City by the Sea Museum and La Petite Belle Homeport

Independence Trail Region
401 Commerce Street Palacios, TX 77465 (361) 972-1148


The City by the Sea Museum, home of the Palacios Area Historical Association, occupies a 1910, two-story downtown building, one of the oldest in fact within the city limits. The restoration of the building is an ongoing project, begun twenty years ago when the Association rescued the historic structure from decay. The Association’s mission is to “encourage visitors to experience and learn from the region’s diverse cultures and history” and, once the museum is completed, the Association plans to carry out that mission by functioning as a resource center, providing educational outreach, creating exhibits that interpret the Museum’s holdings, and participating in the La Salle Odyssey. The Odyssey is an exhibition of artifacts excavated from the French shipwreck La Belle of 1686, discovered at the bottom of Matagorda Bay, and distributed among seven museums across the Texas coastal region that, together, tell the story of French explorer Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle. A half-scale, seaworthy replica of La Salle’s ship La Belle, called La Petite Belle, is docked alongside Palacios’ large shrimping fleet.

Watch the following videos to learn more about the excavation of La Belle and the almost 2 million artifacts found in Matagorda Bay. These videos were produced for inclusion in the La Salle Odysessy tour found in our Texas Time Travel mobile app. Find out more about the tour on the La Salle Odysessy theme page:

City by the Sea Museum and La Petite Belle Homeport

401 Commerce Street Palacios, TX 77465