The 2019 tourism guide of the Coastal Bend
Boots to Beaches
Page 2 â€“ 2019 Boots To Beaches
The Coastal Bend features a variety of tourism possibilities from well-groomed golf courses to beautiful beaches to fishing opportunities to bird watching to museums and more. Our communities offer an abundance of tourism opportunities. Stop for a day or spend the night.
PHOTOS BY CHERYL JOHNSON
ÂŠ2019 Texas Coastal Bend Tourism Council 361-241-7323, firstname.lastname@example.org
TCBRTC Executive Council Pictured from Left: President Tracy Florence, Past President Sandy Jumper, Vice President Nancy Brittiain, Secretary Sherry Esse. Not Pictured: Executive Director, Ann Neese Boots to Beaches is produced annually by Nicole Perez Morris on behalf of the Texas Coastal Bend Regional Tourism Council. You may contact her via email at email@example.com.
33 Members Visit our TEXAS COASTAL BEND REGIONAL TOURISM COUNCIL Members while you are visiting the Coastal Bend. On the cover (clockwise from left): The South Texas Botanical Gardens, local beaches, Painted Bunting by Cissy Beasley and paddle splashing in Aransas County.
Page 4 – 2019 Boots To Beaches
The Hub City
Alice was established in 1888 and named after the daughter of Captain Richard King, who established the King Ranch. Historically, the community is associated with cattle and ranching, the vaquero and the American cowboy. With the start of the railway, Alice was noted as the world’s largest cattle shipping point from 1888 to 1895. Alice is also known as the “Hub City” because of its central location. Today it serves as a hub for the oil and gas industry, tourism, agriculture and distribution center for South Texas. Alice and it surrounding area has an abundance of wildlife, hunting, fishing and birding activities for residents and visitors. South Texas offers wild game available for hunt with leases available through Texas Parks and Wildlife as well as private leases. Ecotourism brings birders from throughout America to the growing popularity of this activity. More than 500 different species of birds have been spotted in and around the Hub City according to King Ranch Experts. Our local reservoir, Lake Findley, is stocked with fresh water fish and offers a scenic area for fishing with catches of catfish, crappie, bass, carp and hybrids. Lake Findley is open from sunup to sunset. Birders find Lake Findley as the hub for birdwatching as well. Golfers have two courses to choose from in the Hub City. The two courses with a total of 27 holes are home for golfing enthusiasts. Lined with mesquite trees, the Alice Municipal Golf Course is the larger of the two courses with 18 holes which feature everything from long fairways to water hazards with a total of 5,911 yards of fairways and
BEAUTIFUL PARKS, HISTORIC MUSEUMS, WATER PARK AND MUCH MORE AWAIT VISITORS
Municipal Water Park
greens. The Alice Country Club is located off Highway 44 east of Alice. The nine-hole course is rated among the best in Texas with special rates available for Winter Texans. Alice offers indoor and outdoor summer fun in its new Alice Multiuse Complex. The natatorium caters to all ages with indoor lap swimming, Olympic size aquatic pool and outdoor lazy river along with various slides and wading area. Alice boasts of cultural events, festivals, celebrations and special events that take place throughout the year. Our calendar begins in January with the Tejano ROOTS Music Hall of Fame Induction ceremony that brings many from throughout the country for their two-day event.
Spring kicks off with celebrations of music with the Cinco de Mayo and follows with Summer and Fourth of July Celebration, Twin Cam Jam Bike Rally and multiple cook-offs. Fall opens with the Hispanic Heritage Festival, the Turkey Throwdown, Street Rods Rod Run and the County Fair. Winter closes with the Twelve Days of Christmas, the Lighting of Downtown and the Christmas Illumination Parade. The combination of a growing industry, an outstanding education system, an abundance of wildlife, and economic activity for the region makes Alice a favorite among residents and visitors alike. Alice Chamber of Commerce: 361-664-3454, cityofalice.org
Alice Municipal Golf Course
ter Park Multi-Use Complex & Wa
Alice Municipal Golf Cour
Page 6 – 2019 Boots To Beaches
Small Town Charm
Aransas Pass offers cool breezes and unique, crystal clear waters, beautiful sea grass and the best bay fishing in Texas. Aransas Pass prides itself on on maintaining its charming smalltown atmosphere while hosting many professional fishing guides, kayak facilities, birding areas, parks, a terrific aquatic center, wonderful downtown shops, restaurants, historic live theatre, and the most state-of-the-art Civic Center in the entire region. Aransas Pass is known for its shrimping heritage and its recreational fishing. Each year, Aransas Pass celebrates its shrimping heritage in June with the Shrimporee with live entertainment, a carnival, arts and crafts booths and shrimp cooked in a variety of ways. There are many marinas and boat ramps available, with the largest at the historic Conn Brown Harbor. This picturesque harbor setting is a favorite spot for photog-
raphers and is a preferred location to purchase fresh seafood…right off the boat. While at the Harbor, pay a visit to the Seaman’s Memorial Tower. The beautiful memorial is dedicated to those who have lost their lives at sea. Coastal bay and gulf fishing are among the best in Texas. Take advantage of our bay systems which offer year-round pleasure with a variety of fish including the prolific Redfish. Join a deep-sea charter, hire a guide, or
Barnhart Q5 Ranch & Nature Reteat Located on the northwest side of Goliad County, the Barnhart Q5 Ranch & Nature Retreat is perfect for those who want to get away from the crowds and still enjoy nature. The ranch is a TPWD Land Steward Award winner, striving to balance ranching with ongoing conservation and enhancement of native habitat with an emphasis on birding. Guest housing is comfortable and reasonable with all the ame-
BIRDING TO FISHING TO ANNUAL CELEBRATIONS launch your own boat. Fourteen different species of ducks frequent our hunting region. Our vast shallow bays offer hunters bag limits of duck and geese. Crabbing, beachcombing, dolphin and bird watching are quiet pursuits designed to get you outdoors in the fresh air and sunshine. Nearly 500 species of birds travel through Aransas Pass. Some of the best bird watching in the U.S. is found in the Aransas Pass Nature Park within the 36-acre Aransas Pass Community Park bordering Redfish Bay. This area is a haven for regional and migrating birds. Marshy and spotted with many fish breeding ponds, the area is abundant in species of waterfowl. One local favorite site is Newberry Park. The 1.2 acre small central city park is landscaped to attract birds, hummingbirds and butterflies as they pass through. Aransas Pass Chamber of Commerce: 361-758-2750/1-800633-3028, www. aransaspass.org.
A PRIVATE OASIS FOR NATURE AND BIRD ENTHUSIASTS
nities of home. You can sit on the front porch in a rocker and enjoy the birds as they surround the houses - more than 183 species have been - documented here - or, hike, bike or rent a golf cart and cruise the miles of trails scattered throughout the 706-acre property. Guests comment on the peace and quiet and how renewing it is. Many couples have spent their anniversaries on the ranch, finding it provides them time together without
all the interruptions of the world. The ranch has one of the darkest skies in the region, so guests can enjoy stargazing from a platform built on one of the ranch’s highest hills. Children and adults are always invited to participate in a nature hike, cattle roundup, or grooming a Mediterranean miniature donkey or two when they’re ready for a new experience! www.barnhartranchretreat.com
Page 7 – 2019 Boots To Beaches
Gateway to the Gulf Coast
If you are interested in spending time with the birds of south Texas, there is hardly a better place to start than Bee County. Arriving in south Texas from the north, Bee County is where you are likely to make first contact with birds that make you feel you are visiting the tropics. You will encounter Green Jays, Audubon’s Orioles, Long-billed and Curve-billed Thrashers, Buff-bellied Hummingbirds, Olive Sparrows, and Common Pauraques among many other Brush Country specialties. Sought after species like Harris’s Hawk, Groove-billed Ani, Great Kiskadee and Green Kingfisher reach their northern limit in or near Bee County. The Texas Brush Country has the most diverse bird population north
THE PLACE FOR WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY, BIRDING AND HUNTING
of Mexico. It is no surprise that Bee County has documented more than 288 species so far. Several locations within the city of Beeville provide close viewing of area specialties. Veteran’s Memorial Park spans a portion of Poesta Creek. This woody little creek is a good spot to locate the Great Kiskadee. Golden-fronted Woodpeckers, Eastern Bluebirds and Green Jays are regulars. You may be rewarded with glimpses of Buff-bellied Hummingbirds, a year-round resident. Spectacular Vermilion Flycatchers are known to breed in the park. Check the mesquite trees near the golf course. The 1-1/2 mile paved walking trail adjoining the campus of Coastal
Bend College in Beeville is a great place for birders to catch sight of Loggerhead Shrikes, Long-billed Thrashers and sometimes Cactus Wrens. A small pond provides water and attracts Pied-billed Grebes and other wetland species, including ducks. Drive the smaller country roads just after dark and you may spot glowing rosy-red eyes along the road edge. These eyes belong to Common Pauraques, nocturnal goatsuckers (yes, they really are called that!), that feed by fluttering up from the ground to catch insects. The pauraque’s song is a loud, whistled “puc, puc, puc, p’weEER” and can sometimes be heard for Continued, Next Page
hours on clear nights in rural areas. If you drive from Beeville toward Refugio along Highway 202, you will see the habitat change. The land is flat and, during certain months, you may see Macartney Rose in bloom. Post oak trees are common in the fields around you. As you approach the county line (Blanco Creek), you will leave the agricultural field and brushy ranches found elsewhere. Things begin to look more like east Texas. Safely park as near to Blanco Creek as possible and wait and listen for the birds. You may find something completely unexpected. Don’t forget to notice the butterflies, too. The cool shady lanes along the creek are good places to see Zebra Longwing butterflies, another stunning tropical species. Take it slow and spend a few days here. The people are friendly and the birding is good, especially during the fall and winter. You are
Page 8 – 2019 Boots To Beaches
A Birders dream
likely to be thrilled with excellent looks at many of our amazing south Texas birds. Pack a jacket. Carry water. Wear sensible shoes. And
The Bee County Historical Society works to discover, procure and preserve the history of Bee County. This includes the Historic McClanahan House, which is open the first Sunday of every month. The house was constructed in 1867 and is the oldest business structure still standing in our county. A photography “show-n-sell” is customarily held in February. Several local photographers show their best photos at the McClanahan House and folks are invited to come see and buy. In March, BCHS kicks off its Annual Bee County Living History Celebration; featuring musical entertainment, story telling, games, demonstrations of all types of historical living, and assorted vendors. For details about events, visit the Bee County Historical Society Facebook page.
Covered Outdoor Event Pavilion
expect to be delighted! There are so many special species to see! Bee County Chamber of Commerce: 361358-3267, experiencebeecounty.org
Corpus Christi Page 9 – 2019 Boots To Beaches
The Sparkling City
Located on the central Texas coast of the Gulf of Mexico, North Padre Island is located within Corpus Christi and is the gateway to Padre Island National Seashore, the world’s longest barrier island. Just a 30-minute drive from downtown, Padre Island National Seashore is one of only a few nesting grounds in the world for the endangered Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles. Separating North Padre Island from mainland Corpus Christi is the Laguna Madre, one of only six hypersaline lagoons in the world. Within these waters, visitors can experience not only award-winning fishing each year, but also worldclass conditions for kiteboarding, windsurfing, kayaking and paddleboarding. With miles upon miles of Gulf beaches available to choose from, visitors won’t have any trouble finding a spot to have a little beachside fun. Both North Padre Island and Mustang Island boast fantastic Gulf beaches to fit your preference, whether you’re looking for relaxing solitude or playful groups. S.E.A. District The S.E.A. District (Sport, Entertainment and Arts) is located in downtown Corpus Christi, shoul-
A MECCA FOR TOURISM - BEACHES, FISHING, BIRDING AND MORE
dering the Corpus Christi Bay and Port of Corpus Christi. Comprised of several key attractions, this area is a hub of activity for visitors and locals with cultural, entertainment, sports and business offerings. Elements within the district include: The Art Museum of South Texas, Asian Cultures Museum, Corpus Christi Museum of Science and
History, Hurricane Alley Waterpark, Whataburger Field, Brewster Street Icehouse, Concrete Street Amphitheater and the American Bank Center. For more information, please visit SEADistrictCC.com. Marina Arts District The District and Greater Continued, Next Page
8545 S. Staples St. Corpus Christi TX 78413 361-852-2100 stxbot.org
Flora, Fauna, FUN! Open 9 to 6 Daily!
Page 10 – 2019 Boots To Beaches
Corpus Christi Downtown Area are anchored by a bayfront, beach and marina, parks and culture, and sports, convention, and hospitality venues. It is the government, corporate and office center of the region. Residents, office workers and visitors enjoy local restaurants, vibrant night life and music scene, art galleries and museums, and many water activities. Special events and cultural festivals draw thousands annually. It’s central location with easy access by highway or local streets and close proximity to the airport make it easy for residents and visitors alike to access. For more information, please visit MarinaArts.com. Texas State Aquarium The idea for the Texas State Aquarium was conceptualized by its founders early on to focus on the species in Gulf of Mexico and
the Caribbean Sea. The exhibits would contain representatives of the area’s main marine ecosystems. The Gulf of Mexico opened in 1990 with a commencement from former President Bush speaking to a front lawn packed full of supporting visitors. After years in the making, the Caribbean Journey, part of the original vision, opened its doors in 2017. The Caribbean Journey doubles the size of the aquarium and provides homes to an exciting collection of sea and land creatures. It is here that you can break into the mesmerizing secrets of the underwater and jungle world. For those wishing to spend time in an extraordinary place, a promising unforgettable experience awaits. The Texas State Aquarium is the perfect platform for people and families to learn, bond and discover
together. Visit us when you are considering things to do in Corpus Christi, Texas. www.texasstateaquarium.org South Texas Botanical Gardens & Nature Center FLORA, FAUNA, FUN! Besides exquisite floral exhibits, Corpus Christi’s South Texas Botanical Gardens & Nature Center also treats visitors to Butterflies, Reptiles and Parrots-Oh My! One of the Coastal Bend’s major visitor destinations and leading nature tourism facilities, the 182-acre venue showcases the 2600 square-foot screened Butterfly House, Samuel Jones Orchid Conservatory with 22foot roof peak, Anderson Bromeliad Conservatory, seasonal Plumeria Garden with viewing platform, plus Rose Garden and Pavilion. The delightful Hummingbird Garden, desert-like Arid Garden, “artscaped” Sensory Garden, new Tropical Garden, and educational EarthKind Demonstration Trial Gardens round Continued, Next Page
Circle back to where you need to be. Not at your desk, but right here on the sea. Our beaches are made for hula-hooping, surﬁng, campﬁres, and strolls. Make yourself at home.
Page 11 – 2019 Boots To Beaches
Corpus Christi out your floral experience. Meet our Resident Reptiles and Exotic Parrots! Children need to experience Monkey Mansion Treehouse, swings, slide and grassy hill in Kids Play Area. Then, explore the shaded Mary Hope Brennecke Nature Trail with two Kent Ullberg bronze wildlife sculptures, which leads to the Birding Tower and Palapa Grande on Gator Lake, wetlands boardwalk and newly enhanced Oso Creek Loop Trail. Back in the Visitors Center, shop the remodeled and expanded Nature’s Boutique for a variety of unique, reasonably-priced merchandise, while enjoying a snack and cold drink. Located at 8545 S. Staples St., the Botanical Gardens & Nature Center offers year-round environmental and horticultural education classes and camps, special events, memberships including free admis-
sion to 325 Reciprocal Gardens, docent-guided group tours, and facilities rentals. Open daily, 9 am to 6 pm, except Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Well-behaved, friendly leashed dogs welcome, except at parties. SPECIAL EVENTS: April 6, 2019 BIG BLOOM mega Plant Sale & Garden Festival, DOLLAR DAY. April 24-28, 2019 Birdiest Festival in America, Presentations, vendors, demos, optional field trips. October, 2019 MOONLIGHT in the GARDENS. Annual signature fundraiser. Full evening of entertainment, seated dinner, auctions, band.Exact Date TBA For Information, 361.852.2100, stxbot.org.
Natural Assets If you’re looking for a trail to jog, hike, bike or paddle on, Corpus Christi has you covered. From urban landscapes to stunning natural habitat, the numerous nature trails found within Corpus Christi contain adventures waiting to happen. Lace up your tennies, hop on a bike, or slip into a kayak today to experience some of nature’s finest work. Continued, Next Page
Page 12 – 2019 Boots To Beaches
Corpus Christi It’s For the Birds! Perfectly positioned at the cross roads of two major flyways, Corpus Christi is “America’s Birdiest City” for the last decade. Hundreds of bird species stop to rest during Spring and Fall migrations. Blucher Park, known worldwide, is a four-acre pocket park attracting bird watchers year round in search of flycatchers, thrushes, vireos, warblers, chimney swifts and dozens more species. The Hans and Pat Suter Wildlife Refuge is often crowded with shorebirds, waterfowl, and butterflies. Land birds and raptors occur in surprising numbers, as well. Corpus Christi is home to the largest and most diverse raptor migration platform in the U.S., averaging over 730,000 hawks
and falcons each year. Hazel Bazemore County Park is famous for its internationally-known hawk migration each Fall, ‘Celebration of Flight’, peaking in late September and early October. USS Lexington If the sheer size of the aircraft carrier USS LEXINGTON doesn’t drop your jaw, the adventure inside definitely will! She’s a National Historic Landmark and one of the top attractions in Texas. And at 910 feet, 33,000 tons and 16 decks, she’s colossal and a mammoth experience. Speaking of Giant, the three-story tall 3D MEGA Theater makes jets roar louder, helicopters loom larger and flying enormously realistic. Even the Scale Model Gallery is huge, with more than 370 handmade miniature replicas on display.
The Virtual Battle Stations are an interactive experience that puts you behind the controls. The Flight Simulator launches you into real combat; and around every corner, up every ladder and down every passageway, a story unfolds. It’s a complete interactive experience for the entire family. LEX is open daily at 9 a.m. (closed Christmas and Thanksgiving Days) with all areas except flight and hangar decks air-conditioned. Aboard ship you’ll find the Mess Deck and Ship’s Store. The USS Lexington is available for private functions as well as overnight youth camp-outs. www. usslexington.com. VisitCorpusChristiTX.org. Photos via CCCVB, South Texas Botanical Gardens
SHE’S BROKEN RECORDS IN NAVAL AVIATION
Now she’s #1 on
3D MEGA Theater � WWII Planes � Jets � Battle Guns A National Landmark � Thousands of Stories � #1 on Trip Advisor OPEN DAILY | NORTH BEACH | CORPUS CHRISTI | USSLEXINGTON.COM
Page 13 – 2019 Boots To Beaches
Hospitality at its best
Cuero is a place with an interesting HISTORY as it was explored by Spanish, French, and Mexican conquistadors during the late 1600s and 1700s. DeWitt County was established in the 1820s by Green B. DeWitt who led over 400 families to the area from the United States. The City of Cuero, founded in 1873 and incorporated in 1875, began to flourish after hurricanes and fire destroyed the coastal town of Indianola and many of the remaining businesses moved to Cuero to form the heart of DeWitt County. Cuero became a railroad hub as the line was built from the coast to San Antonio during the 1870s. Cattle was an economic driver during this time with the cattle being driven to northern markets along the famous Chisholm Trail! In the late 1950s cattle became a major product with DeWitt County one of the top cattle producing counties in the State of Texas…and it still is. Today the community has shifted from agribusiness as the economic driver to oil and gas exploration in the Eagle Ford Shale. Cuero is a place known for its HERITAGE—Hispanic, German, Black, Asian, and Texan. The town’s name reflects its Hispanic culture as the word ‘Cuero’ is Spanish for cowhide. Germans migrated to Cuero in the 1870s and 1880s from Indianola on the Texas coast, a major entry point into Texas, whose traditions and language became a major influence in the religious, social, and cultural developments of the area. Many of the Black families of the area came to DeWitt County in the 1850s and then, after the Civil War, remained here as Freedmen. During the 1980s the City of Cuero welcomed several Asian families to
ANNUAL EVENTS, FRIENDLY PEOPLE, LOTS OF HISTORY
the area who contribute to Cuero’s business community. Cuero is a place known for its HOSPITALITY due to its yearly celebrations which include March’s Cuero Livestock Show, Spring Wildflower tours hosted by the Cuero Chamber of Commerce and Visitor’s Bureau, City of Cuero’s July 4th Fireworks show, October’s Turkeyfest, and late November through December Christmas in the Park, sponsored by Cuero Development Corporation and its December Events Committee, and Christmas in Downtown, a celebration sponsored by Cuero Main St. Add to these major events, galas hosted by either the DeWitt Hospital Foundation, Chisholm Trail Heritage Museum, or the Cuero ISD Education Foundation. And then one can’t forget Friday night lights at Gobbler Stadium as the fans watch the award winning Cuero Fightin’ Gobblers! We hope you will enjoy our four museums, our historic Main St. district, our beautiful Victorian homes, and our wonderful parks, golf course, and Cuero Lake. Museums Tell Our Story Chisholm Trail Museum 302 N. Esplanade The intriguing lore of early cattle drives is what prompted a group of dedicated area citizens to establish a museum preserving the history associated with the great cattle drive era and Texas’ ranching and agricultural history. The Museum is highly honored to host the Tinker Collection on permanent loan from the University of Texas at Austin. The collection celebrates the shared pride in craft and horsemanship among the ranchers and cowboys of the Americas; showcasing exquisite
craftsmanship. The museum is open for tours Tuesday – Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Private tours may be arranged by appointment. Cuero Heritage Museum 124 E. Church This museum is located in the former 1915 Federal Building where a post office was once located. The arched windows and high ceilings in the foyer are beautiful architectural features of this museum. The museum is dedicated to celebrating the people of Cuero and their heritage. The museum houses both permanent and rotating exhibits. Permanent exhibits include a collection of over 1,900 juice reamers from around the world. Additional exhibits include “100 Years of Football”, Cuero Military Exhibit honoring those who served our Country and the “Turkey Trot” exhibit. The Cuero Turkey Trot was once one of the most famous celebrations in the United States. People came from many parts of the country to join in the festivities. Cuero was titled “The Turkey Capital of the World.” This exhibit documents its long history, why it ceased to exist, and what came after it. The Museum is open Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. DeWitt County Heritage Museum 312 E. Broadway The Bates Sheppard House, which houses the DeWitt County museum, is on the National Register of Historic Places and is a Recorded Texas Historical Landmark. Both the home and a log cabin that was moved to the property have a fascinating history that includes Continued, Page 28
Page 14 – 2019 Boots To Beaches
Goliad has something to offer everyone from shopping and dining to camping and outdoor recreation. Every month on the second Saturday the downtown area is filled with vendors and merchants selling their wares and goods at Market Days. The Goliad State Park and Presidio la Bahia are the caretakers of much of Goliad’s history and the role that Goliad played in Texas and US History. The Goliad State Park hosts Rio! Rio! annually in November along with daily programs and events. Presidio la Bahia hosts the Living History and Reenactment of the “Goliad Massacre” of Col. Fannin and his men along with other events throughout the year. The history
that is displayed in our community is something that should be “experienced”. Be sure to visit the other historical sites around the community including, the Market House Museum and the Mission Rosario, the Fannin Battleground (in the community of Fannin) and the newly opened El Camino Real de los Tejas Welcome Center. Schroeder Hall is the “Second oldest dance hall, check their website scrhoederhall.com for schedules and tickets. The Goliad Chamber of Commerce would love to help you plan your next visit to Goliad.We hope to see you soon! Annual Events • Goliad Market Days, downtown: Jan. 12, Feb. 9, March 9, April 13, May 11, June 8, July 13, Aug. 10, Sept. 14, Oct. 12, Nov.
Monthly Market Days, Historical Sites, Don’tMiss Annual Events 9, Dec. 14. 361-645-3563 • Hot Rod Riot, Schroeder Hall, Feb. 9, 361-570-7637 • Goliad County Fairy & Rodeo, Texas AgriLife Extension Service, March 15-17, 361-645-8204 • Goliad Massacre and Living History Program, Presidio la Bahia, March 30-31, 361-645-3752 • Canoe Trail/Goliad Spring Floatilla, April 27, www.canoetrailgoliad.com • Goliad Easter Egg Hung, April 20, keli. firstname.lastname@example.org • Cinco de Mayo, May 3-5, Goliad County Fairgrounds • Hometown Freedom Festival, July 4, email@example.com • 28th Annual Missions Tour de Goliad Bike Ride, Oct. 19, 361-645-3563 • 29th Annual Scare on the Square, Oct. 26, firstname.lastname@example.org • Rio!Rio!, Nov. 9, Goliad State Park, 361-645-3405 • Christmas in Goliad, Dec. 6-7, Market House Museum, 361-645-8767
Page 15 – 2019 Boots To Beaches
THE Fishing Hole
The Coleto Creek Park and Reservoir located near Goliad is a popular South Texas getaway and fishing hole. Coleto is well known across the state for its fishing, but it is more than just a great fishing hole! Coleto’s 190-acre park, which provides the only public access to the 3,100 acre reservoir, offers shaded picnic tables with BBQ grills, swimming area, playgrounds and sand volleyball courts; plus, two Pavilions for group events. For overnight stays, there are 78 multiuse campsites, four camping cabins,
and four rental travel trailers. The campground also has a one-mile nature trail and eight miles of single track mountain bike trail. On the reservoir you can spot pleasure boaters, jet skiers, water skiers, kayakers, and sailboats quietly slipping along. Coleto attracts this variety of boaters because of its many coves - which can provide calm waters out of the sometimes windy main reservoir; and long arms of the reservoir - which provide long ski runs. Coleto is a prime migratory winter site for a wide variety of
A Perfect Getaway
Jackson County, named after President Andrew Jackson, is made up of several small towns including Edna and Ganado. The County is known for its beautiful oak trees, lush farm land, and lots of fishing in both fresh water and salt water. It is also part of the Texas Independence Trail and the Texas Settlement
GET BACK TO NATURE, 190-ACRE PARK WITH MULTI-USE CAMP SITES waterfowl and birds including Bald Eagles, Osprey, Hummingbirds, Roseate Spoonbills, and White Pelicans. Coleto has recorded over 100 different bird species. Plus, the area offers an abundance of wildlife including deer, squirrels, turkey, foxes, bobcats, raccoons, and others. So consider a visit to the Coleto Creek Park and Reservoir and “Come Make a Memory With Us.” Visit our website at www.coletocreekpark. com for more details.
LAKE TEXANA - THE HEART OF THE COUNTY
Region and is a stop on the trail for LaSalle’s Historic Odyssey as well as the Texas Coastal Birding Trail. It sits snuggly in between Houston, San Antonio and Corpus at the head of the Lavaca and Carancahua Bays. Lake Texana is the heart of this wide spread county and home of the Brackenridge Recreation
Complex which offers a perfect geta-way spot nestled among nature and lots of oak trees. The BRC, located about 7 miles outside of Edna, is owned and operated by the Lavaca-Navidad River Authority. It offers several options for its guests with two large Continued, Next Page
The BRC hosts many festivals and events throughout the year. We hope you will join us for one of our annual events!
Brackenridge Snow Day - January 26, 2019 Independence Day Celebration - July 6, 2019 Spooktacular Carnival & Haunted Trail - October 26, 2019 Texana Chili Spill & BBQ Cook Oﬀ - November 7-9, 2019
Page 16 – 2019 Boots To Beaches
campgrounds, an Event Complex with a rodeo arena, several rental facilities as well as many recreation areas that can be used for fishing, hiking, biking, and picnicking. There are also several fully furnished cabins available to rent in the Complex which make an excellent place to rest and relax with nature on your front door step. The BRC puts on at least five annual events each year both in the campgrounds and at the Main Event Center like the BRC Snow Day and Carnival, the Spooktacular Carnival and Haunted Trail, Texana Chili Spill & Go Texan BBQ Cook-Off, the BRC Independence Day Celebration and Antique Tractor Parade and the Summer Fun Series which includes both movies in the park and water days. The Main Event Center also hosts the Jackson County Youth Fair, several fishing tournaments, rodeos, and much more. Since the Complex sits directly on the banks of Lake Texana, it is a haven for water recreation like boating, kayaking, water or jet skiing and fishing. The Lake also offers an ideal setting for other nature related activities such as bird watching, hiking, biking and even horseback riding on the equestrian trail. Relaxing by a campfire while watching the wildlife is probably the number one objective on most of the park guests’ “To Do List” when visiting the Complex.
In addition to the BRC, the small towns of Jackson County offer downtown boutique shopping and several family-owned restaurants that will satisfy anyone’s taste buds. If you are a history buff and are looking for a new story to hear, stop by the Texana Museum and learn about the lost town of Texana and the native inhabitants of the Texas Coast. The Ganado Theatre is another historic attraction to the area, located in downtown Ganado, it offers the highest quality visual and surround sound audio experience for newly released movies. If food and music is more of your scene, then make plans to attend the annual Ganado Volunteer Fire Department’s Annual Crawfish Festival in August. The festival is all Cajun with Zydeco bands playing and plenty of crawfish to eat! Anoth-
er great local attraction is the Rear Window Listening Room, a musical venue that celebrates the singer/ songwriters that write and perform original, new music from all genres in an intimate live setting. The County is also home to the winery at Lavaca Bluffs Vineyard in Lolita. They offer “history by the bottle” in naming wines and providing historical or geographical descriptions of the region with every label. These unique wines are produced on premises from Jackson County and area fruit, estate-grown Black Spanish, Blanc du Bois, native Mustang grapes and selected grapes blended with Texas fruit. The Lavaca River provides a beautiful setting for Lavaca Bluff’s sunsets and wine tasting for those who visit. www.brackenridgepark.com. Photo by Patricia Konta
Camping * Fishing * Water Sports * Nature Trails Cabins * Miniature Golf * Disc Golf * Paintball Playgrounds * Indoor & Outdoor Arena * Facility Rentals * Concessions * Historic Texana Church
April 13: Miss Bluebonnet Days Pageant April 26 & 27: Bluebonnet Days Festival October 19: Six Shooter Junction Golf Tournament
Page 18 – 2019 Boots To Beaches
Six Shooter Junction
Kenedy, once known as the “Six Shooter Junction,” is now the “Junction Where Good Friends Meet.” Folks can come to explore the rich heritage of the area, visit the museums and parks, as well as experience True Texas Hospitality. Eagle Ford Shale has grown throughout the area, making Karnes County the heart of the boom. The area is constantly bustling in the oil and gas field, creating economic growth around every corner. Kenedy has developed into a goldmine for entrepreneurs and chain businesses alike. Joe Gulley Park is Kenedy’s premier destination with a little something for all ages. The park offers nature trails, great bird watching areas, aquatic plant exhibits, picnic areas, a playground and ball fields. Spring Wildflowers include Kenedy and the surrounding area on this adventure. The rolling hillsides are vibrant with an abundance of wildflowers. Driving the back roads can be a perfect day trip or weekend get-away. Explore the Heritage Historical Markers that are placed around Kenedy to give visitors a glimpse of the town’s colorful past. Stop by the
Chamber or check out the web site for a list of the markers and then set off on an adventure to find them. Be sure to include a stop at the local Post Office to enjoy “The Grist Mill,” painted during the Great Depression 1934-43. It was part of a program called the New Deal Art
Golf with a view
Murals. “Horned Lizard Capital of Texas” as proclaimed in 2000 by the Texas Legislature, is another claim to fame for Kenedy. Kenedy is located a short distance from a variety of fishing lakes and bay fishing opportunities. The golf enthusiast is invited to check out the 9-hole golf course just south of Kenedy. Downtown Kenedy is enjoying a rebirth with the restoration and
HORNED LIZARD CAPITAL OF TEXAS, A GREAT SPOT TO GOLF & FISH remodeling of many historic buildings. There are several bed and breakfasts located in the downtown area which provide a unique get away experience. The Hwy 181 corridor offers gift and flower shops, restaurants, motels, RV parks, and is the gateway to Joe Gulley Park. Panna Maria is the “Oldest Permanent Polish Settlement” in the USA and the Cradle of Polish Culture. Established in 1854, the buildings and museum house artifacts of several generations, which preserve the heritage and culture - www. pannamariatexas.com. Helena Court House Museum is located between Kenedy and Panna Maria. It offers a view into what life was like in South Texas during the 1800’s. www. karnesmuseum.com Everyone is invited to come, visit and stay a while. Enjoy the blue skies, fresh air, and friendly folks. Kenedy is a wonderful place to visit, raise a family or spend your retirement years. Kenedy Chamber of Commerce; 205 S. 2nd Street; Kenedy, TX 78119; Phone: 830.583.3223 Fax: 830.583.9166; kenedycc@outlook. com; www.kenedychamber.org; facebook.com/kenedychamber
Page 19 – 2019 Boots To Beaches
The Kennedy Ranch Museum of South Texas opened its doors on October 25, 2003. The museum is located at 200 E. La Parra Ave. in Sarita, Texas, county seat of Kenedy County. It is about 20 miles south of Kingsville off of Highway 77. The museum is housed in the former Kenedy Pasture Company building which was built in 1927 and is a program of the John G. and Marie Stella Kenedy Memorial Foundation of Corpus Christi. In a separate building, the Carriage House which is the
museum’s media center, a short documentary on the lives of the Kenedeños, the vaqueros and their families of the Kenedy Ranch, is shown in a nice theater setting with some very comfortable rocking chairs to sit in. The hours of the museum are: Tues. – Sat. 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.; Sunday – Noon – 4 p.m.; Closed on Mondays and major holidays. Admission is: $2 for Seniors, $3 for Adults, $2 for Young adults 1318 years. Children under 13 years and organized school groups are free.
Wild Horse Desert
Kingsville - home of the world-famous King Ranch®, is a vibrant city that offers a myriad of recreational choices. Take a walk in historic downtown and find 11 Texas Historical Markers. Soothe your soul while shopping an eclectic collection of fine shops that dot downtown. Cowboy boots, Western apparel, Southwestern jewelry, fashionable clothing, furniture, art, and unique gifts are available. The flagship store of the worldwide catalog business, the Saddle Shop is a must-visit. At the King Ranch® Visitors Center, guests can book guided wildlife, birding, and special-interest tours. For a taste of ranching in the Wild Horse Desert, the King Ranch
Museum in historic downtown Kingsville provides videos and exhibits of ranch life and history. From the museum, take a ride down the Los Kineños Trail and over to Kleberg Avenue where the 1904 Train Depot Museum displays artifacts of South Texas railroading-an important facet of the history and heritage of the area. Kingsville is rich in history and at the Venerable Mother Julia Museum and Chapel, visitors can find out why the pope declared Mother Julia Venerable and see maps detailing the forty-five convents Mother Julia would go on to establish across the world after opening her very first convent in Kingsville. Tours can be booked by calling (361) 246-0979.
HISTORIC KING RANCH, COMMUNITY RICH WITH CULTURE From its beginnings as a teachers’ college, Texas A&M University-Kingsville has grown into a major academic and athletic center, with programs including engineering, wildlife research, and ranch management. The John E. Conner Museum on campus is open to the public. It celebrates the natural history of the region and frequently displays temporary exhibits featuring colorful quilts, colorful paintings and unique sculptures. TAMUK’s Ben Bailey Gallery also invites visitors and regularly hosts a variety of art exhibits. While in the area, don’t miss your opportunity to sample an award Continued, Next Page
winning and Texas-made rum at the Wild Horse Distillery. Tastings and tours are complimentary, reservations are required, call (361) 522-4165. For visitors interested in birdwatching, there are hotspots for South Texas specialties from within the city to Baffin Bay, a prime fishing destination. The Cowboy Coast is also rich in photographic opportunities. Visitors will hear, then see, orange-and-white jets flown by pilots being trained at the air station. Kingsville loves jet noise and is also the proud home of Naval Air Station-Kingsville. Kingsville hosts many events throughout the year, from Ride on the Wild Side in April to Ranch Hand Weekend in November. Follow Kingsville Visitors Center on Facebook for a complete schedule of events and special hotel rates.
Page 20 â€“ 2019 Boots To Beaches
Always a good time
Page 21 – 2019 Boots To Beaches
A Texas Secret
If you are looking for a coastal getaway, whether a day trip or longer, the historic highlights, beautiful bay shores and natural resources of Palacios are beckoning. Tres Palacios Bay is one of Texas’ premier sailing bays. A 1-1/2-mile walkable lighted seawall provides a glimpse of stately homes and historic buildings along the bayfront and several free piers are available for day or night fishing. The new Palacios Pavilion event venue rises above the shoreline toward the west. Small town hospitality abounds here on Tres Palacios Bay. Visit local cuisine restaurants then stop by the museum to learn about LaSalle and the French explorers who landed here in the 17th century. A half-size replica of their sunken ship is on display at the nearby South Bay Marina. Continue your
BEAUTIFUL BAYS, BOUNTIFUL FISH
discovery by visiting 20 local historical markers on a self-guided tour. The Palacios area is home to more bird species than anywhere else in the United States. With seven local birding sites along Bir the Tres Palacios ds ,b Loop of the Texas ird s Coastal Birding Trail, eve explore pristine prairie ryw he wetlands and capture re amazing wildlife photos by walking, canoeing or kayaking. The Port of affording spectacular sunset views. Palacios is home to Texas’s There’s more to see and do, so largest shrimp fleet and a 30-ft tall come visit this City by the Sea! Fishermen’s Memorial, a tribute to local fishermen, overlooking the www.palacioschamber.com bay on the west end of the port and
Page 22 – 2019 Boots To Beaches
Welcom to Port Aransas, an island getaway for beach, sun and family fun! Nestled between the dunes of Mustang Island and the Corpus Christi Ship Channel, Port Aransas’ picturesque shoreline is the perfect place to beachcomb, frolic in the waves, bask beneath the sun, and relax in the gentle gulf breezes. Mustang Island’s nature-related sites abound, offering optimum opportunities for birding, kayaking, fishing, surfing and swimming. Reflecting a unique laid-back attitude, the intimate coastal community of Port Aransas brims with eclectic boutiques, shops, art galleries, cafes, and exceptional restaurants and lodging. Escape to Port Aransas to experience family fun ~ Island Style! Affectionately referred to as Port ‘A’, the term “extended family” applies to this island community, as locals eagerly anticipate the return of visitors throughout the year. Points of Interest: • Great Texas Birding Trail sites • Joan & Scott Holt Paradise Pond – This freshwater pond is a haven for resident and migratory birds. • Kayak Trails • Leonabelle Turnbull Birding Center - – Novices to experts can discover new species every Wednesday at 9 am, during “Birding on the Boardwalk”, a free, guided public tour. • Lydia Ann Lighthouse – Privately owned and operated, the lighthouse has been in existence since the 1800’s. It is the only lighthouse on the Texas Gulf Coast with 24-hour caretakers. It is not open to the public, but visitors may view it from the water. • Mustang Island State Park. The beaches of Mustang Island cover 18 miles of uninterrupted public shoreline and are open to vehicles. Pets are welcome, but they must remain leashed at all times. A parking permit for a minimal fee is required. • Port Aransas Nature Preserve – This 1,217 acre preserve encompasses over 3 miles of hiking and bicycle trails, a pavilion, boardwalks over wetland flats, covered seating areas, and two overlook towers. • Port Aransas Wetlands Park – The wetland lies on a natural tidal flat and attracts a number of resident and migratory birds. • South Jetty – Granite jetties form the pathway to the Gulf of Mexico. • Spoil islands in the bays and waterways surrounding the island offer fantastic birding and wildlife viewing opportunities. • St. Jo’s Island – A privately owned island across the
PICTURESQUE SHORELINE, GULF BREEZES, EATERIES, BEACHES AND MORE
Corpus Christi Ship Channel. Vehicles are not allowed on the island’s 21 miles of undisturbed beach, providing excellent opportunities for beachcombing and surf fishing. • The University of Texas Marine Science Institute Wetlands Education Center – Visitors will discover the value of wetlands at this educational resource, which offers indoor and outdoor interpretive exhibits. The site features an extensive boardwalk system and several observation platforms for viewing resident and migratory birds. Known as the “Fishing Capital of Texas,” Port Aransas boasts the best in all areas of the sport. Deep sea fishing is big in the waters of this small coastal town. Offshore excursions ranging from 6 – 56 hours depart from Port Aransas docks. Located in the heart of the Central Flyway, Port Aransas and Mustang Island are a birder’s paradise. Hundreds of species of resident birds and thousands of migrants can be found here. With five sites on the Great Texas Birding Trail, Mustang Island is the optimal spot for bird watching. -visitportaransas.com
COME FOR THE B E ACH. S TAY FO R TH E F I S H I N G , FO O D A N D F U N .
Plan your getaway at
Page 23 – 2019 Boots To Beaches
An Unexpected Treasure
Whether you are interested in birding, history, shopping, hiking, swimming, boating, fishing, or simply watching the sunset, Port Lavaca has it all! Calhoun County’s extensive bay system provides excellent fishing and access to Gulf waters. With the largest and deepest bay system on the Texas Gulf Coast, Calhoun County has much to offer the avid sports fisherman. Matagorda Bay, Espiritu Santo Bay, San Antonio Bay, Lavaca Bay and Caranchua Bay are full of redfish, shark, trout, flounder, pompano, gafftops, whiting, croakers, sheepsheads, drum, jack crevalle, Spanish mackerel and the “silver king” of game fish, tarpon. Calhoun County also offers the best natural passes or entries to the Gulf on the Texas Gulf Coast. Light House Beach - Enjoy the
HIKING, BOATING, FISHING AND SO MUCH MORE
tropical comforts this RV site has to offer. With 55 full hook up sites including cable TV and new family area with splash pad, you’ll agree this is the best of living on the Gulf Coast! Check out these other amenities, 2200 foot board walk from beach to bird Pic tower, made from recycled tu res materials; picnic area and qu ew playground; white sandy ate beach; large, 50’ by 100’ rs covered pavilion; 4750-foot walking path; campers-only restroom facility; washers or enjoy many festivals and dryers for campers; and and events throughout the year. For recreation center. Discover antiques current events, visit our website: and gift shops in Olde Town Port www.visitportlavaca.com. Photo by Lavaca. Shop for unexpected treaBill Harvey sures at our monthly Market Days,
Top Choice for Anglers
Located across the bridge from Corpus Christi, Portland offers the best of the Texas Coastal Bend area making it the perfect base for all your coastal adventures. The city overlooks both the Corpus Christi Bay and the Nueces Bay, popular places for fishing, sailing, swimming, and kite surfing. And its proximity to everything in the area, from the Texas State Aquarium to the beaches of Port Aransas and Rockport, coupled with family-friendly hotels in one of
the safest cities on the Texas coast, makes Portland a natural choice for a family shoreline stay. The city is home to Sunset Lake Park, a 333-acre ecologically rich wetland that extends into Corpus Christi Bay, providing a nesting ground for migratory birds—drawing both local and visiting birding enthusiasts. Nearby Indian Point Pier, a favorite recreation spot for locals, is a top choice of area anglers. And a hike and bike trail traversing the perimeter of the park gives visitors a
PERFECT FOR FAMILY GETAWAYS bird’s eye view of the bay. A favorite fishing spot for more than a century, Indian Point got its name from the Indians who once camped on the sandy shore to do their fishing. Portland is your home away from home on the Texas Coastal Bend. It’s accessible from two major highways: U.S. Highway 181 and State Highway 35, and its only minutes away from Corpus Christi International Airport. www.portlandtx.org
Page 24 – 2019 Boots To Beaches
Rich With History
Refugio County holds a very culturally diverse rich history that many are unaware of. Many Indigenous tribes roamed the land of south Texas before the area was settled by Spanish and Mexican rancheros, followed by Irish Empresarios, famously, James Power from Ballygarrett, Ireland. On May 19, 1996 the Town of Ballygarrett dedicated a memorial acknowledging the connection between the two cities. Ballygarrett and Refugio officially twinned for cultural economic and tourism purposes. One major historic feature Refugio County has to offer is the mission that used to stand on the
south end of town. The Nuestra Señora Del Refugio Mission. Refugio was named after the mission, built in 1795 and was the final Spanish mission constructed in the State of Texas. The mission served as a church to spread Catholicism as well as a Refuge to the indigenous tribes for the years that it stood. It was abandoned around 1830 and was the site of The Battle of Refugio in 1836 during the Texas Revolution. It eventually crumbled due to the type of stone material used to construct it. Townspeople contributed to it’s demise by taking rocks and repurposing them for other things
REBUILDING A HISTORICAL TREASURE around town. In the days after Nuestra Señora Del Refugio was abandoned, it was described by travelers going through Refugio as “one of the most beautiful missions, even in ruin.” Plans to build a replica of the mission are in works by a Non-profit Group called “Los Amigos de Nuestra Señora Del Refugio” Which translates to The Friends of Our Lady of Refuge. The goal of Los Amigos is to build, promote and maintain a full size replica of Nuestra Señora Del Refugio, also to educate and tell the story of life in early South Texas. www.refugiocountytx.org
The Crossroads of S. Texas
Welcome to Robstown, the “Biggest Little Town in Texas!” Founded in 1907, Robstown is literally at the “crossroads of opportunity” since it is at the center of a strategically located transportation infrastructure that includes access to rail, highway and a water shipping port to move products internationally. Within a few minutes’ drive of historic Robstown are a variety of amenities such as the famous King Ranch, Lake Corpus Christi, the Texas State Aquarium, the Nueces County Keach Library, North and South Padre Island Seashores, several first class art and history museums, night entertainment and
an abundance of restaurants to suit your menu preferences. To obtain firsthand knowledge of the areas’ cultural and historical heritage visit the Robstown Area Historical Museum and several historical markers in the town. If it’s authentic Mexican food you are looking for, you need go no further than the various Mexican food restaurants “taquerias” in town. The highlight of events in town primarily center on the county’s Richard M Borchard Regional Fairgrounds in a state of the art facility. Hardly a day goes by that some event is not taking place at the
SHOPPING, BARBECUE AND MONTHLY EVENTS facility which offers both indoor and outdoor events. To name a few, there are concerts, banquets, weddings, regional training meetings, carnivals, gun shows, antique car shows, arts and crafts sales, livestock shows, music festivals, rodeos, community festivals and cook-offs. The biggest attraction here is the recent opening of the new Corpus Christi Bay Outlet Mall located adjacent to the RMB Fairgrounds. Call the Robstown Area Development Commission at 361-387-3933 or visit us at www. robstownadc.com
Rockport-Fulton Page 25 – 2019 Boots To Beaches
GULF WATERS, ANTIQUES AND FESTIVALS AWAIT
A Visitor’s Dream
Find yourself in in Rockport-Fulton and discover why Rockport-Fulton, Texas is the Charm of the Texas Coast! Aransas National Wildlife Refuge Voted the No. 1 birding spot and No. 5 National Wildlife Refuge in the nation for USA TODAY Readers’ Choice, this site is the place to go for watching the more than 400 species of birds, especially the gorgeous whooping cranes in the winter. Other wildlife can be found here as well, such as turtles, blue crab and butterflies, all in addition to the beautiful scenery. www.fws. gov/refuge/Aransas Aransas Pathways A favorite with visitors and locals alike are the Aransas Pathways sites. These sites include outdoor activities, from kayaking to hiking, biking, birding and more along with historical markers and a not to be missed History Center. Be sure to stop by the Pathways Center for more information or visit aransaspathways.com The Big Tree and Goose Island State Park Come out and see one of the largest live oak trees in the state, as well as the country that was the State Champion Coastal Live Oak for nearly 40 years. A true test of the strength of this big live oak is its survival of Hurricane Harvey. This natural beauty is located to the north in Aransas County at Goose Island State park. Also at the Park is 321.4 acres surrounded by both St. Charles and Aransas Bays. Things to do at the park include: hiking, fishing, camping and geocaching. tpwd.texas.gov/stateparks/goose-island/the-big-tree Biking
Those who love the great outdoors will find plenty of places to get out and bike no matter their skill level. Tule Creek Hike and Bike Trail, Memorial Park and Goose Island Big Tree Route are just a few. aransaspathways.com/category/hike-bike Birdwatching With 10 birding sites on the Great Texas Birding Trail, this area is perfect for spotting flocks. Hundreds of birds can be seen in just one day, such as mottled duck, snowy egret, sandhill crane and little blue heron. Favorite birding places include the Connie Hagar Cottage Sanctuary, Ivy Lane, Linda S. Castro Nature Sanctuary and Rattlesnake Point Road. aransaspathways.com/category/birding Boat Cruises: Whooping Crane/ Dolphin /Sunset Bring a camera and look for
whooping cranes as they nest November through March on this popular sightseeing tour, which is fun for both the young and young at heart. In the summer, dolphin and sunset cruises are also available, while other types of wildlife, such as alligators, pelicans and more, can be seen throughout the year. The Summer months are a great time to view the beautiful sunset over the bay or watch dolphins as they plunge in and out of the bay. Boat/Kayak Excursions There are plenty of places to get in the water in the Rockport-Fulton area. Public boat ramps and piers include Cove Harbor, Fulton Harbor and Rockport Harbor, while Port Bay Road, Swan Lake, Copano Bay Fishing Pier and Cavasso Creek are just a few of the places Continued, Next Page
Page 26 – 2019 Boots To Beaches
perfect for kayaking. www.rockport-fulton.org/Boating; aransaspathways.com/category/kayaking Cemeteries The Rockport, Fulton and Lamar cemeteries display the history of the area and feature several graves from some of the area’s earliest settlers. Gravestones of Confederate soldiers from the Civil War can be seen, as well as notable people from Aransas County. findagrave.com Community Aquatic and Skate Park Open year-round, this park features a 25-yard pool and diving area, a splash pad, pool with slides and sprays for kids. There is a 6,000-square-foot modular skate park as well. www.cityofrockport.com/118/Community-Aquatic-Skate-Park Fishing From beginners to experts, anglers of all skill levels and ages will enjoy the abundance of opportunities to cast a line and reel in the big one. A few of the local favorites include the Fulton Pier, Rockport Beach Park Piers and Boat Ramp and South Jetty Pier, as well as Copano Causeway launch. www.rockport-fulton.org/ Fishing-Hunting Fulton Mansion Built in the 1870s, this house was remarkable for its time. It had conveniences such as gas lighting, central heating and indoor plumbing. The mansion sustained major Hurricane Harvey damage; it is scheduled to re-open within the next year. The Fulton Mansion education center is open with regular hours. For more information, please visit www.visitfultonmansion.org Fulton Schoolhouse Museum Visit this one-room schoolhouse and step back in time to years gone by. Maintained by the Daughters of the Republic, this museum features a replica of the Fulton Mansion, as well as souvenirs. Tours are free! www.fultontexas.org/museum Golfing/ Golf Cart Rentals Looking for some time on the green? Tee off at premier golf clubs for a fun and challenging round. Want to rent a cart to just cruise around? It is a favorite pastime for our visitors. Stop by the visitors center for a full list of courses and golf cart rental companies. www. rockport-fulton.org/Golf-Courses Harbors Life on the coast wouldn’t be complete without harbors and the picturesque views they bring. The Rockport, Fulton and Cove harbors are perfect for setting sail, enjoying the fresh air or just soaking up the warm Texas sunshine. We have unique opportunities to Continued, Page 34
Page 28– 2019 Boots To Beaches
Worth a day-trip
Day trippers can enjoy their time exploring the friendly town of Sinton for delicious food, unique shops and acres of land to seek wild life, historical landmarks and bike trails. Welder Wildlife Refuge Tours feature the largest exhibit with rare, endangered, common and extinct taxidermy birds of the world at the newly remodeled Natural History Museum. The tour also includes the refuge which takes visitors through a variety of habitats ranging from upland mesquite-mixed-grass communities to freshwater wetland lakes. Public tours are held each Thursday. Private tours are available for groups consisting of 10 or more members. Sinton Historical Museum These exhibits feature household items and farm and ranch tools of early area settlers, WWI and WWII military uniforms and Plymouth Oilers baseball memorabilia. Parks The City of Parks includes the recreational facilities in the Sinton area. Welder Park is a picturesque area nestled off North Rachal Street. It has a dog park, playground
connections and memories with the early settlement days of old Indianola. The museum is open Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For private tour groups and school groups please make reservations in advance by calling 361-275-6322.
DELICIOUS FOOD, UNIQUE SHOPS, BIRDING, BIKING
and picnic tables surrounded by trees. Rob & Bessie Park offer trails for birding, biking and a Tournament size Municipal Golf Course. The San Patricio Riding and Roping Youth Rodeo is held every year at the parks’ arena which gives the spectators an opportunity to catch a glimpse of the “ole west”. When driving through Historic downtown Sinton, you can spot Purple Martin houses at Coin Park and Butterfly Park for a glimpse of bird watching. Texas Heritage and American Independence murals are at Jackson Square. Shopping Shopping is just one of the many unique and special opportunities Sinton offers for any visitor including our iconic praline munching giant squirrel outside of Aunt Aggie De’s Pralines. Take a stroll down the Historic Downtown District and you’ll find fashion wear, cool accessories, antique treasures and fine jewelry to creative home décor and kitchen items. Distillery Tours Want to learn how to moonshine the modern way? Justice
Label invites everyone in for a free tour of their warehouse. Whether you’re curious, a hobbyist trying to learn more, or an entrepreneur trying to strike out on your own, there is something for you. In the tasting room sample Rum, vodka, “Bronze Star” Texas whiskey, and moonshine. Dining Dining in Sinton has a variety of local restaurants for diners including authentic Italian, Chinese, Mexican and all American cuisine; to coffee shops, bakeries and food stands. Annual events San Patricio County Fairgrounds holds the Annual Agriculture and Homemakers Show late in January. Students from throughout the county exhibit their best livestock, agriculture products, and handwork, cakes, pastries and breads. Historical Landmarks Include: Sinton State Bank (Odem Building), San Patricio County Courthouse, Methodist Church West Sinton, Texas Call the Sinton Chamber of Commerce at 361-364-2307.
The Pharmacy and Medical Museum of Texas 114 E. Main This museum is a dream come true for former pharmacist Mr. Joe Reuss. For years Mr. Reuss had a vision of creating an educational museum focusing on the pharmaceutical and medical fields and also to preserve Cuero’s rich history in these areas. The building, built in 1889, by the Heaton Brothers, was designed to be a pharmacy/drug-
store and never housed a different type of business until it became a museum. The interior is amazingly intact with the original 1889 wall cabinets, display counters and the pharmacist’s preparation bench in their original locations. The first floor has been beautifully restored and houses displays of items from the late 1800’s through the early 1900’s. Hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. www.cuero.org
Page 29 – 2019 Boots To Beaches
Driving Trails Galore
The Texas Tropical Trail Region encompasses 20 counties, 23,000 square miles and is home to 1.7 million residents. This Region is one of the Texas Historical Commission’s ten Texas Heritage Trail Regions. The Region’s Border Byway skirts the nation of Mexico, and the Gulf Coast Byway runs along the Texas Gulf Coast. The rich landscapes in between are called the Brush County Byway and the Wild Horse Desert Byway. The Texas Heritage Trails program is based on 10 scenic driving trails created in 1968 by Gov. John Connally and the Texas Highway Department (now the Texas Department of Transportation) as a tool for visitors to explore the Lone Star State. The Trails were established in conjunction with HemisFair, an international expo that commemorated the 250th anniversary of the founding of San Antonio. Historical sites within the Region include battlegrounds, architecture, historical markers, courthouses, museums, lighthouses and landmarks. For the adventurous, the region offers beachcombing, hiking, hunting, camping, golfing, boating, fishing and a wide variety of water sports and eco-tourism opportunities. Each month since the organization was formed in May 2005, group tours and presentations have been organized throughout the Region in order to provide the opportunity for attendees to visit the real places telling real stories about the history and heritage of this part of
MONTHLY EVENTS, COMMUNITY VISITS
south Texas. The monthly events are open to the public; email email@example.com for more information and to be included on the invitation list. Since spring 2016, a coalition of seven of these Heritage Trail Regions, including Tropical Trail, has been publishing a quarterly magazine, Authentic Texas, to showcase the genuine people, places, and products that make the Texas experience unique, from the State’s rich and diverse heritage to today’s art and culture. Each issue tells the true stories worth sharing, the stories that invite travelers to get in the car and come see for themselves. Authentic Texas is available free at more than 100 visitor centers, heritage sites and select business establishments throughout the Lone Star State and by paid subscription for home delivery. To locate a copy and start planning your next trip, visit www.authentictexas.com.
The TEXAS TROPICAL TRAIL REGION is located in the lower 20 counties of deep south Texas and is filled with adventure, history, culture and wide open spaces.
Photo by ©Valerie D. Bates
Preserving Histo ry
WELCOME TO THREE RIVERS, TX GATEWAY TO THE GOOD LIFE!
South Shore Unit Choke Canyon State Park..Calliham Unit Three Rivers
has a lot to offer… Fish, Hunt, Golf, Birding & School Sport Facilities. Historical sites And local Jobs, Valero Refinery, FCI, TP&W, & Oil industry
Three Rivers… IH 37 & HWY 281… EXIT 69 & 72
Page 31 – 2019 Boots To Beaches
Gateway To Nature
Three Rivers traces its beginnings to July 4, 1913 with a grand opening and first sale of land by Charles R. Tips. Tips, a University of Texas graduate and employee of the First National Bank of Seguin, came to the Brush Country at the urging of Mrs. Annie Hamilton of Cuero. Mrs. Hamilton owned a tract of land where Three Rivers now sits. The fledgling community was named Hamiltonburg, until the U.S. Post Office insisted that the name was too similar to “Hamilton”, thus the change. Tips suggested Three Rivers because of the nearby confluence of the Atascosa, Frio and Nueces Rivers. Three Rivers is the Gateway to Choke Canyon and the center of activity for the Eagle Ford Shale Discovery. Three Rivers is located midway between San Antonio and Corpus Christi and sits at the crossroads where the Atascosa, Frio and Nueces Rivers meet. Choke Canyon Reservoir is the destination in Texas for numerous fishing tournaments, and attracts thousands of people monthly who enjoy the abundance of fishing opportunities available. If you are a hunter, the area is home to deer, quail, dove, turkey, javelina and wild hogs. Three Rivers is what small town America is all about -pride in our
schools, churches and diversity of citizens. The town square is the gathering point for town government, and weekly events. Unique businesses, numerous motels and food establishments and a wide variety of professional
services are available. Three Rivers hosts the best Salsa Festival in Texas. It is held annually during Fourth of July weekend; with free admission, two music stages, unique vendors, salsa contests and so much more. Three Rivers is RV-FRIENDLY, offering RV PULL-THROUGH PARKING until 6 p.m. on the south side of the town square. Overnight RV Camping is available at several local parks. See the latest movies at the historic Rialto Theatre on the town
HUNTING, FISHING, FESTIVALS AND MORE square–the only operating movie theater in three counties! The Rialto, first opened in 1948, shows firstrun movies on two screens. For showtimes, call the Movie Hotline at (361) 786-4400 or the office (361) 786-4403 to leave messages. If you visit us in the Spring, you’ll be treated to a beautiful display of Bluebonnets, Indian Paintbrush, and many other vibrant wildflowers. Join us for the Live Oak County Fair and Rodeo and sample some good old-fashioned fun. Summertime brings lots of sunshine and great fishing! Nothing beats a day on the lake or laying by the pool. Join us for the Swinney Switch Wild Hog Cook-off or enjoy the 4th of July on the shores of Choke Canyon. Autumn in our part of the world means football, dove hunting, and fun events like the George West Storyfest and the Lagarto GatorFest. Three Rivers is home to many “Winter Texans” who travel south to enjoy our mild winters, fantastic hunting and fishing, great food, and our legendary hospitality. The popular Choke Canyon Birding Festival also draws quite a crowd from all over the state and beyond. To learn more and see current activities, visit www.threeriverstx. org.
Page 32 – 2019 Boots To Beaches
Come and Explore
Founded in 1824 by Spanish Empresario Don Martin de Leon, Victoria is one of the oldest cities in Texas. With its rich history, outdoor adventures and unique eateries, Victoria is the perfect spot for making memories in the Texas Coastal Bend. History and Art Take the Old Victoria Driving Tour, a self-driven tour featuring more than 80 historic homes and buildings – many listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Includes the 1892 Courthouse. Follow the Explore Victoria Texas History Trail and learn about Victoria’s rich multi-cultural heritage. The trail includes museums, restaurants, historic interpretive signs and more. The Museum of the Coastal Bend features permanent exhibit “Where Texas History Began.” Displays showcase the last 13,000 years of Texas history, from the first inhabitants of the Coastal Bend region through the French, Spanish, and Mexican colonial efforts, up to the diverse inﬂuences that have created the modern Texan culture. The Nave Museum houses the art collection of Royston Nave and features 6 to 8 rotating exhibits each year, including classical and modern. Outdoors and Nature Victoria’s Riverside Park spans 562 acres and includes a rose garden, duck pond, Riverside Golf Course and more. The park is a prime spot for birding and nature walks. For the more adventurous, take a bike ride or bring your kayak and float the Guadalupe River. While in Riverside Park, check out the native Texas and exotic animals at The Texas Zoo. Local Eateries and Nightlife
WHERE BBQ, HISTORY AND NATURE MEET
D.H. Regan Hom e
Huvar’s Artisan Market offers fresh, unique food in downtown Victoria. Don’t miss Pizza Night on Friday and Saturdays! The PumpHouse Riverside Restaurant & Bar is located on the banks of the Guadalupe River. Live music is served on the patio. The Sunday brunch is a must do! Fossati’s Delicatessen is the oldest deli in Texas and a part of the Old Victoria Driving Tour. Family owned for generations, you’ve gotta catch this one for lunch, Monday through Friday only. The Great Coastal Texas Barbecue Trail features BBQ joints in and just outside of Victoria. To learn more, visit CoastalTexasBBQTrail. com. Moonshine Drinkery and Aero Crafters are two favorite spots to have a drink and take in the live music scene. Plan your visit at ExploreVictoriaTexas.com.
Annual Events: March 2019 Annual Quilt Festival, March 1-2, QuiltGuildVictoria.org; The Texas Mile, March 22-24, TexasMile.net April 2019 Jam Fest & Art Car Parade, April 6, FivePointsMuseum.com; Victoria Texas Independent Film Festival, April 4-7, VTXIFF.com; Historic Homes Tour, April 27-28, VictoriaPreservation.com June 2019 Victoria Bach Festival, June 1-8, VictoriaBachFestival.org September 2019 Czech Heritage Festival, September 22, VictoriaCzechs.org October 2019 Bootfest, October 4-5, Bootfest. org; The Texas Mile, late October, TexasMile.net; Annual Cemetery Tour, October 25-26, VictoriaPreservation.com
Page 33 – 2019 Boots To Beaches
Charm of the Coastal Bend
More than a century ago Yorktown, wich is DeWitt County’s oldest incorporated town, was founded by Captain John York and Charles Eckhardt, during the administration of Governor G.L. Wood. Yorktown is located conveniently close to San Antonio, Austin, Houston and Corpus Christi. Yorktown, Texas is nationally recognized for the annual Western Days Texas Music Festival. Yorktown is a rural community
Members Alice Chamber of Commerce 361-664-3454 www.alicetxchamber.org
Aransas Pass Chamber of Commerce 1-800-633-3028 www.aransaspass.org Bee County Chamber of Commerce 361-358-3267 www.beecountychamber.org City of Kingsville 361-592-8516 cityofkingsville.com Corpus Christi CVB 361-881-1820 www.visitcorpuschristitx.org Cuero Chamber of Commerce & Agriculture 361-275-2112 www.cuero.org Goliad Co. Chamber of Commerce 361-645-3563 www.goliadcc.org Ingleside Chamber of Commerce 361-389-5558 www.inglesidetxchamber.com Palacios Chamber of Commerce 361-972-2615 www.palacioschamber.com Port Aransas Chamber of
AT THE BANKS OF COLETO CREEK
with charm, a strong historical perspective, rich in tradition and proud of its heritage. Yorktown was founded in 1848 on the banks of the Coleto Creek and is among the oldest communities in De-Witt County. DeWitt County is “The Wildflower Capitol of Texas.” Visit www.yorktowntx. com
Commerce/Tourist Bureau 361-749-5919 www.portaransas.org
Archer Park RV Community 361-354-5186 archerpark-rv.com
Port Lavaca Chamber of Commerce 361-552-2959 www.portlavacainfo.com
Barnhart Q5 Ranch & Retreat 361-375-2824 barnhartranchretreat.com
Portland Chamber of Commerce 361-643-2475 www.portlandtx.org Refugio County Chamber of Commerce 361-526-2835 refugiocountytx.org
Bee County Historical Society 361-343-3119 Brackenridge Recreation Complex 361-782-5456 brackenridgepark.com Coastal Bend COG 361-883-5743 cbcog98.org
Robstown Area Development Commission 361-387-3933 www.robstownadc.com
Coastal Bend Distilling Co. 361-597-3065 coastalbenddistillingco.com
Rockport-Fulton Area Chamber of Commerce 361-729-6445 www.rockport-fulton.org
Emerge Destination Marketing Concepts 281-799-7226 emergemarkingconcepts.com
San Patricio EDC 361-643-4744 sanpatricioedc.com
GBRA-Coleto Creek 361-575-6366 coletocreekpark.com
Victoria Convention & Visitors Bureau 361-485-3116 www.visitvictoriatexas.com
Kenedy Ranch Museum 361-294-5751 kenedymuseum.org
Yorktown Economic Development Corp. 361-564-2661 www.yorktowntx.com Business Members
King Ranch Visitor Center 361-592-8055 www.king-ranch.com Los Amigos de Nuestra Senora
ry Del Refugio 361-543-9124
Maxine Flournoy 3rd Coast Squadron 361-813-6551 www.thirdcoastcaf.org Port Royal Ocean Resort 361-749-3712 www.port-royal.com Refugio Co. Museum 361-526-5555 refugiocountytx.org Rockport Net 361-727-1753 www.rockportnet.com Sandollar Resort 361-729-2381 Sandollar-resort.com So Tx Botanical Gardens & Nature Center 361-852-2100 www.stxbot.org Texas State Aquarium 361-881-1225 texasstateaquarium.org Texas Tropical Trail 361-547-8033 texastropicaltrail.com USS Lexington Museum on the Bay 361-888-4873 usslexington.com
Page 34 – 2019 Boots To Beaches
catch both the sunrise and sunset as Rockport-Fulton is located on a peninsula with Aransas Bay to the east and Copano Bay on the west. www.acnd.org/facilities/harbors-rates History Center for Aransas County Discover the local history with captivating exhibits that include artifacts of importance to Aransas County. Events take place throughout the year, including the Rockport-Fulton Tour of Historic Homes each December. www. aransashistorycenter.org Historical Markers Rockport-Fulton and Aransas County have a rich history that’s commemorated in these plaques that dot the landscape. There are more than 50 markers in this small county. Trying to locate all of them makes a fun—and free—educational outing for the entire family. www. aransascountytx.gov Hummingbird Migration Each September, the community comes together to commemorate the fall migration of the Ruby-throated hummingbird as it makes its way through the area to Central and South America. www.rockport-fulton.org/Hummer_About_the_Celebration Parks There are plenty of parks in Rockport-Fulton with opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors. With more than 100 acres, Memorial Park has recreational trails, athletic fields and more. Other area parks include the Rockport Beach Park, Fulton Harbor Park and many others. www.cityofrockport.com/116/ Area-Parks Rockport Beach Named the No. 1 Beach in Texas by USA TODAY Readers’ Choice 10Best. Rockport Beach is also a Blue Wave beach, one of only four in Texas to receive this designation from the Clean Beaches Council.
The beach features breathtaking views, nesting grounds for birds, a saltwater pool, children’s playground, cabanas, grills and a ski basin for watersports. www. rockportbeach-texas.com Rockport Center for the Arts Located in the heart of downtown Rockport at 106 S. Austin St, the center boasts work from local to international artists. Seminars, workshops and classes are just some of the events hosted yearround. RCA also hosts major events such as the Rockport Art Festival where more than 120 artists display their pieces for sale on the festival grounds at Rockport Harbor on July 4th weekend and the Tour of Homes throughout the area in April. www. rockportartcenter.com Rockport Cultural Arts District The Texas Commission on the Arts designated the Downtown Heritage District of Rockport as a Cultural Arts District in 2016. Rockport Cultural Arts District (RCAD) offers a walkable downtown, shopping area filled with one-of-a kind pieces of art and other merchandise, historic sites, performing arts venues, restaurants, attractions, art studios, and sculptures from local and international artists, surrounded by a coastal setting. www.rockportculturalartsdistrict.com Rockport Little Theatre The Rockport Little recently found a new home at the La Palma Event Center. The theatre provides a vehicle for education, and development of the performing arts and promotes community participation in all of its productions. The theater productions are offered at least once a year for one month, on weekends with a Sunday matinee. For more information, please visit www.rockportlittletheatre.com Schoenstatt Shrine and Stella Maris Chapel Serenity and peace of mind can be found at these two sacred sites. The Schoenstatt Shrine is a replica of the original one of the same name in Germany. Originally on
the same property, the Stella Maris Chapel now sits next to the old Lamar Cemetery and is considered the oldest remaining building in the diocese. aransaspathways.com/ stella-maris-chapel; schoenstatt-texas.org Texas Maritime Museum Discover Texas rich maritime history at the official maritime museum of Texas. Explore boatbuilding vs. shipbuilding and sports vs. commercial fishing. Learn about the search for offshore oil and gas Visit the LaSalle exhibit to learn about his failed Texas Colonial attempt. Find out how big oil companies and nature co-exist. See a Texas scow sloop-the workhorse of our early Texas fishing industry along with other fascinating artifacts and exhibits. Attend a lecture in the museum Education Center. Treat yourself to one of the best views in town from the observation deck. www.texasmaritimemuseum.org. Events Rockport-Fulton has events most every weekend and at least 1 major event each month. Join us for: Gospel Music Festival, Art Center Market Every 2nd Saturday of the month, Rockport-Fulton Market Days Every 3rd weekend of the month, Winter Texan Appreciation Day, Bountiful Bowl and Clay Expo, LaMardi Gras, Fulton Oysterfest, Whooping Crane Strut, Easter Sunrise Services, Rockport-Fulton Boat, Home and Studio Tour, Rockport Cultural Art Districts’ Annual Kite Festival, Nautical Flea Market, Babes on Bay, Festival of Wine and Food, Texas Game Warden Fishing Tournament, July 4th Activities, Rockport Art Festival, TSA Youth Sailing Rockin’ Rockport Regatta, Heroes Cup, HummerBird Celebration, Rockport-Fulton Shopping Tournament, Rockport-Fulton Seafair, Rockport Film Festival, Christmas by the Bay. For more info on Rockport-Fulton, visit www.rockport-fulton.org
The 2019 Tourism Guide of the Coastal Bend