, than writing a blog. And I do love writing this blog - but there's something about visiting Sulphur Springs that just makes you want to slow down, pop open a beer and relax.
Sulphur Springs is a beautiful town in Northeast Texas. When you're here, you're likely to bump elbows with many city-folk from nearby Dallas who come to escape the urban hustle and bustle and spend a relaxing day out on one of the four lakes surrounding the town. Or, they come to hike and explore some beautiful nature trails, spend a fun-filled day at one of the parks, and do some sight-seeing.
One of the things you must see in Sulphur Springs (and I mean, you "must see" it because you literally can't miss it!) is the Hopkins County Courthouse, located on the town square. Built in 1894 with pink granite, it's an architecturally-impressive sight. The grounds surrounding the courthouse are absolutely beautiful, featuring stately statues, flags, and a lighted, interactive fountain in the shape of the Texas star.
And right across from this majestic, historic and very serious courthouse is probably the city's most quirky feature: the see-through public bathrooms! You can see out, but don't worry, no one can see in. Still, it feels a bit odd to "take care of business" while the world walks on by (read about my first adventure with these public toilets earlier this year: "A Room With A View".)
After your unique restroom experience (I mean, c’mon, you’re know going to go in and check it out even if you don’t have to go!), make sure you stop by the Veterans' Memorial, a moving tribute to the service men and women from Hopkins County who served in all wars. A really nice feature is the computer screen where you can look up a veteran and see his or her service history. The square is surrounded by a lively downtown area with interesting shops and boutiques, restaurants, cafes…something for everyone!
Another worthwhile stop is the Southwest Dairy Center and Museum, especially if you are traveling with children. The museum chronicles the history of dairy farming in our country, and has a bunch of interactive exhibits perfect for kids. One fascinating exhibit shows what life was like on a dairy farm before electricity...I honestly don’t know how they did it! There’s also an old-fashioned soda bar serving up delicious ice cream and light lunches, and a gift shop.
And then there's Coleman Park, where I'm sitting now. Beautifully landscaped, with small bridges and a waterfall, the park features many great trails for walking and jogging. There's a sports complex, a playground area, several of well-maintained ball fields, tennis courts and picnic areas near the 40-acre Lake Coleman with that fishing pier that's calling my name.
There are many other things to do in Sulphur Springs…but it’s also a perfect destination for those who don’t want to do anything!
Now...where can a guy borrow a fishing pole around here....?