NORTH PADRE ISLAND
Gateway to the Wild Gulf Coast of Texas
A great deal has been said and written about the amazing barrier islands located just off the Texas coast. Timeless and pristine; an unspoiled wilderness and a vacationer's beach paradise - these are but a few of the descriptions offered up by visitors who have ventured down the Texas coastal road-less-traveled.
North Padre Island is one part of this barrier sand reef that hugs the Texas coast. Before a ship channel was dredged at Port Mansfield, Padre Island stretched from the tip of Texas to just south of Corpus Christi, and except for a few natural cuts, man-made channels and a few major inland bays, Padre island could actually be called the primary barrier island that reaches all the way from Brownsville, at the southern tip of Texas, to the Louisiana border, over 350 miles of pristine and natural wilderness, encompassing the other named barrier islands of Texas: Mustang Island, Galveston Island, St. Joesph's Island - and others.
Today, North Padre is part of Corpus Christi, the northern Village of North Padre annexed a few years back. The village, now a small town, stretches south to near the Padre Island National Seashore entrance. From this point, visitors can travel south as the coastline stretches all the way down to near South Padre Island, at least 50 miles of unspoiled wild beach, encompassing wild and remote beach areas like Big Shell, near Port Mansfield. Noted for remote beachcombing, pristine sand dunes and unspoiled coastal wilderness, the Island is home to birds, snakes and turtles, and extremely good fishing and wilderness camping. Most of the Island in the south can only be accessed by 4-wheel drive vehicles - on a good day!
Padre Island is the longest unbroken barrier island in the United States. Padre Island National Seashore is the longest undeveloped barrier island in the world.
It represents one of the largest road-less areas in Texas and offers habitat to 17 threatened and endangered species, including five of the world’s seven sea turtles. The dunes offer protection to the island and to the mainland from high winds and tides and heavy storms. Behind the dunes lies a vast train of wetland habitat for hundreds of species of birds and other animals.
Most of the island is protected territory and part of the Padre Island National Seashore. The National Seashore is one of the most visited recreation areas in Texas, drawing 800,000 visitors a year on average. Visitors come to Padre to fish, enjoy nature, and to take advantage of the pristine beach. The National Seashore, encompassing 130,434 acres, is the longest remaining undeveloped stretch of barrier island in the world.
On it's northern end, North Padre Island has become an affluent bedroom community of Corpus Christi, and there you will find great hotels and resorts, beautiful Nueces County beaches, plenty of restaurants and shops galore. It is becoming one of the more popular spring break destinations for the spring college crowd, and is home to the newest Schlitterbahn Water Park and resort.
Get ready for fun in the sun, just a few miles out of beautiful Port Aransas and close to activities and attractions in Corpus Christi.