Fall in Love with Small Town Columbus, Texas
Known for its Republic-era historic homes, abundance of majestic live oaks and timeless beauty, Columbus, Texas, is a vibrant small town at the crossroads of Houston, Austin and San Antonio. Columbus is a relaxing getaway that has retained its charm and natural beauty while embracing the modern amenities for today’s traveler.
The oldest surveyed and platted Anglo-American town in Texas, Columbus was first settled in 1821. In the 1835 Texas War of Independence, most of Columbus was burned to the ground, but the city rose again the next year. Visit Beason’s Park on the Colorado River, where both General Sam Houston and Mexican General Santa Anna passed through on their way to San Jacinto in 1836 to face off in what became the decisive battle in Texas’s War for Independence from Mexican rule.
A tour of historic homes will keep you entwined in the history of the area. Columbus is home to more than fifty historical markers, commemorating the past. Be sure to take the audio driving tour, which will guide you past a dozen historic homes and buildings built between 1836 and 1890, or contact the Chamber of Commerce, who will be happy to provide a ride-along tour guide.
On the downtown square, see the beautifully restored Colorado County Courthouse. Originally built in 1890, the Courthouse was designed in the Classical Revival and Italianate styles of architecture by noted Houston architect Eugene T. Heiner. He designed at least nine other Texas courthouses. The bell tower was damaged in a 1909 storm. The dome was added before 1939. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In 2014, the courthouse was renovated and upgraded for current uses; the project included a restoration of historic exterior colors.
Also on the square is the Confederate War Museum, which was originally built in 1883 as the city’s water tower and is now dedicated to veterans of all wars. Across the street is the Stafford Opera House, built in 1886 by millionaire cattleman Robert E. Stafford, who built the Opera House right next door to his spacious home so that he could watch the performances from his balcony. The Stafford Opera House hosted many prominent entertainers, including the famous Lillian Russell and Magician Harry Houdini, just to name a few. The Opera House now serves as a museum and event venue with some offices on the ground floor. Children, both young and old, will want to see the Mary Elizabeth Hopkins Santa Claus Museum.
Nature surrounds Columbus with the Colorado River hugging the town, giving travelers the opportunity to go kayaking or airboat riding. Enjoy the beautiful oak trees so large it w
ould take several people interlocked to wrap around the trunks. In fact, Columbus is home to the largest, registered live oak in the state of Texas. If your group’s idea of enjoying nature is a round of golf, there are some fantastic options for you with their Columbus Golf Course or the Big Easy Championship Golf Course.
Offerings of clothing and décor, antiques and homemade chocolates will lure your group into the local boutiques where you will find it difficult to pass up an opportunity to make a purchase. Local restaurants offer an array of options: home-style flavor, Mexican food or a hearty steak. Need a little wind down time with a good drink? Visit the local sports bar or wine bar to lift your spirits. There are five hotels in town, in addition to campgrounds, bed & breakfasts and RV Parks.
Columbus is also a perfect location for a destination wedding with an array of lodging, both modern and historic, event centers and beautiful churches. There are many locations for beautiful photo opportunities, brunches, rehearsal dinners and receptions.
The Columbus Chamber of Commerce staff can direct you on most anything that interests you or your group. Give them a call to arrange your next day trip or weekend getaway; you will not be disappointed. To contact the Columbus Chamber of Commerce, phone (979) 732-8385, or visit columbustexas.org or Facebook @ColumbusTXChamber for more information.