Our little corner of East Texas offers a ton of things to do besides fishing on Lake Fork. We are surrounded by several, diverse small towns that have several little gems that make for a fun family vacation. We’ll start this series of posts with Sulphur Springs. If you’re coming to Lake Fork, there’s a good chance that you’ll end up in Sulphur Springs, either for groceries or to grab a bite to eat.

Sulphur Springs calls itself the “Celebration City” and there’s usually something going on here. The square is a beautiful spot with several little gems. After all, the square is home to America’s Only See Through Public Bathrooms! Yep, you read that right! You can see out, but nobody can see in! It’s a little weird at first, but it’s pretty cool too. There are two bathrooms built of one way glass. You just have to visit and experience it for yourself!

The square also features a large Texas star splash pad with huge picnic tables. This is a favorite spot for the kids in the summer, especially during the Saturday evening Celebration Farmer’s Market. You’ll find all sorts of vendors here from fresh produce to baked goods, home decor and more. They often have live music as well. It’s a great way to spend a summer evening, especially with the historic court house in the background.

Just off the square, you’ll find a super fun ice cream spot. The Magic Scoop General Store and Ice Cream Parlor is a fun and nostalgic place. They make their own ice cream, so you’ll find fun flavors you’ve never seen before. Plus, they have a neat little store where they sell a variety of nostalgic candies and games. While you eat your ice cream, there are various different board games you can play too, like Connect Four or Rock Em Sock Em Robots.

I bet you didn’t know that Hopkins County was once the Dairy Capital of Texas. In fact, Hopkins and Wood County still have several different dairies and dairy auctions today. The Southwest Dairy Museum is located in Sulphur Springs and features a 10,000 square foot building dedicated to teaching children about dairy and the history of milk production. Speaking of dairy, if you visit in June, you don’t want to miss the Hopkins County Dairy Festival! The festival features a variety of activities including an ice cream making contest, hot air balloons and carnival.

Sulphur Springs really likes to hold cook offs! One of my favorites is the Dutch Oven Cook Off held at the Hopkins County Museum and Heritage Park. This is a neat little spot in Sulphur Springs. It features several old and historic buildings, such as a little one room school house, a small historic church, general store and more. Organizations from all around town will come together each year for the Dutch Oven Cook Off where they prepare a meat, vegetable, bread and dessert, all of which must be cooked in dutch ovens. Get there early because it doesn’t take long for the food to be gone! There are also vendors and other displays that take place as well. A great way to spend the morning with the family. If you’re in town around Christmas, they also have an excellent Christmas event with lights, caroling and Santa Claus!

Finally, we can’t forget the World Champion Stew Contest. The event is held every October at Buford City Park. (Another must visit spot no matter what time of year you are here.) Stew serving starts at 10:45 am and it’s all you can eat! We recommend starting with small portions so that you can try all of the different stews. It’s amazing at the variances between chicken, beef and combination. 150 teams compete each year and start cooking at 4 in the morning!  Over 2000 people came to try all the stew.

Those are some of our favorite spots in Sulphur Springs! Stable View Cottages is located just 16 miles south of Sulphur Springs.