Mission Espiritu Santo greets you as you drive to this important piece of Texas history. Keep reading to learn about Goliad State Park & Historic Site.
When I took my family to Goliad State Park it was definitely more to visit the different buildings here and to check out additional locations nearby. This state park is more to take in the history than to camp and hike, but you can definitely walk around on a paved trail to see all of the sites, and there are multiple campsites if you’d like to extend your stay.
Multiple sites in the area make up over 300 years of Texas history. Native American, Spanish and Mexican cultures all have influence here, and that can be seen in the different structures.
The state park has one main area, but the Zaragoza birthplace and statue are just down the road. You can take the trail from the headquarters to here, and it’s not that long of a walk. The Angel Hike & Bike trail (2.5 mi. total) is what you’ll walk, but not that full length.
Mission Rosario is five miles west of the main site, so I recommend driving there for sure. We drove past it but didn’t have a chance to check it out, so I look forward to going back to visit.
Mission Espiritu Santo is a beautiful building. The Civilian Conservation Corps restored it in the 1930s to its current glory of beautiful white walls and rock walls that surround it.
Here you can explore the grounds and learn about how this site functioned from the chapel to the granary. Click here to see the map of this site and see what it has to offer. I definitely recommend just walking around and looking at everything. It’s really pretty here and there are some fantastic visuals. Everywhere you look has some small little details including a doorway that has a skull and crossbones above it. I’ll let you find that one on your own.
Back down the road is also Presidio La Bahia historic site. The Spanish army constructed this beautiful site in 1749, but note, this is run by the Catholic Diocese of Victory, so your day pass to the Goliad State Park will not work here.
There are four main camping areas for anyone wanting to extend their stay: Longhorn Tent Camping, Karankawa Camping area, Jacales Camping area, and Vaquero Camping site.
Vaquero is a water-only site with 7 spots($10/nightly), Karankawa is a full hook-up site($25/nightly), Longhorn is water only($10/nightly), and Jacales ($20/nightly) is the most fulfilling site with water and electricity. On the tail end of the Jacales site, you’ll find water-only sites as well. ($10/nightly).
This is not the typical Texas state park site, but what it lacks in some of the other state park attributes it makes up for in history.
I’d definitely recommend anyone just taking the road trip to visit this state park, and then traveling around the area to Gonzalez, TX to see the ‘Come and Take It” cannon, and other historical sites. Once you’re outside you can see the battlefield when that took place!