Top Ten Things to Do in Matagorda County
Whether your ideal vacation means getting close to nature, great shopping or just relaxing on the beach, Matagorda County offers many activities for the whole family.
1. Spend a day at the Matagorda Bay Nature Park. This 1,600-acre nature preserve sits along the shores of the Gulf of Mexico and the Colorado River. The park offers miles of pristine beaches, gulf and river fishing from public piers, guided nature trails and prime birding opportunities. For general park information, call 1-800-776-5272, ext. 4740.
2. Passionate about birds and conservation? Hike along the Great Texas Birding Trail. The trail provides many observation sites to view diverse bird populations and their nesting areas, feeding grounds and migratory paths. Detailed Birding Trail maps are provided by Texas Parks and Wildlife. You can also find birding maps at the Matagorda Birding and Nature Center.
3. Shop Bay City's Market Day, around the downtown Courthouse Square, on the 3rd Saturday of every month from March through December. Featuring over 100 vendors, you'll find handmade crafts and jewelry, antiques, and hand-crafted edibles such as cinnamon-roasted pecans, pickles and salsas.
4. Go Fish! With over 50 miles of shoreline along the Gulf of Mexico and hundreds of miles of waterfront along creeks, rivers and bays, Matagorda is a fisherman's paradise. Cast your line from the beach or wade in to catch redfish and trout, plentiful year-round. Other in-shore species include catfish, mullet, black drum, snook and whiting. If deep-sea fishing is your passion, fish the Gulf for grouper, red snapper, amberjack, kingfish and shark.
5. Golfers of all levels will find a challenging course at the Rio Colorado Golf Course. Rio is an 18-hole public course featuring a championship layout built along the Colorado River. Golfers can also sharpen their game at the Palacios Golf Course, a 9-hole public facility. For more information and reservations, call the Rio Colorado Golf Course at (979) 244-2955. Call the Palacios Golf Course at (361) 972-5947.
6. For a relaxing day of shopping, Matagorda County offers a great selection of stores. Hot-spots include Palacios' Main Street, Bay City's Historic Downtown Square and the village of Matagorda.
7. Take a cruise on R.V. Karma and learn about the exciting natural world around you. The Karma is a 57-foot teaching and research vessel, offering students of all ages a rare opportunity to explore the Gulf Coast's natural environment. Public cruises are offered on the first Saturday of each month. Call 361-825-3460 for more information and reservations.
8. Paddle a kayak down the Colorado River or weave through the saltwater marshes along the Gulf. Whichever path you choose, you'll enjoy a relaxing way to experience the water and its surrounding wildlife.
9. The past comes alive at the Matagorda County Museum. Exhibits include artifacts from the Karankawa Indians, cannon from 17th-century French explorer LaSalle's ship La Belle and more. The Children's Museum on the lower level features a recreation of an early 20th-century Texas town where kids can "shop" at an old-fashioned general store, dress up in period costume, and interact with the past.
10. Take in one of the many fun festivals that attract both locals and visitors: the Matagorda County Fair and Livestock Show, Palacios Carnival, Bay City Rice Festival and many more all year long.