Get crackin’ and plan your visit to Seguin, Texas. While the city of just more than 30,000 people might be best known for being home of the world’s largest pecan, it has a lot more to offer visitors. From its founding in 1838 by 33 Texas Rangers, Seguin’s legacy keeps growing with new attractions like the world’s only wooden shuttle roller coaster and the preserved historic downtown district linking visitors to the days of old.
Visitors today can shoot down the lazy Guadalupe River on inner tubes. Recreationists also can flock to Max Starcke Park to kayak on the four-mile Lake Seguin Paddling Trail, take on the surf at the Max Starke Park Wave Pool or sink a knee-knocking three footer at the 18-hole championship golf course along the river beneath the pecan trees.
Nothing is gentle about the ZDT Amusement Park, an indoor-outdoor thrill ride extravaganza covering the gamut of adrenaline rushes to your system. Incorporated into a former agricultural and grocery center, the Silo Climb is an example of innovative storage climbing wall design, and the layout makes for one of the most interesting theme parks in the world. The best perspective to check out the architectural uniqueness is the custom-made Switchback roller coaster. The world’s first wooden shuttle roller coaster, Switchback snakes through the historical buildings before reaching the Grand Spike, a section of angled track at 87 degrees—a record!
Set your own pace when visiting some of Seguin’s other historically significant structures. Among the oldest towns in all of Texas and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Seguin is filled with significant buildings, beginning with the structures that line the Downtown Historic District. See a variety of building styles across several eras. Unlike most cities across America, Seguin thrived during the Depression Era. The city’s infrastructure actually grew during the 1930s, when the art deco façades were constructed along Austin Street and the art deco fountain was installed in Central Park on the Square.
History buffs can continue to Heritage Village to view the 1910 Victorian Dietz Doll House; the two-room Campbell-Hoermann Log Cabin, once home to 23 Campbell family members; Calaboose, a mobile jailhouse used to convey prisoners to their work detail and the 160-year-old Methodist church, the oldest Protestant church in Texas. Follow your walking tour with a visit to the Seguin Heritage Museum to learn about Seguin and Guadalupe County’s deep multi-ethnic cultural history.
There’s no way to study the modern history of Seguin without admiring the pecan, and it’s almost impossible to study the pecan without a nutcracker. The very word pecan is taken from an Algonquian word for various nuts that require a stone to crack. The Pape Pecan House and Nutcracker Museum takes the marriage of nut and cracker even further, displaying more than 8,000 nutcrackers, the largest collection in the world! Impressively, the museum remains active in the pecan harvesting industry by filling in the cracks about the area’s agricultural legacy. Not surprisingly, Seguin is also home to the World’s Largest Pecan, well two of them. The original sits on the Courthouse lawn, and after losing the title to a city in Missouri, Seguin built an even larger pecan that can be found at the Texas Agricultural Education and Heritage Center along with the Pecan Museum.
Seguin’s is preparing for a busy spring and summer with numerous festivals. The season begins in April with Moonlight & Roses, an evening of free jazz music (and free local food!) in the park. The Earth Day Festival and Trade Days has grown into a major regional arts, crafts and food fair. The music really kicks in Sunday evenings during June’s Central Park Concert Series. Of course, given its status in Texas independence, Seguin takes America’s Independence Day seriously. The four-day celebration begins with the Freedom Fiesta and Freedom Fireworks at Central Park and Max Starcke Park, respectively. The annual “Biggest Small Town 4th of July Parade in Texas” kicks off at 10:00 a.m. on the 4th of July with over 150 floats. And don’t forget the City of Seguin’s birthday party on August 11 featuring homemade ice cream.
Pick your weekend, and get crackin’ on planning your visit to Seguin. For more information, visit www.visitseguin.com.