Port Isabel, Texas Travel Guide

Also see: South Padre Island

Port Isabel, the gateway to South Padre Island, is located on Laguna Madre. The casual community is home to many fishing companies that offer deepwater cruises as well as many piers and jetties where anglers can try their luck. A large fleet of shrimp boats makes its home here.

Attractions:

Port Isabel Lighthouse Keeper's Cottage. The keeper of the lighthouse once resided in this type of small cottage, now home of the Visitors Center. From Port Isabel, east on Rte. 100.

Port Isabel Lighthouse State Historic Site. Since 1853, the Point Isabel Lighthouse has overlooked the Gulf of Mexico, South Padre Island, and the surrounding region. Today the lighthouse, the only historic lighthouse in Texas open to the public, invites you to visit. With its sweeping vistas, this site is also a perfect first stop on your journey as the home of the Port Isabel Chamber of Commerce right on its grounds.Visitors can climb to the top for a view of the coast. From Port Isabel, east on Rte. 100.

Museums of Port Isabel. The lighthouse is part of the Museums of Port Isabel, including the Treasures of the Gulf Museum and the Port Isabel Historical Museum. Three Spanish shipwrecks are the focus of the Treasures of the Gulf Museum, transporting visitors back to the year 1554 when these vessels sunk 30 miles off Port Isabel. The Port Isabel Historical Museum, housed in a former dry goods store built in 1899, features local history as well as one of the largest collections of Mexican artifacts from the U.S. - Mexican War.

Hotels

Hotels on South Padre Island

Yacht Club Hotel and Restaurant. This historic hotel dates back to the days of Prohibition; its guest list has included such notable names as Charles Lindberg, Amelia Earhardt, President Harding, President Eisenhower, Lady Bird Johnson and even gangster Al Capone. During the early days of the hotel, Port Isabel was connected by a wooden bridge to South Padre Island; a hurricane in 1933 demolished the bridge and soon the Yacht Club served as a ferry stop to connect to the island. Today the hotel is known not only for its guest accommodations but also for its restaurant and bar.

Special Events, Festivals:

November: World Championship Shrimp Cook-off. This annual event draws up to 9,000 visitors eager to taste the recipes of top amateur and professional chefs. Along with plenty of great shrimp, the event features the Annual Folk Arts Festival, a small carnival, and live entertainment for the whole family.

December: Christmas Lighted Boat Parade

Map


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For More Information: Port Isabel Chamber of Commerce

 

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