The Chamber of Commerce offered a tour of the Azalea Trail area, in order to highlight the route to be followed. After paying a small fee, my husband and I hopped onto the bus and we were off to familiarize ourselves with the Azalea District.
We wound around the town, stopping at particular streets in case anyone wanted to start the tour at that moment. The bus would return to these stops frequently. Those wishing to return to their cars and drive back to the area remained on the bus.
This was a great way to introduce the AZALEA DISTRICT to new visitors. We stayed on the bus until we found ourselves back at our car, then drove to Dobbs Street. It was an easy walk from there to see the gorgeous flowers!
Each weekend during The Azalea Trail, visitors will see pretty girls dressed in antebellum gowns. They are the official greeters of the festival known as THE AZALEA BELLES.
The belles are chosen each year from area highschools or home school families. They each submit a written application to the Azalea Committee of The Chamber of Commerce, answering the question WHAT DOES TYLER MEAN TO ME?
You'll see them waving to you from someone's nicely landscaped yard or get to actually meet them in one of the Azalea gardens. It's an honor to be chosen as one of the Azalea Belles and they add a nostalgic appeal to the festival!
I had heard so much about the Azalea Festival, that I was anxious to see it for myself. Here's some further detail about this colorful event:
The AZALEA TRAIL has been held for forty eight years in Tyler and runs along two main trails: Lindsey and Dobbs.
The Lindsey Trail was the original route, then later as more people were participating in the floral displays, the Dobbs Trail was added. In future years more trails could be added as different streets participate in the displays.
This year's AZALEA TRAIL was scheduled for March 6-April 1. Three different weekends are selected in order to accommodate the bloom schedule. I thought it was interesting that the town's website marks each week with photos, so the progress of the blooms can be noted.
This allows your trip to be scheduled at full bloom--we were limited to this one particular weekend because of our schedule.
THE TRAIL: Both trails start at South Broadway and Houston street, but then they split as they continue further south.
Dobbs Trail splits first at the intersection of South Broadway and West Dobbs street
The Lindsey Trail splits further down about one block on South Broadway at the West Lindsey Lane intersection.
This is the nicest area in Tyler. The streets are paved in red and some houses have a plantation style. Around April all the azaleas (and there are lots) bloom and walking around this district is wonderful.