Mono Lake, CA 2018

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Padre Island National Seashore

Well, here we are at yet another wonderful beach location! 

We left Mission Texas, near the Mexican border, on Thursday morning with a local weather forecast of 95° as a high. The humidity level was also quite uncomfortable for me. 

About 200 miles north on the gulf near Corpus Christi, we found an unreserved spot at the Malaquite Campground in the Padre Island National Seashore. We were quite lucky to get one of the last spots available.  In fact the last spot was taken shortly after we pulled in.

The campground is a dry-camp parking lot that has 49 RV or tent spaces available on a drive-in-only basis. There is a sand berm separating the RVs from the beach, but the ocean is visible and the beautiful sea breeze is a joy to feel. Daytime temps are in the 70s and night-time is a bit cooler! Neither AC nor heating has been needed while we've been here.

Our spot, looking north

Our spot, looking south. 

The RVs across the road face the dune that separates the RVs from the beach.

This sign and beach access is right across the road from our Alfa.

Not far from our campground is access to South Beach where RVs can overnight for free. If we had not lucked out in getting a spot we would have gone there, but I was quite happy to have the firm paved parking place, and not risk getting the Alfa stuck in the sand. Camping here costs $8 per night, or if you have a Senior Pass as we do, $4.  Sweet!

We did take a jeep ride down South Beach. The entry point was a bit soft, but the beach itself was quite nice to drive on. There were a number of RVs camped there, but I was still happy not to get as much salt and sand on the underside of the Alfa. 

We have taken several beach walks. We like to watch the sea birds. Craig calls this picture "one of these things is not like the others" I call it "Drill Sergeant."

When we were in the Florida Keys we saw many pink jellyfish washed up on the beaches. Here we have seen many blue balloon-like blobs on the edge of the surf. They are Portuguese Man-of-War jellyfish: not to be messed with!

There are many brown pelicans flying and fishing. When we were at the visitors center we overheard someone asking why they were all flying north and not south. This is a reasonable question, because we have seen more than 95% going north and less than 5% going south.

We enjoyed watching some of the pelicans diving for fish. This guy caught one a few seconds after this picture was taken.

On Sunday we drove a short distance to the Bird Island Campground that faces the Laguna Madre, which is about 100 miles long and is part of the intracoastal waterway .

Here there is a single line of dry-camping spots that face the water. The cost is $5 per night, $2.50 if you have a senior pass.

We walked along the unattractive beach to the boat launch area where we saw some fishermen cleaning their fish and feeding the scraps to the white pelicans and other sea birds.

This was considered a small catch!

The guys that had just finished said they had tossed over 70 fish carcasses to the pelicans and they were quite full!

These four just floated there and didn't go after anything more.

Another interesting thing we did was to go out to the beach at night.
The stars were very bright, the wind was strong, and our flashlights revealed many small crabs in the wet sand.



  1. Camping on the beach there is very nice if the weather is good, Enjoy your time there.

  2. Just found your blog and love it Will be looking forward to reading more

  3. spent many a day on those beaches in the 70's and 80's

  4. We were on Padre both North and South in November and December. Being the off-season we had our choice of camping spots and no lineups anywhere. Nobody around, especially in South Padre. Temps were in the 70's and low 80's which was perfect for us hikers.

  5. Very interested in this area. Thanks for sharing the description of the spots.


Leave a comment, or send an email.