Many people hear about the Texas Gulf Coast and are not enthused about going. They worry about oil in the water, ugly off shore oil rigs, and dirty water. The Gulf Coast has a bad rap but you just have to know where to go!
This past weekend I headed to Port Aransas with my family. If you go to the coast, go here. You will see oil rigs way off in the distance but they are barely visible. You will drive by oil refineries on the north end of Corpus Christi but that’s about 45 minutes away from where you will be. Put these out of your mind and you will enjoy a beautiful beach with no rules.
The best part about Port Aransas and the Texas Gulf Coast is no rules. I grew up in the Northeast and traveled along the east coast to many beaches. There was always life guards on duty yelling at you not to bring the floaty in the water, keep your dog off the beach, no fires, etc. In Port A the rules are few and responsibility is on you. The best part was leashed dogs are welcomed as part of the family.
Any floaty is welcomed in the water. Boogie boards, skim boards, surfboards, inner tubes, whatever. It’s your responsibility to not get swept out to sea and to not leave any trash in the water. Honestly people don’t do too bad. The beach was relatively clean. I’m sure the Port A staff do a lot of clean ups though to keep it looking good.
My nephew, Anis, enjoyed surfin the waves and that little board brought him confidence in the water. I’m so happy we were able to use it.
Dump Beaching: instead of Dump Camping which refers to camping with your car right next to the campsite so you can “dump” everything out. You can drive right up to the water and have easy access to everything in your vehicle. Ok so I realize driving on the beach can be very bad for our ocean. Definitely make sure your car is not leaking any fluids that can easily enter into the ocean. I also wonder if more trash is released on beaches where you can drive on the sand. In all cases: pack out what you pack in.
Of course I needed to get my ocean life fix. We spent hours picking up clams and watching them dig back into the sand. Watching pelicans dive bomb into the water was another favorite past time. But my favorite were the dolphins and sea turtles. So here is where you need to go in the area to see both.
Dolphins: Head to Roberts Point Park. It’s on the north west side of the island right near the ferry. The channel attracts the dolphins so bring your good camera. I managed to capture a photo with my iphone but it’s not great. At least you can tell it’s a dolphin.
Sea turtles: Head south on 361. Take your last left before you get to South Padre Island Drive. The road is called Zahn road and you will be heading out to Packery Channel. This is a sea turtle hot spot. Walk the pier and look over both sides. Surfers like this spot too for some of the larger waves in the area.
Hard to snap a picture of the turtles surfacing but you get the idea:
Check out this website to view sea turtle hatchling release dates and times. We missed this by a few days but you may get lucky! nps.gov/pais/naturescience/releases.htm
The salt water is my happy place. It reminds me just how big this world is and how much incredible life is on it. I think everyone needs at least a few days every year by the sea.
Oh and we found our house on VRBO.com again. A great site to find homes and apartments to stay in! All the amenities of home make traveling easy, especially with the kiddos.
Beach for life.