Tyler Azalea Trail & Spring Flower Trail
A highlight of each spring season in East Texas is the 10-mile long Tyler Azalea Trail guiding visitors through neighborhoods of quaint brick streets, historic homes, and residential gardens filled with blooming azaleas, dogwoods and tulips.
History of Azaleas in Tyler
The first Azaleas were planted in Tyler in 1929 by Maurice Shamburger, in the Lindsey Lane area. Other neighbors soon followed, and the area became well known for its springtime beauty.
Over the years the word spread across East Texas and beyond about Tyler azaleas. In 1960, the first marked tour routes were established to help guide tourists.
The Azalea Trail Today
Today, over 100,000 people from all over the USA visit Tyler each spring to attend the Azalea Trail. Two marked routes exist today: the Lindsey Trail and the Dobbs Trail (see area map below).
2020 Tyler Azalea Trails
The 61st Annual Azalea & Spring Flower Trail will be held on March 20 - April 5, 2020, spanning three weekends.
The official ribbon cutting, and opening ceremony, is traditionally held at the home of Guy and Joan Pyron, 212 W. Dobbs Street, starts at 10:00am. The ceremony is always free and open to the public.
What to See Along the Azalea Trails
The trails also display a high concentration of white and pink Dogwoods, Redbud trees, Japanese Maples, and spring bulbs such as tulips and daffodils.
Featured along the trails is the Azalea National Historic District, established in 2003, and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It comprises about 950 homes built in the first half of the 20th century, with a large concentration of structures from the 1930s when the oil boom had a huge economic impact on Tyler.
While driving the trail is stunning, many visitors enjoy walking the area, especially the three adjacent homes between Lindsey and Dobbs: the Davis gardens at 902 S. College, the Pyron gardens at 212 W. Dobbs, and McGuire gardens at 922 S. College. These homes are part of Tyler's Heritage Neighborhood No. 1, marked by a plaque on S. College.
The two trails officially begin at the Tyler Convention & Visitors Bureau, at 315 N. Broadway, and travel south. A good starting point is the corner of Houston Street and South Broadway Avenue.
Markers designate the routes that meander through the area streets for motorists. Actually, you can begin anywhere along the routes and not be disappointed.
Parking is generously provided by the First Presbyterian Church, near the corner of Dobbs and South Broadway.
For a map of the trails, visit the website of the Tyler Convention & Visitors Bureau or their offices.
The Trail is nationally recognized, and has been the subject of articles in publications such as Southern Living and Texas Highways.
Bloom Reports and Trail Maps
For more information, printable trail maps, detailed calendar of events, and bloom reports, we recommend a visit to the website of the
2020 Tyler Azalea Trail Event Highlights
Many other events are usually planned in association with the tours such as:
- Rose City Artisans & Flower Market - on the grounds of the historic Goodman-LeGrand home, 624 N. Broadway Avenue. Open-air market with live entertainment, home-baked foods, handmade items, bedding plants, flowers and garden décor for sale.
The beautiful backyard gardens of Guy and Joan Pyron, 212 W. Dobbs
More than 80 vendors expected with handmade art, jewelry, wood crafts, metal, sewing, and much more. Entertainment both Saturday and Sunday. Free Admission. Kids Zone & concessions for a fee.
- Tyler Rose Garden - Open daily during the Azalea Trails. Free admission.
- Historic Tyler on Tour
- 1859 Goodman-LeGrand House & Museum - tours during the Azalea Trail, 624 N. Broadway Avenue
- Bonner-Whitaker-McClendon House Tours
- Annual Azalea Quilt Show - Harvey Convention Center. The show features over 200 quilts on display plus over 25 vendors, numerous demonstrations, an old-fashioned bed-turning, door prizes, scissor sharpening, silent auction, and a raffle quilt. Proceeds benefit local charities that serve women and children.
- The Tyler Azalea 10K and 5K run - Bergfeld Park, 1510 S. College.
- Apache Belle Spring Show - Wise Auditorium, Tyler Junior College.
- Spring Into Orchids Show - Rose Garden Center.
- and more ... visit the Tyler Convention & Visitors Bureau for more events, dates/times, and map
The Azalea Belles
The official greeters of the Azalea Trail are known as the Azalea Belles, young women from the local area who serve as Tyler ambassadors along the trails. The Belles, dressed in antebellum gowns, have an opportunity to promote Tyler, greet visitors and pose for photographs in front of scenic azaleas and spring flowers in the historic Brick Street District.
Tyler Azalea Belles appearing at the ribbon cutting ceremony of the Azalea Trails (TylerTexasOnline staff photo)
The Belles are 9th and 10th grade students and are chosen each year from area high schools or home school families. It's an honor to be chosen as one of the Azalea Belles, a tradition that dates back many years.
Each participant is assigned a long antebellum style dress for the duration of the Trails. Two or three Belles are assigned to each posing location/home.
Additional information about serving as an Azalea Belle, and the application form to become a 2020 Azalea Belle, is available online, at VisitTyler.com.
Completed application forms must be mailed or brought in person to the following address no later than 5:00pm, Wednesday, January 22, 2020:
Azalea Trail Committee / Azalea Belles
Tyler Chamber of Commerce
315 North Broadway Avenue
Tyler, Texas 75702
ATTN: Susan Travis
Once the application form has been submitted, each applicant must attend an interview session; call Susan Travis at 903.592.8633 to set up an appointment. Those selected will receive an acceptance letter, and then attend orientation and dress fitting sessions, and be assigned dates and locations.
Freshman and sophomore high school girls residing in Smith County are eligible to apply.
The thousands of visitors to Tyler in the spring of 2020 will enjoy getting to see this amazing group of Azalea Belles along with the beautiful spring flowers!
Photos from Recent Tyler Texas Azalea Trails (TylerTexasOnline Staff Photos)
The photos below were taken along the Tyler Azalea Trails. Blooms were well underway on azaleas, tulips, dogwoods, redbuds and other flowers and trees.
|"You are Welcome to Walk Through our Back Yard" ... sign on the Tyler Texas Azalea & Spring Flower Trails
Along Dobbs Street during the Tyler Texas Azalea & Spring Flower Trails
|Quaint cottage along the Tyler Texas Azalea & Spring Flower Trails
||Tulips in full bloom in Tyler along the Azalea & Spring Flower Trails
Lady Bankshire Roses blooming on the Tyler TX Azalea Trail
||Purple Creeping Phloxl
Dogwoods in Spring in Tyler Texas
The Woman's Building, 911 South Broadway Avenue, Tyler, on the Azalea Trail
between Dobbs Street and Lindsey Lane. This 3-story, Federal style structure built in 1932 is on the National Register of Historic Places
The Fitzgerald Home, 815 South Broadway Avenue, Tyler, Texas, on the Azalea Trail.
Built in 1898, now restored ... includes the offices of Historic Tyler, Inc.
On the National Register of Historic Places.
Seeing the Azalea Trails by Shuttle Service
Most visitors drive their own vehicles along the marked trails, or walk the shaded sidewalks. Another option is McC Rider’s Shuttle Service, operated by Tony McCleveland. The shuttle leaves from Dobbs Street near the parking lot of First Presbyterian Church. The tours last about 45 minutes, and leave on the hour.
Shuttle hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday through Sunday. For more information and rates, call 903-330-8262.
That Other Tyler Flower: The Rose
The Tyler Municipal Rose Garden and Rose Museum (TylerTexasOnline staff photo)
(courtesy of Google Maps)
East Texas Landscaping for Azaleas
At TylerTexasOnline, we love gardening, and landscaping, and East Texas is a great place for that pastime, especially during spring!
|Pink azaleas in full bloom in Tyler Texas
Among our favorite azaleas to grow, whether they are pink, salmon, red or white, have been Pride of Mobile, Formosa, George Tabor, Mrs. G.G. Gerbing, Christmas Cheer, Coral Bells and many others both in Tyler and in Louisiana.
East Texas Flower Photos
For more flower photographs, be sure to view the Helen Lee Daffodil Garden photo gallery showcasing millions of beautiful daffodils blooming near Gladewater.
In addition to the Azalea Trail photo gallery shown below, we've also included various azalea varieties that we have grown over the years. All photographs were taken by the author.