1. Blast from the Past

    Jose Carbajal SignVictoria is one of the oldest cities in Texas, founded by Martin De Leon in 1824. Let that date sink in for a little bit. Victoria is older than 26 of the states in the United States. With that long of a history, there are bound to be quite a few interesting stories to be told. If you were ever curious about some of the more curious of nuggets from Victoria’s past, several new installations in town are here to help. The “Victoria Trail Through Time” is a series of beautifully designed displays in Downtown Victoria and Riverside Park that tell the tales that have occurred during Victoria’s amazing history. So take some time to check out these fascinating stories from years gone by.

    Downtown Victoria Locations:
    -Fossati’s Delicatessen: “The Macaroni Line”
    -Corner of Juan Linn St. and Main St.: “Jose Maria Jesus Carbajal”
    Riverside Park Locations:
    -”Round Top House and the Great Comanche Raid”
    -”Steamboating and the Guadalupe”
    -”Margaret Wright: The Mother of Texas”
    -”Presidio la Bahia Mission Espiritu Santo”


  2. Nature’s Bounty

    If you’re like me, you suffer from occasional cases of electronic overload. It’s no secret we’re a little bit overly-stimulated these days. Be honest, how much time do we spend in front of a screen? Many of us use one (or several) for work. Then we go home, and likely spend some more time with one (or several). I know that I need to recharge a little from time to time, and I don’t mean my laptop. One of my favorite ways to do just that is to unplug and spend some time in nature. We are very lucky to have such a large and beautiful park here in town in Riverside Park. But did you know that there is an incredible nature area and trail in the park, the Athey Nature Area? This week I set out to explore this little piece of wilderness for myself, and let me tell you it was a much needed break from the hustle and bustle.

    The trail really has two main entrance points; you can enter by the Hiller House at 3003 N. Vine St. or in Riverside Park near Riverside Stadium, which is where I started my trek from. The first part of the trail is a very well-done and smooth concrete path that’s perfect for any activity whether you are biking, jogging, or just going for a stroll like myself. It wasn’t long before I found myself enveloped in a lush green canopy and surrounded by a variety of native Texas vegetation. Now I’m no expert birder but there was an incredible variety of bird songs echoing from the trees which made this hike that much more enjoyable. I was pleasantly surprised by the large number of cardinals in the area too as flashes of red and brown darted in and out of the brush before me. About halfway through this part of the trail I saw some deer in a nearby field, and was pretty sure that was the closest I’d get to larger wildlife species. Not long after the trail turned from smooth concrete to a crush white limestone, and the vegetation changed from a pecan and oak forest into more of grassland dotted with elm and post oak and knee high grasses. As I continued onward I felt like to I could hear something moving in the brush nearby. Glad to have my camera nearby in case I’d be the first to get a not-fuzzy photograph of Bigfoot, a fully-grown doe jumped out of the brush a few feet in front of me and darted across the trail. Safe to say I wasn’t quick enough with the camera on that one. Not only that but a few minutes later I saw to my left about four or five does watching me intently. Shortly thereafter the trail surface changed again, and I was now on a basic gravel and dirt path. This part of the trail felt a little more raw and the vegetation reflected that of a hard South Texas brush with low-hanging mesquite. I really enjoyed taking a few pics of an almost surreal-looking dead tree that was stripped of its leaves and had hanging Spanish Moss in their place. As I neared the exit of the trail a hidden reward laid waiting for me when I found a dewberry wine loaded with mature fruit, which I naturally had to take a quick sampling of. I may even head back this week to pick a bag or two!

    Be sure to take a little time out of your schedule and let your senses be flooded with the beautiful sights and sounds of the Athey Nature Area.


  3. Java Rama

    If you’re ever looking for a good cup of joe in Victoria, and want to avoid the typical chains you see in pretty much any city of decent size, a great alternative is Huvar’s Artisan Market and Catering in Downtown Victoria. Not only do they have incredible coffee from a full barista station, but a good variety of breakfast options to boot. You can choose from such delectable options as white chocolate & raspberry scones, chocolate chip muffins, banana bread, and smoothies. Unfortunately for myself I’m on a pretty strict diet these days so I couldn’t sample any of the pastries, but still had a tasty breakfast with cinnamon oatmeal and a fruit bowl. For my choice of coffee I took full advantage of the barista station offerings and elected for a latte with cinnamon. An excellent choice in hindsight as it was flavorful but easy drinking and very well-balanced. So if you ever find yourself looking for a different breakfast experience besides the hustle-and-bustle of a fast food joint and want a more authentic coffee drinking experience, you can’t go wrong with taking a little trip to Downtown Victoria and Huvar’s.

    Huvar’s Artisan Market and Catering is located at 110 W. Juan Linn St. and is open Monday-Friday, 7am-3pm.


  4. Top Floor Tequila

    Tequila BarWhat do different kinds of drinks mean to you? Typically when I think of rum I imagine a beach, a frozen fruity drink under a little umbrella, and too much Jimmy Buffett playing in the background (ask anyone who knows me well, I can’t stand him). Gin? Martinis, James Bond- that whole image. And tequila? Really, I have to say personally I didn’t have much of an idea. So when I heard that the new restaurant on the top floor of One O’Connor Plaza in Downtown Victoria, The Sendera, would be opening a specialty tequila bar, I felt compelled to expand my knowledge base. And I have to say I’m glad I did. First thing you should know about The Sendera is it has a great atmosphere. Being on the 12th floor of One O’Connor Plaza in Downtown Victoria, it has hands-down the best views of the city available. The owners, Dennis and Louise, went for a cool upscale ranch house vibe with different art pieces of horses and cattle, ranch scenes, and dark leather furniture. But a really eye-catching feature is the “Sendera Cantina” tequila bar. And they mean tequila. As is stands there’s about 120-130 different labels of tequila there, with a goal of reaching around 150. The bar itself is literally glowing, with a quartz top lit from beneath. I began my culinary excursion with one of the bar’s signature tequilas, the Maestro Dobel. A blend of three different types of tequila, it was a perfect drink to sip on the rocks with a lime wedge. Next came an order of pork bellies from their new tequila bar appetizer menu-and they did not disappoint. According to the bartender, they are cured for 36 hours, braised in root beer, and topped with a mango salsa. And with a generous portion to boot, they were excellent. Of course The Sendera is first and foremost a steakhouse, so I had to go with a 12oz. rib eye. It was cooked to perfection and the side I ordered along with it, the creamed spinach, had a rich creamy flavor and was a perfect complement to the steak. With happy hour specials and live music on Saturday nights, The Sendera Cantina is the perfect place for some post-work libations or a night out with friends. Visit The Sendera at One O’Connor Plaza, 12th floor. Open Monday-Thursday 11 am-10 pm, Friday 11 am-midnight, and Saturday 4 pm-midnight.


  5. Take Me Out To The Dancehall

    Schroeder HallI consider myself a live music fan. I also consider myself a bit of an explorer, searching every nook and cranny of the cities where I’ve lived. So the fact that after nearly two years in Victoria I hadn’t been to the revered Schroeder Hall was a bit of a travesty to say the least. After all, it is the second oldest dancehall in Texas and has hosted legendary country music entertainers over the years. Luckily, I won tickets to the Taste of Country Christmas concert last Saturday, featuring Nashville country up-and-comer Thomas Rhett.
    Just a short 15-minute drive past the brush and pastures of Upper Mission Valley Rd., and left onto FM 622, brings you to the rear of the hall. As soon as you drive up, you see it’s a true Texas dancehall with cars parked all around in a large field next to the main hall. With a tin roof and simple, white exterior, Schroeder Hall could easily pass for a rustic barn – save for the neon sign. Once you’re inside however, you get transported back to a time when everyone went to local dancehalls for the weekend shindigs. Being from the Czech and German dancehall-heavy region of south-central Texas, I felt right at home at Schroeder Hall. The low-set ceiling is lined wood beams and frilly, plastic banners. The bar only serves beer to concert-goers (customers can bring their own liquor but set-ups must be purchased at the bar). Tables line two sides of the hall and the stage is set deep in the back – leaving plenty of room for dancing or for getting up close to the performers. If you love country music, Schroeder Hall is the place to go for a genuine Texas experience you won’t soon forget.

    UPCOMING CONCERTS AT SCHROEDER HALL:
    December 20, 2014: Josh Abbott Band
    December 28, 2014: Kevin Fowler
    December 31, 2014: Restless Heart
    January 4, 2014: Aaron Watson
    January 11, 2014: Granger Smith
    February 8, 2014: Stoney LaRue


  6. ‘Tis the Season

    Christmas ParadeI’ll admit it. I can be a bit of a Scrooge when the holiday season kicks off. Not that I try to make family and friends less enthusiastic about the holiday season, but sometimes it can be hard for me to get that overriding enthusiasm for this time of year right off the bat. Maybe it’s the bombardment of ads, or news of several shoppers ending up incarcerated from a scuffle over the last Wild Wacky Mega Bike. However, for the past few years I’ve found a great way to get in the spirit is by taking in some of the great holiday events in Victoria with family and friends; it’s a great way to make the holiday season truly special and memorable. The Victoria Bach Festival presents Conspirare Christmas this Thursday, December 5th at the First United Methodist Church.  A unique holiday celebration fusing hymns, carols, sacred and popular music, there will be several amazing vocalists on tap, most notably the Grammy-nominated Ruthie Foster, to belt out some of your favorite classics.  Follow up Conspirare with the Lighted Christmas Parade event Saturday in Downtown Victoria, which typically features over 100 entries annually, from corporate floats to marching brigades of local organizations dressed as elves and the like.  Finish off your Christmas revelry with Victoria’s Ballet Theatre’s annual production of the holiday classic, “The Nutcracker” at the Leo J. Welder Center for the Performing Arts December 12-15.  Be sure to call ahead and get your tickets because this is a popular performance year in and year out.  Of course you’ll still need to do SOME shopping.  For that, try some of our great local retailers or the Victoria Market Days on Saturday, December 14th in Downtown Victoria featuring a variety of vendors, some of which who sell unique handmade items.  For more details on all of these events, check our online events calendar and for shopping information see store listings on our website.  Oh and I almost forgot- Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!


  7. Go Local

    Dr. Yahagi & the Mended HeartsThese days it seems there’s a lot going on in Victoria. Every week or so there seems to be some cool festival, fundraiser, or other kind of special event happening. And a big part of each is live music. Victoria is really lucky to have the quality of musicians of we do here in town. Want proof?  Just take a quick tour of the local music venues on any given weeknight or weekend. Are you a big two-stepper and a fan of country music? Guys like the Scott Taylor Band, Clay Crockett & the Shotgun Riders, & Jeremy Halliburton of crank out tunes on the local honky-tonk and dancehall circuit at places like Dodge City Nightclub and Schroeder Dancehall. More of a rocker? Catch acts like Dr. Yahagi and the Mended Hearts at Rosebud Fountain and Grill or The Hot Attacks, The Mudcatz, and Crossroads at Steve-A-Reno’s Rock and Roll Blues Bar. If you’re looking for a more laid-back vibe, I’d suggest the outdoor patio at the Pumphouse Riverside Restaurant and Bar or Greek’s 205 Bar to hear Jerry James, the April Hall Band, or Andrea Marie & the Magnolia Band play a mix of folk and acoustic. For a little Tejano or salsa, head to the Golden Gecko where you can catch The Krystals or Two Step Dancehall and Lounge. Naturally that’s just the tip of the iceberg.  There really are so many great artists and live music venues to choose from here in Victoria. Download the track “Victoria, TX” by one of Victoria’s own, Dr. Yahagi & the Mended Hearts!  Check out their website at dryahagi.com for more info and to purchase their new CD “Heart Surgeon”!

    CDs are also available at Hastings in Victoria and the Citizens Medical Center coffee shop and gift shop.  Check out the band’s Facebook page and listen to 106.9 Klub Rock for Dr. Yahagi’s monthly appearance to talk about music and heart-related news and tips.


  8. Bring on the BBQ

    Mumphords BarbecueVictoria’s renowned barbecue spot, Mumphord’s Place, was named one of the 50 Best Barbecue Joints by Texas Monthly magazine not long ago. Alerted to this distinction, the Victoria Advocate sent in its own newspaper taste-test team to sample the ‘cue themselves.

    Naturally, the staff at the CVB figured we needed to do the same so I gladly volunteered for the assignment, declaring I had bona fide barbecue credentials.  I grew up in this area and since my grandpa owned what was once Mr. Bar-B-Q in Edna, I’ve had my fair share of solid barbecue meals.

    On first arrival, Mumphord’s has the look of what you might expect of one of those hole-in-the-wall  barbecue joints.  Driving up you’ll notice the red and white brick/stone façade and wooden-posted front porch.  Near the back of the small parking is a large wood stack and the dark, smoky pit area.  Any barbecue aficionado can tell that when you spot those two landmarks, it’s a good omen for the quality of your forthcoming meal. When you walk inside you are greeted with a bit of a hodgepodge of decorations.  The walls are lined with a mix of items ranging from old athletic jerseys and mounted deer heads, to family photos and a proclamation to the Mumphord family from former New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin.  An interesting touch for a barbecue joint was the large screen TV in the middle of one wall playing a rerun of “Bones” on TNT.

    The staff was pretty friendly and had no problem joking around with guests.  I was glad to know that I wasn’t the only first-timer to this seller of smoked meats; I ended up seated by a trio of ladies enjoying chopped beef sandwiches on their first lunch break to Mumphord’s.  For this task I was only a team of one, so I couldn’t exactly take on the full spread of meats and sides they had to offer and elected for a three meat and 2 side combo.  For meats I chose your South Texas staples: brisket, sausage, and pork ribs.  Never being a big fan of coleslaw or potato salad, I tried to order the green beans and pinto beans.  Emphasis on “tried”. Word to the wise, at Mumphord’s when they say “double bean” it doesn’t mean one of each type of bean.  I ended up with a pretty good heaping of pinto beans on my plate.   At first I was disappointed in my error, but after I got a quick bite of the beans I figured I was ok.  They were pretty flavorful and had that good texture; not mushy, but not crunchy and undercooked either.   Sorry for the tangent, I’m sure what you really want to know about is the barbecue…

    I started with the pork ribs, and while I found them to be a little more rib than rib meat, they still had a good smoky flavor. As for the sausage, I grew up in the Moulton area, about an hour north of Victoria in pretty much the heart of the Czech-German area in South Central Texas (Hallettsville, Schulenburg, Shiner, etc.). The kind of sausage I grew up eating usually has a little more pepper in it and is a bit coarser and meatier.  Still, I really enjoyed Mumphord’s offerings in this category as it had a rich, even flavor and was pretty tender which was a nice change.

    My favorite part hands down was the brisket.  Quite honestly, I’ve never understood the whole “melt in your mouth” thing people on Food Network and what not gush about in reference to meat.  Meat shouldn’t “melt” in your mouth; that’s not natural.  Mumphord’s brisket was flavorful and tender but with enough texture to feel like I was eating the actual brisket meat and not some brisket/fat concoction.

    The sauce happened to also be one of my favorite parts of the meal.  It was a light blend that didn’t run all over the place, and at first bite had a sweet taste that by the time you were done chewing had a tangy zing to it.  And to top it all off, the sweet tea was pretty good too.

    All in all I have to say that I definitely saw why Mumphord’s is considered by some as one of Texas’s top BBQ spots.  But rather than just take my word for it, be sure to taste for yourself some time!

    Mumphord’s Place is located at 1202 E. Juan Linn St. and is open Monday-Thursday 11am-7pm, Friday 11am-9pm, and Saturday 11am-6pm.  For more information call 361-485-1112.


  9. Old Victoria Driving Tour

    Old Victoria Driving TourA prominentTexan was quoted as saying recently that old Victoria is one of the prettiest places in Texas. After taking a quick mental tour around the Lone Star state, stopping at some of my favorite places along the way, I decided he was spot on. Founded by Martin de Leon in 1824 and with more than 100 landmarks and buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places, old Victoria provides a charming home for residents and businesses and a stunning backdrop for festivals and special events.  The distinctive design of architect Jules C. Leffland can be seen in many of the homes in old Victoria and noted Texas architect J. Riely Gordon designed the 1892 Victoria County courthouse, voted one of the ten favorite historic courthouses in Texas.

    An easy way to explore our downtown is to pick up one of our  Old Victoria Driving Tour Guides here at the Victoria CVB Visitor Information Center and head on down Main Street to De Leon Plaza where the tour begins.  The driving tour guide and map will help you wind your way through our historic downtown as well as provides a photograph and the story of  each of the 84 truly amazing, historic buildings and sites included in the tour.  It also describes a couple other important historic sites like Tonkawa Bank and Evergreen Cemetery and tells the story of why Victoria is known for La Calle de Los Diez Amigos, the Street of 10 friends.

    I have the privilege of both living and working in old Victoria.  I love to stomp around downtown, feeling history ooze between my toes or ride my bike through the neighborhoods, imagining the breeze is whispering stories of old as I pass by each gem.  I confess a particular fondness for numbers 74 and 75 on the driving tour.  Both of these grand old dames are survivors, for sure.  They were built in Indianola and withstood the devastating 1886 hurricane after which time their owners wisely dismantled them and moved them to Victoria.  I don’t mean to take away from the other historic buildings on the tour; each one is special with a fascinating story of its own.

    Do yourself a huge favor and invite your favorite someone along on the old Victoria driving tour.  Enjoy the beauty of Victoria and step back in time for just a little while.


  10. Kayaking in Victoria

    Have you ever seen the steam rise up from the river while the Mockingbird sings his own rendition of Beautiful Day by U2 early in the morning? Well at least that is what my Mockingbird would be singing as I ease my kayak into the river. I started kayaking in college and I have loved it ever since. It was actually a class offered for my degree and how could anyone resist not putting that course on your transcript? I would like to share with you some kayaking tips that I have learned along the way. Then later we will discuss where to kayak in Victoria. By the way, I am not an expert but these tips will help you if you are interested in taking up the sport.

    Helpful Tips:

    Plan your trip.

    • Always have a plan and stick to your plan. Be sure to tell someone “on shore” where you are going and when they should expect you back. Check the weather and flow of the river. For the Guadalupe River you can visit http://www.gbra.org/ to check the current conditions.

    Always paddle with a buddy.

    • Not your dog named Buddy. You will need a friend, sibling, adult, lifeguard, human being, etc.

    Always wear a life vest.

    • Very seldom do you hear about the person that drowned wearing a life vest. Life vests are also good for holding other safety gear like a glow stick, sunscreen, water proof case that contains your cell phone, emergency whistle, knife and lip balm.

    Snacks & Water

    • Be sure to bring water to stay hydrated and food to keep you energized to finish the trip.

    Know how to read the river.

    • I’m not talking about the Comal River where there are signs that tell you what lies ahead. I’m talking about noticing trees and rocks sticking up out of the water. Be able to tell where the slow moving water is and where the current picks up speed. Notice shallow water and be ready to portage your vessel so that you don’t tear up the hull.

    No Flip Flops!

    • Make sure that your footwear covers your entire foot and has a sturdy thick sole. I will never forget when one barefoot man stepped out of his kayak to take a break and stepped on a fish hook. Not pleasant.

    Falling out and getting back in.

    • Yes it happens to even the most experienced paddler. You must learn to how to get back in your boat especially when in deep water.

    Once again these are just a few tips that I have learned over the years. If you are interested in kayaking in Victoria the Guadalupe River does have a very nice 4.2 mile section that begins and ends in Riverside Park. At the moment there are no kayak rentals in Victoria but there is a local club called Coastal Bend Paddlers. They have a Facebook page and when the weather is right they meet in Riverside Park every Thursday to paddle the Guadalupe River. If you are nice and bring them snacks they might let you borrow one of their kayaks. The Victoria Parks and Recreation Department hosts an annual Kayak Clinic in August for beginners of all ages. For more information on kayaking I would recommend visiting the Texas Parks and Wildlife webpage at http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/fishboat/boat/paddlingtrails/.

    Danielle Williams

    Advertising-Events Manager

    Victoria Convention and Visitors Bureau


  11. Grab a Bite!

    Fossatis DelicatessanWhether you need a great spot to host a business lunch or would like to treat yourself to something different, Downtown Victoria restaurants are serving up some good grub. Many know the famed Fossati’s Deli, the oldest deli in Texas and one of the oldest restaurants in the US.  They’ve been around since 1882, with a menu that includes tasty sandwiches, soups, and salads.  Get some of the best burgers in town at Rosebud Fountain and Grill, and if you’re extra hungry order up some of their excellent fried pickle chips and milkshakes.  The 1950s-esque atmosphere also provides plenty of conversation pieces.  At Huvar’s Artisan Market and sample their signature salads or sandwiches such as the City Hall salad topped with shoestring onions and pesto ranch dressing, or the sausage and peppers sandwich on an artisan Ciabatta bun.  If burgers, sandwiches or salads aren’t your thing, fear not because Beijing Garden provides some excellent Asian cuisine with daily lunch specials; try the delicious egg drop soup with your meal.  If you’re in the mood for some Mexican food, drop by Taqueria Mi Familia and order some of their enchiladas.  For tasty fare in a great atmosphere, head to Greek’s 205 Bar.  Their prime rib on Wednesday night is a huge hit, as is their daily menu filled with lighter fare such as gumbo and free appetizers during happy hour, 4pm-7pm.  Also be on the lookout for the new restaurant opening at the top of One O’Connor Plaza, formerly Olde Victoria at the Oak Room.  This new establishment promises to be a top-notch steakhouse providing breathtaking views of the city, and will also serve wild game and seafood.  And definitely don’t forget the Pumphouse Riverside Restaurant and Bar, just a few blocks away from downtown in beautiful Riverside Park.  Their Sunday brunch is a favorite among locals; I’m a fan of the Texas Benedict plate.  They also have great daily lunch specials, dinner entrees, and host a variety of musicians playing on the outdoor patio overlooking the Guadalupe River.  Check out each restaurant under the ‘Dining’ listings or our website and plan your next meal in Downtown Victoria!

     


  12. Destination Downtown

    De Leon PlazaGreat live music, relaxed atmospheres, and fun special events. Sound like a good time to you? If so then all you need to do is visit some of the local nightlife hotspots in Downtown Victoria! Downtown Victoria is an awesome spot for a night out with your friends, with five unique bars adding their own special flavor to our downtown.  If you are feeling up to it, I suggest taking an evening and stopping by each of these locales……..First up is 77901 Wine Bar at the corner of Main and Juan Linn, their relaxed atmosphere is a great place to unwind after a long day of work, especially in one of their incredibly comfortable lounge chairs and couches! Next, swing by Greeks 205 Bar and sample some of their delicious appetizers that they offer for FREE earlier in the evenings.  Grab some fresh air and enjoy their recently extended outdoor patio area as well.  Take a few steps up Constitution Street and visit Downtown Bar and Grill; if you are a fan of rock and alternative music this is your place!  At the corner of Liberty and Forrest awaits the Golden Gecko.  Regular theme nights and events is their specialty, with such happenings as Jazz nights, salsa dancing, live comedy acts and much, much more! Finally, end the night with some excellent live music at Steve-A-Renos Rock-N-Roll Blues Bar!  A variety of incredibly talented musical groups take the stage at this relatively new establishment on Santa Rosa Street!  That brief description I offered hardly does justice to all that the nightlife scene in Downtown Victoria offers to residents and visitors to Victoria, you’ll just have to see for yourself!

    *Side Suggestion: Looking for another hotspot to add to your itineary or to grab a meal in the evening? The nearby Pumphouse Riverside Restaurant and Bar in Riverside Park is a great option, with regular specials, live music, and beautiful atmosphere as it overlooks the Guadalupe River!


  13. It’s All Going Down Downtown!

    Street DanceIf you’re looking for something other than the same old same old, you should definitely try to check out one of the unique and fun events going on in Downtown Victoria! With its large public square, beautiful buildings, and variety of dining and nightlife options, Downtown Victoria is the natural place for some great events to happen!  If you’re looking for something fun right before the  holidays, check out the “Black Friday Downtown Open House” this Friday, November 23.  A lot of the retail shops, restaurants and nightlife spots are boasting extended hours and special deals to lure people in.  You can find that perfect gift, enjoy a great dinner or grab some drinks with your friends!  Check out all the details and list of participating locations on the website for the Victoria Main Street Program! Coming soon is a weekend full of fun for the whole family with “Christmas on the Square” on Friday, November 30th and the Lighted Christmas Parade on Saturday, ecember 1st.  And don’t miss your chance to browse from a variety of vendors and find that perfect last minute holiday gift for a loved one at Victoria Market Days Saturday, December 15th.

    There really is so many great events taking place in Downtown Victoria throughout the year; see the annual events listing on our website and check out our events calendar to see all that’s going on!


  14. Get Plugged In

    Jerry JamesSo I’ve recently began to start checking out a lot of the live music venues here in Victoria, and all I have to say is that I’m blown away with all the incredibly talented musicians we’re so lucky to have! A lot of the acts may sound familiar to you, with names like Jerry James, Clay Crockett & the Shotgun Riders, Dr. Yahagi & the Mended Hearts, The Scott Taylor Band, Crossroads, The April Hall Band, Ron Shumate, The Rackit!, and The Krystals, (I could really go on and on and on!) probably ringing a bell.  And the place where these artists perform are nothing short of exceptional themselves, and range from large dance halls like Two-Step Dancehall and Lounge to smaller, intimate venues like 77901 Wine Bar.  Historic Schroeder Hall, just a few minutes outside of town, regularly brings in major country acts.

    If you’re looking for who plays where and when, a great resource to check out is the “Get-Out” section of the Victoria Advocate; their listings are really thorough.  Search for an artist or venue on Facebook too; they’ll likely have a fan page with show updates.  So if you’ve got a free night and the urge to make it interesting, than come out and support these great musicians! Check out some of these great live music venues below:

    Two Step Dancehall and Lounge · Schroeder Hall · Greek’s 205  Bar · Golden Gecko · 77901 Wine Bar · Steve-A-Renos Rock and Roll Blues Bar · Downtown Bar and Grill · The Pumphouse Riverside Restaurant and Bar · The Forum Club · Dodge City Night Club


  15. “Prayer Wheels”

    Nave MuseumI got a chance to see the Nave Museum’s current showing of “Prayer Wheels” by artist David Best and have to say this is one interesting exhibit. Take two very different themes, automotive pieces and classical and religious scenes and combine them on one canvas. The image below really paints a picture (no pun intended) much better than I could explain! As a classic car enthusiast myself, this exhibit really did peak my interest.  I was especially a fan of the old-school white wall tires and Texaco signage! Not only where there artistic works on the wall but also several unique sculpted items too.  Anyone who is a fan of art, cars, or both will find this exhibt a real treat! And for that art enthisiast in your life the Nave has got an excellent gift shop with a variety of vibrant, coloful pieces.

    What really got this exhibit kicked off on a great note was the Nave’s “Art Car Parade” held on May 19th. With over 50 eccentric art cars and custom low-riders, this was an awesome event for a lot of people in downtown Victoria.  A huge crowd then descended on the Nave to see “Prayer Wheels” first-hand and all the parade entries up close, and there were fun activities for the kids as well.  This is an event I am definitely looking forward to in years to come! The Nave is open Tuesday-Saturday 1pm-5pm and late on Thursday 1pm-8pm, so make sure to see these amazing pieces before the exhibit ends on July 1st!