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Desertman

Padre Island to Galveston

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On our way to our first excursion out to explore Padre Island National Seashore and some four-wheeling down the beach. We'll be staying at the National Park. Would like some recommendations as we head north to Galveston on places to stay and things to do. We're on a budget but willing to bust it for nice places to stay near the water. Have Passport America.

 

Thanks in advance.

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I'm setting on Magnolia Beach by Port Lavaca and its free. I just got back from taking a ride down to the State park on Padre Island and I think I like it here better. Like I say it's also free here, I was looking at the rates at the state park and it was $10 a day PLUS $5 for each person a day so it would be $20 a day for my wife and I. The wind is blowing right now or I would be fishing about 10' from my rig.

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The PINS campground is $8/night with toilets and cold water showers. Camping on South Beach or Bird Island (bay side of the island) is free. 14 day max then 2 days out for a total of 56 days/year. We never get tired of the place unless the wind is blowing 100 mph. We usually go to the NAS for a few days if we need a city fix for a few days.

 

Heading North out of PINS you'll pass Bob Hall Pier. We drove through it a couple of weeks ago and they have a number of new RV pads with hookups under construction, but overall the place isn't maintained to well.

 

Mustang Island SP is OK, but I far prefer PINS.

 

There is some free RV parking on the Port A beach, but I've never used it and don't know the rules. I know they require a beach parking pass or you'll get a ticket.

 

If you have military privilages and want to spend a little time in Corpus, there's the NAS RV park. Nice park for $18/$20 day and fishing isn't to bad. Corpus is a good break from camping if you want to do some attractions or restaurants. USS Lexington is good for a full day, but gets a little pricey if you have a large party.

 

Back to Mustang Island, several commercial parks in Port A, or you can take the ferry (no sweat, they handle big trucks as well as RV's) and go through Rockport to Goose Island SP. You can fish from some of the RV sites if you're in to that or they have some nice wooded sites. Big fishing bridge nearby, too.

 

Magnolia Beach is probably next up the coast. I hear nothing but good things about it. Free camping and nice area.

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One other thing since you mentioned 4 wheeling on the beach. The North 5 miles are suitable for 2 wheelers and when we were there a couple of weeks ago it was like a four lane highway - great conditions for driving. Beyond the 5 mile marker, 4 wheel is required and you never know what you'll find. At least one time per year it never fails that I'll see someone who tries to drive the wet sand at low tide and hits a soft spot. I've seen several submerged up to the windows. Help is a long ways off and cell service is pretty spotty even with boosters and antennas.

Edited by JohnNJean

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I'm setting on Magnolia Beach by Port Lavaca and its free. I just got back from taking a ride down to the State park on Padre Island and I think I like it here better. Like I say it's also free here, I was looking at the rates at the state park and it was $10 a day PLUS $5 for each person a day so it would be $20 a day for my wife and I. The wind is blowing right now or I would be fishing about 10' from my rig.

 

Would that be Magnolia Public Beach right off North Ocean Drive? (Looking at Google Maps right now.)

 

Thought we might start out at Padre Island National Seashore (Malaquite Beach) with our senior pass and explore our options from there.

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That's the place.

 

Thank you, Dennis.

 

Malaquite Beach was filled so we headed over to Bird Island ($5 or $2.50 with Sr/Access Pass) and glad we found a spot. We found we prefer the lagoon side, parking right up to the water's edge, it's mellower and we'll have beautiful sunsets. We will be off tomorrow to explore the beach in our Jeep. Thank you for all the recommendations.

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Great recommendations, we were down that way last year and absolutely loved it!!! The only thing I would add is a recommendation of some great sea food restraunts...We love fresh seafood and managed to sample a bunch of them and would recommend Snoopy's Pier which is just across the causeway from Corpus to Padre, Boiling Pot and Charlotte Plummer's in Rockport for starters!! Enjoy!!

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Yes, lots of good restraunts in Corpus. There's a good seafood market near the island, too. If you make a shopping run to town, at the end of the causway take the NAS exit and stay on the access road. Paul's Seafood is kind of hidden just a couple of blocks down and they have the freshest seafood and things the grocery stores usually don't stock. Stay on the access road and take the next turnaround under the freeway and you'll pass Walmart and HEB and be headed back to the island.

 

And, yes, Malaquite campground stays pretty full this time of year. There's usually a morning wave of departures so its not hard to get a site if you get there early. If you arrive at the park late in the day and everything in the campground is full there are plenty of good places to spend the night - visitor center parking, South Beach, Bird Island.

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Thank you, Dennis.

 

Malaquite Beach was filled so we headed over to Bird Island ($5 or $2.50 with Sr/Access Pass) and glad we found a spot. We found we prefer the lagoon side, parking right up to the water's edge, it's mellower and we'll have beautiful sunsets. We will be off tomorrow to explore the beach in our Jeep. Thank you for all the recommendations.

 

Desertman,

I'm thinking about coming down that way tomorrow, what do you think the odds are of getting a campsite at Malaguite Beach. If not there what about where you are at Bird Island?

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Desertman,

I'm thinking about coming down that way tomorrow, what do you think the odds are of getting a campsite at Malaguite Beach. If not there what about where you are at Bird Island?

 

The earlier in the day you can arrive, the better your chance at getting a spot at Malaquite Beach. Bird Island is less frequented and we did prefer it over Malaquite, especially with the wind that we have now. Don't know what your rig is, but having ours blasted by salt spray for a few days wasn't up our alley. Bird Island campsites are parking lot style, but you do face the water and have a beautiful view of the sunset. Free camping is available right on the ocean once you pass the Malaquite Beach Visitor Center. Solid sand near the entry and there were a number of Class Cs down the beach farther as well.

 

We will be leaving tomorrow for Magnolia!

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I'll probably try Bird Island first. Just need somewhere to park and then we can drive around explore whats around there for a few days.

We are pulling a 40' 5th wheel Toyhauler and have a Smart Car in the back.

We'll probably be passing each other on the Hiway, have a good trip.

Thanks

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Great to be sharing information here!

 

We just stopped at Padre Balli Park (county park) just north of PINS. It was $4 to dump and fill water! www.nuecesbeachparks.com

 

They have a campground with electric and water for $25 a night or $150 a week. They are in the midst of adding a good number of campsites (35-40?) as well with full hookups on cement pads. Said it should be done by Spring Break, but - personally - it doesn't look that way.

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Did you make it to Magnolia Beach? We got down here at Padre Island at noon and was able to snag a site in the campground. Glad we have are cell booster because we don't have any cell coverage without it.

Life is good, now if I can catch some fish it will be better.

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Yes, made it to Magnolia Beach. Great little place! We were hung up for a bit at the Port Aransas ferry as they were not taking RVs until high tide.

 

We had good service with our Sprint phones (surprised!) but my brother had diddly squat on his AT&T phone. I'm curious about your cell booster. What do you use?

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We have AT&T and have the WeBoost. We've had the booster for 2 months and this is the first place we have needed it. It does OK but you have to have the phone next to it.

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