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Matagorda County: Hardcore Relaxing in a South Texas Paradise


I’ll tell ya’ll right now – I am seriously relaxed.  I've just spent 4 days in Matagorda County with my boots in the sand and a beer in my hand, watching the surf roll in and out. OK, I didn't really keep my boots on, but the beer and the relaxation part is true. There is just something about this place that makes all the worries of the “real world” fade away and leaves my mind at ease.

Located on the central coast of Texas, along miles of pristine beachfront, Matagorda County is a collection of historic towns, seaside villages, and miles and miles of soft sand and cool surf.  It’s a vacation retreat made for hardcore tranquility.

The beaches along Matagorda’s coast are something of an insider secret.  A bit smaller and more reserved than neighboring Galveston and Corpus Christi, they’re also not as touristy.  In fact, one of the best things about Matagorda beaches is the quiet, unspoiled and undeveloped waterfront, making it perfect for days spent strolling the beach, swimming, collecting shells or building sand castles away from the big crowds. Or, in my case, just planting myself on a hammock with a cold drink and watching the horizon.

If you prefer a little more on your agenda than just vegetating all day, plan some time at the Matagorda Bay Nature Park, a 1,600-acre preserve situated where the Colorado River empties into the Gulf of Mexico.  This merger creates a unique and interesting ecology of river banks, coastal marshes and dunes, providing habitats for a wide variety of bird and fish varieties.  With over 300 different feathered species, including migrating and resident songbirds, shorebirds and waterfowl, Matagorda County is known as the "Birding Capital of North America", drawing bird lovers from all over the country.

If your idea of relaxation includes some good bait and a fishing rod, you won’t find a better catch. With over 50 miles of Gulf shoreline and hundreds of miles of waterfront along creeks, rivers and bays, Matagorda is a fisherman's paradise. Cast your line from the beach or wade in to catch redfish and trout, plentiful year-round. Other in-shore species include catfish, mullet, black drum and whiting. If deep-sea fishing is your passion, fish the Gulf for grouper, wahoo, red snapper, kingfish and shark.

In my past visits to Matagorda, I’ve enjoyed the birding, the boating, the fishing and all the area has to offer. This time around, though, I've left that hard work up to others; I've just enjoyed soaking in the serene and tranquil beauty of Matagorda and although I feel renewed and recharged, I'm finding it hard to put my boots back on and leave this beautiful place.

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