Every summer incoming SFA freshmen and parents travel to Nacogdoches to attend one of the five orientation sessions on campus. During each of these orientation sessions, the Nacogdoches Convention & Visitors Bureau offers two complimentary tours of Nacogdoches to the new students and parents.
“When the students and parents come to orientation, they spend the majority of their time on SFA campus,” said Media & Community Relations Coordinator Jannette Watts. “Parents and students stay in the residence halls during orientation, and orientation keeps them pretty busy with all of the activities on campus. Therefore, the students and parents have limited exposure to the town itself. We want them to know that there is a life outside the campus, and we want them to experience all Nacogdoches has to offer. We want them to shop, dine and explore here.”
So 15 years ago the Nacogdoches Convention and Visitors Bureau partnered with the SFA Orientation department and started offering hometown tours as a way to introduce parents and students to the town. The shuttle tour lasts approximately 1.5 hours, and during that time, volunteer tour guide and Jackbackers Bookstore owner Pam Fitch shows them historical sites, attractions and other various places of interest, such as pharmacies, grocery stores and more. The tour makes one stop at the Visitor Center, 200 E. Main, so students and parents can pick up city maps, phone books, brochures and any other information they may need. Then the tour returns the students and parents to the SFA Campus. There are two tour times, one at 9:45 a.m. and another at 11:15 a.m., to accommodate arriving students and their families.
The SFA Hometown Tours have been very popular with parents and students alike. “We typically have a full busload each tour,” said Watts. “The parents are always commenting on how informative the tour was and how much they enjoyed it.”
The Nacogdoches Convention and Visitors Bureau will be offering two more tours, one at 9:45 a.m. and one at 11:15 a.m., for the last orientation session on July 24th.
For more information about SFA Orientation Hometown Tours, contact the Nacogdoches Convention & Visitors Bureau at 936-564-7351, visit www.visitnacogdoches.org, and friend us on facebook @ Visit Nacogdoches.