Exploring the Texas Independence Trail Region – Day 3

On day 3 of our Texas Independence Trail Region tour, we left La Porte and took the long way around to Bolivar Peninsula so we could ride the Galveston-Port Bolivar Ferry. Debbie had never ridden on a ferry so I thought we should give it a go. And, I mean, free ferry ride, who am I to say no to that? When Debra, Morgan, and I rode the ferry on our Texas perimeter tour, it was a great experience and I knew it would be the same for Debbie and me.

I could have done this all day. There’s something peaceful about the sound of the birds, the water, and the ferry noise that is so relaxing.
I’d never actually driven the full length of the island until we drove the perimeter of Texas. I suppose I knew Surfside Beach and Freeport existed but, for some reason, I always thought of Galveston as a community all to itself. That’s definitely not the case. The drive is wonderful and you can see more beachfront and also an array of beautiful, pastel-colored homes on the drive. I snapped this photo on our previous trip between Galveston and Surfside Beach.

If you drive up Hwy. 288 from Surfside Beach towards Angleton, you’ll see something white seemingly rising up from the ground. As you get closer, you’ll come upon the statue of Stephen F. Austin, the Father of Texas. Along the base of the statue is a list of the Old 300. These settlers received land grants from the Spanish government. My heart fluttered a little when I saw the last names Richardson and Rankin on the list. Though I’ve yet to find any proof that I’m related to either of the old 300, I’ll continue my search since these are the surnames of my family.

Of all the places we stopped along the way, West Columbia and East Columbia have to be up there with my favorites. Having never been to either, I was excited to learn about these communities. Debbie and I stopped by the West Columbia Chamber of Commerce and met the Chamber CEO/President, who shared the two city’s rich history. She even took us next door to see the replica of the first capitol of the Republic of Texas. Did you know our first capitol was in West Columbia?

A replica of the first capitol of the Republic of Texas is in West Columbia.

Our final stop on the last night of our trip around the Texas Independence Trail Region was Victoria. Since we were still relatively close to the Gulf Coast, we decided to stop at Baytown Seafood for dinner. I was still struggling with my taste and smell but I could taste the seasoning on my blackened fish, shrimp, and scallop dinner. Debbie loved her meal and tried a bite of mine, too, so I’ll take her word for it that it was good.

It was dusk when we finished dinner so we drove the downtown area of Victoria and saw so many beautiful historic buildings. We didn’t get to explore De Leon Plaza or the Museum of the Coastal Bend. Victoria has a History Trail that looked interesting. The next morning, we explored Riverside Park. What a beautiful site to see!

I’ll share the last leg of our tour through Fannin, Goliad, and San Antonio next time. Until then, safe travels!

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