Skip to main content

Mansfield Magazine

Matagorda Bay: Nature & Fishing at Your Own Pace

Jun 19, 2017 06:30AM ● By Melanie Heisinger
By August West
Summer’s on the horizon and whether you are looking for a family trip or just a quick getaway, Matagorda Bay makes a great road trip and is, well, a shore thing. Matagorda is at the end of State Highway 60 and beginning of FM Road 2031.

The area features serene beaches along coastal plains that offer some breathtaking scenery. It’s a nice slice of Texas coast that is surrounded by classic Texas plains. There’s the obvious natural beauty and plenty of fishing, but there’s so much more to see and do here. There’s plenty of history to see, shopping to enjoy and dining to savor – all in a slow-paced relaxing atmosphere that is not as crowded as many other Texas coast towns.

You might start with a history lesson at the Matagorda County Museum. Here you can view artifacts from the Karankawa Indians, a cannon from 17th-century French explorer LaSalle’s ship La Belle and more.

Those looking for shopping will find ample opportunity including Palacios’ Main Street, Bay City’s Historic Downtown Square and the village of Matagorda. Check out Bay City’s Market Day, around the downtown Courthouse Square, on the third Saturday of every month from March through December. You’ll find handmade crafts and jewelry, antiques and yummy treats.

Nature lovers can spend a few hours, or an entire day, at the Matagorda Bay Nature Preserve. It offers 1,600 acres of beaches, fishing, guided nature trails and prime bird-watching opportunities. There’s hundreds of miles of ocean and waterfront fishing along creeks, rivers and bays, making Matagorda a fisherman’s paradise. Redfish and trout are plentiful year-round and the deeper Gulf waters offer grouper, red snapper, amberjack and kingfish. Water enthusiasts can even paddle a kayak down the Colorado River or explore the saltwater marshes along the Gulf.

When you’ve worked up an appetite, there are several local favorites worth investigating. You might try Spoonbills Restaurant. It’s a great seafood choice where the menu depends on what the fishmonger provides that day. The place also offers a robust wine list. Or try Poco Playa where the bar and grill serves up numerous seafood specialties and drinks. You can sit inside or enjoy live music on the outside patio.

If you’re planning to spend a few nights, you can always rent a house on the beach (there are plenty to choose from) or try something unique like the Peaceful Pelican in nearby Palacios. This historic 1910 home is charming and sits on a scenic bayfront location in this quiet shrimping town. You’ll receive a personal touch here when you stay in one of the 5 luxury rooms, all with private bathrooms and first class amenities.

For more about visiting the Matagorda Bay area visit

Like what you're reading? Subscribe to Mansfield Magazine's free newsletter to get regular updates

Embed this content on your website