With the sun is still shining down on the warm sand and the ocean water still feeling as refreshing as ever, now is the time to plan your next beach vacation. In Texas, we’re pretty lucky; we have plenty of coastline to make a coastal getaway to. However, my favorite spot on the Texas coast is Mustang Island State Park. This Texas State Park, located on Mustang Island in Corpus Christi, provides beach-lovers a clean, safe, and natural environment to enjoy the beach with family and friends. To help you plan your next beach trip, here’s a list of 10 fun things to do at Mustang Island State Park to make the most out of your Texas island getaway trip.
1. Go fishing – Mustang Island State Park is an excellent place to throw in some fishing lines – either off the beach’s surf, or at the Fish Pass jetties – which offers anglers potential catches year round. You can catch species such as speckled trout, redfish, black drum, flounder, and more. Interested but don’t have any gear? No problem, Mustang Island State Park loans fishing rods, reels, and tackle boxes as part of TPWD’s Tackle Loaner Program.
2. Kayaking – This park is a dream spot for paddling enthusiasts. The Mustang Island State Park Paddling Trail consists of three separate trails, and covers over 20 miles of beautiful paddling territory. You can paddle through some of the best fishing and birding territory around. (For more information about the Mustang Island State Park Paddling Trail, click here).
3. Wildlife Viewing – Mustang Island State Park is a vital refuge for many animal species who depend on the park’s natural resources for survival. Rodents scurry through the vegetation on the dunes, and you might also see other mammals such as white-tailed deer, coyotes, opossums, and raccoons. During nesting seasons (March-August), you might even be lucky enough to see one of the two species of sea turtles that nest at Mustang Island State Park: The Atlantic green sea turtle, and the critically endangered Kemp’s ridley sea turtle. You might even catch a glimpse of juvenile green sea turtles swimming around the jetties as they search for food. Please remember that all of these animals are an important resource for the park. Don’t feed or touch the wildlife, please.
4. Bird Watching – This activity definitely deserves some emphasis. Mustang Island State Park is a birding paradise. Over 400 species of birds have been identified here, and it hosts endangered residents such as the reddish egret and the aplomado falcon. Because of the park’s coastal location in the bird migratory path called the central flyway, Mustang Island State Park is a fantastic place for birders to check off species from their “Life List” of birds, see rare species, or simply just admire the park’s feathered residents. For a field check list of the birds of Mustang Island State Park, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) has put together a easy and informative one that you can check out, here. (Opens as a .pdf file).
5. Camping – Camping on the beach is my absolute favorite place to camp. The relaxing sounds of waves rolling in the background, the light scents of salt and sea, and the cool feeling of the ocean breeze… you just can’t beat it. Mustang Island State Park is a safe spot for you and your family, friends, or significant other to experience the joys of camping on the beach. They have full-hook up sites for $20 per night, and primitive campsites for just $10 per night.
6. Geocaching – If you follow my blog, than you probably already know that I’m a fan of geocaching, (here’s one of my articles on geocaching: “An Intro to Geocaching, a Modern-Day Treasure Hunt,”). If you have never heard of geocaching before, to put it simply, it’s a game that uses a GPS – or GPS enabled devices (like a smartphone) – to find a hidden object in the environment. You track it down, find it, and log it. Some are small, some are big, and some even have prizes! It’s fun for all age-ranges so it’s a great family activity. Mustang Island has their own geocaches for you to find. Check out the TPWD Geocaching page for more information.
7. Surfing – Some people prefer a more active role in enjoying the ocean, and surfing does just that. Bring a board and hit the surf. The Fish Pass jetties allow nicely formed waves to occur. Just make sure you know what you’re doing so you don’t hurt yourself. Safety should always be top priority.
8. Picnicking – Forget the high prices of restaurants on the beach, just bring your own food to the beach. Mustang Island State Park is a great place to go picnicking because the park is clean, the view is pristine, and it’s definitely an activity that the entire family will love taking part in.
9. Sand Building – Who says sand is just for making castles? Build an animal, a mermaid, or maybe challenge each other and turn it into a game, (see who can make the best… *take turns picking a topic*). Also, this is more than just an activity for children, it’s also fun for the children-at-heart! So go ahead, show off your creative skills. 10. Simply Beach-bumming – You can’t go wrong with just taking time to relax at Mustang Island State Park. With more than five miles of coastline, there’s plenty of space for you to come wash your woes away at this gorgeous park. Do a little sunbathing, take a dip in the ocean, whatever you do, just kick off those shoes, and enjoy your stay at Mustang Island State Park.
Address: 17047 State Highway 361, Port Aransas, TX 78373
Phone number: (361) 749-5246
Make reservations online here.
Or reserve by phone: (512) 389-8900
Entrance Fees – Adult: $5 Daily; Children 12 Years and Under: Free
– Gate is open 7 a.m. – 10 p.m. (Open Daily).
For more information about the park, please visit their website at: http://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/mustang-island
We Want To Hear From You!
Have you ever been to Mustang Island State Park? What are some memories you have? What is your favorite thing to do while at the beach? Anything listed above that you’re interested in trying out?
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