It's easy to picture what life was like in centuries past at Matagorda County Museum. That's because the museum highlights the county's most memorable events with both detailed recreations and actual artifacts. Guests can absorb the county's nautical history by viewing a cannon and other artifacts recovered from a shipwreck at the bottom of Matagorda Bay. They can also learn about indigenous family life or discover the charms and hardships of life in a covered wagon thanks to exhibits on those topics.
For an even more immersive experience, families need only step in to the award-winning children's section of the museum. There, kids can discover what life was really like more than 100 years ago in a recreation of a late 19th-century town. Newly minted citizens can swing by the town's O.K. Corral to drop off their horses, stop into the barber shop for a shave and a haircut, or head to the one-room schoolhouse to look over education primers. Other places of interest include an opera house, a post office, and, in case anyone at the post office gets caught opening letters not addressed to them, a jail.
An angler of redfish, speckled trout, flounder, and tripletail on the Matagorda Bay and Colorado River for more than a quarter century, Knee Deep Fishing's Captain Ciruti shares fishing wisdom during guided trips. The captain provides all gear on drifting trips, welcoming anglers aboard his 22-foot Gulf Coast boat powered by a 200-HP Suzuki engine and hundreds of bubbles blown by harnessed trout. For fishermen with their own rods and wading boots, Ciruti leads walk-and-wade excursions into shallow flats and along coastlines.
To accommodate nature admirers and history buffs, Ciruti also charters eco tours to illuminate the history, layout, and wildlife of the bay and its surrounding waterways. Skyward glances may yield views of pelicans, herons, and eagles, and below, land-bound creatures such as deer, hogs, and coyotes may make appearances along the banks.
What was once a jumbled catch-all for the hunting trophies of Dr. E. A. Weinheimer, and a generous donation from Steve McManus, has been streamlined into a collection of well-organized exhibits at the El Campo Museum of Natural History. They feature these trophies along with others in realistic replicas of their original habitats.
Back when Greek Brothers first opened, diners had three options: oysters on the half-shell, boiled shrimp, or pizza. Today, the menu is home to more than 50 items, and the roadhouse-style restaurant has transitioned from pizzas to grilled-to-order steaks hand-cut in house. But the roadhouse-style restaurant?characterized by exposed brick walls and Budweiser posters from the '80s?hasn't gotten above its raising. It still serves classics such as chicken-fried steak or mama Blanche's seafood gumbo.
Frequent live acts add to the light grittiness of the ambiance, and keep the dining room buzzing with the sounds of live country or classic rock bands.
A variety of water slides can be found at Splashway Waterpark, a seasonal outdoor playground that boasts water-fueled attractions for toddlers, older kids, and adults. Sometimes the rides relax, as when visitors drift down the lazy river on waterproof water beds, but sometimes they raise pulses instead, as on the nearly straight drop of Pirate's Plunge.
From May to September visitors can enjoy the park's attractions, which were designed to entertain families with kids of any age. When energy wanes, two onsite caf?s pile plates with all-American fare such as burgers, pizza, and nachos. The truly exhausted can lounge in the new lagoon pool or turn in for the night at the park's RV and tent camp, or the new cabins.