Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Tom Green County, TX

  • Published 2023/04/01

Tom Green County is a vibrant region in West Central Texas.

The county, which stretches up to 1,540 square miles, has plenty to offer visitors: from cultural and heritage sites to art hubs.

It was officially established in March 1874 and named in honor of military leader Thomas Green who fought during the Texas Revolution.

The county’s major industries include agribusiness, farming, and ranching, but it is also known as a hub for education, healthcare, communications, and tourism.

The county has at least 25 historical markers on the Texas Forts Trail.

Don’t pass up on Tom Green County if you’re looking for endless fun and cultural enrichment!

Before you visit, review this list of the best things to do in Tom Green County, Texas.

Tour the Historic Fort Concho

Headquarters of Fort Concho

Vami IV, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Fort Concho was built in 1867 along the banks of the Concho River to protect the frontier’s settlements from the hostile threats surrounding the area.

This National Historic Landmark is at 630 South Oakes in San Angelo.

The structures that make up the fort were mainly constructed using native limestones.

Fort Concho comprised around 40 buildings, stretching up to 1,600 acres.

It was the headquarters for several famous frontier units, such as the 4th and 10th Cavalry.

Notable military commanders like Benjamin Grierson, Ranald Mackenzie, and William “Pecos Bill” Shafter also commanded the fort.

In June 1889, Fort Concho was deactivated after almost 22 years.

Today, the site features 24 original and restored buildings.

The city government maintains a museum and a preservation project, now housed in the old frontier army post.

You can’t miss out on this critical national historic site when you visit the area of Tom Green County.

Spend a Day Outdoors at the River Park

If you’re looking for a spot to access the Concho River, go to River Park.

Also known as Pugh Park, it is situated at Ranch Road 2084 in the small unincorporated village of Christoval.

Campsites are available here for free on a “first come, first served” basis.

The park encourages visitors to bring their kayaks and equipment for water sports to enjoy the river fully.

You may also camp overnight, but your stay should not exceed three days.

The River Park is a good spot for travelers seeking solace in nature.

See the Beautiful International Water Lily Collection

The International Water Lily Collection displays different species of water lilies.

The collection is inside the Civic League Park in San Angelo.

It claims to have the largest collection of water lilies in the world.

During your visit, appreciate the beauty and uniqueness of the aquatic plants living in a semiarid city.

Take the time to learn about the water lilies and how they are handled.

You may also find the Nymphaea or “Texas Dawn” there, designated as the official water lily of Texas.

Don’t forget to bring your camera as you explore the International Water Lily Collection!

Visit Miss Hattie’s Bordello Museum

Entrance door of Miss Hattie's Bordello Museum

Larry D. Moore, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Miss Hattie’s Bordello Museum has an exciting history along East Concho Avenue in San Angelo.

In the 1900s, the building was known to soldiers, cowboys, and travelers as a brothel called Miss Hattie’s.

The bordello operated until 1952 when the Texas Rangers closed it for the final time.

In the 1970s, the building was turned into a museum.

Constructed in 1896, the structure retained its original floors, ceiling, and stairs.

The museum features old household items and furniture that tell the story of the past.

Visiting Miss Hattie’s Bordello Museum will surely take you back in time!

Find Inspiration at the Chicken Farm Art Center

The Chicken Farm Art Center is a local art hub in Tom Green County.

The center is situated at 2505 Martin Luther King Drive in San Angelo.

Since its opening in 1971, the center has been a welcoming community of artists offering art classes and programs for anyone interested!

From pottery and painting to jewelry-making and woodwork, there’s something for everyone in this corner of Texas.

You may also pick up some items, the creations of local artists, from the Chicken Farm Art Center’s store.

You will find unique art and a community with the same interest as you when you visit this space!

Visit the Old Ben Ficklin Cemetery

Ben Ficklin Cemetery is a historic site created for the town of Ben Ficklin, which used to be the county seat of Tom Green.

Today, Ben Ficklin has become a ghost town.

The two-acre cemetery is on top of a small hill near the U.S. Highway 87 South crossing and Loop 306, south of San Angelo.

The earliest graveyard burials were recorded in 1882 after a flood devastated the small town.

The cemetery is also where Francis Taylor, dubbed as the father of Tom Green County, is buried.

The original owners’ descendants privately owned it until they sold it to a non-profit group in 2020.

While visiting Ben Ficklin Cemetery, you may also see the ghost town and learn about its history.

Visit the San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts

Exterior of San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts

Michael Barera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts is one of West Texas’ premier museums.

It’s located on Love Street in San Angelo.

Established in 1981 in the Quartermaster Building of Fort Concho, the museum first opened in 1985, featuring the National Portrait Gallery and the Library of Congress’ exhibits.

Since then, the museum has displayed more than 350 exhibits and has featured over 150 artists from Texas.

The museum features various art collections, such as Ceramics, Texas Art, American Glass, Spanish Colonial, and Outdoor Sculpture.

San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts has also received several awards.

One is the Institute of Museum and Library Services National Award for Museum Service, the country’s highest distinction for museums.

While in the area, you shouldn’t miss out on this hub for artists and enthusiasts!

Camp Out at Christoval Hilltop RV Park

If you’re looking for a place to park your RV during your trip to Tom Green County, consider Christoval Hilltop RV Park.

You may find it at 4402 Holland Lane in Christoval.

It offers large spaces for your RV as well as extra parking.

The park also has 50-amp and 30-amp hookups.

When you stay here, you’ll feel at ease as trees offer a lot of shade in most areas.

Add Christoval Hilltop RV Park to your list of places to consider staying when you’re in the area!

Sip Local Wine at Christoval Vineyards

Visit Christoval Vineyards to taste the wines at Tom Green County while surrounded by scenic views.

You may find it at 5000 A. Cralle Road in Christoval.

The winery and vineyard were established by the couple Wendi and Bart Neff in 2010.

Today, it serves as a top-tier spot for wine lovers and travelers looking for the best-tasting wine.

The place offers tours and tastings, which you may join to get the whole experience.

Events are also hosted in the vineyards, so ask about the schedule of programs which sometimes include live music and book club gatherings!

You can’t leave the county without trying Christoval Vineyards’ award-winning drinks!

Camp or Hike at San Angelo State Park

A lake at San Angelo State Park

Larry D. Moore, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Visit San Angelo State Park to explore nature, whether land or water.

You may reach the park at 362 FM 2288 in San Angelo.

If you want land-based activities, you may go camping, hiking, geocaching, or riding horses!

The park also has an area for wildlife observation where you can stay.

Bison at San Angelo State Park

Larry D. Moore, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

If you prefer water-based activities, feel free to go fishing or swimming!

Boating and paddling on the lake and Conco River are also allowed.

Explore the area and see the paddocks of bison and Texas longhorn bulls to get a glimpse of the early days of Texas.

There’s so much to do outdoors here at San Angelo State Park!

Catch a Game at Jack Pardee Memorial Stadium

When you’re in Christoval, you might want to catch one of the local football games at Jack Pardee Memorial Stadium.

The stadium, formerly called Cougar Stadium, was named after the late football coach Jack Pardee.

Surrounded by trees, the stadium exudes the energy of a West Texas ranch.

It has a seating capacity of 750 and hosts high school games.

If you want to see how the community comes together for a sport, catch one of Jack Pardee Memorial Stadium’s games!

Hang Out at Kirby Community Park

Hang out at Kirby Community Park to be active and meet new people.

The 24-acre park is located at 1401 Edmund Boulevard in San Angelo.

In the northern part of the park, you may find a baseball field, a basketball court, and a volleyball area.

A walking or jogging trail is also available if you want to go for a quick exercise.

You may bring along friends or family and share a meal at the picnic areas.

The southern part of the park has its jogging trail, an in-line hockey rink, a soccer field, and a skate park!

After a long day of playing around, rest at the park’s pavilion.

Kirby Community Park has plenty to offer visitors and residents alike!

Play Miniature Golf at the Bosque

Aerial view of the Bosque

Michael Barera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Bosque is another of San Angelo’s well-known recreational areas along the Concho River.

A part of the Concho River Improvement Project, it is located at 330 South Irving Street in San Angelo.

Here you may play miniature golf with friends and have a fun day outdoors.

You may even access the river and ride pedal boats through the Bosque.

Bring your own ball to the park’s volleyball area if you want to play a volleyball game.

A giant chess game is also available to play for free!

When you visit the Bosque, experience Tom Green County’s riverside recreation options.

See Local Talents at San Angelo Performing Arts Center

San Angelo Performing Arts Center is the cultural and performance art hub of San Angelo.

Located at 82 Gillis Street, the center was established in 2016.

It is home to the Murphey Performance Hall, a multi-use performance arts space, and the Brooks and Bates Theatre.

Orchestra shows, musical plays, and other performances are held here.

Check the scheduled shows and book tickets in advance to secure your seats!

The San Angelo Performing Arts Theater is just one institution that proves the importance of arts in West Texas.

Tour the Historic Murals of San Angelo

The city of San Angelo has preserved several historic murals through the years.

Go on a tour to see these murals and learn about their stories.

The Historic Murals of San Angelo is dedicated to educating the public about the community’s history and art.

The group offers tours to teach you about the local artists and their fantastic work across the city.

Touring the historic murals of San Angelo will fascinate you and expand your appreciation of murals as a visual art form.

Final Thoughts

Tom Green County in Texas is a must-visit for art lovers and history buffs as it holds so much culture and heritage.

Besides the local talent and heritage, the area also has plenty to offer regarding natural areas because of its proximity to the Concho River.

Bookmark this list of the best things to do in Tom Green County, Texas!

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