Travel back in time in this culturally rich Texas city.

By Travel & Leisure
April 16, 2014
History in Victoria, Texas
Credit: Victoria Convention & Visitors Bureau

Founded by Mexican empresario Martín De León in 1824, Victoria is one of the oldest cities in Texas. Many of its monuments have been well preserved and museums unfold the region’s layered past—the Spanish, Mexicans, and French all settled here—making its downtown a great place for history buffs. Springtime is a particularly great time to visit: A number of seasonal arts and culture events are free to the public.

Driving Tour of Old Victoria

Victoria is full of historic homes and buildings that have been lauded with historic markers. See some on a self-guided driving tour—you can download the route or pick up a map at the Victoria Convention & Visitors Bureau—to mark out stops like the peaceful Bandstand plaza, originally built in 1885, or the Leibold Building, home to one of the state’s oldest corner drugstore.

Museum of the Coastal Bend

The cornerstone of this Texas history museum is a series of eight cannons that were brought over the Atlantic by French explorer La Salle. Other exhibits such as the latest permanent opening, “Where Texas History Began,” cover 13,000 years of Native American nomads and Mexican and Spanish colonists.

Fossati's Delicatessen

This charming corner shop may look freshly painted, but it originally opened in 1882, making it the oldest deli in Texas. It’s only open from 11 AM to 2:30 PM on weekdays, so swing by for lunch dishes like muffuletta sandwiches and broccoli cheese soup.

Timeless Serenity B&B

Guests can relax on front porch rockers, jump into a 44-jet Jacuzzi, or take complimentary bikes for ride along neighborhood streets. The property is set up for two or three guests—there’s only one suite with and full kitchen, office, and bathroom with an oversized tub—making it especially private.

Riverside Golf Course

There are 27 holes at this Guadalupe River-front campus, so you can golf enthusiasts have three 18-hole combos to choose from. Beginners should opt for the Blue Course—considered the easiest—though you can afford to challenge yourself when green fees start at $25.