Goliad Area Historic Sites
Goliad is one of the few places in North America where you can visit both an 18th-century Spanish-Colonial mission and presidio (fort) complex, to understand the roles of the Catholic Church and the Spanish military in settling the New World.
Mission Espíritu Santo State Historic Site
At Goliad State Park, tour the beautiful reconstructed Franciscan Mission Espíritu Santo, home of the largest ranching operation in Texas in the 18th century. Enjoy the serenity of this Spanish colonial church and view exhibits that explore the history and daily life of the missionaries and Indian converts--including some of the original artifacts they used.
Presidio La Bahía
Across the river, visit the Presidio La Bahía. Located 1/4 mile south of Goliad State Park on U.S. Highway 183 and 77A and operated by the Catholic Diocese of Victoria. View exhibits, enjoy an interpretive program and exciting reenactments, and imagine life at the fort. Originally built in 1749 to protect the mission and the frontier, it later played a major role in the Texas Revolution. Here, Colonel Fannin and his ill-fated men were held prior to being executed at Santa Anna's order, an act of infamy later recalled at the Battle of San Jacinto with the cry, "Remember Goliad! Remember the Alamo!" For a very special experience, make reservations to stay overnight in the comfortable Priests Quarters.
Fannin Memorial Monument
Just east of the Presidio La Bahía, visit the Fannin Memorial Monument, which marks the burial site of Col. Fannin and his men. To learn more about these events, take a short drive just nine miles east on Highway 59, to the site of the 1836 Battle of Coleto Creek where the Texian army was captured.
Fannin Battleground State Historic Site offers exhibits, memorials, an observation tower and picnic pavilion.
Zaragoza Birthplace State Historic Site
Ever wonder why we celebrate Cinco de Mayo? This day honors General Ignacio Zaragoza, who defeated the French at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. Visit his reconstructed birthplace adjacent to the Presidio to learn about this Texas-Mexican hero, born here in 1829. Descendants of the original town of La Bahía, the settlement that grew up around the Presidio, still live in the area today. Don't miss the adjacent Zaragoza statue, donated by the citizens of Puebla, Mexico.
Mission Rosario State Historic Site
Just west of town, cruise through the San Antonio River Valley Historic District on a scenic driving tour of ranches and farms. Along the way, pause at the ruins of the 1750s Mission Rosario State Historic Site to read the historical marker. This site is still being studied and can be visited only by appointment. TPWD photo by Mary Livingston.
City of Goliad
Take in the unspoiled Victorian charm of downtown Goliad on a walking tour of the Courthouse Square and nearby historic district. Start your tour at the Market House Museum and Visitor Center to pick up a map and view artifacts and historic photographs from the early settlers' home life and ranching days. Visit the 1894 courthouse, then stroll through lovely vintage neighborhoods in the shade of centuries-old oak trees.
Goliad also offers unlimited opportunities for outdoor recreation. At Goliad State Park, pitch a tent or park your RV along the wooded banks of the San Antonio River, walk the Aranama Nature Trail or swim in the Olympic-sized pool (operated by the city of Goliad). Launch your boat, wet a line or wade at the swimming beach at the Coleto Creek Reservoir and Park. Enjoy some of the best birding in Texas along the Central Texas Coast section of the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail.
Goliad City and County Maps