In the 1840s, it was discovered that the seat of Anderson County, a village called Houston (not the major city of Harris County) was two miles off center. Taking literally the Texas Legislature's guidelines that a county seat should be at the center of a county, the town of Palestine was created as the county seat. Palestine has more buildings in the National Register of Historic Places than any Texas city except Galveston. The city is home to Eilenberger's Bakery, known as the oldest bakery in Texas, and the historic Texas Theatre, which hosts a variety of productions yearly. Visitors also enjoy the area's rolling hills, forests and streams at local parks.
Palestine Community Forest features scenic drives through more than 700 acres of hardwood trees. Davey Dogwood Park, just north of Palestine on North Link Street, is especially popular during the annual Texas Dogwood Trails festival from late March to early April.
Other annual events include the Hot Pepper Festival in October, The Polar Express™ Train Ride in November-December, The Taste of New Orleans: Mardi Gras Celebration in February, and 1836 Chuckwagon race on Texas Independence Day.