South Padre Island is a resort town located on a barrier island off the coast of Texas. The island is known for its miles of soft, sandy beaches and is situated between the warm, calm waters of the Gulf of Mexico and Laguna Madre Bay. The island is a popular vacation destination because of its abundant marine wildlife, and endless activities from deep sea fishing to kayaking through the bay. One of the top nearby attractions is the Port Isabel Lighthouse.
Port Isabel Lighthouse State Historic Site
Port Isabel Lighthouse is one of 16 lighthouses built along the Texas coast. Port Isabel is a popular spot to visit because it is the only South Padre Island lighthouse that is open to the public. The lighthouse rises 50 feet above the ground and offers amazing views of South Padre Island and its beaches. 75 winding stairs and three short ladders will take you to the top, where you will often find couples exchanging vows. The grassy knoll surrounding the lighthouse is also a popular spot for walking and picnicking, and there are several facilities in the area that have historical information about the site. This South Padre Island lighthouse is located at 421 E. Queen Isabel Blvd. in Lighthouse Square.
More Info About Port Isabel Lighthouse
As mentioned above, the Port Isabel Lighthouse Historic Site is one of 16 different beacons that once dotted the south Texas seashore. Nowadays, only three of those 16 lighthouses remain; they include the Aransas Pass Lighthouse, the Matagorda Island Light and this one here near South Padre Island, the Port Isabel Lighthouse. These three that still function are spectacular and each one offers a glimpse into the past.
Built in 1852, the lighthouse has received numerous facelifts over the course of time, and for almost fifty years between 1905 and 1952, the lighthouse sat decommissioned. In fact, the lighthouse fell into the hands of a private owner during the late 1940s, but the Texas State Park Board purchased the lighthouse once again from the individual and reopened it to the public in 1952. Another interesting piece of history is that during hostilities in the Civil War, soldiers from both the Union and the South occupied Port Isabel Lighthouse.
Finally, in 1976, the National Register of Historic Places added the historic 82-ft. beacon to its list. When visiting the lighthouse, visitors can climb the steps for spectacular views across the Gulf of Mexico as well as enter the visitors’ center to obtain information that is more detailed.
The city of Port Isabel itself has plenty of attractions, from maritime museums to excellent restaurants; there is so much to see outside of the lighthouse. The Port Isabel Historical Museum and the Treasures of the Gulf Museum highlight the nautical nature of this Gulf Coast town while open spaces such as Pompano Park and Arturo Galvan Coastal Park provide fresh air and beautiful views of the Gulf.
Additionally, throughout the area, visitors will find superbly authentic Mexican restaurants at El Buen Pescador, Rincon Veracruz and Mexiquito. If you are seeking some excellent tortillas to take home with you, visit the El Valle Tortilla Factory, here visitors will find fluffy, powdery tortillas that melt in your mouth. Of course, Port Isabel offers a wide variety of restaurants; try the Shark Tank Lounge for happy hour specials or visit Dirty Al’s at Pelican Station if you would like to dine on some of the best seafood while you dine with unparalleled gulf views. With the Queen Isabella Causeway in the distance, and the sun setting on the horizon, Port Isabel does not get any better than this.
Planning Your Stay
If you are looking for accommodation on South Padre Island, consider staying at one of our vacation rentals. We offer several rentals on the island, from one bedroom condos to large luxury four bedroom homes that can comfortably sleep your whole family or group of friends.
All of our rentals are fully furnished with high-quality furniture and decorated using beach island decor. Our homes are arranged so there is space for you and your family and friends to sit together. Many of our homes have both indoor and outdoor seating areas with stunning views of the ocean and the island.
While amenities vary depending on which rental you choose, the outdoor seating areas of our homes are usually large with plenty of seating, BBQ, access to a private pool, and just steps away from the beach.
Each house is also equipped with a fully stocked kitchen. Our kitchens have high-quality` appliances and everything you need to cook up your family’s favorite dinner to make coffee and breakfast in the morning.
If you would like to find out more about our vacation homes or to book a rental, please contact one of our rental specialists today. They can help you find the perfect home for your vacation and provide you with recommendations for bars, restaurants, and activities on the island.