Columbus is a charming city in southeastern Texas that certainly lives up to its motto: “The Home of Live Oaks and Live Folks”. Situated about 74 miles west of Houston, Columbus is famous for its beautiful old oak trees and friendly inhabitants.
As a matter of fact, Columbus is home to the 2nd largest oak tree in the State! (To see Texas’ largest oak tree you’ll have to head south to Goose Island State Park, in Rockport.) And even though Columbus’ tree doesn’t own the top prize, it is still quite impressive and a sight to see. Another popular and majestic oak tree resides at St. John’s Episcopal Church. With its long, drooping limbs and mighty frame, it is a favorite with children and, I would imagine, is featured in many a wedding album!
But Columbus is not just about tree-gazing; it is also a wonderful place to do some paddling down the Colorado River. On this stretch of the river, you’ll see sandy banks, flat flood plains, wildflowers, cactus and…some more magnificent trees! You may hit a few calm rapids, but for the most part the ride is peaceful and tranquil. You’ll pass cattle ranches and even some islands that you can stop at for a picnic or just to rest.
Make sure to bring your binoculars because this area is home to a wide variety of fascinating birds, including vultures, egrets, flycatchers, herons, and hawks. And if you keep your eyes peeled you may spy beavers, raccoons, deer, turtles and quite possibly, a water snake or two. This 6.5 mile trail can take anywhere from two to five hours to complete, and the peaceful waters and calm rapids will give you a wonderful day on the river.
Back on land, there are many cool destinations waiting for you to explore, everything from the massive Stafford Opera House (the state’s largest, flat-floored opera house) to the tiny Alley Log Cabin which was built in 1836. The Opera House features a museum, the Visitor’s Center and Chamber of Commerce, and periodically puts on shows.
The Colorado County Courthouse, with its neo-classic copper dome, working Seth Thomas clock, and gorgeous skylight is also well worth a visit. It was built in 1891 and is on the National Register of Historic Places.
And for a little Christmas any time of year, head on over to The Santa Claus Museum, where over 2,000 Santa-themed items from all over the world are on display!
There are so many more things to see and do in Columbus, which makes it a destination well worth making…even if it’s just for the “Live Oaks and Live Folks”!