In 1835, Irish settlers founded, what is now known as, Beeville in Bee County. Located in the heart of the Coastal Bend, Beeville is the gateway to the Gulf Coast and South Texas Brasada, Spanish for Brush County. Bee County has numerous appeals with cultural, natural, historical and recreational attractions.
For the person with cultural interests, Texas Monthly previously has named Beeville one of the four best small towns in Texas for art. The Barnhart Beeville Art Museum is a primary reason. The museum, housed in the historic Esther Barnhart House and funded by the Joe Barnhart Foundation, has exhibited some of Texas’ finest contemporary artists as well as collections housed at Houston’s Museum of Fine Arts and the San Antonio Museum of Art. Coastal Bend College’s Simon Michael Art Gallery hosts rotating exhibits on a regular basis, including the work of many local artists. Coastal Bend College, a community institution with two year degree programs, also houses one of the only two public, fully functioning glass blowing facilities in Texas. Tours are welcomed and classes are offered weekly in the early summer months.
Other cultural attractions include the state-of-the-art Joe Barnhart Bee County Library, technologically, one of the first of its kind in the United States, as well as home for year round educational programs. The Beeville Concert Association’s annual concert season is chock full of visiting performers ranging from Lluvia de Estrellas and The Gateway Brass (US Air Force Band of the West) to The San Antonio Symphony.
Springtime brings vivid displays of wildflowers to rural Bee County. Southern Living magazine has said “Bee County was buzzin’ last year when – thanks to generous winter rains- wildflowers were at their absolute best. It was a time of incredible bounty and unending beauty. The variety and depth of the colors is remarkable.”
Wildlife is plentiful in the area, making Bee County a hunter's and birder's ideal site. Deer, dove, quail and wild hogs abound, every birder will find his or her many species of birds such as Green Jays or Painted Buntings to provide unique viewing opportunities. Wildlife photographers have the opportunity to "shoot their prey" in special natural habitat with rolling hills and stands of oaks.
Our area offers several historic sites to see and study. The Berclair Mansion just outside of town, the McClanahan House in Beeville and the Calaboose Museum in Skidmore are unique examples.
In 2005, Beeville was honored to be named a Texas Main Street City, and the community revitalized the historic downtown district of the city so successfully that, in 2006, Beeville was named a National Main Street City. In that continuing process, shopping opportunities are being developed. Come stroll down the wide, quiet avenue into quaint gift shops, a high quality jewelry store, a bookstore, a saddle shop, a gourmet chocolate shop and an indoor trade center full of antiques, arts and crafts and knickknacks with over fifty vendors.
For the more athletic, the Beeville Country Club’s golf course was named by the Dallas Morning News as one of the best 9-hole golf courses in Texas. The privately managed municipal course is well maintained and borders on Veteran's Park with its renovated and expanded Little League/Softball fields. The recently built livestock arena at the Bee County Exposition Center is one of the few covered outdoor facilities of its kind in South Texas.
Bee County has a tradition of celebrations. The Junior Livestock Show and Sale takes place every January. Each September the community commemorates its rich Hispanic heritage with the Diez Y Seiz Festival in Downtown Beeville and October brings the Western Week Celebration, a long time community tradition, with its annual Parade that dates from the 1940s.