Arts & Culture
Palacios features an abundance of historically registered buildings, a history of celebrating our bayside roots, and a love for XYZ. We encourage you to visit the following attractions while visiting our city by the sea.
City by the Sea Museum
Owned and operated by the Palacios Area Historical Association, the City by the Sea Museum is a resource center for visitors to experience and learn from the region’s diverse cultures and history. The Museum collects, conserves and interprets the material evidence of the prehistory, history and natural history of Palacios, Texas and the surrounding region; including along the shores of and in the adjoining waters, with emphasis on the social and cultural history of this area. This serves to preserve the past, record the present and provide perspective for the future.
Petite La Belle
The La Petite Belle is a half-scale replica of the French explorer La Salle’s ship that sank off the Texas Gulf coast in Matagorda Bay in 1686. The 30-foot replica sailing ship was built in Palacios based on historic French records and can be viewed in its berth in the South Bay Marina at the end of South Bay Blvd. The original La Belle was one of four French ships on an expedition led by La Salle to establish a French colony at the mouth of the Mississippi River. The explorer overshot the target and landed in Texas. All four ships were eventually lost in a storm and La Salle was killed while traveling east on foot trying to reach the Mississippi. The wreckage of the original La Belle was discovered in Matagorda Bay in 1995. Researchers spent two years excavating the ship which is now exhibited in the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin. The City by the Sea Museum also has an exhibit about the La Belle and its excavation.
The Outrigger Event Center & Listening Room
The Outrigger building spent an early life as a lumberyard, a plumbing supply house and a bar and grill. The building glows with its history and experience. As a music venue, The Outrigger is known for its intimacy, its welcoming audiences and its sonic warmth. Summers allow us to expand into an outdoor setting and The Outrigger has hosted concerts, parties and fundraisers both inside and out. Wine and beer are always available at our well stocked bar.
In 1975 when Saigon, the Capital of U.S.-backed South Vietnam, fell to Communist North Vietnam many South Vietnamese fled by boat or plane to the United States. The Vietnamese that came to Palacios, Texas worked in the shrimping and crabbing industry. Today the Vietnamese fisherman leads the largest fleet of shrimp boats on the Texas Gulf Coast docked at the picturesque and friendly town. In 2012 Tuyen Vu, a former shrimper and now store owner, after years of seeing fishermen go out to sea, and some not come back, decided to honor all fishermen, with a 12-ton statue of Jesus Christ. It took six months for the order to be filled and have it shipped whole from Vietnam. The impressive 15-foot statue set atop a 15-foot-high base can be visited on Margerum St. The views from the statue are impressive and well worth a visit, as it overlooks West Matagorda Bay, and the colorful shrimp fishing boats docked in the harbor.