Places To Go in Texas

El Camino Real Interactive Map!

Here's a fun, exciting way to find places to visit. Zoom in to find a location in Texas, then click on the yellow balloon of your choice to see the site name, address, access, image, and website. You'll find museums, interpretive centers, and historic sites that provide information and interpretation for El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail.

Please contact each site before you go to obtain current information on closures, changes in hours, and fees.
 
 

Historic sites and interpretive facilities on El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail in Texas (west to east) for you to visit.

(updated November 22, 2016)

 

Treviño-Uribe Rancho

Location: at the corner of Treviño and Uribe streets, in the northwestern part of San Ygnacio

Telephone: (956) 765-5784 (River Pierce Foundation)

Access: This rancho is owned by the nonprofit River Pierce Foundation;the foundation's purpose is "to identify, conserve, and make known the built vernacular and cultural heritage of the rural village of San Ygnacio, Texas." Guided tours will be available following stabilization and restoration efforts. Please call the telephone number above for more details.

Historical Significance: The Treviño-Uribe Rancho is a fortified home in San Ygnacio. Jesus Treviño, the town's founder, built this home in 1830 (the same year that the community was settled), safeguarding family and neighbors during frequent Indian raids. The house became known as Fort Treviño. Later Blas Maria Uribe, his son-in-law, built the loop-holed fort. In 1851, he had a native stone made into a polished sundial and set into the north wall of the fort. The home was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973 and became a National Historic Landmark in 1998.

Available Facilities: none

Exhibits: none

To learn more: www.riverpierce.org/

Villa Antigua Border Heritage Museum

Location: 810 Zaragoza Street (near Santa Ursula Avenue), Laredo

Telephone: (956) 727-0977

Access: Open to the public; call for hours

Historical Significance: This restored two-story brick building was once home to two early Laredo merchant families. With its size and pivotal location on the banks of the Rio Grande, this Italianate-style residence is representative of the grand houses that populated the San Agustín District in the early 20th century. The home was abandoned for many years and survived numerous fires and initiatives aimed at demolishing it. In 2002, Webb County and its Heritage Foundation acquired the home and undertook its historic rehabilitation.

Available Facilities/Exhibits: This museum showcases the region's history, culture, industry, and populations through a series of changing exhibits and educational seminars.

To learn more: www.webbheritage.org/index_files/22BHM.htm

Republic of the Rio Grande Museum

Location: 1005 Zaragoza Street (near San Agustin Avenue), Laredo

Telephone: (956) 727-0977

Access: Open to the public; call for hours

Historical Significance: This museum is housed in one of Laredo's oldest structures, located on San Agustín Plaza in downtown Laredo. The museum is a Mexican vernacular structure, constructed in 1830 with an 1860 addition. It was once the home of Bartolomé García, prominent rancher and mayor of Laredo. According to tradition, in 1840 the structure served as the capitol of the Republic of the Río Grande. The museum is considered a historic house museum, which features displays re-creating an authentic 1830 home in Laredo. Along with its neighbors, San Agustín Cathedral and La Posada Hotel, the museum forms a triangle of the most visited historic landmarks in the city.

Available Facilities: This museum hosts guided tours for school age children and adults year-round. The museum also provides presentations on local history and preservation to schools, civic organizations, and visitors.

To learn more: www.webbheritage.org/index_files/21RRG.htm

Cabeza Creek Crossing

Location: five miles west of Goliad

Access: This creek crossing, which shows some ruts from wagon usage over the years, is located on a private ranch, several miles from the nearest public road. It is not open to general public visitation.

Historical Significance: Part of a National Historic District, this is a gravel bar ford that may have been associated with the Bexar-La Bahia Road. Artifacts recorded for the site are American Indian, most likely prehistoric but could also be protohistoric or historic. Swales stretch on both sides of the crossing.

Available Facilities/Exhibits: none

To learn more: www.elcaminorealdelostejas.org/news/132

Nuestra Señora de Rosario Mission (Mission Rosario)

Location: four miles west of Goliad, just southwest of where US Highway 59 crosses the San Antonio River

Telephone: (361) 645-3405 (Goliad State Park and Historic Site)

Access: This site is still being studied and can be visited only by appointment.

Historical Significance: This mission was established in November 1754 in an attempt to make peace with the various Karankawan tribes who did not get along with the other Indians at existing missions. The sites was virtually abandoned by 1781, reopened in 1789, abandoned again in 1804, and formally closed in 1807. In 1935 the mission, by now a ruin, was given to the Goliad State Park Commission; it was transferred to the state in 1971. It is currently managed as a state archeological monument.

Available Facilities: none

Exhibits: historical marker along the road adjacent to the site

To learn more: www.tpwd.state.tx.us/state-parks/goliad/goliad-area-historic-sites

Nuestra Señora del Espíritu Santo de Zuñiga Mission (Mission Espíritu Santo)

Location: 108 Park Road 6, just west of US highways 77 and 183 and State Highway 239, ¾ mile south of Goliad

Telephone: (361) 645-3405

Access: Open to the public; call for hours

Historical Significance: The Spanish established this mission at this site in 1749. It was the fourth mission with this name; the previous three having been established in Victoria (and possibly Jackson) counties. This mission was the first large cattle ranch in Texas, supplying its own needs and those of Spanish colonial settlements as far away as Louisiana. The Franciscan priests closed the mission in 1830. The Civilian Conservation Corps reconstructed the mission during the 1930s so that it would appear as it did in 1783. It became a state park in 1949.

Available Facilities: In addition to the reconstructed Spanish mission, activities include camping, picnicking, hiking, fishing, swimming, and nature study. The park offers a floating dock and river access for kayaks and canoes. The park includes campground, picnic, and day use areas.

Exhibits: Historical study is available through guided interpretive tours; tour fees apply.

To learn more: www.tpwd.state.tx.us/state-parks/goliad

Floresville Hike and Bike Trail

Location: two-mile trail from Trail Street and Goliad Road south to Hospital Boulevard, Floresville

Telephone: (830) 393-3105 (City of Floresville)

Access: unrestricted

Historical Significance: This trail is located on the old San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railroad right-of-way, and it roughly parallels the 19th-century El Camino Real de los Tejas between San Antonio and Goliad.

Available Facilities/Exhibits: none

To learn more: http://www.txtransportationmuseum.org/history-floresville.php

San Antonio Missions National Historical Park (National Park Service)

Location: The park consists of several units that are located along the San Antonio River south of the city. The park's visitor center is located at Mission San Jose, 6701 San Jose Drive, which is approximately five miles south of downtown.

Telephone: (210) 932-1001 (visitor center)

Access: Open to the public; call for hours

Historical Significance: This park contains several of the most significant Spanish-era missions to be erected along El Camino Real de los Tejas, most of which are still standing and can be visited by tourists.

Exhibits: Passport stamps for the trail can be obtained at the visitor center.

To learn more: www.nps.gov/saan

Dolores-Applewhite Crossing

Location: in Medina River Natural Area near intersection of Jett and Applewhite roads, the crossing is along the Medina River, just west of the Applewhite Road bridge, San Antonio

Telephone: (210) 207-3000

Access: Open to the public; sunrise to sunset

Historical Significance: The property is located on a portion of the land granted to eventual Spanish Texas governor Ignacio Perez in the 1700s, and includes one of the state's oldest family ranches. In recent years, archeological investigations have revealed centuries-old activity in the area, including wheel marks in creek beds at the Dolores-Applewhite Crossing that verify its use on El Camino Real de los Tejas.

Available Facilities: The 511-acre Medina River Natural Area offers a variety of trails, many of which hold historical significance dating to Spanish Colonial times.

To learn more: http://texasindependencetrail.com/plan-your-adventure/historic-sites-and-cities/sites/dolores-applewhite-crossing

Mission San Antonio de Valero, 3rd Site (The Alamo)

Location: 300 Alamo Plaza, in downtown San Antonio

Telephone: (210) 225-1391

Access: Open to the public; call for hours

Historical Significance: In 1718 Father Antonio de San Buenaventura y Olivares established the first Mission San Antonio de Valero, near present-day San Pedro Springs (one mile northwest of downtown). After moving twice, the present mission site was chosen in 1724. In 1793 the mission was secularized and control passed to local authorities, and before long it played host to the first of many military garrisons. Here in March 1836, the Battle of the Alamo took place in which the Mexican army defeated a smaller force of Texans.

Available Facilities/Exhibits: The church and the surrounding grounds, which has a museum and other interpretation, is open to the public.

To learn more: http://www.thealamo.org/

Spanish Governor’s Palace

Location: 105 Plaza de Armas (105 Military Plaza), in downtown San Antonio

Telephone: (210) 224-0601

Access: Open to the public; call for hours

Historical Significance: This national historic landmark is where Spain had its first permanent military presence in San Antonio. It represents the last visual vestiges of the Presidio San Antonio de Béjar. Traditionally known as the Spanish Governor's Palace, it was the original comandancia (residence and working office) for the captains of the military garrison from 1722 until the early 1800s.

Available Facilities/Exhibits: The one-story masonry and stucco structure features 10 rooms, a landscaped courtyard, and a fountain.

To learn more: www.sanantonio.gov/CCDO/parksplazas/governorspalace

Acequia del Alamo Dam

Location: just north of the Witte Museum at 3801 Broadway Street, just south of Hildebrand, San Antonio

Telephone: (210) 207-5320 (City of San Antonio Parks and Recreation, Natural Areas)

Access: unrestriced

Historical Significance: Construction of the acequia at Mission San Antonio de Valero began in 1719. The source of the acequia was the San Antonio River near the ford of the Paso de Tejas. Here water was rerouted from the river by means of a diversion dam that extended into the stream from its western bank. The acequia served to raise and direct the flow of water toward the eastern bank to a canal intake. The acequia remained in use until 1912.

Available Facilities/Exhibits: none

To learn more: https://www.tamu.edu/faculty/ccbn/dewitt/adp/archives/glossary/acequia.html

Comanche Lookout

Location: in Comanche Lookout Park, 15551 Nacogdoches Road, San Antonio

Telephone: (210) 207-5320 (City of San Antonio Parks and Recreation, Natural Areas)

Access: unrestricted

Historical Significance: American Indians used this hill as a vantage point for warfare and hunting. The Apache, and later, the Comanche Indians dominated the area as they hunted along waterways, including nearby Cibolo Creek. The hill was also a prominent landmark for travelers in the 1700s and 1800s. The old Spanish road (one of several routes of El Camino Real or the Royal Road) from San Antonio to Bastrop and Nacogdoches in East Texas extended past the base of the hill. The road followed earlier American Indian travel routes, and today its remnants are known as Nacogdoches Road.

Available Facilities: This scenic park features a vantage point, playground, picnicking areas, and trails for hiking.

To learn more: http://www.sanantonio.gov/ParksAndRec/Parks-Facilities/All-Parks-Facilities/Parks-Facilities-Details/ArtMID/14820/ArticleID/2680/Comanche-Lookout-Park-/Park/45

Paso de los Tejas

Location: approximately 600 feet downstream from the East Mulberry Avenue bridge over the San Antonio River, San Antonio

Telephone: (210) 207-5320 (City of San Antonio Parks and Recreation, Natural Areas)

Access: unrestricted

Historical Significance: During the 1690s, materials for the construction of missions were acquired from a series of quarries in this location. There are remnants of structures associated with the period of significance of the trail.

Available Facilities/Exhibits: none

To learn more: http://mapio.net/s/8819855/

Paso de Sabinitas

Location: in the Medina River Natural Area, approximately 500 feet east of Palo Alto Road (State Highway 16), San Antonio

Telephone: (210) 207-5320 (City of San Antonio Parks and Recreation, Natural Areas)

Access: unrestricted

Historical Significance: This ford is a state archeological landmark. The route here crossed the Medina River for the Camino de los Palos, known to the Spanish as Paso Sabinitas.

Available Facilities/Exhibits: none

To learn more: http://www.texasbeyondhistory.net/st-plains/images/he6.html

Rancho de Pérez

Location: in the Medina River Natural Area, approximately 2,000 feet west of Applewhite Road, San Antonio

Telephone: (210) 207-5320 (City of San Antonio Parks and Recreation – Natural Areas)

Access: unrestricted

Historical Significance: This is a state archeological landmark, which is part of the Ignacio Pérez land grant. The ranch was known as Rancho de Piedra. The site is located north of the Medina River and was preserved and protected by the Pérez family for more than a century. There is a chapel at the Pérez Cemetery, which was constructed on top of the foundation of the original Spanish Colonial period chapel. Some elements of the original chapel remain.

Available Facilities/Exhibits: none

To learn more: www.landheritageinstitute.org/P-W_Farm+Homestead.html

San Pedro Springs

Location: in San Pedro Springs Park, 1315 North San Pedro Avenue, San Antonio

Telephone: (210) 732-5992

Access: unrestricted

Historical Significance: The area surrounding these springs has been inhabited since prehistoric times. When Spanish explorers visited the springs in the late 1600s, the area was occupied by the Payayas Indians, who lived in the village of Yanaguana. The area around the springs (at the Presidio San Antonio de Bexar, 1st site) was the original site of San Antonio, and in 1729 it was dedicated as a public space by the Spanish government.

Available Facilities: Facilities in the park include a swimming pool, tennis courts, a library, and a community theater.

To learn more: www.sanantonio.gov/ParksAndRec/Parks-Facilities/All-Parks-Facilities/Parks-Facilities-Details/ArtMID/14820/ArticleID/2504/San-Pedro-Springs-Park/Park/216

La Villita Historic District

Location: bounded by the San Antonio River, South Alamo Street, East Nueva Street, and South Presa Street, San Antonio

Telephone: (210) 207-8614

Access: unrestricted

Historical Significance: La Villita was San Antonio’s first neighborhood. It was originally a settlement of primitive huts for the Spanish soldiers stationed at the Mission San Antonio Valero (the Alamo). After a flood in 1819, brick, stone, and adobe houses replaced the earlier structures. In 1836 La Villita was the site of General Santa Ana’s cannon line in the Battle of the Alamo, and a map from early that year showed the village to be of considerable size.

Available Facilities/Exhibits: Today La Villita is a thriving art community (a series of small shops). It is a historic district listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

To learn more: www.sanantonio.gov/ParksAndRec/Parks-Facilities/All-Parks-Facilities/Parks-Facilities-Details/ArtMID/14820/ArticleID/2609/La-Villita/Park/117

Main and Military Plazas

Location: includes all city-owned open areas bounded by Commerce Street, Dolorosa Street, Calder Alley, and Soledad Street, San Antonio

Telephone: (210) 215-9274

Access: unrestricted

Historical Significance: Military Plaza was first established in 1722 as a parade ground and market square for the Spanish soldiers garrisoned there. While this plaza is associated with early Spanish colonialism, due in large part to the preservation of the 1749 Spanish Governor's Palace, it evolved over the years from a community gathering place and marketplace into the city’s seat of government. Main Plaza was the site of the first authorized Texas city when it was established as a market square on March 9, 1731. Soon small block residences were built around the square, with their village church (now San Fernando Cathedral) and the Casas Reales (114 East Main Plaza), their seat of government, as their focal points.

Available Facilities/Exhibits: On Military Plaza, the Italian Renaissance Revival-style city hall—built in 1888-91. On Main Plaza, the Romanesque Revival-style county courthouse—built in 1882.

To learn more: http://www.sanantonio.gov/historic/historicsites/HistoricDistricts/MainMilitary

McKinney Falls State Park

Location: 5808 McKinney Falls Parkway, six miles south/southeast of downtown Austin (as the crow flies) or 13 miles southeast of downtown Austin (by road)

Telephone: (512) 243-1643

Access: Open to the public; call for hours

Historical Significance: An identified site along Onion Creek within the park was a key crossing point along El Camino Real de los Tejas. The park is named for Thomas F. McKinney who came to Texas in the early 1820s as one of Stephen F. Austin's first 300 colonists. Sometime between 1850 and 1852, McKinney moved to Travis County and to his property on Onion Creek, where he built a large two-story home, stone fences, and the first flour mill in the area.

Available Facilities: Primary activities are camping, hiking, mountain biking, road biking, picnicking, fishing swimming, and wildlife observation.

Exhibits: Information on Thomas F. McKinney and the history of the park's land use is interpreted in the Smith Visitor Center.

To learn more: www.tpwd.state.tx.us/state-parks/mckinney-falls

Conner Swale Site

Location: on private property at 12374 FM 2095 near Gause, Milam County

Access: It is not open to general public visitation.

Historical Significance: These swales were established by wagon wheels and animal hooves traveling over El Camino Real de los Tejas.

Available Facilities/Exhibits: none

Website: none

Bastrop State Park

Location: 100 Park Road 1A, Bastrop, TX 78602

Telephone: (512) 321-2101

Access: Open to the public; call for hours

Historical Significance: present-day State Highway 21 closely follows one of the major routes of El Camino Real de los Tejas; original swales for the old road are located within the state park, but are not specifically identified.

Available Facilities and Exhibits: major park activities include backpacking, camping, picnicking, canoeing, swimming (pool), golfing, wildlife viewing, hiking, and interpretive programs; information about El Camino Real de los Tejas is available in exhibits at the park visitor center or by speaking with park staff.

To learn more: www.tpwd.state.tx.us/state-parks/bastrop

Apache Pass

Location: 9112 North Farm-to-Market Road 908, eight miles northwest of Rockdale

Telephone: none

Email: apachepass@tex1.net

Access: the property is not open except for occasional events and conventions; eventually a restaurant (open to the public) will begin operations.

Historical Significance: From 1748 to 1751, three Spanish missions (San Francisco Xavier de Horcasitas, San Ildefonso, and Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria) and a presidio (San Francisco Xavier de Gigedo) were built within five miles of this site by missionaries, soldiers, and resident Indians. The Spaniards' goals were to Christianize and civilize the numerous Indian tribes in the area and to establish a presence. During this period, a rock dam and a system of acequias (canals) were constructed just east of Apache Pass to irrigate the fields of one of the nearby missions. All of these improvements were abandoned in 1755 due to a combination of disease, drought, and Indian troubles. Apache Pass, named by the Spanish, was a gravel bar crossing on the San Gabriel River in this general area that was used successively by Americans Indians, explorers, settlers, and local farmers and ranchers.

Available Facilities: amphitheater, other ancillary facilities

Exhibits: several outdoor exhibits have been proposed

Website: none

Mission Tejas State Park

Location: 120 State Park Road 44, 16 miles east/northeast of Grapeland and just north of State Highway 21

Telephone: (936) 687-2394

Access: Open to the public; call for hours; call for admission price.

Historical Significance: Mission San Francisco de los Tejas, the first Spanish mission in the province of Texas, was established in 1690 on San Pedro Creek just east of the site of present-day Augusta. It was abandoned in 1693 and then reestablished in 1716 in nearby Cherokee County. This second mission lasted until approximately 1730. The first site of this mission has not been found. In 1934, the Civilian Conservation Corps built a commemorative representation of the 1690 mission at the park site. The park was managed by the Texas Forest Service until it became a state park in 1956. The Rice Family log home, which was built by Joseph Rice Sr. between 1828 and 1838, is one of the oldest structures in the area. It initially served as a stopover for immigrants, adventurers, and local residents traveling the Old San Antonio Road.

Available Facilities: The park offers fishing, picnicking, campsites, and group facilities as well as a commemorative representation of Mission San Francisco de los Tejas.

Exhibits: The park offers pioneer skills demonstrations, as well as school tours of the two historic structures.

To learn more: http://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/mission-tejas

Caddo Mounds State Historic Site Trail Remnants

Location: 1649 State Highway 21 west, six miles southwest of Alto

Telephone: (936) 858-3218

Email: www.thc.texas.gov/historic-sites/caddo-mounds-state-historic-site

Access: Open to the public; call for hours

Historical Significance: The Caddo Indians selected this site in the Neches River valley for a permanent settlement (a village and ceremonial center) about 800 AD, and for the next 500 years the Caddo dominated life in the region. The site was abandoned during the 13th century. After that time, the Caddo continued to live in the area and shared the culture of previous residents, but later groups lacked the sophisticated ceremonialism and material wealth characterized by earlier times. The Hasinai Caddo groups continued to live through the 1830s in their traditional East Texas homeland. By the early 1840s, all Caddo groups had moved west to the Brazos River area to avoid Anglo settlers who brought repressive measures and colonization efforts. Since the late 1850s, the Caddo have lived primarily in western Oklahoma.

Available Facilities: Visitors can walk the 0.7 mile self-guided interpretive trail to see the Caddos' burial, low temple, and ceremonial mounds. An additional trail along El Camino Real is also available as well as guided tours.

Exhibits: The museum displays approximately 200 artifacts dating from 750-1400 AD, including pottery, tools, and weapons.

To learn more: www.visitcaddomounds.com/

Durst-Taylor House

Location: 304 North Street (north of Hospital Street), Nacogdoches


Telephone: (936) 560-4441; (936) 560-5426 (to schedule school groups or other large groups)

Email: e-mail us

Access:
Open to the public; call for hours

Historical Significance: The Durst-Taylor Historic House is an 1828 wood-frame house; it is the second oldest dwelling existing in Nacogdoches. The pier-and-beam foundation, wood framing, and exterior and interior features make it a rare surviving example of Deep South Anglo-influenced frame dwelling from the late Mexican or early Republic period of Texas history. The Durst-Taylor House was home to many early businessmen, bankers, and political leaders. Recent archeological excavations have revealed that this house was built on the site of an older, Spanish-era dwelling: the Acosta House, which dates from the 1790s.

Available Facilities/Exhibits: The historic house serves as a museum, and the gardens surrounding the house are noteworthy as well. Visitors will find historically accurate plants and structures re-created to illustrate life in Texas during the 1840s.

To learn more:
www.ci.nacogdoches.tx.us/index.aspx?nid=693

Mission Dolores State Historic Site

Location: 701 South Broadway, San Augustine

Telephone: (936) 275-3815

Access: open to the public; call for hours

Historical Significance: Mission Dolores was a Spanish mission built in 1721. The site imparts significant history about the American Indian experience with Texas’ earliest European settlers. Although there are no historic above-ground remains, the mission is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and is a designated State Antiquities Landmark.

Available Facilities/Exhibits: Visitors can explore the site’s history at the museum where interpretive displays tell the story of Mission Dolores. The property also has a campground, picnic area, and group pavilions.

To learn more: www.thc.texas.gov/historic-sites/mission-dolores-state-historic-site

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

National Trails Intermountain Region
El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail
PO Box 728

Santa Fe, NM 87504

Phone:

(505) 988-6098

Contact Us