Things to Do in Port Isabel
Part of what makes Texas the greatest state in the Union is its amazingly diverse geography. From the forests of the Piney Woods and the bluebonnets of the Hill Country to the rugged mountains of West Texas, each region has its own special look and feel. In Port Isabel, located in the very southern part of the Texas Gulf Coast, the rolling tides of the sea are the star. Discover a few of the many things to do in Port Isabel and plan your next getaway here to enjoy some of the best the Gulf Coast has to offer.
Steer For the Lighthouse
Port Isabel Lighthouse is the feature Port Isabel is best known for. Seeing it for yourself is one of the things you should do during your stay. It is the only Lighthouse on the Texas Gulf Coast that is open to the public. The Lighthouse is a Texas Historical Commission State Historic Site.The historic
Before taking a stroll to the top of the Lighthouse, you can check out the Lighthouse Keeper's Cottage Visitor Center to see artifacts and memorabilia or find local information. Tickets to the Lighthouse can be purchased at the Keeper’s Cottage or at the Lighthouse. The grounds of the Lighthouse are perfect for a picnic or a stroll or just rolling down the hill. Annual events, such as the Lighthouse Establishment Cinema, Lighthouse Market Day and Queen Isabella Market Day are hosted at the site.
Thanks to its location right on the town square, the Lighthouse is a perfect starting point for a day of enjoyment in downtown Port Isabel on the banks of the Laguna Madre Bay.
Dive into Port Isabel’s History
Cameron County and its coastline has a long and colorful history. The Treasures of the Gulf Museum tells the story of three Spanish ships that met their fate just off the coast in 1554. The Port Isabel Historical Museum houses local artifacts and relics, including a large collection of items from the U.S.-Mexican War. This museum is housed in the 1899 Charles Champion building and sports a fish mural two-stories tall. For more history, stroll around the downtown area to take in the historical markers, including Fort Polk, Port of Matamoros, Queen Isabel Inn, and the Port Isabel Cemetery.
Port Isabel and the surrounding area is an angler’s paradise. Dozens of guides and excursion companies are ready and waiting to help you catch a big one. Or fish from one of the longest lighted fishing piers in Texas, or wade and fly-fish for reds, or jet ski out into the open waters for some exciting bay fishing or you can take a boat offshore for bigger fish and bigger stories. Stop by any of the local bait stands and tackle shops for a local’s advice on what’s biting, where they are biting and what they are biting on. Cook your catch or take it to one of the Port Isabel restaurants who can cook it for you. For tournament fishing, sign up for the famous Texas International Fishing Tournament, the biggest saltwater fishing competition in Texas. Annually, last weekend in July.
Discover the Wonders of the Sea
Catching fish is just one way to appreciate the amazing creatures that populate the waters around Port Isabel. Another is to journey out into the bay or Gulf of Mexico to spot dolphins leaping and turning out of the sparkling waters. Whether you are looking for an excursion with one-of-a-kind entertainment or some of the most beautiful views of the Texas Gulf Coast, you'll find it in Port Isabel. To get more hands-on with what lives under the sea, take an eco-tour. Sea creatures of all kinds are brought up, put in touch tanks and then returned safely to the Laguna Madre Bay.
What’s a vacation without living it up? Port Isabel offers lots of places to treat yourself, from great restaurants and treasure-filled boutiques and artisan stands to rejuvenating spas and salons.
Enjoy a soothing massage or have your “do” touched up, then add a new accessory from the boutique shops all around the Lighthouse square. Art galleries and artisans offering custom and original jewelry, fine art, soaps, t-shirts, ceramic object and bobbles as gift ideas to yourself or to the folks back home.
Finally, sink your teeth into mouthwatering breakfast tacos, seafood, Tex-Mex and Mexican food, or a chef choice at any one of locally owned restaurants. All specializing in great food, great service and great big portions.
Port Isabel, TX 78578