In Victoria you’ll discover a captivating town with a deep history, vibrant culture, amazing food, and live music – all just a hop, skip, and a jump from the Gulf Coast.
Nestled on the bank of the Guadalupe River halfway between Houston and Corpus Christi, just two hours away from Austin and San Antonio, Victoria is known as the “Crossroads” of Texas.
Victoria is an ideal place to get away for a few days of rest and relaxation or to dive into Texas history.
Whether you’re looking to kayak the Guadalupe River or become a Texas barbecue expert, Victoria has so much to offer.
Explore Victoria’s Rich History
Victoria is one of the oldest cities in Texas, established by Martín De León in 1824. Learn about the rich history on the Explore Victoria History Trail. See seven of the eight cannons French explorer La Salle brought to Texas at the Museum of the Coastal Bend.
Step into 13,000 years of Texas history at this museum on the Victoria College campus, which showcases exhibits related to the first French settlement in the county, as well as artifacts from the ship La Belle that sank in Matagorda Bay. They’ll even teach you how to use an atlatl – an ancient dart-throwing hunting tool.
Then drive the Old Victoria Driving Tour that takes you to a number of breathtaking historic landmarks and buildings.
Another way to get to know Victoria’s history is by driving along the “Trail Through Time” in Riverside Park. The trail consists of a series of signs featuring illustrated stories that depict Victoria’s past, from “The Mother of Texas, Margaret Wright” to “Steamboating and the Guadalupe River.”
For lunch on this historic tour of Victoria, be sure to stop at Fossati’s Delicatessen, the oldest deli in Texas. Here, you’ll find great food and intriguing stories at this family-owned restaurant.
While you are learning about the history of Victoria, be sure and take selfies at three of the locations visited and you’ll be eligible for a free “I Explored Victoria, Texas” T-shirt! HistoricVictoriaTexas.com has all of the details.
Get Outside at Riverside Park
Take a nature hike, go birding, and ride bikes at the beautiful Riverside Park in Victoria that includes river access, a golf course, a zoo, restaurant, hiking trails, gazebos, and picnic areas.
These 562 acres of woodland provide the perfect backdrop to a rejuvenating day of outdoor recreation.
Rent a kayak and paddle on the Guadalupe River. A paddling trip on the Guadalupe River doubles as a wildlife-watching excursion in addition to an afternoon’s worth of aquatic exercise. Keep your eyes peeled and you just might spot armadillos, herons, deer, and a wide variety of birds.
You could spend an entire day exploring the Guadalupe River, but then you’d miss out on all the other things to do in Riverside Park.
Grab your clubs and head on over to Riverside Golf Course to take on 18 challenging holes. Riverside Park even also has a disc golf course set within a beautiful wooded area.
There’s also the Athey Nature Trail, where you can listen to the singing birds and watch the climbing squirrels. Stop and smell the flowers at the Memorial Rose Garden and feed the ducks at the duck pond. Don’t miss the alligators and lemurs at The Texas Zoo, the national zoo of Texas.
After a long day of play, head to The PumpHouse Riverside Restaurant and Bar for cocktails and new American cuisine. With so many options, you really can create your own adventure in Riverside Park.
Follow the Great Coastal Texas Barbecue Trail
Everyone knows the barbecue in Texas is out of this world, and the Great Coastal Texas Barbecue Trail is THE place to begin.
The trail brings the stories of beloved barbecue joints to life with its “History of Barbecue,” “Barbecue, Boots, and Brews,” “Couples BBQ,” and “Family-Friendly Barbecue Fun” itineraries. Get to know the pit masters as you savor iconic Texas barbecue.
Along the way, you’ll experience the various techniques and flavors used in this style of barbecue. Try the turkey breast cooked with direct heat over mesquite and oak at Mumphord’s Place, or sample the brisket cooked slowly with mesquite and marinated with a unique Cajun spice at KB’s BBQ. These are just two of the stops along the trail.
Local Eats and Drinks
Need a break from all the barbecue? Check out one of Victoria’s locally owned restaurants or popular nightlife spots.
If you’re here on a Friday or Saturday night, don’t miss Huvar’s Artisan Market’s popular pizza night – try the barbecue brisket and Gouda pizza and an oven-fried apple crisp a la mode.
Or dine on the patio at The PumpHouse Riverside Restaurant and Bar, offering a delightful ambiance and often live music, not to mention out-of-this-world fried jalapeno macaroni and cheese wrapped in bacon with roasted jalapeno ranch for dipping.
End your day with live music and a cocktail or craft beer at Moonshine Drinkery or Aerocrafters. These options are great, but they’re just an appetizer. After all, there are more than 50 locally-owned eateries, bakeries, and coffee shops in Victoria where you can indulge your inner foodie.
Take in the Local Music Scene
All genres of music are celebrated in Victoria, and going to a live concert or one of the town’s festivals is a great thing to do while you’re here.
The Leo J. Welder Center for the Performing Arts and the Victoria Fine Arts Center regularly host live music events such as Celebrity Charity Concerts and performances by the Victoria Symphony Orchestra.
Pack your dancing boots and head to popular live music venues in Victoria like Dodge City Saloon, Moonshine Drinkery, Aero Crafters Beer Garden, and nearby Schroeder Hall—the second-oldest dance hall in Texas.
When you explore Victoria, you’ll find this city is like so many Texas destinations where you can feel the heartbeat of the community through the rhythm and the beat of its live music.