Welcome to Columbus!
Columbus is known as the “Home of Live Oaks and Live Folks”, a motto that has stayed true in describing both the timeless natural beauty of town as well as the vibrant hospitality of its inhabitants. Located 70 miles west of Houston, 125 miles east of San Antonio and 87 miles south of Austin, Columbus is a relaxing small-town sanctuary just at the edge of the cities.
History, Culture and Arts
As the county seat, the rich history of Columbus is definitively Texan. Local lore is filled with the first settlers’ arrival in 1821, Sam Houston’s camp location during the fight for Texas Independence, and the cattle ranchers who built magnificent homes in town. Preservation is an important theme in Columbus. Transport yourself in time as you take a guided. Talking Houses Tour that provides unique slices of history about historic buildings, homes, and museums throughout town.
The most recognizable building, the recently restored courthouse in the downtown square, houses a breathtaking Tiffany-style glass dome. The 1886 Stafford Opera House hosts a monthly dinner theater as well as weddings and galas.
The Columbus Historical Preservation Trust (CHPT) works diligently to preserve historic sites in Columbus, provide tours, and curate the multiple museums. Based out of the Stafford Opera House, CHPT also presents a monthly Dinner Theater Series, bringing high quality musicals, plays and perfomances to Columbus once a month during the show season. Call 979-732-5135 or email StaffordOperaHouse@yahoo.com for more information on tours, museums, the Dinner Theater Series schedule or renting the Stafford Opera House.
Incorporated in 1986, the Live Oak Art Center (LOAC) is an independent nonprofit organization that promotes thevisual arts by presenting exhibitions, developing educational programs and providing an environment for creative expression. The LOAC hosts a beautiful art gallery tucked inside a 19th-century era saloon that contains stunning exhibits and juried art shows in Columbus’s Historic District.
In addition to being a source for reading materials, Nesbit Memorial Library places a strong emphasis on the history, genealogy, literature, and culture of Texas and local residents. It hosts the most comprehensive collection of Colorado County genealogy materials, a useful collection of genealogy materials regarding Texas and the states of the southern United States, the Texas Collection–a Texas specific collection of old and rare materials relating to Texas history, and extensive archives related to the history of the surrounding area.
Colorado County Courthouse
Columbus is home to boutiques offering everything from clothing and decor to homemade chocolates with enough antique shops to thrill any treasure hunter. Columbus is located close to the Texas Independence Wine Trail and a wide range of restaurants highlight the local flavor. There are many options for lodging, whether you are planning an extended stay at one of the RV parks, a few nights in a comfortably modern hotel, or a bed and breakfast get away offering a stay in historic surroundings or a country adventure. Visit our member directory page for a list of shops, businesses, and lodging.
Special events are Columbus’s specialty. Some of the top events include the witty and wildly popular Live Oaks and Dead Folks Cemetery Tour, the historical reenactments of Columbus Folk Fest, and the shopping extravaganza Ladies’ Night Out. Columbus has something to offer anyone at any time of the year. Below are some of the regularly scheduled events and festivals, but be sure visit our event page for an up to date schedule.
LADIES NIGHT OUT (FIRST THURSDAY IN DECEMBER)
Beyond the towering oaks in town and the wildflower carpets of spring, Columbus is an outdoor enthusiast’s sanctuary. Surrounded by parks and gently rolling hills that cater to bicyclists and runners, Columbus also sits on a designated Inland Paddling Trail by Texas Parks and Wildlife. The unique horseshoe shaped trail is perfect for a day on the river whether fishing, birding, paddling canoes and kayaks, or relaxing in a riverboat ride. If you prefer to stay on land, the golf course provides a venue for a day at the links and Columbus is home to a Live Oak that is listed on the Registry of Big Trees as the largest in the state of Texas.
The Colorado River
Paddling the Colorado River through the town of Columbus you have the opportunity to see wildflowers, birds, turtles and more! 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. More information on the Texas Paddling Trail.
Bob’s Riverboat Tours, by appointment, is an outstanding 1.5 hour nature trip from the North bridge to Beason’s Park.
The surrounding area is covered in bluebonnets come spring. Stop by the Chamber office for a map of the best routes for bluebonnet sightings including an area designated by Texas Highways Magazine as “One of Five Best Wildflower Viewing Routes in Texas”.