The following is an adapted excerpt from Unexpected Texas,my fun travel guide to quirky, offbeat and overlooked places near Dallas and Fort Worth. Check it out if you are looking for fun road trips in north Texas. Also, for a *FREE* 50-page guide to ghost hunting groups and haunted history tours in north Texas, sign up for my infrequent-but-interesting newsletter by clicking here:
Why Take a Day Trip to Paris Texas?
While several Texan towns share names with European cities (London, Athens, and Dublin to name a few) what makes Paris so special is how the town plays up its French name, riffing on it like a jazz theme. As a result, Paris Texas makes a fun day trip!
Eiffel Tower Replica
Take, for example, the Eiffel Tower replica built in the early 90’s with volunteer parts and labor by a local factory, Babcock and Wilcox Co. Unlike other replicas around the USA, Paris chose to add a touch of “yee haw” to their “ooh-la-la” by topping their Eiffel Tower with a bright red cowboy hat.
At a height of 65 feet, the replica is pretty teeny compared to the original Eiffel Tower in that other Paris. Still, it’s much taller than anything nearby and is mighty photogenic, as you can see from my photos.
Despite several signs around town, the Eiffel Tower replica can be a little hard to find, so I’ve put the address in the trip summary at the end of this article.
Downtown Paris Texas: Antiques, Shopping and more
After taking some photos of the Eiffel Tower replica, set your GPS for downtown, and get ready to do some walking. The citizens of Paris have kept their little city in good shape.
A gorgeous marble fountain stands in the center of the historical downtown, creating a lovely centerpiece for all the Mom and Pop stores surrounding it.
Paris makes a good Texas day trip for antique lovers. Nearly every store downtown offers a free map listing at least 15 different antique shops within walking distance of town square.
There is also a year-round farmer’s market near downtown where you can enjoy what local growers have to offer. Sadly, the Paris Bakery was closed for vacation when I made my day trip, but I’ve seen photos of their fresh pastries and they look delicious. Next time!
Historic Neighborhoods and Architecture
Downtown Paris, Texas features older buildings with interesting details, such as gargoyles and mosaic tiles. Don’t miss the Lamar County Courthouse, a pink granite structure decorated with intricately carved columns, smug-faced lions and other striking details.
The Historic Neighborhood of Paris, Texas is worth driving through to check out all the lovely Victorian homes and wonderful old trees. One of these historic homes, the Sam Bell Maxey House was recently remodeled and is now open as a museum.
Jesus in Cowboy Boots
No day trip to Paris, Texas is complete without a visit to Evergreen Cemetery, where you can see a statue depicting Jesus wearing a pair of cowboy boots.
Tales abound regarding the Jesus in Cowboy Boots, which stands atop the grave of a fellow named Willet Babcock. Some say it isn’t even supposed to be Jesus, but an angel, instead.
Another rumor claims that the sculptor was bad at depicting feet, so he chose cowboy boots in order to avoid the anatomical challenge. To see more photos of this boot-clad Jesus, check out my post: Quirky Texas: Jesus in Cowboy Boots
Trail de Paris
The Trail de Paris is a well-maintained public path for walking, jogging and cycling. Not only is this lovely trail heavily-wooded, but the Valley of the Caddo Star Gazer’s Club recently created a scale model of the solar system along the way. As you can see from my photo, I made it all the way to Jupiter.
“Huge” Campbell Soup Can
While researching this Texas day trip, I heard about an allegedly “huge” can of tomato soup on display in Paris. While it’s true that the entrance sign for the local Campbell’s Soup factory does feature a big can of soup, I wouldn’t quite call it huge. Still, it is worthy of a drive-by photo, especially if you are an Andy Warhol fan.
Plan your trip to Paris, Texas
Here’s a summary of addresses for the top attractions in Paris, Texas for you to use when planning your visit:
Eiffel Tower Replica: Located at Love Civic Center (2025 South Collegiate Drive, Paris, TX 75460.)
Historic Downtown Paris: The town square, featuring Culbertson Fountain, is directly across from the Paris Texas Chamber of Commerce (8 West Plaza, Paris, TX 75460.)
Evergreen Cemetery: To see the Jesus in Cowboy Boots statue, wander through the older section of the Evergreen Cemetery (560 Evergreen St, Paris, TX 75460) until you see the grave marker for Willet Babcock.
Trail de Paris: There are six trailheads, but the one at Noyes Stadium (1245 24th Street, Paris, TX 75460) has an actual address.
Sam Bell Maxey House: 812 South Church Street, Paris, TX 75460
Campbell Soup Can: You can view this at the entrance to the factory at 500 NW Loop 286 Paris, TX 75460
Paris Farmers Market:: The Paris Farmers Market (410 S.W. First Street Paris, TX 75460) is open daily from 7:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.
Paris Bakery:: 120 North Main Street, Paris, TX 75460
Please note: While all the above information is accurate as of this writing, please be aware that it is subject to change.
Want to read more?
To read about more weird, offbeat, and overlooked places, check out my best selling travel guide: Unexpected Texas.
For ghost hunting hot spots, check out my best selling travel guide to haunted places: Paranormal Texas.
For a strange-but-true tale of Texas history, check out: The Lynching of the Santa Claus Bank Robber. Happy travels!
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