Bay City: A Texas Treasure
Bay City pulsates with a unique charm that blends nature's bounty with quirky celebrations. Buckle up, y'all, for a whirlwind tour of this hidden gem!
Matagorda County is a picturesque community on the Gulf Coast with a rich history and access to the great outdoors. Residents and visitors alike can enjoy outdoor sports such as golfing, fishing and boating or take a stroll through one of the many parks and enjoy the sights and sounds of nature that abound in the number one birding spot in the nation. Spend some time shopping in one of the locally owned shops found throughout the county. The county was once home to the Karankawa Indians. Settlement by Anglo-Americans began in 1822, when the schooner "Only Son" landed immigrants for Stephen F. Austin's colony at the mouth of the Colorado River. The Republic of Texas organized Matagorda County as one of the first 23 counties. By 1913, railroads had helped establish or expand many towns and villages to include Bay City, Palacios, Blessing, Collegeport, Markham, Midfield, Wadsworth, Van VIeck Pledger and Sargent. Bay City, located at the junction point of three railroad lines at the time, flourished after 1900. Devastation of Matagorda by major hurricanes caused the county seat to be moved to Bay City. There are more than 100 Texas Historical Markers found throughout the county. With three of the county's main communities Palacios, Matagorda and Sargent on the water, fishing and watersports are a big draw in the spring and summertime. Whether your passion is kayaking, boating, skiing, riding jet skis or spending a lazy day on the beach, the county has you covered. The increasing population has been a boom for the economy, as evidenced by the packed parking lots and larger consumer base at local businesses. Along with population growth has come an influx of new businesses. The county has seen new hotels, restaurants, shopping centers housing and gas stations built and opened over the last few years. The temperate climate throughout most of the year makes it possible for visitors to enjoy breathtaking sunrises and sunsets or observe a variety of bird life in the estuaries and marshes found throughout the county. The Matagorda County-Mad Island Marsh Wildlife Management Area is a 7,200 acre coastal wetland habitat for wintering waterfowl. The annual Christmas Bird Count has been number one in the USA for number of species seen in one day, eighteen times in the last 23 years. Reservations are required for tours of the wildlife. Matagorda County is quickly growing. It is a booming county and a desirable destination to visit or to make a home.
Bay City is a town with a strong, historical presence and the county seat of Matagorda County. The community --named for its location on Bay Prairie, between the richly productive bottomlands of the Colorado River and Caney Creek - was established in 1894. It is located at the crossroads of Texas 35 and Texas 60 and is within a short drive of anything in Matagorda County. The town is home to a large public library and a state-of-the-art medical center, thriving town square and many activities to enjoy. Bay City is a place you can get outdoors and relax and enjoy hours of refreshing fun year round. Golfers can enjoy the 18-hole course designed by Gary Player at the Rio Colorado Golf Club. This picturesque public course is carved around the beautiful Colorado River and surrounding wetlands. Riverside Park offers walking/running trails a 10-station exercise course, a boat ramp. fishing, playground and a day pavilion. They also feature 40 campsites with full-service RV hookups Le Tulle Park has two open-air pavilions and one enclosed pavilion, restrooms two lakes, playground, picnic tables with grills, and an 18-hole disc golf course. The Matagorda County Birding Nature Cen- ter covers 34 acres along the Colorado River in Bay City. It has six botanical gardens and three major eco-systems for visitors to enjoy. It is accessible by car or kayak/canoe. Two community pools, Valiant Pool at 2624 Carey Smith Blvd and Hilliard Pool at 3020 Le Tulle offer swimming in the summer; starting after Memorial Day. Valiant Pool also offers lap swimming at designated times year round. Skateboard enthusiasts have a place to hang out and hone their skills at a 6,600-square-foot facility at Hardeman Park on 12th Street. Rollerbladers and rollerskaters also are welcome at the park. The Matagorda County Museum is housed in the town's original 1918 U.S. Post Office. The museum offers four permanent exhibits and several temporary exhibits each year, giving fresh attractions for returning visitors In the museum's basement, "'Our Town" is a turn-of-the-century playroom, complete with a corral, general store, barber shop, jail, craft room and an opera house that allows children a taste of pioneer life The Bay City Public Library provides books video tapes and DVDs, audio tapes and compact discs. The library has several special features, including a genealogy section, Inter net workstations, large print books, and books on tape.