Palestine is a graceful, romantic city, second only to Galveston in the number of historic Texas landmarks, with over 1,600 historical sites. Educational opportunities abound in this community. Palestine has two school districts: Palestine Independent School District includes five elementary campuses, one intermediate campus, one middle school and one high school, with programs for gifted and talented students as well as high school honors and advanced placement courses. Westwood School District employs almost 200 teachers with a student teacher ration of 21:1 and programs in special education, gifted and talented, and honors.
Trinity Valley Community College has served the Palestine community since 1972, offering vocational, technical and associate degree programs as well as diverse continuing education and community services. The University of Texas at Tyler is breaking ground for an $8 million campus expansion project. They will continue to add more four-year degree programs. Other higher education institutions within driving distance include Texas A&M at College Station, Sam Houston State University, Stephen F. Austin University and Tyler Junior College.
The Palestine Community Theater produces four plays each season. Named the "Outstanding Library in the United States" in 1992, the Palestine Public Library has more than 70,000 volumes. The Palestine Civic Center offers 25,000 square feet of entertainment possibilities under one roof. Palestine is host of the Spring Dogwood Trails Festival, the annual Hot Pepper Festival, and the Texas State Railroad's Polar Express.
Just 20 miles north of town, the 25,000-acre Lake Palestine offers abundant opportunities to fish, sail, camp or simply relax. Just north of town is Davey Dogwood Park, 200 acres of streams, trees and winding roads. In addition, there are 700 acres in the Palestine Community Forest. Additional recreational opportunities include golf, canoeing, cycling, hiking and tennis. Or you can enjoy a ride on the Texas State Railroad, an 1896 train, pulled by one of the original steam locomotives, that takes you on a 30-mile tour of scenic East Texas forests. The Palestine YMCA offers a full range of services from youth sports activities to programs for senior citizens, all designed to help promote healthy lifestyles.