Things to do in Port Lavaca

Calhoun County Museum

Port Lavaca, TX

Calhoun County Museum​

The Calhoun County Museum was established in 1964 by the Calhoun County Commissioner’s Court. Originally housed in the
1896 Jail building, it eventually moved to the Courthouse Annex Building and then to its present location. The mission of the Calhoun County Museum is the acquisition, documentation, preservation, study and exhibition of artifacts relating to the history, natural history and maritime history of Calhoun County.
Passing this material culture on to future generations. Some of the outstanding exhibits include the Fresnel Lens from the 1852 Matagorda Island Lighthouse, an 8-foot
diorama of the town of Indianola, a collection of items from the Belle in an exhibit entitled the La Salle Odyssey and many more items dealing with the life and times of Calhoun County.
Lighthouse Beach Park

Port Lavaca, TX

Lighthouse Beach Park

City-maintained park with the following amenities:

  • Fishing pier
  • Splash pads
  • Playground
  • 2200 foot board walk from beach to bird tower, made from recycled materials
  • Picnic area
  • White sandy beach
  • Large, 50′ by 100′ covered pavilion
  • 4750 foot walking path
  • Restrooms
  • Pool
Indianola Historical Marker Tour

Port Lavaca, TX

Indianola Historical Marker Tour

Many currents of the the mainstream of Texas history flow in this onetime port. Pineda explored the coast in 1519 and La Salle planted a settlement near here in 1685. Once an indian trading point it was a major seaport from 1844 to 1875. Texas colonists, including Germans led by Prince Carl of Solms-Braunfels entered through Indianola. “Forty-niners”, supplies for frontier forts and experimental Army camels were landed here.
Incorporated as a town in 1853, Indianola’s roots were first set at Indian Point, three miles to the north of Powderhorn Bayou. At Indian Point, an American settlement had sprung up in 1846 a year after Texas had become a state.  By 1848, Indian Point was the primary entry port for European immigrants and Americans landing here to migrate westward.
Take the historical marker tour to learn more about the rich history of Indianola, TX.

History of Port Lavaca

Welcoming Visitors Since 1519: History in a Seashell:

The first European to explore the seven bays of Calhoun County was Alonza Alvarez de Pineda in 1519. The town was founded after The Great Comanche Raid of 1840 when Comanche Indians swept down from the Hill Country and destroyed the tiny coastal town then known as Linnville. Only a small marker remains today to mark the former town. Former Linvillain Thomas McConnell bought land from a Deleon colonist and called the place Lavaca. The town succeeded in a very short time, eclipsing the commerce that Linville had seen prior to the raid.

Lavaca became the county seat for Calhoun County in 1846. In November 1847 a stage line was inaugurated connecting the town to Victoria. During the civil war, the city was bombarded by Union ships in late 1862 but refused to surrender. The hurricane of 1875 so damaged the railroad that Indianola became the only port with a railroad connection. By 1884 Lavaca’spopulation was down to only 70 people. But after Indianola was obliterated in the 1886 hurricane, Lavaca’s star began another ascent.

Lavaca, now known as Port Lavaca, was shipping seafood and the railroad ran weekend excursions to the coast. Port Lavaca welcomed the seafood-hungry tourists then – as it does today. In 1920 a seawall was completed and in 1928 Port Lavaca shipped more shrimp than any other port in the US.

*Photos and historical facts provided by Texas State Historical Association.


Port Lavaca, TX

Half Moon Reef Lighthouse

Three-story cypress building constructed in 1858 whose beacon extended 12 miles to warn mariners of upcoming dangers such as sand bars and reefs.
Port Lavaca Southern Pacific Depot

Port Lavaca, TX

Port Lavaca Southern Pacific Depot

Chartered in 1850, the San Antonio and Mexican Gulf Railroad is one of the first railroads in Texas.
Indianola Historical Marker Tour

Port Lavaca, TX

Port Lavaca Theater

Originally constructed in 1930s, and later deserted it houses floor seating as well as balcony seating with all the traditional perks of a theater. It was fully restored in 1994 and now used to showcase local talent, country opry’s, fashion shows and other concerts.

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