This is part of a series of places to Go, “Sea”, and Do around the Coastal Bend. I will add posts to this series each week. The first main part of the series will be about North Padre Island.
My state of Texas is growing. I am continually meeting new people in various places who are new to here or visiting here. I often run into people who have questions about where to go when visiting Corpus Christi and the Coastal Bend. I am originally from Houston, but have lived South Texas since 1991.I have lived here as a resident but have been here as a tourist before I moved here. This series will highlight a few of my favorite places in and around our little bend in the coast.
North Padre Island
First, let me clarify some confusion. I don’t know how many people get North Padre Island mixed up with South Padre Island. They are two different places, and you cannot get to South Padre Island from North Padre Island on “South Padre Island Drive” (the freeway that runs through Corpus Christi) to get to South Padre Island. South Padre Island is another 2 hours away. The islands are two separate places. I still scratch my head on why they named the freeway that runs through Corpus “South Padre Island Drive.” Anyway, here is one of my favorite places on North Padre Island:
3. Packery Channel:
Packey Channel is a natural inlet that has been reinforced by man-made structures that allows the waters from the Gulf flow into the Laguna Madre. This makes for easy access for boats to enter the Gulf of Mexico.
Also because of this exchange of waters between the Gulf and Laguna, this is another popular fishing spot with locals since bait fish can be found everywhere. Again, it is wise to wear good shoes because of random fishhooks that may be around.
If you did not bring your pole, this area is a great place to watch sea turtles swimming in the channel or observe the many varieties of fish or birds.
On a clear water day, we have brought out the snorkels and masks to view the sea-life by the rocks by the north side of the jetty next the beach. This same spot has become popular with surfers since the jetty was built. After the jetty was built a few years back, the beach on the north side has become crescent-shaped and the waves form better.
You can access this area on the north side by going toward Port Aransas on SH 361, go over the Packery Channel Bridge, and exiting right on Zahn Road. Or you can still go to the south side from past the seawall on Padre Island. From Padre Island, you will stay on Park Road 22, go South toward the National Seashore, turn left onto Whitecap. You will follow the road to almost the beach. You will turn left on Leeward Drive toward the Holiday Inn and continue all of the way down past the seawall until you are driving down a little road leading to the beach. However, there is talk about closing that part of the beach to drivers, so drivers would have to park at the parking lot on the right on the seawall. Speaking of the seawall… Well, that will be next time.