Padre Island National Seashore

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South Padre Island
South Padre Island (courtesy, Texas Tourism)
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Contact Information

Padre Island National Seashore
P.O. Box 181300
Corpus Christi, TX 78480-1300
Visitor Information: 361-949-8068
Web site: http://www.nps.gov/pais/index.htm

Climate

Padre Island's sunny climate is characterized by long, hot summers and short, mild winters. In summer, high temperatures average in the high 80s and low 90s, lows in the 70s. Afternoon and evening sea breezes help to moderate summer temperatures. In the winter, highs are commonly in the 60s, lows in the 40s and 50s. Winter cold fronts can bring even colder temperatures. In spring and fall high temperatures average in the 70s and 80s, lows in the 50 and 60s. Throughout the year the relative humidity seldom drops below 70 percent. About 28 inches of rain fall a year, most of it near the beginning and end of the hurricane and tropical storm season, which lasts from June to October.

Visitors Center

Gulf Ranger Station Information and first aid are available here daily. The Visitor Center and Concession facility at Malaquite Beach is open daily with the exception of Christmas and New Year's Day. The Visitor Center provides interpretative displays, audio-visual programs and information on park activities. The concession and, bath house offers snacks and sundry items.

Places Nearby

Corpus Christi and smaller area communities have a variety of visitor services including many that the national seashore does not provide, such as lodging, gasoline stations, restaurants, and fishing tackle and bait shops. Padre Balli and Mustang Island State Park have campgrounds with hookups for recreational vehicles. Padre Balli also has a popular fishing pier called Bob Hall Pier.  Further afield, both Brownsville and Cameron County Park have a variety of visitor services; th elatter also has RV hookups.

Birdwatching

You can observe bird life at Aransas National Wildlife Refuge , where a scenic drive and trails are available, or at the less developed Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge (accessible by traveling down US 77 to Harlingen). Stop at the National Seashore's visitor center for more information on area attractions and recommended travel routes.

Camping and Lodging

Places Malaquite Beach Area
A new Malaquite Beach complex overlooking the Gulf of Mexico serves as the center of visitor services for the National Seashore. This complex includes a visitor center, observation deck, groceries and gift shop, restrooms, rinse-off showers, and changing rooms. The visitor center has a wealth of information on what to see and do in the park. Rangers can answer questions and help you plan your visit. The center, which is open daily except January 1 and December 25, has books, brochures, maps, and exhibits. Schedules of special activities, such as beach walks and evening programs, are posted. Pets are prohibited in the Malaquite Beach area visitor center complex and in designated swimming areas. Pets are allowed in other park areas, but they must be leashed at all times.

Malaquite Beach Campground has 47 sites suitable for campers with tents or recreational vehicles. The campground is open all year on a first-come, first-served basis. Picnic tables, restrooms, cold showers, and a sanitary dump station are provided; fire grills are not. A fee is charged. No electrical, water, or sewage hookups are available. Evening campfire programs are given in the summer. Visitor services are very limited outside the Malaquite Beach area.

Bird Island Basin
This site on Laguna Madre provides the park's only boat launching ramp, which is open all year. A primitive campsite here can be reached by regular passenger vehicles via paved and hard-shell roads; chemical toilets are provided.

Yarborough Pass
A primitive campsite overlooking Laguna Madre can be reached only by 4-wheel-drive vehicles via a loose shell and caliche road. Tables and chemical toilets are available.

The Primitive Gulf Beach
Five miles south of Malaquite Beach there are 55 miles of Gulf beach that are open to 4-wheel-driving and primitive camping, as well as other recreational pursuits. Driving and camping are restricted to the beach. No visitor services are available in this remote portion of the National Seashore.

The entrance to Padre Island National Seashore lies 25 miles south of Corpus Christi, Texas. Accommodations, restaurants, and gasoline are located in Corpus Christi. For more information, check out the site of the Padre Island Convention & Visitors Bureau.


Published: 13 Sep 2009 | Last Updated: 9 Jun 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

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