Padre Island National Seashore Texas

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

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See more of the Padre Island pictures here!

Padre Island National Seashore Texas is located near Corpus Christi, Texas. Corpus Christi is in the Texas Coastal Bend region. The park is operated by the National Park Service. When you drive from Mustang Island State Park to Padre Island Park, you can't tell that you are going from Mustang to Padre Island. The difference between the parks is mostly about size. The National Park is much bigger. In fact, it makes up the bulk of Padre Island and runs for miles and miles (70 miles) southward from Corpus Christi. We were only able to explore the first ten miles of park.

Padre Island is a barrier island. That is, it sits between the ocean (Gulf of Mexico) and land (Texas mainland). Between the mainland (Texas) and the barrier island (Padre Island) is the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway. The park represents the largest undeveloped barrier island in the world. Undeveloped is the key. Unspoiled. Untouched. Natural.

Most of the accessible areas of the park are on the Gulf coast. The coast line along the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway is not passable - there are no beaches to drive on.

The park has primitive campsites and even more primitive camp sites. The least primitive of the campsites have a paved road to park on RV on. It is adjacent to the beach. This area also has picnic tables, showers, and bathrooms.

You can camp on the beach. How primitive this type of camping is for you depends on how much equipment you can get down to the beach. Some people do pretty well at camping on the beach.

On tihs trip we first went to Goose Island State Park and enjoyed a genuine White Christmas. Then we moved South to Mustang Island State Park. While staying at Mustang Island State Park, we rode the Port Aransas Ferry, visited the USS Lexington Aircraft Carrier, visited the Texas State Aquarium, and drove around the Padre Island National Seashore park. Then we moved inland to Goliad State Park.

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Above left - The official park entrance.

Above right - Malaquite Visitor Center - The visitor center has exhibits like a museum. They sell books in the visitor center as well. There is a bathhouse where folks camping in the more primitive areas can get cleaned up. There is a concession store that has limited groceries and camping supplies. They did have really neat t-shirts, hats, and sweat shirts.

Right - Linda sitting in a shelter on Malaquite Beach. No vehicles are allowed on this part of the beach. Access is through the area around the Malaquite Visitor Center.

Below left - There were a number of abandoned sand sculptures on the beach. Some were even pretty good.

Below right - Two kids playing in the Gulf.

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Right - the least primitive camping area. First come, first serve. No reservations. There was a camp park host the day we took pictures. This campground is north of the Malaquite Visitor Center.

Below left - Looking south along the beach camping area. There is lots of ocean spray from the breaking waves.

Below right - These folks are just cool! There were hanging out and chilling behind their camper.

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Copyright © 2004 Larry Pearson - All Rights Reserved