Do you love visiting a new town or city but dread the idea of staying in a hotel room with children? Or a long car ride or flight to get to your destination? Then a day trip might be right for you!
Our family LOVES to take day trips. We love the opportunity to explore a new, interesting location within 1-2 hours of home, preferably with a state park or nature preserve nearby. This month we wanted an outdoor adventure with a large dose of Texas history, and we stumbled upon Goliad.
From the Island where we live, the drive to Goliad was slightly under two hours, which is our limit for daytrips.
Our plan for the day included a visit to the historic fort Presidio La Bahia, where the Battle of Goliad occurred, a quick tour of downtown Goliad, hiking at the Goliad State Park, and hopefully ending our trip with lunch and beer at the Goliad Brewing Company. However, during our drive to Goliad, the temperature dropped 20 degrees, and our t-shirts and shorts were no longer weather-appropriate. Our outdoor activities suddenly became less likely.
Day Trip Lesson #1: Bring change of clothes or extra layers depending on the weather (we did not).
As much as we enjoyed our visit to Presidio La Bahia, we had to breeze by the historical significance of the fort in our explanation to our four year old. It is the site of the infamous Goliad massacre where over 300 men under Colonel Fannin were executed. We had to avoid the informative video and read all historical plaques to ourselves silently while hoping that our son didn’t ask too many questions.
Day Trip Lesson #2: If you are visiting a historical site, it is wise to have a general understanding of the history before you visit in order to prepare how to include your children.
We also toured the Our Lady of Loreto Chapel, which has been an active Catholic church since 1779, and the nearby Fannin Memorial Monument. It was such an informative tour, and I highly recommend a visit here if you are interested in learning more about the Texas Revolution.
Our next stop was into town to see the exquisite Goliad County Court House and the Hanging Tree. The Hanging Tree is exactly what its name implies– another piece of history that we had to brush over with our four year old. The little town square was adorable with several antique stores, a couple cafes, and a unique wall ad. In 2012, a Bull Durham tobacco ad from 1880 was discovered under the sheet rock on an old building. Now it has been restored and is visible from a historic courtyard in the square.
Our original plan was to stop at the Goliad State Park for a long hike, but as I shared, the temperature dropped significantly, and we were pretty chilly in our shorts. We decided to save the state park for our next visit, and instead stopped by the local Family Dollar to grab sweatshirts and head directly to the Goliad Brewing Company for lunch, beer, yard games, and short hikes.
Day Trip Lesson #3: Be creative when you need something on the road with limited store options.
Goliad doesn’t have a Walmart, Walgreens, or even chain grocery store. Family Dollar was the only store that even carried clothes- thank goodness they still stocked winter layers.
Even with the chilly weather, we were so impressed by the Goliad Brewing Company. It is open on Fridays and Saturdays and features food trucks and live music in the evening. We warmed up near a fire pit, enjoyed sausages and their Golden Ale beer while teaching our sons how to play horseshoe and Jenga. We even took the boys on a quick hike on one of their nature trails. We can’t wait to go back when they have live music and food trucks.