Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

Living

March 11, 2013

BREAK time

Spring Break doesn’t have to break the bank with amazing area attractions

CHEROKEE COUNTY — Hundreds of students from Cherokee County schools – public, private and college – will be observing Spring Break the week of March 11, possibly looking for ways to bide their time that don't necessarily cost a whole lot of money or involve huge amounts of travel time.

Fortunately, there are large number of free to little cost places to visit, all within short driving distance.

Like history? There are a slew of places to visit, including historic sites and museums, such as:

Caddoan Mounds State Historic Site

While the Caddoan Mounds museum is closed through the end of the year due to renovation and expansion, the mound site and grounds (at 1649 Texas Highway 21, west of Alto) are open for self-guided tours. The site is home to three earthen mounds, part of a Caddo Indian village and ceremonial center that overlook the Neches River, established more than 1,200 years, according to the website www.visitcaddomounds.com. For more information, contact the museum office at 936-858-3218.

Jim Hogg Historic Site

Operated by the City of Rusk, this historic site features a scale replica of the birthplace and house of Texas’ first native-born governor. Attractions also include a museum and replica of the family cemetery. The park is day-use only, and includes an interpretive trail and picnic area. Located off U.S. Highway 84 two miles east of Rusk, the Jim Hogg Historic Site is open Friday through Sunday.

The Texas State Railroad

Established in 1881, the train travels through the East Texas Pineywoods on a 25-mile route between Rusk and Palestine. During the two weeks of Spring Break, from March 12-15 and March 19-22, special weekday runs will be offered. Standard fare tickets vary in cost from $20 for a child under age 12 to $32 for passengers over age 13; premium seating rates are higher, as is an engine cab ride. Season passes also are available. For more information, call 903-683-2561, or visit the website www.texasstaterr.com.

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