Visit East TX

Two people fishing on a boat and lake with fog and trees

High school football brings local communities together in the East Texas region. Along with rooting for the home team, residents enjoy fishing, hunting, golfing, rodeos (the official state sport), and country music.

Geography & Economy

The East Texas region is characterized by a humid subtropical climate. It receives an annual rainfall of 40”-52” (per the National Climate Control Center). The region is made up of a thick forest of pines and is often referred to as Pineywoods. The area farthest south is often called Big Thicket. It is mostly low-lying wetlands where swamps are common. 
Common Vegetation includes pine, oak, and other hardwood forests. 

The economy of the region includes a mixture of petroleum and coal products manufacturing, basic chemical manufacturing, logging, timber tract operations, sawmills, wood preservation, pulp paper and paperboard mills in the Southeast region and animal production, animal slaughtering and processing, poultry and egg production, motor vehicle body and trailer manufacturing and railroad rolling stock manufacturing in the Upper East region.


The East Texas region is home to opossums, squirrels, eastern cottontail rabbits, bobcats, common gray foxes, ringtails, white-tailed deer, and over 100 species of birds. White-tailed deer, alligators, and waterfowl are popular game animals for hunting in East Texas. All counties in Texas have an alligator season. 

Texas is home to 105 species and subspecies of snakes, of which 15 can be dangerous to humans. These include pit vipers (copperheads, cottonmouths, rattlesnakes) and North American cobras (coral snakes). Cottonmouths are found in the eastern half of the state in swamps, rivers, ponds, streams, and other bodies of water. Timber rattlesnakes can be found in wooded areas and wet bottomlands. Coral snakes are found in the southeastern half of Texas. 

Culture & History 

East Texas is often considered the westernmost part of the Deep South region of the United States. Pineywoods has historically been considered a cultural boundary between East Texas and the rest of the state. It would be called the Pine Curtain when spoken of in this manner. 

While ranching is part of East Texas culture, the population tends to identify more closely with its roots in smaller-scale farming. 

High school football is a big part of the cultural landscape of East Texas, as is country music. The Texas Country Music Hall of Fame is located in Panola County. Residents enjoy live music at a wide range of venues, country fairs, and festivals throughout the region. This is the birthplace of the Texas blues! 

Aerial view of East Texas landscape

Counties & Cities 

The 38 counties of the East Texas region recognized by are divided into two groups: The Upper East region and the Southeast region. The 23 counties of the Upper East region are: Anderson, Bowie, Camp, Cass, Cherokee, Delta, Franklin, Gregg, Harrison, Henderson, Hopkins, Lamar, Marion, Morris, Panola, Rains, Red River, Rusk, Smith, Titus, Upshur, Van Zandt, and Wood. 

The 15 counties of the Southeast region are: Angelina, Hardin, Houston, Jasper, Jefferson, Nacogdoches, Newton, Orange, Polk, Sabine, San Augustine, San Jacinto, Shelby, Trinity, and Tyler. 
The Southeast region city of Nacogdoches grew from the oldest town in Texas. It was founded in 1779. The city is home to the August Tubbe Plantation, a family-owned homestead established in 1859. 

The Upper East region economic center is located in Smith County: The City of Tyler. It is the largest city in the Upper East region. It had a population of 105,995 in 2020. 

Ranch Living 

One of the best ways to experience a little bit of ranch living is to take a vacation on a working ranch. Although the recreational amenities of a “dude ranch” or “guest ranch” are considerable, these ranches will also give visitors the opportunity to work alongside the cowboys, cowgirls, and ranch hands of the operation. Don’t forget to tip the cowhands for all the hard work they taught you to do (average tipping is 12%-20% before taxes and fees).

Find Ranches in East Texas

Interested in moving to the East Texas region, or just want to learn more about the area? Our agents with West and Swope Ranches are experts in the local East Texas real estate market and are ready to help you find the land, ranch, or farm property to meet your needs.

Contact us online or call 844-888-3384 to start your search for East Texas ranches and land today. To learn more about ranch living in Texas, you can find local information and real estate news on our blog or discover more with our Coordinates Land Magazine.


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