Padre Island National Seashore

Sandy beach
N Beach Access Rd, Corpus Christi, TX 78418, USA
196 miles from Houston, TX
Water quality
Grades suggested by our reviewer
Water Quality
Unknown (read more)

Beach amenities

  • WCPublic restrooms nearby
  • Changing roomsDressing rooms on the beach
  • Picnic tablesPicnic benches available
  • RestaurantsF&B places nearby
  • ShowerPublic showers available
  • ParkingCar parking nearby
  • RV-friendlyRV parking available
  • Pet friendlyBring your little friends!
👉 Download a FREE PDF map

About this beach

Warnings and hazards

There are all necessary facilities at the visitor’s center, but prepare to do without them if you decide to drive further.

Better take your own trash bag, since most of the beach features no trash cans.

Dogs are allowed on a leash only.

No lifeguards – you’re on your own.

The sand can get very hot, so have your footwear on.

This wild 70-mile spacious beach with stunning views and a relaxing atmosphere is definitely a place to visit if you’re in South Texas. Padre Island National Seashore boasts vast serene landscapes and water untypically clear for the Texas coast, without seaweed.

You can either park your car at the visitor’s center and follow to the beach area where vehicles are not allowed or you can drive further and find a nice camping spot – a great option for those traveling in their RV.

Nevertheless, if you travel past the visitor’s center, get ready for the lack of any shops, eateries, and beach facilities. No businesses, no people – only wild and serene nature. Thus, you’ll get a perfect opportunity to escape from the stressful city setting.

Access, Parking, and RV Camping

You can easily get to Padre Island National Seashore by car. It’s an easy drive from Houston and just 15 minutes from downtown Corpus Christi, through wetlands and sand dunes. You’ll have to pay $10 for entrance or you may buy an annual pass if you’re planning to come again. There’s a free parking lot at the visitor’s center, so you can leave your car right there.

Nevertheless, there’s another option – you can go further down the road (a four-wheel vehicle is highly recommended) and drive directly on the beach at a chosen spot. Many people camp their RVs here. If you wish to stay alone, it’s not a problem – find a remote and deserted corner; there are plenty of places.

Seclusion and Tranquility

Padre Island National Seashore is one of the best beaches in the area and it never gets overcrowded. It’s easy to find a beautiful and quiet spot to spend time with your nearest and dearest or alone. If you have a dog, you can take it with you – the beach rules allow dogs, but make sure your pet is leashed and don’t forget to pick up after it.

There are a few hiking trails. The beach itself is perfect for long unhurried walks, during which you can look for shells, or just enjoy the views and the breeze, or watch numerous wildlife species, like hawks, cranes, seagulls, pelicans, crabs, or turtles. The sand is hard-packed and easy to step on, but make sure you have your sandals on since it gets very hot at times.

Facilities At The Visitor’s Center

Most of the beach is wild, featuring no amenities. Nevertheless, you can find a variety of those, clean and well-maintained, at the visitor’s center. There, you can make use of a free parking lot, picnic area, restrooms, changing rooms, showers, and electric outlets. There is also a museum and a gift shop.

The staff is friendly and ready to help. Consult them if you are interested to see the famous turtle release – a special event, which takes place at dawn on scheduled days and is aimed at protecting little baby turtles in their first run to the water. To plan your trip with consideration to that in advance, you can join the center’s Facebook page and check for fresh updates.

Driving Time

  • 35 minutes from Corpus Christi, TX
  • 2 hours 30 minutes from San Antonio, TX
  • 3 hours 30 minutes from Austin, TX

Hotels and rentals

If you're considering staying for one or even a few nights, there are plenty of options available near the beach. Chose your preferred accomodation type and your favourite room provider:

Beaches nearby

Additionally, there's a number of beaches near Padre Island National Seashore which you can visit:

Beach reviewed by:
Phil R.
Photos from Google Maps
Dog sitting in front of the Padre Island National Seashore shieldSand dunes on the seashoreSeagull near the waterCar on the beachBaby turtles on Padre Island National SeashoreGrassy area near the beach
Show rooms near this beach×

Padre Island National Seashore videos

Saving the Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle
A catching video about sea turtles on the beach
Padre Island National Seashore
A picturesque drone made video of the island

Weather conditions

Current weather at the beach and 3 day forecast

Best times to visit

Average temperature (°F)
Beach map and directions
The beach is located in Corpus Christi, Texas N Beach Access Rd, Corpus Christi, TX 78418, USA (Open on Google Maps)
Drag and zoom the map to view lodging options near the beach.
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Padre Island National Seashore reviews and photos
Reviewed on: April 10, 2020