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The Texas Gulf Coast is just brimming over with great beaches, from Port Aransas Beach to San Jose Island and Padre Island National Seashore. With beautiful blue-green water and white-capped waves, this beach destination is a place the whole family will enjoy.
While visiting Port Aransas, we decided to take a little trip about 45 minutes away to Padre Island National Seashore. When we arrived, we showed our America the Beautiful Annual Pass to the ranger at the gate and entered the park. The Malaquite Visitor Center and Pavilion is just inside the park; here, you can walk through exhibits, take the boardwalk to the beach, get a shower and fill up on water, or even visit a store to get souvenirs. The view of the beach from this location is just breathtaking. You can take a boardwalk ramp down to the beach, or there's a sand trail from the parking lot onto the beach. The Malaquite Campground isn't too far away; tent campers can even set up their tent right on the beach in front of the campground; definitely something that is on my bucket list…. to camp on the beach.
Padre Island National Seashore has 70 miles of undeveloped coastline, 60 miles of which you can drive on, though conditions do change. You'll also find a prairie-like landscape, along with sand dunes. There is a lot of wildlife; we went right in the middle of the day, so the most we really saw were seagulls. The ranger, upon entering the park, did warn us to report back to them if we found sea turtles, though; and they had sea turtle patrols going up and down the beach.
The beach at Padre Island was just gorgeous. Dan couldn't resist teasing the seagulls, and I couldn't resist amazing photo opps. Who knew seagulls could be so photogenic? It was quite windy but oh so beautiful. There were a few people, but it really wasn't that crowded but rather peaceful. The water was warm, of course, just like back in Port Aransas.
There's just something about a beautiful beach destination…. automatic peace, renewal, and lifting of the spirit.