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“Incredible birding tour”

King Ranch Visitor Center
Ranked #1 of 13 things to do in Kingsville
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: A short-day trip from Corpus Christi, the Rio Grande Valley or San Antonio, this 825,000-acre ranch is a privately owned National Historic Landmark and offers daily tours on its' Santa Gertrudis division. The King Ranch Museum and Saddle Shop are separate locations in downtown Kingsville. Visitors can watch a video on the history and current operations of the Ranch, as well as explore the butterfly/birding garden on the grounds of the King Ranch Visitor Center. King Ranch Visitor Center is open seven days a week and closed on most holidays. You can practice roping on the grounds, check out our historic chuck wagon, picnic, and bird watch, or check out the store and exhibits inside. Free coffee always!
Guilford, CT
Level Contributor
49 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Incredible birding tour”
Reviewed 20 January 2009

This review concerns only the 4 hour birding tour, not any of the more general ranch or wildlife tours.

This tour more than lived up to its reputation as an incredibly good birding tour. Our guide, Peggy, is an ornithologist and runs the wildlife programs. The tour actually lasted a good 4 1/2 hours, including going over the checklist. We saw almost every south Texas rarity in the book! Peggy was very knowledgeable and really helped hone our birding skills. Our group varied from beginning to advanced birders, but we all learned a lot on this trip. The trip is all done from a small van, but we got out in several places to walk around and check out the scenery (and use the bushes!). There is a wide variety of habitats on the ranch which attracts different species. There is a feeder in one location which brings in the green jays (and the pesky javelinas). We also saw numerous alligators in a lake and stream region. There are more feeders back at the visitor's center. All in all, a terrific morning which was very easy, casual, fun, and birdy. I highly recommend the bird tour. Note - there is also a full day tour which spends the afternoon in a different area of the ranch looking for more rarities.

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6 Thank CTbirdlover
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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181 reviews from our community

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English first
West Texas
Level Contributor
27 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“We even saw an alligator!”
Reviewed 26 August 2007

While I realize this tour would not be for everyone - it was excellent for our family! We did the regular $8 tour and watched the video at the visitor's center - we did not have time to go to the museum. The tour takes you through the pastoral setting of cattle and horses on the king ranch. Our knowledgeable tour guide gave a lot of interesting tidbits about the families on the ranch and facts about the ranch itself. When he started talking about alligators, I thought he was joking - but when we got to a wetland area on the ranch, we saw one! It is fascinating to see the diverse interests of the King Ranch and the impact it had on the entire surrounding area. Our favorite part of the visit was our stop at the King Ranch Saddle Shop. While the products in the store are beautiful, the area where they build the saddles themselves was the highlight of the store. The saddle builder and his apprentice spent about an hour showing us different aspects of the saddle making process. The apprentice showed our children the process of leather tooling, and allowed them to imprint their names on small scraps of leather. We would definitely go again.

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4 Thank WestTexasMama
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Amarillo, Texas
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Don't bother going to King Ranch”
Reviewed 9 June 2006

If you are in the Corpus Christi, Texas area don't waste time going to see the King Ranch. We drove 40 minutes to Kingsville. Did the $8.00 bus tour of the King Ranch. The only thing you see is some cows and some horses, while listening to the story of the man who purchased the acerage. What a bore! You can read about this in the pamphlets available in your hotel. Don't waste your money on this one!

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3 Thank pcs51
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
477 reviews
115 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 534 helpful votes
“Wow!”
Reviewed 9 October 2005

We thought that it would be interesting to take a tour of the ranch and as we are from a farmng background decided to take a special 4 hour tour rather than the standard tour. I couldn't imagine that they could possible find enough to show us for a whole 4 hours but I was so wrong. Our guide for the afternoon, Beto, has spent his whole life on the ranch and was one of the friendliest people I have ever met. He was incredibly knowledgeable, interesting and answered our millions of questions. We were treated like royalty, shown so many areas that the public don't usually see and had such a great insight into a magnificent operation. I can't praise this highly enough and would recommend to anyone (not just those who come from farming/ranching lives). Well worth the money!

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8 Thank Gill68
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
“My Old Stomping Grounds”
Reviewed 22 April 2003

During the holidays, my family visited the King Ranch museum. I wanted my little girl to see this beautiful ranch that I had the priviledge of seeing as a child. I grew up in Kingsville, my father was apastor for the Hispanic people in this town. I will always remember the trips we would take to the Ranch, their were many Mexican families that livedon the King Ranch. Every Sunday, after church, wewould go and have services at a home on the ranch. I met so many nice and friendly people.I still love to pass by on my way to the valley, andenjoy seeing all the wonderful wildlife. I am so proud of a beautiful state,and every where I go Irun in to folks that speak well of the King Ranch.I continue to wear my King Ranch cap,it makes a great subject to talk about. Looking forward to seethe Ranch again! Thanks, Nora Welchel

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2 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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