Simple solitude and 60 miles of white sandy beaches are awaiting vacationers on Padre Island National Seashore. These barrier islands are remote and undeveloped, a great break from the turmoil of the city. Sun-lovers rejoice, for here is a beach paradise open for year-round sun bathing, swimming, surfing, beachcombing, shelling, and fishing.
Numerous campgrounds are available on the island. Malaquite Beach, a semi-primitive campground with water, restrooms, showers, and a concession stand. Bird Island Basin, which is a totally primitive campsite with only pit toilets, but there is a free boat launch. Primitive camping is also available at North Beach, South Beach, and Yarborough Pass. These campgrounds are free, but require a permit. You'll also be able to camp close to the beach here. No matter where you camp, it wouldn't hurt to check in with the rangers at the visitor center for any current rules and regulations.
Other camping opportunities available in nearby state parks:
- Goose Island State Park - This park has some excellent saltwater fishing, but no beaches for swimming.
- Lake Corpus Christi State Park - This park offers fresh-water fishing and birding on the mainland.
- Mustang Island State Park - This popular destination has 5 miles of beach and campsites with water, electricity, restrooms, and showers.
One of the major activities in both spring and fall on Padre Island and elsewhere along the southern Texas coast is birding. This entire area lies along a major migratory bird route where hundreds of birds are observed and recorded each year during The Great Texas Birding Classic. The preservation of these migratory routes are a big concern of Texans, who have set aside 11000 acres of vital nesting and feeding areas on 33 islands making up the Texas Coastal Sanctuaries.
If you happen to be an angler, you'll find ample opportunity to catch a lunker. There's great fresh-water fishing on the mainland, surf-fishing from the beaches and nearby state piers, and some excellent deep-sea fishing with any number of charter outfitters in the Corpus Christi area. So be sure to bring your fishing pole, sun block, and insect repellant. Four-wheel-drives are required after about the first five miles in the park, so you may also find a 4x4 vehicle necessary to get to the better fishing beaches.
For a surf, sand, and sun camping getaway, head to scenic southern Texas and the Padre Island National Seashore.