Exploring Texarkana And Its Unique Post Office Courthouse

Border towns with names derived from combined words (also called “portmanteaus”) have always intrigued me, but growing up in Texas, one in particular captured my interest: Texarkana.

It took a few decades, but I finally had the opportunity to explore this historic border town, including the iconic post office courthouse situated right in the heart of the border.

Below, I’ll share my experience and provide you with all the essential information you need before planning your visit.

What is the Texarkana post office?

The Texarkana post office is a unique landmark situated directly on the border between Texas and Arkansas. Built in 1933, it’s the only federal building in the United States that straddles two states. Visitors flock to see its distinctive state line boundary marker and explore the historic downtown area nearby.

Make sure you’re saying it right: tek-sahr-KAN-uh. Teks-AR-Kana is the out-of-tow way to say it.

Visiting the Texarkana post office

The post office is located at: 500 N State Line Ave Ste 101, Texarkana, AR 71854.

It’s situated on “Photograph Island” and that name is quite fitting, as the courthouse within this federal building is reputed to be the second most photographed courthouse in the country, following only the Supreme Court in Washington DC.

Texarkana post office exterior

It’s pretty easy to explore the spot.

There are parking spaces available adjacent to the post office as well as some additional parking in the surrounding area. They even have free EV parking which was a nice surprise.

Many travelers pass through here, so you’re likely to encounter others snapping photos on the border. However, there are plenty of different spots for capturing unique border-related shots yourself, so chances are you can always find somewhere to get a good shot.

The main shot will be directly in front of the post office, where you can capture the large “T” state boundary line separating the two states.

Texarkana post office border sign

Additionally, the marked state outlines on the ground offer an intriguing perspective, potentially making for an interesting video as you walk, stretch, cartwheel, etc. across the boundary. (We were in town during the weekend of the 2024 eclipse which is why you see the celestial object on the border below.)

Texarkana post office exterior border line

On the street and crosswalks in front of the post office, you’ll notice small plaques labeled with “TEX” and “ARK,” offering some intriguing perspectives seen below. Just make sure you’re looking for oncoming traffic!

Texarkana post office exterior border line

Additionally, looking towards the historic downtown area from atop the steps provides another excellent opportunity.

Don’t forget to explore the north side of the post office, where you’ll find an intriguing fountain marking the state line. It’s not every day you see a water fountain splitting the border between two states.

I made sure to visit on a weekday so that I could go inside of the federal building and explore although I wouldn’t say that’s exactly the highlight of the experience. For those who don’t know, the building houses the post office but also United States District Courts for both Arkansas and Texas.

The courthouse was closed during my visit, but the post office was open, so I decided to explore inside. It appeared to be a standard post office with walls of post office boxes and a few various desks and stations.

I inquired about any special stamps for Texarkana, but unfortunately, they didn’t have any. Overall, there’s not much reason to go inside unless you’re simply curious, like me, to see what it looks like.

Texarkana post office interior

One thing that caught my interest was a plaque dedicated to JFK, found just outside the front doors. Having followed JFK’s last few days in Texas closely, it was intriguing to see the Texarkana connection.

In the speech JFK was preparing to deliver on the day he was assassinated, he intended to mention a prior visit he had made to Texarkana where he pledged that the country would pick up efforts in the space war. Of course, those initiatives would bring us to the moon which made it even more fitting to be visiting on the weekend of the solar eclipse.

Texarkana post office JFK plaque

Exploring Texarkana beyond the post office

Some roadtrippers may make a quick detour just to see this unique post office, but there’s a lot more to explore than just that.

First, directly across from the courthouse there is a nice little cafe bakery, The Rabbit Hole, which also serves up some tasty drinks. It was a bit warm outside so we grabbed a couple of refreshing drinks and then were on our way.

The Rabbit Hole

Just west of the post office, you’ll find a beautiful WWI Memorial worth checking out, adorned with flags from Arkansas, Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana.

It was interesting to me to see Oklahoma and Louisiana clumped in with some of these memorials. I grew up a Texan but never heard the term “four state” region but apparently that’s more of a common thing in northeast Texas, I suppose?

Don’t miss the time capsule that was just placed there at the end of 2023. It’s designated to be there undisturbed for 50 years!

Texarkana post office time capsule

To the north of there is a Korean War and Vietnam War Memorial, which I found to be well done. It honors veterans from the four-state region, and it was here that I learned about the horrific frostbite suffered by US soldiers during the Korean War.

As you make your way through the streets over here just be aware that some of the street layout is a little funky. Cars sort of come out of nowhere but generally it seems people don’t drive too fast around here so you should be okay.

Texarkana memorial

If you continue north on State Line Avenue, you’ll see Texas flag banners on the west side and Arkansas flag banners on the east side. We started to walk down that road but it didn’t look terribly interesting in that direction and so we turned around shortly.

A bit to the south there is the Confederate Mothers Monument statue, likely controversial to some. It was dedicated in 1918 on April 21 by the United Daughters of the Confederacy and is a bit special as it’s one of the few Confederate monuments that features a woman.

Texarkana confederate memorial

Continuing on, you can stroll into the Arts & Historic District, where you’ll encounter several beautiful churches on the Texas side and other historic buildings. While some are still in need of restoration, others have been preserved quite well.

Texarkana churches

I enjoyed seeing Scott Joplin Way, named after the “King of Ragtime.” I discovered him after delving into the history of the Crash at Crush (he composed a song after the event). He was born in Texarkana.

After wandering around for a bit, we stumbled upon TOC Burgers, a highly rated burger joint in the city. I particularly enjoyed their cheeseburger, so if you’re craving a good burger, especially a no nonsense classic burger, this could be a great spot to hit up.

Texarkana TLC burgers

There are quite a few large and colorful murals scattered throughout the Historic Arts District, making it a great place to take a stroll and admire the local art scene.

Given that this was the weekend of the solar eclipse of 2024, there were plenty of events happening. We noticed an entire stage area set up, along with a section for food trucks.

Interestingly, I later discovered that Texarkana County is located in a dry county. However, over time, they’ve allowed beer and wine to be sold and served in restaurants. As far as I know, liquor is still not permitted to be sold?

Nonetheless, they do have an entertainment zone where open containers are allowed during certain hours, as long as you stay on the right side of the green line. Kind of funny to me that a city can go from being so dry to essentially Bourbon Street allowing open containers. But be sure to keep an eye out for signs to ensure you remain in the designated area.

If you have even more time to spare, consider exploring other attractions in the city. As a Texas A&M graduate, I was interested in visiting the Texas A&M-Texarkana campus.

Texas A&M Texarkana

While smaller than I anticipated, it’s a picturesque campus, and we enjoyed taking our dog here for a walk, especially around the lake area. Just beware that there’s tons of poo on the sidewalks after you cross the bridge!

Texas A&M Texarkana

Final word

We were fortunate to spend a night in Texarkana and explore the city a bit. However, even if you’re short on time and can’t visit the historic downtown area, it’s still worth stopping by to see such a unique building and to witness the state line boundaries firsthand.

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