15 Best Things to Do in Goliad, TX
Goliad is one of the most important sites of the Texas Rebellion, and there’s a lot of history to learn there if you ever want to visit.
The area is filled with ruins and old buildings built all the way back in the Spanish-colonial period, so you won’t have a shortage of places to visit.
There are several parks and nature trails to follow if you’re looking for a more outdoorsy trip with your loved ones.
And, once you’re done with that, you can also pay a visit to the numerous bars and restaurants in the area for some good food and company.
Here’s a list of the best things you can do in Goliad, Texas, to have a great time:
Pay Your Respects at the Fannin Memorial Monument
The Texas Revolution is a very significant historical event for this area, and the Fanin Memorial Monument that was erected east of Presidio La Bahia commemorates that.
Specifically, it exists to remind and educate people of what happened in that specific spot during the war.
In 1836, Col. James Fannin and his men were executed in the area and the nearby roads.
Nowadays, these patriots are buried under the memorial, where visitors can pay their respects at any time of the year.
You can also find the statue of the Angel of Goliad nearby if you want another historical site to see.
The statue commemorates the courage and compassion of a Mexican woman who appeared in prisons to offer aid and assistance to suffering soldiers.
Follow the Angel of Golidad Hike and Bike Trail
Start your trip to Goliad by getting to know the lay of the land and the beauty of your surroundings.
The trail starts at the state park and goes on for 2.5 miles, which is a bit short, but it’ll definitely be a sweet walk.
It veers west and follows the San Antonio River before finally ending at Market Street, which is where you’ll find Branch Nature Park, which has benches and picnic tables to let you rest up after a long walk.
And throughout your journey, you’ll traverse the land and really get the time to witness the beautiful history of the area.
Take a Break at Goliad State Park
Goliad State Park is one of the places you’ll pass through while walking across the Angel of Goliad trail, but it’s definitely worth more than a passing glance.
This state park at 108 Park Road is filled with things to do and sites to see, so make sure to write in a visit in your travel itinerary.
You can visit on your own or with a small group of travel companions or rent out an entire pavilion for a large party if that’s what you need.
One of the biggest sights in the area is the gleaming white walls of the Mision Espiritu Santo tower, which is a Spanish-colonial era chapel.
You can tour the mission, view the exhibits within it, and learn about the area’s history; they’ll even let you ring the bell!
The park also allows you to fish and go kayaking in the nearby river; you can even rent out equipment from their nearby headquarters to make the experience more fun and easy.
Visit the Goliad Market House Museum
This is one of the best places to visit if you want to catch a glimpse of what life in historical Goliad is like.
Located at 205 S. Market Street, this is a place that is steeped in its own history and culture.
When you walk inside, you’ll find various exhibits, including displays of Native American artifacts and memorabilia from the Texas revolution.
You’ll also get to see some old WW1 and WW2 uniforms and representations of everyday fashion in the early 1900s.
Have Fun at the Coleto Creek Park and Reservoir
Goliad isn’t just historic sites and museums, and if you’re looking for a moment of peace and rest in your travels, then the Coleto Creek Park and Reservoir, located at 365 Coleto Park Road, is a great place to visit.
It has several campsites and cabins for people who want to spend more time outdoors and be in tune with their surroundings.
There’s also a large picnic area where you can sit down with your friends and loved ones, eat good food, and chat about your day.
And once you get bored of that, there’s also a huge water reservoir nearby that offers fishing and boating opportunities any time of the year.
Relax at the Fannin Plaza Park
After you’re done visiting the memorial, you may also want to pay a visit to the nearby park for some recreational activities.
They have their own children’s park and tennis courts, so travelers of all ages can have their own fun.
There are even paintball and mud obstacle courses for a unique experience for the visitors.
And if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, try out their canoe trail!
It crosses the entire park and has several landing sites to ensure that visitors have a safe, fun, and exciting experience to remember.
Learn Goliad’s History at the Presido La Bahia
Presido La Bahia, or simply La Bahia, is a fort constructed by the Spanish Army during the colonial period and now serves as the heart of Goliad.
It’s the site of the Battle of Goliad in October 1835 and the massacre that occurred later in 1836.
The site was restored in the 1960s and became a Natural Historic Landmark in 1967.
Nowadays, it hosts a museum that aims to educate people on the events that happened there and about the people who lived and died on the fort.
There’s also a chapel on the site that holds the grave of Carlos De La Garza.
If you want to learn about key historical events of Goliad, this is the place to go; just remember to respect the fort’s rules of reverence while there to keep your experience wholesome and solemn.
Have a Snack at Blue Quasi Deli
After a hard day of traveling and sightseeing, most visitors would be in need of a good meal, and Blue Quasi Deli at 224 S. Commercial Goliad will surely satisfy all your cravings.
Order one of their special sandwiches to get a taste of what this food place has to offer.
You can choose from several options, such as roast beef melt, deli club, reuben, homemade chicken salad, hot pastrami melt, and many more.
And if nothing on the menu fits your taste, there’s no need to worry since you can also make your own custom sandwich that’ll match your palette perfectly.
This restaurant also offers tortillas, chips, salads, and paninis.
Visit the Our Lady of Loreto Chapel
Found inside La Bahia is Our Lady of Loreto Chapel, the oldest building in the entire compound.
It’s one of the only buildings in the world that has its original “groin vault ceiling” in place.
Said ceiling has a gorgeous fresco that’ll amaze any visitor, and it was painted by “the Michaelangelo of South Texas” Antonio Garcia.
But, religion and unique architecture isn’t the only thing that makes this chapel special; it’s also a key location in the Texas rebellion.
Most notably, it’s where the First Declaration of Texas Independence was signed.
History permeates the walls of this chapel, and it’s hard not to notice for any traveler who steps inside.
If you wish to learn and experience Goliad in action, then this place is definitely a must-visit.
View the Mission Nuestra Senora Del Rosario
This mission sight seeks to highlight the difficulties Spanish missionaries experienced when trying to convert Native American populations to Christianity.
It was established by Father Juan De Dios in 1754 to make peace with the Native American tribes that had conflicts with other tribes who lived in nearby missions.
In 1935, long after the mission itself had become a ruin, the site was given to the Goliad State Park Commission.
Nowadays, the site is managed as a state archaeological monument, and excavations are ongoing.
The ruins sit on top of a small rise in San Antonio River valley, and because of safety considerations, you have to make an appointment to view them up close.
However, that doesn’t mean you can’t visit the site or can’t engage with the history it represents.
You can still see the mission and take pictures from behind a chain-link fence.
Stop by the Zaragoza Birthplace State Historic Site
The Zaragoza State Historic Site is just a short walk from La Bahia, and it’s another lovely place to stop by while on your trip.
Its main attractions are a large amphitheater and a statue of Ignacio Zaragoza.
Ignacio Zaragoza was a general and a hero during the Battle of Puebla, where he and his 600 men prevented the French from invading Mexico by repelling enemy forces in the city of Puebla.
This battle is an event that’s commemorated yearly during the Cinco de Mayo celebrations.
It was also decided in 1961 that a memorial would be built in General Ignacio’s birthplace to honor his deeds, and that’s how this monument came into being.
Construction was completed in 1974, and the birthplace memorial was officially opened to the public on the 114th anniversary of Cinco de Mayo in 1976.
Get Drinks at the Commercial Street Bar
Of course, what vacation would be complete without exploring the place’s nightlife?
The Commercial Street Bar at 212 S Commercial st is a great bar to visit if you want to mingle with the locals and other tourists.
The place has a casual and cozy atmosphere with a great beer selection for every kind of visitor.
You can also find outdoor seating there, so you can have a great time with your friends out in the lovely open air.
Learn about the Hanging Tree
Goliad is a place with an eventful history, and it makes no secret of the dark aspects of its past.
The Hanging Tree, located at 184 N. Courthouse Square, is an official Texas Historic Landmark.
For years, court trials were held under its large branches, and if a person was sentenced to death, it was carried out there as well.
No estimates have been kept on how many people died underneath this tree, but estimates put it in the hundreds.
So much death in one place may put a dampener on your high vacation spirits, but it’s also a key part of history that travelers can certainly learn a lot from.
It’s a site that reflects a darker and more brutal time, and visiting it will allow visitors to reflect on our own times in the context of this kind of past.
Shop at Hanging Tree Antiques
Once you’ve passed by the Hanging Tree, you might also want to stop by the nearby antique shop to further your learning of history.
Found in the courthouse square, there are a lot of things to buy here, and each piece has its own story to tell.
The shop gets its items from all around the plains states, most of which came from farms, homesteads, and ranches, to share with the citizens of Goliad and anyone who happens to visit.
You can find various items in this store, and there’s something for people with different interests.
From clothes to artwork to furniture, you won’t be lacking in choices, so feel free to look around and purchase whatever catches your eye.
Party at Schroeder Hall
Another restaurant you can visit for a fun time is Schroeder Hall, located at 12516 FM 522.
Try out one of their tacos and legendary brisket melt; every taste will surely be out of this world.
They also have different kinds of sandwiches and grilled food items to satisfy your cravings.
The establishment also regularly hosts music events, so be sure to stop by to catch your favorite performer or find a new artist to listen to.
You can also book the venue for private events, such as weddings, anniversaries, birthdays, or any occasion where you and your companions just need to celebrate in a place that’s all to yourselves.
It’s difficult to separate Goliad with its interesting and tumultuous history, and the place doesn’t want you to.
Goliad is a key site in the Texas rebellion, and the numerous sites dotted around the area to commemorate this shows that it’s a time that needs to be remembered and reflected on.
The Spanish colonial period has left its mark on the area, and it’s hard to untangle the area’s culture from what you see in nearby Mexico.
If you’re looking for a place overflowing with history and culture and something that has so many unique stories to tell, then Goliad’s the place for you.