With gas prices soaring, East Texans are looking for shorter trips and things to do over the Memorial Day weekend. A little known gem is the East Texas Oil Museum on Highway 259 in Kilgore.
1930's vintage cars and memorabilia pack the museum dedicated to the oil boom days. More than just a museum, the replica town inside gives visitors a chance to see what life must have been like in East Texas towns in the 30's and 40's.
"We have a lot to offer a family coming to find something to do on a less expensive trip for the weekend," said museum assistant director Sara Lugeanbeal.
Price: $6 for adults, $4 for children, $20 for a family of 4.
For outdoor enthusiasts, Barnwell Mountain recreation center 5 miles east of Gilmer on Highway 155 is a fun destination. 1,800 acres of off-road trails for trucks , ATV's and motorcycles. There are also camping and picnic areas with great views. And for day use, Barnwell will only charge $20 per vehicle.
"You get away from home, away from stress ... this is a good place to leave it all behind," said Barnwell director Lawton Watts.
For water park fun, Shreveport's Watertown USA is an hour from Longview, and invites guests to take a tumble on an assortment of fast moving water rides. Adults and children's tickets are $20.95. Cost for a family of 4, $83.80.
Closer to home, several area lakes are open for swimming and water sports. A popular skiing location is at Lake Gladewater, and it doesn't cost anything to get into the park.
Bob Hallmark, reporting.