Early Spanish explorers list an Aranama village at the site, then called Santa Dorotea. In 1749, Spain established a mission and a nearby presidio (fort). "Remember Goliad" became a Texas Revolution battle cry honoring Col. James W. Fannin Jr. and his men who were massacred here. Memorial services are held at the grave of Colonel Fannin and his troops on the weekend nearest March 27.
Goliad is a Main Street City. The Courthouse Square Historic District is in the National Register of Historic Places. Goliad County Courthouse is restored to its original 1894 appearance. Visitors are encouraged to take the downtown walking tour.
The Chamber of Commerce sponsors Market Days on the second Saturday of the month.