Texas has so many small towns that are worth visiting, and Gonzales is one of them. This is because this small town has a fascinating history, and it offers several attractions that allow you to enjoy the great outdoors. Here in Gonzales, Texas, you can visit a historic jail, see a cannon that fired the first shot during the Texas Revolution, and even go kayaking on an 11-mile long Guadalupe River. This small town has a lot to offer. That is why in this article, we are going to list down the things that you can see and do in Gonzales, Texas.
History of Gonzales, Texas
Gonzales is one of the earliest Anglo-American settlements in the state of Texas. Empresario Green DeWitt established the community, and it became the capital of his colony in 1825. However, the original payment was abandoned in 1826 because of two consecutive Indian attacks. That is why the residents decided to rebuild their community in a nearby spot in 1827. Gonzales eventually became the site of the first-ever war in the Texas Revolution. After the revolution, the town was ruined but eventually rebuilt and restored to its original state in 1840. Since then, the city grew and developed as several immigrants, peddlers, and merchants arrived at Gonzales. They helped shape Gonzales into the thriving community we now know today.
- Get to know more about Texas’ history at the Gonzales Memorial Museum – This museum was built to honor the Immortal 22, a group of volunteers from Gonzales. They were sent to help the defense of the Alamo. In this museum, you will have the chance to see a vast collection of photographs and artifacts that tells the story of the Immortal 22’s role in Texas history. The Gonzales Memorial Museum also the home of the cannon that started a revolution, which eventually became an enduring symbol of Texas liberty. This is one of the top sites that you should see in Gonzales.
- Explore the Gonzales County Jail Museum – This is a three-story structure that is located above downtown Gonzales. Here you will be able to look at the displays that feature the photographs of the deputies and sheriffs that served at the jail. Aside from that, you can also see some artifacts that belonged to the prisoners and the gallows, cells, and jailer’s quarters.
- Shop at Downtown Gonzales – Whether it’s a small town or a large city, shopping is one thing you should not miss when you’re visiting a new place. Thankfully, Gonzales, Texas, has some exciting stores that will keep your shopping cravings satisfied. If you are into some artsy and cute stuff, we suggest you head on down to Spaces Sublime. This place sells home décor, cute handbags, one-of-a-kind souvenirs, and beautiful holiday items. If you are looking for some antique items, you should explore Main Street Marketplace, where they sell resurrected relics, home décor, and other fabulous finds.
- Discover the Pioneer Village – This is an outdoor living history center located just on Gonzales’s edge. Here, you will get the chance to have a walk through the village that will take you back in time. You will also get to know more about the story of the settlers that came to Gonzales, Texas, during the late 1800s and early 1900s. Aside from the village’s walkthrough, you will also be permitted to go inside different buildings such as the saloon, blacksmith shop, and a cypress-sided building, which is used up until today for special events. If it’s your lucky day, you might be able to witness several demonstrations during your visit and see how Texans lived and worked in the past.
- Relax at the Palmetto State Park – This is a 270.3-acre park that is named after the tropical Dwarf Palmetto plant found in the site. The park bounds the San Marcos River, which also has a 4-acre oxbow lake. The park opened in 1936, and since then, it has been providing locals and tourists a place where they can be one with nature and relax. Palmetto State Park offers several activities such as picnicking, camping, hiking, fishing, birding, and swimming. You can also go canoeing, pedal boating, tubing, and even conduct a nature study.
- Have fun with family and friends at Independence Park – This is the perfect place if you are looking for some fun family bonding time. Independence Park has three covered pavilions, baseball fields, little league fields, basketball court, volleyball courts, a 21-site RV Park, a swimming pool, and even a rodeo arena. You can also take a hike or ride a bike at the 2.35-mile trail, which offers scenic views of the Guadalupe River. The lower section of the park has barbecue pits, picnic tables, and a playground.
If you want to fully experience Gonzales, Texas and see what it has to offer, you can stop by at the Visitor Information Center located at the Chamber of Commerce office in the Old Jail Museum. People over there will be thrilled to assist you with all your questions about the tour in Gonzales, Texas.