Day Trips: Life’s a Beach, Corpus Christi

The islands across the causeway offer sun, sand, and surf all summer long

For our Summer Fun issue, we’ve created themed playlists to go with each story. Find more playlists at

Day Trips: Life’s a Beach, Corpus Christi
Photos by Gerald E. McLeod

Life's a beach, and few places on the Texas coast have a better concentration of sand and surf than the barrier islands across the JFK Causeway from Corpus Christi.

• Mustang Island State Park, with more than 5 miles of pristine sand, is one beach that has it all – swimming, fishing, camping, plus restrooms and showers. The park is 5 miles north of the intersection of Park Road 22 and TX-361 (all distance given from the traffic signal at the intersection).

Day Trips: Life’s a Beach, Corpus Christi

• Padre Balli Park comes a close second with amenities, plus a fishing pier and seaside restaurant. Two miles south off Park Road 22, it has a long stretch of beach, RV park, showers, and restrooms.

• J.P. Luby Surf Park/North Packery Beach is run by the city and requires a $12 parking permit. Only half a mile north on TX-361 at Zahn Road, it attracts a younger crowd. The park has 5 miles of beach before it runs into the state park.

• Padre Island National Seashore has 65 miles of beach on the longest undeveloped barrier island in the world. Call 361/949-7163 to find out when the next turtle hatchlings will be released. There is a $10 per vehicle fee to enter the park 10 miles south of the intersection.

Day Trips: Life’s a Beach, Corpus Christi

Other Beaches

• Seawall Beach, 2.5 miles; go south to Whitecap Boulevard and park at the end of Windward Drive.

• Whitecap Beach, 1.5 miles; at the end of Whitecap Dr. off Park Road 22.

• Natural Beach, 3 miles; go south to Access Road 6. Nothing except sand and surf, but isn't that what you're looking for?

For more information on area beaches and attractions, go to or

1,347th in a series. Collect them all. Day Trips, Vol. 2, a book of "Day Trips," is available for $8.95, plus $3.05 for shipping, handling, and tax. Mail to: Day Trips, PO Box 40312, South Austin, TX 78704.

Follow "Day Trips & Beyond," a travel blog, at

More Day Trips
Day Trips: Gift Guide 2017
Day Trips: Gift Guide 2017
Gifts that make it worth a day trip double your fun

Gerald E. McLeod, Dec. 8, 2017

Day Trips: Island Motor Bikes, Port Aransas
Day Trips: Island Motor Bikes, Port Aransas
Port A bike shop is back in business and ready for vacationers after Hurricane Harvey

Gerald E. McLeod, Dec. 1, 2017


Texas beaches, Corpus Christi, Mustang Island State Park, Padre Balli Park

AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

Updates for SXSW 2017

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)