Blake Walsh

20 Best Things to Do in Victoria, TX

  • Published 2023/02/24

Located on the Gulf of Mexico coast, Victoria, TX, is Victoria county’s largest city and county seat.

Only a two-hour drive from San Antonio, Victoria is often a weekend getaway for its proximity to the sea.

It is the same reason it attracts tourists from all over the world who travel here for the warm summer sun and spend quality time frolicking in the waters of the Gulf.

Victoria gets its name from General Guadalupe Victoria, who became elected as the first president of newly-formed Mexico.

It is also home to numerous local artists who come together to make a memorable Victorian cultural scene.

If you are looking for things to do in Victoria, TX, we have curated a list below for you to ensure the best vacation of your life.

Grace Ranch Western Riding

Built across a sprawling 1200 acres, the Grace Ranch offers western riding to its visitors.

It is a family-owned ranch located 7 miles north of Victoria.

They offer lessons on beginning, intermediate, and advanced horse riding and instruct numerous rodeo and western horse show events.

They cater to both young and adults alike, and their school horses make horse riding available to everyone.

A day at the Grace Ranch will involve lessons on basic riding, rodeo events, ranch rides, and horse safety and maintenance.

The ranch also hosts events like capture the flag and cook-outs.

Trail riding is another exceptional program they offer where you get to escape into the Texan countryside on horseback.

You also have the option to camp out on their premises for a few days, and the ranch will ensure an eventful and fun-filled stay.

Texas Zoo

Signage of Texas Zoo

Tricia Daniel /

The Texas Zoo was established to forge a connection between wildlife and the public and promote a better understanding between the two.

In addition, it encourages the conservation of the species through education, science, and activism.

The Texas Zoo houses as many as 100 species, both native and exotic, in conditions exactly similar to their native habitats.

Alligator in Texas Zoo

Philip Arno Photography /

You can visit the animals on a certain day during the weekend, and if they intrigue you enough, spend time interacting with them.

You can pet them in the Petting Zoo or admire them closely in the Walk-Through Aviary, all designed to foster interest and learning.

The zoo also caters to its young visitors through its Fossil Digging Site and the Children’s Play Area in its reptile building.

Children’s Discovery Museum

If there is a kid in the family, the Children’s Discovery Museum is a must-visit.

It has an area spanning over 10,000 square feet and gives ample space for your child to run about and learn through playing.

The museum’s S.T.E.A.M.(Science Technology Engineering, and Math) initiative powers the development of several exhibits and programs to improve the mental growth of children.

It has adopted a practical, hands-on approach to enable easy understanding of the sciences.

Among its 20+ exhibits are the Art Place, Discovery Lab, and Circus Tot- all explicitly designed to foster your child’s thinking and problem-solving skills.

It also offers several programs, such as Scientific Saturdays, Sprouting Melodies, and Family Maker Nights.

Visit the museum for a never-before experience and spend time bonding with your child.

The Nave Museum

Exterior of The Nave Museum

Billy Hathorn at en.wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Emma McFaddin Nave first commissioned the Nave Museum to showcase her late husband Royston Nave’s paintings.

However, ever since it first opened its doors in 1932, the museum has evolved and now serves to educate and enrich people through art.

The museum occupies a central space in modern-day Victoria’s art and cultural scene and attracts art-lovers from all over the country and abroad.

It hosts seven or eight exhibitions every year featuring excellent local and national artists and sculptors.

Apart from the paintings and sculptures, the museum also has an eclectic collection of artworks, including delicate wood carvings and handmade quilts.

So, wake the artist in you as you walk around the Greek revival temple architecture while admiring the tasteful collections of artworks.

Downtown Farmers Market

What is better than a lazy day of shopping for locally grown, organic products?

Victoria’s Farmer’s Market offers you exactly that!

It brings together hundreds of local vendors and small businesses selling locally sourced, fresh farm vegetables and handmade products between 9 am to 1 pm every Saturday.

The food and items you find here are produced very small, ensuring you get top-quality products.

However, the downside of such small-scale production is that these products get over pretty quickly.

To avoid this situation, try visiting the market early.

Choose from its wide array of products- from raw, local Texas honey to ground coffee, homemade sauces, and raw meat.

Presidio La Bahia

A cannon on the grounds of Presidio La Bahia

Philip Arno Photography /

Among the most recognized historical landmarks in all of Texas, the Presidio La Bahia is the best example of a Spanish frontier fort in the world.

It has witnessed and participated in 6 National Revolutions, and its walls have been occupied by Spanish, Mexican, and Texas soldiers.

The museum inside the fort houses several artifacts of the Presidio, carefully preserved and maintained.

In addition, the chapel “Our Lady of Loreto” is the oldest church in the US and attracts thousands of tourists every year.

Pay a visit to this historic landmark to steep yourself in Texas history.

You can also spend a night or two at The Quarters, located inside the fort.

A church at Presidio La Bahia

Silvio Ligutti /

The PumpHouse Riverside Restaurant and Bar

One of the historic buildings in Victoria, the PumpHouse Riverside Restaurant and Bar, used to provide water services to the city for a hundred years before being converted into a dine-in restaurant.

In 1986, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places and was recognized as a national landmark in 2011.

A 250-year-old majestic gate adorns the entrance of the urban-style restaurant that links it to the Texan rich historical past.

Visit the PumpHouse to experience their delectable range of American cuisine while enjoying a serene view of the Guadalupe River from its decks.

You also have the option of indoor dining with complete access to the in-house bar.

Aransas Wildlife Refuge

Crane in Aransas Wildlife Refuge

Kent Ellington /

A mere 45-minute drive from Victoria is the Aransas Wildlife Refuge, a hidden gem of Texas.

The wildlife refuge land first emerged from the oceans in the Pleistocene era, 120,000 years ago.

In the past, it has served as the home of woolly mammoths and other Ice Age mammals like lions, camels, and mastodons.

Aerial view of Aransas Wildlife Refuge

Larry D. Moore, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Initially established as a park to conserve the endangered whooping cranes, it has become a site for conserving all endangered and threatened species.

Ideal for bird-watchers, this is a haven for migratory birds and other wildlife.

Alligator at Aransas Wildlife Refuge

Andy Wilcock /

You can spend an eventful day in the refuge’s numerous driving and walking trails, observation towers, and picnic spots.

The Museum of Coastal Bend

13,000 years of Texan history has been showcased in the Museum of Coastal Bend that covers the several communities that inhabited the place.

With its vast collection of original artifacts, documents, photographs, and paintings, the museum breathes life with the place’s rich history.

The museum boasts several exhibits, one of which is the Fort St.

Louis exhibition exploring the first French and European settlement in Victoria county and Texas, respectively.

This exhibition features the original canons that defended the French colony against the Karankawas, the indigenous people of Texas.

Apart from this, you can also learn about the woolly mammoths that inhibited the land 11,000 years ago and the prehistoric people who hunted them for food.

Fossati’s Delicatessen

Exterior of Fossati’s Delicatessen

Renelibrary, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

You are missing out on a lot if you don’t visit Fossati’s Delicatessen, the oldest deli in Texas!

Established in 1882, the site is a historical landmark, added to the National Register of Historic Places.

The deli was started by Fraschio “Frank” Napoleon Fossati, an Italian immigrant to America, and is still owned by the same family.

They have carefully maintained their food quality over the ages and are noted for their homemade style of food.

You can spend an entire afternoon steeped in rich Texan history, seated at one of the iconic red and white checkered tables.

Great Coastal Texas Barbecue Trail

Barbecuing in the Coastal Bend is inextricably linked with Texan history.

This trail takes you along the several multi-generational barbecue joints as you familiarize yourself with their rich history.

Experience their differently cooked briskets, carefully curated sides, along with a heavenly dessert to understand the diverse cooking techniques and the story behind these restaurants.

Aunt Jo’s thick and slow-cooked brisket is a must-have, with a unique, sweet-flavored sauce having the perfect hint of pepper.

Further, McMillan’s Bar-B-Q is a favorite, too, with its brisket cooked over scented fruitwoods like cherry and peach with a combination of pecan, mesquite, and oak.

Riverside Park

A water fountain at Riverside Park

Tricia Daniel /

Bordered by the Guadalupe River for 4.5 miles, Riverside Park is a haven if you are looking for fun-filled activities.

It is Victoria’s largest park, built over a sprawling 650-acre area.

The park is bustling with activities, including a children’s playscape and sports fields.

However, if you want to spend a quiet day, there is also a Memorial Rose Garden where visitors can adopt a rose to beautify the garden.

Memorial Rose Garden at Riverside Park

Tricia Daniel /

The Athey Nature Trail is a favorite among nature lovers, where you can enjoy a hike or a biking session with your loved ones.

In addition, the Duck Pond in Riverside Park is extremely popular with visitors because not only are there a variety of ducks, but you can also feed them.

Victoria Art League

The Victoria Art League was first established in 1966 to promote the visual arts in Victoria among the Crossroads residents.

It aims to foster understanding, education, appreciation, and the creation of visual arts in all children and adults.

VAL is a non-profit organization that offers various activities for all ages, from novice to professional.

Apart from that, they also have several events lined up on their calendars for you.

Immerse yourself in a day of sculpting in pottery workshops.

If there is a young child in the family, they can participate in Victoria Art for Kids, a five-day program teaching them to create, learn, and experiment with their original artworks.

Victoria County Courthouse

Exterior of Victoria County Courthouse

Philip Arno Photography /

The Victoria County Courthouse is one of the most beautiful courthouses in the US, and no trip to Victoria, TX, will be complete without visiting it.

First established in 1892 in the Romanesque Revival Style, this building is the most prominent historical landmark in the state.

History adorns its walls, and visitors can see a collection of photographs and paintings.

Entrance to Victoria County Courthouse

Philip Arno Photography /

It also has a bell tower, brick patterns, arches, and pillars that make the courthouse an exciting place to visit.

Further, to adapt the courthouse to the Texan climate, a central atrium was also built for bringing light and ventilation into the courthouse.

Lose yourself to exploring the corners of this historical building as you understand the nuances of law and order in those times.

Facade of Victoria County Courthouse

Moab Republic /

Outlaw Pass Family Centre

The Outlaw Pass is a family entertainment center in Victoria, TX, and is a must-visit if you are looking to have a blast with your family and loved ones.

It is an excellent place for a group outing as well because it has something for everyone.

Although golfing is generally the favorite activity here, there are also Go-Karts, Bungee Jumping, Mining Sluice, Arcade Games, and even a Rock Wall.

Enjoy this amusement park as you jump, climb, scream, and win.

The park also offers Specials where you can buy three or more activities at a reduced price.

Additionally, if you get hungry after an elaborate day of draining calories, you can enjoy a sumptuous meal at the Outlaw Pass’s Snack Bar.

Visit the Museum of the Coastal Bend

The Museum of the Coastal Bend in Victoria, Texas, is a true gem of the Gulf Coast region.

This museum is dedicated to preserving the history and culture of the Texas Coastal Bend, showcasing the stories and artifacts of the people who have lived in the region for over 13,000 years.

As you walk through the galleries, you’ll encounter fascinating exhibits that highlight the area’s rich history, including displays of Native American artifacts, colonial Spanish and Mexican-era objects, and exhibits on early Texas ranching and farming.

You’ll also find a display on the Civil War and Reconstruction period in Victoria, which features local artifacts and historical documents that shed light on the region’s role in one of the most important eras in American history.

One of the museum’s highlights is the interactive exhibits, which allow visitors to touch and explore various artifacts.

You can try on replica Spanish armor, test your cattle-branding skills, and learn about the area’s wildlife and ecology through the museum’s dioramas.

The Museum of the Coastal Bend is truly an immersive experience perfect for visitors of all ages.

Be sure to check the museum’s calendar of events for workshops, lectures, and special exhibits, too!

Spend Some Time at Coleto Creek Park

Coleto Creek Park in Victoria, Texas. Coleto Creek Park is an attractive recreational area nestled on the shores of Coleto Creek Reservoir.

The park is perfect for those who enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, boating, picnicking, and camping.

The park offers visitors a chance to escape the hustle and bustle of city life and immerse themselves in the natural beauty of Texas.

The park offers numerous activities, including boating, fishing, and swimming in the reservoir.

There are two boat ramps and two fishing piers available, so you can launch your boat or cast your line and enjoy a day out on the water.

For those who prefer land-based activities, picnic areas and hiking trails are available.

The hiking trails offer visitors a chance to explore the natural beauty of the area and spot different wildlife such as deer, rabbits, and birds.

The park also offers camping facilities, including RV sites, cabins, and tent sites.

The RV sites are equipped with water and electricity, while the cabins offer air conditioning, heating, and a kitchenette.

The tent sites are nestled in the woods, allowing visitors to sleep under the stars and reconnect with nature.

Whether visiting for the day or staying for a few nights, Coleto Creek Park is the perfect destination for outdoor enthusiasts.

Enjoy an Outdoor Adventure at Victoria Paddling Trail

Victoria Paddling Trail is a 4.8-mile paddling trail that’s perfect for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.

You can rent a kayak or canoe to paddle along the Guadalupe River and take in the scenic views of the surrounding landscape.

The Victoria Paddling Trail is a great place to relax and enjoy the peaceful tranquility of nature.

Along the trail, you’ll encounter trees and plant life, as well as a variety of animals including birds, turtles, and fish. You can even stop to fish if you want!

You can take your time and enjoy the scenery at your own pace or challenge yourself to paddle a bit faster and get a great workout.

Whatever your preference, the Victoria Paddling Trail is a must-visit destination for anyone who loves spending time outdoors while surrounded by the beautiful surroundings of nature.

Sharpen Your Golf Game at Riverside Golf Course

Riverside Golf Course is the perfect destination for golf lovers to sharpen their skills.

This beautiful 18-hole golf course is located on the banks of the Guadalupe River and is a popular destination for golfers of all skill levels.

The course features well-manicured fairways, challenging greens, and stunning river and view of the breathtaking countryside.

Golfers can also take advantage of the driving range, putting green, and chipping area, as well as the pro shop, which offers a wide selection of golf apparel, accessories, and equipment.

After a round of golf, visitors can grab a bite to eat at the onsite restaurant, which serves up classic American fare and refreshing beverages.

Enjoy the Great Outdoors at Patriot Park

Patriot Park is an extensive 148-acre park located 4.8 miles southwest of downtown Victoria.

This massive park has many amenities, making it the perfect outdoor recreation destination.

The park features a large fishing pond, several picnic tables, and numerous hiking trails that wind through the park’s lush landscape.

For water sports enthusiasts, the park offers access to the Guadalupe River, where visitors can enjoy kayaking, fishing, and swimming.

The park also has several pavilions, perfect for large gatherings and parties.

There’s also a disc golf course for those looking for an extra challenge.

And for those looking to play field sports, the park has an ample open space where visitors can play soccer, football, and other field sports.

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