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“Interesting history with wildlife viewing” 4 of 5 stars
Review of King Ranch

King Ranch
Highway 141 West, Kingsville, TX 78363
+1 361-592-8005
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Activities: Group tours/walking tour, Birdwatching
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Attraction details
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!
Plano, Texas, United States
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
46 attraction reviews
Reviews in 49 cities Reviews in 49 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
“Interesting history with wildlife viewing”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2014

The website says the tour is first come first serve. However, when we got there around 10:30AM, we found out the 11AM tour is full. The reason it was full was because a family made reservation but was not there yet! Didn't realize you can make reservation. It was nice of them to add tours so we got on the noon tour. The video at the visitor center was informational. We then got on the van. You have to tell the driver if you can't hear him/her or if it's too cold/hot. It was hot in our van, but it didn't get any better after we told her. We saw a lot of deer, horses, cows, and other animals. The ranch is vast, and you can just imagine what the pioneers had to do living there. I wish they'd let us get down to take pictures of the mansion and the buildings surrounding it. Overall, we enjoyed the tour.

Visited December 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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104 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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  • French first
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English first
Top Contributor
78 reviews 78 reviews
12 attraction reviews
Reviews in 49 cities Reviews in 49 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“History and Scenery in one Location”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 17, 2013

We took the bus tour of King Ranch. The driver/tour guide provided an interesting and historically informative tour of the ranch including founders, growth, industries, cattle breeds, etc. We came to really appreciate the early settlers and the hard work they put in to their ranch. In addition, we were exposed to the current active workings of the ranch, the main house, early school building, horse paddocks, cattle, quarter horses, etc. We finished up the morning in the picnic area with a nice lunch we had brought with us.

Visited October 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mirabel, Qc
Top Contributor
346 reviews 346 reviews
209 attraction reviews
Reviews in 163 cities Reviews in 163 cities
345 helpful votes 345 helpful votes
“Disappointing... because so much potential wasted.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 16, 2013

This ranch has so much potential to make a tour very interesting... but they almost totally miss the opportunity.
If you come to visit the biggest ranch in Texas, an historic ranch... you want to see a big ranch operate: we tought we were going to see hords of long horns and many horses, see some of the buildings and tools and equipment where and which they work everyday taking care of the animals, see some historic buildings and ear the stories that go with them, etc...
So we took the general tour for 12$.
We rode a bus for at least 1 hour 1/2, seeing prairies, fences, a few cows (no long horns), prairies, prairies... and made a short U-turn around some historic buildings, where we didn't even get out of the bus but hurried taking pictures through small openings on top of the bus windows.
We did get out once, for a very short time, to meet a cowboy who told us some stories, inside a small house.
You may now understand our disappointment...
They could have gathered a few long horns along a part of the road, just for the show (there is only 2 long horns by the small visitor center), they could have allowed us to get out of the bus to see the historic buildings or even walk a little in a pasture where they could have tell us stories about the history of this ranch and the way they do work, cultivating and preserving the grassland, etc... so much potential wasted.

Visited October 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
96 reviews 96 reviews
79 attraction reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
89 helpful votes 89 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2013

I had an extra day to fill in Corpus Christi and noticed this place in one of the tourist booklets I had been given by the staff at my hotel. I had never heard of it until the day before I went.

It took me about thirty minutes to drive to Kingsville from Corpus Christi, but once I was there finding the ranch was a little more difficult. My GPS took me to the centre of the town and then declared that to be the end of the route, while the ranch itself hadn't been signposted since I turned off the highway. I kept heading through town, hoping for the best, and eventually came out the other side. A little way down the road, I came across a sign that appeared to be a marker of some sort but that had no directions on it. I ended up having to pull off the road to try to figure out where I was supposed to be going - it turned out that the entrance was about two hundred feet further down the road on the opposite side to the sign. Not a great start.

When I finally reached the visitor centre, after following another poorly signposted track, I was the only visitor there (perhaps everyone else had got lost?). Going into the visitor centre, I was met by a very friendly lady who told me about the tour and that I could get half price admission for the museum in town if I bought the ticket from her. This sounded great, so I bought the tickets and then wandered around for a few minutes until it was time to watch the introductory video.

The film lasted about twenty minutes and gave a brief, rather complicated history of the family who owned the ranch. It was fairly interesting, but a little unnecessary seeing as the tour guide would later explain most of this again.

On board the bus, we set off through the countryside. There wasn't a lot to see; a few cattle and horses in the distance, and the various housing areas. You also get to stop for a few minutes to listen to a talk from an old cowboy about branding. At least, I think that's what he was talking about; there was a really loud air conditioning unit in there that practically drowned him out. This was a shame because he seemed to be really enthusiastic about the subject and I'd have liked to listen to his talk properly. Other than this, you don't get to exit the bus to see anything up close - it is literally just a drive through some countryside.

The tour lasted about ninety minutes in total and cost something like $12. It was a pleasant way to spend the afternoon, looking at the countryside while somebody else drove. However, there wasn't much to see (I was just enjoying the scenery more than anything else) and the stories aren't all that interesting unless you have a particular interest in how to breed cattle.

Good points: enthusiastic staff, nice scenery.

Bad points: not much substance to it.

Visited September 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
17 reviews 17 reviews
9 attraction reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“King Ranch Private Tour”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 18, 2013

From start to finish this special tour experience was 1st class! Friendly Delores Garza in Visitor Services was helpful in suggesting the tour that was just right for us since we wanted a more "in depth" experience.

Prior to our afternoon tour, we spent a couple of hours at the King Ranch Museum in downtown Kingsville. It is an informative and beautifully done tribute to the vision of the King family.

Our tour guide, Marlett, picked us up in a cool and comfortable King Ranch Suburban our private 4 hour tour. She elaborated on every part of the two huge divisions of the King Ranch we drove through in a knowledgeable and entertaining way. Per our request, she provided many stops for photo ops. By the end of the afternoon we had seen a great variety of unique and interesting things that showed us the past, present, and innovative things to come on this marvelously planned expanse of ranch land.

Visited August 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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