Anyone looking to enjoy a safe beach experience this spring break should check out the Padre Island National Seashore. The national park starts at the northern end of Padre Island and runs about 65 miles down the coast where it ends at the Port Mansfield Channel.
The Padre Island National Seashore consists of multiple beaches with different activities to take part in. Some of those activities besides swimming include beachcombing, bicycle riding, birdwatching, and fishing. Also, canoeing and kayaking are permitted on the Laguna Madre.
Camping is also popular among people who visit the park. It is first-come, first-served and the park does not take any reservations. The park does occupy designated areas for camping.
The park has several places for visitors to enjoy. For example, the Malaquite Visitor Center and Pavilion has a bookstore which allows visitors to learn about the history of the park and its ecosystems. The visitor center does have restrooms and cold-water showers in the bathhouse. These amenities are open every day but closed 7-9 a.m. for cleaning. Visitors can access the Malaquite swimming beach by using the pavilion’s ramp that leads to the beach. This is the only beach area that does not allow vehicles or pets. Families can bring their grills and enjoy the picnic tables or shade structures.
Camping is available for visitors on the park’s North Beach at their own risk. They do require a free permit which is available at the kiosk near the beach’s entrance. This are does not have any amenities. The Malaquite Campground offers amenities such as flush toilets and cold-water showers. There are also picnic tables, grills, and shade structures available for a cookout or picnic.
The park does require all visitors to purchase a recreational use pass upon entering the park. Visitors can either purchase a one-day pass or a seven-day pass which is needed for overnight camping.