When visiting South Padre Island don’t forget to spend some time in Port Isabel. Located right across the causeway from South Padre Island, this historic coastal community was once the Port and gateway to South Texas. You can still see reminders of the areas historic past in the local museums and the Port Isabel Lighthouse.
The Treasures of the Gulf Museum showcases artifacts and tells the story of the shipwrecks in the area. The Champion Building Museum tells of the rich historical significance of this part of Texas. Best of all, is the Port Isabel Lighthouse. This remains the only lighthouse in Texas that allows visitors to climb to the top. It is also the smallest state park in Texas.
This area is known as Lighthouse Square. It is easy to pass a day around the square shopping at the boutiques, strolling the Faro Mercado, having an ice cream, enjoying local dining and relaxing in the seaside atmosphere.
Port Isabel is also home to the Black Dragon Pirate Ship, which is a great adventure for young and old. Nearby is the fishing pier, Pirates Landing Restaurant, dolphin and fishing cruises.
The Sea Life Center is open for visitors to see local sea life and even pet some in their touch tanks. This non-profit organization provides a great place to learn about the varied species found in our Laguna Madre Bay and Gulf of Mexico.
Other fascinating Port Isabel destinations include their unique cemetery and the intriguing Port Isabel Yacht Club. This restored restaurant and hotel was built during Prohibition and has some wild historic tales to tell!
No South Padre vacation is complete without a visit to this charming seaside town. Plan to spend a day across the bridge too.