Padre Island National Seashore

Padre Island National Seashore

Quick Facts

Padre Island National Seashore

Texas

(361) 949-8068

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

Padre Island National Seashore(NS), encompassing 130,454 acres, is the longest remaining undeveloped stretch of barrier island in the world, and offers a wide variety of flora and fauna as well as recreation. For almost its entire existence, Padre Island has remained undeveloped wilderness. Because the National Seashore endeavors to preserve Padre Island in its natural state, visiting the island is very much like stepping back into the past. With few exceptions, visitors can now see Padre Island as it has existed throughout most of its history and how it is described in the few extant descriptions by the early explorers. The sea turtle science and recovery program at Padre Island National Seashore is a part of overall global efforts to help recover the populations of seven species of threatened and endangered sea turtles. Five of the world's seven sea turtle species are found in the Gulf of Mexico. The park is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Malaquite Visitor Center is open daily, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., throughout the year. The visitor center is closed on Christmas Day.

Map of Padre Island

Latitude, Longitude: 27.566350, -97.233564

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Activities

  • Boating

    Boating is permitted, contact park for more information.

  • Bird Watching

    The best time to bird Padre Island National Seashore is either during early spring or during fall and winter, when thousands of birds either migrate through or spend the winter here. Bird tours are typically held from January through April.

  • Bicycling

    Bicycling is a popular activity in the park, but there are no bicycles for rent in the park. While riding on the beach is allowed, the park has no riding trails. Please use appropriate caution when bicycling to, from, or within the park and wear appropriate clothing and a helmet. There are no bike lanes along the highway leading to the park or over the JFK Causeway from Corpus Christi.

  • Auto/Motorcycle

    Beaches are Texas public highways. Only street legal and licensed vehicles may be driven in the park. All Terrain Vehicles (ATV's), UTV's, Go Carts, Golf Carts, and Dune Buggys are prohibited.

  • Camping

    All campgrounds are open year-round. No reservations are accepted, as camping is first-come, first-served. Campers must have a camping permit, which is available from the kiosks at the entrance of each campground or from a campground host at Malaquite Campground and Bird Island Basin. There are no public RV hook-ups anywhere in the park, but an RV dump station and a water filling station are available for all campers staying in the park. Camping is permitted only in the five camping areas available for public use.

  • Fishing

    Fishing has been one of the biggest attractions to Padre Island, long before its designation as a national seashore. Visitors may fish along the entire length of the Gulf of Mexico beach, in the Laguna Madre, and at Yarborough Pass and Bird Island Basin. To fish anywhere within the park requires a valid Texas fishing license and a saltwater stamp, which are only sold outside of the park at any local gas station or tackle shop.

  • Hiking

    Feel free to hike along the beach.

  • Horseback Riding

    Contact park regarding horseback riding.

  • Hunting

    Hunting is not permitted in the park, except for the taking of waterfowl in the Laguna Madre in accordance with applicable state and federal regulations. Transporting lawfully taken wildlife, including exotic species, through the park is prohibited, except for waterfowl and fish.

  • Picnicking

    The deck at the Malaquite Visitor Center offers a picnic area in the shade. You can also enjoy a picnic on Malaquite Beach, just in front of the visitor center, where there are also picnic tables and shade structures overhead.

  • Water Sports

    Swimming at the National Seashore can be a lot of fun! You can swim in the recreation area at Bird Island Basin or in the Gulf of Mexico. Fishing and boating are also popular.

Seasonality/Weather

During the summer, daytime temperatures on the island are usually in the mid-90s (Fahrenheit), with humid conditions. During the winter, highs are usually between 50-70 degrees Fahrenheit, but can occasionally drop into the upper 30s. The wintertime climate is typically dry, though most of the year's rainfall occurs in the winter. Average windspeed throughout the year ranges from 5 to 25 miles per hour.

Park Partners

Padre Island Park Company by Forever Resorts

Forever Resorts operates Padre Island Park Company operates a gift shop and also a beach rental facility. Visitors can take out sailboats and wind surfing equipment.

(361) 949-9368

Directions

Driving

The National Seashore is located southeast of the city of Corpus Christi, Texas. Visitors to the area should head east through the city on Highway 358. After crossing the JFK Causeway onto Padre Island, Highway 358 changes to Park Road 22. Continue about 10 miles south on Park Road 22. The physical address for Malaquite Visitor Center is 20420 Park Road 22, Corpus Christi, TX 78418.

Flying

The nearest major airport is Corpus Christi International Airport, which is approximately 43 miles away.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(361) 949-8068

Links