On the Road
Strike it rich with Kilgore's nostalgic charm and heaps of history
Once upon a time, there stood the greatest concentration of oil wells in all the world and they called it the World’s Richest Acre.
These derricks, located in little more than a city block of downtown Kilgore, were discovered by chance in the 1930s and produced more than 2.5 million barrels of black gold during their heyday.
You can still see the 37 oil derricks that dot the sky as well as the historic town’s preserved Art Deco buildings, brick walkways, and more when you visit this tiny-but-mighty destination that’s two hours east of Dallas.
Here are 10 more reasons to have a summer weekend in Kilgore.
1. Jack Ryan’s
For an upscale dinner with drinks and a view, Jack Ryan’s has your order covered. Owners, executive chefs, and brothers Brad and Wes Ebey are both classically trained and have cut their culinary teeth at luxe spots like the Four Seasons, The Adolphus, and more.
Now, they serve up sophisticated takes on steak, chops, and seafood, adding their own unique and flavorful spin.
2. East Texas Oil Museum
This fascinating museum at Kilgore College recreates the oil rush of the early 1930s. Journey through a full-scale recreation of stores, people, animals, and machinery, all depicting the lively activity of "Boomtown."
3. Meadowbook Golf Course
Situated among the Piney Woods, this course is a picturesque yet challenging nine holes where you’ll also find a driving range, putting green, golf carts, and swimming pool.
4. BigHead Creek Mountain Bike Trail
Take your biking adventure to Kilgore and discover a scenic escape into the Piney Woods of East Texas. This shaded mountain bike trail is filled with thrills and stunning mature trees that are perfect for Instagram.
5. DeRigueur of Kilgore
Enjoy the ultimate shopping experience in Historic Downtown Kilgore at De Rigueur. This popular boutique features unique and stylish women’s apparel, shoes, and accessories. Owner and well-known Texas stylist Still Collum completes your curated shopping experience here.
6. Texas Broadcast Museum
Experience the evolution of broadcasting and communications through the 20th century at this Historic Downtown Kilgore museum, which showcases vintage equipment, broadcast studios, and lots of fun retro phones and radios.
7. Rangerette Showcase and Museum
The first group of its kind in the world, the Rangerettes brought "show business" to the football gridiron and first took to the field during the 1940 football season, pioneering the concept of dancing drill teams that are now seen across the nation.
The Rangerettes' storied history is celebrated at this museum, which features props, costumes, and thousands of photographs and newspaper clippings.
8. Country Tavern
The barbecue ribs here have been legendary for decades — they've been serving them since 1938. The special sauce gives the hickory-smoked meats a sweet East Texas edge, paired with sides that are just as delicious.
9. Kilgore Mercantile and Music
The real treat in this historic downtown shop is its ice cream parlor, where they scoop out 33 flavors along with old-fashioned fountain faves like shakes, malts, and splits.
10. Kilgore Cruise Night
On the last Saturday of every month, classic cars, trucks, bikes, and more all come out to play downtown. In addition to the cruising, you can enjoy music, food, contests, door prizes, and more.
Add more places to your list and plan your weekend at Visit Kilgore.