Things to Do

Whether your ideal vacation means getting close to nature, great shopping, or just relaxing on the beach, Bay City and the surrounding area offers many activities for the whole family.


Shop Bay City’s Market Day, which takes place around the downtown Courthouse Square, on the 3rd Saturday of every month from March through December. Featuring over 100 vendors, you’ll find handmade crafts and jewelry, antiques, and hand-crafted edibles such as cinnamon-roasted pecans, pickles, and salsas.


Golfers of all levels will find a challenging course at the Rio Colorado Golf Course. Rio is an 18-hole public course featuring a championship layout built along the Colorado River. For more information and reservations, call the Rio Colorado Golf Course at (979) 244-2955


Take in one of the many fun festivals that attract both locals and visitors: the Matagorda County Fair and Livestock Show, Palacios Carnival, Bay City Rice Festival and many more all year long.


Hike along the Great Texas Birding Trail. The trail provides many observation sites to view diverse bird populations and their nesting areas, feeding grounds, and migratory paths. Detailed Birding Trail maps are provided by Texas Parks and Wildlife. You can also find birding maps at the Matagorda Birding and Nature Center.


Matagorda Bay Nature Park

This 1,600-acre nature preserve sits along the shores of the Gulf of Mexico and the Colorado River. The park offers miles of pristine beaches, gulf and river fishing from public piers, and guided nature trails. For general park information, call 1-800-776-5272, ext. 4740.

R.V. Karma

Take a cruise on R.V. Karma and learn about the exciting natural world around you. The Karma is a 57-foot teaching and research vessel, offering students of all ages a rare opportunity to explore the Gulf Coast’s natural environment. Public cruises are offered on the first Saturday of each month. Call 361-825-3460 for more information and reservations.


Paddle a kayak down the Colorado River or weave through the saltwater marshes along the Gulf. Whichever path you choose, you’ll enjoy a relaxing way to experience the water and its surrounding wildlife.


With over 50 miles of shoreline along the Gulf of Mexico and hundreds of miles of waterfront along creeks, rivers, and bays, Bay City and surrounding areas in Matagorda County are a fisherman’s paradise. Cast your line from the beach or wade in to catch redfish and trout, plentiful year-round. Other in-shore species include catfish, mullet, black drum, snook, and whiting. If deep-sea fishing is your passion, fish the Gulf for grouper, red snapper, amberjack, kingfish, and shark.

To learn more about the popular activities in Bay City, visit