This past weekend we drove the RV to Mustang Island State Park in Corpus Christi, Texas. We usually do not go RVing in the summer, but our granddaughter loves the beach so much we decided to go and discover a new beach.

Mustang Island SP is located along highway 361 between North Padre Island and Port Aransas. It is a 2 1/2 hour drive from Harlingen in the Rio Grande Valley. The park features RV sites with water and electricity. We avoid traveling to popular venues like this one on weekends to avoid larger crowds and it was a very enjoyable stay. T

In the summer, the park reaches capacity very easy so it is highly recommended to make reservations online for both camping and park day use. Reserve passes online.

The beach is very near and it was interesting to learn about the Fish Pass Jetties. This fish pass was a channel that was dredged through Mustang Island in 1972 with the purpose of helping fish migrate between the Gulf and the bay but the jetties at the mouth of the pass were too short and the pass quickly began to fill up. By the 1980s it had completely silted up. Today, the Fish Pass Jetties remain a popular place for fishermen. For a satellite view and more on this Fish Pass please click here.

When there I noticed the higher dunes in what would be this fish pass I wondered how could fish swim through that pass even during high tides? I was not aware then that the fish pass was no more so I asked a young park ranger about this and he assured me fish still swam to the bay from this pass during bad flooding, storms and or hurricanes. I could not imagine such a high tide and amount of water. I guess this young ranger needs to read more about his place of work.

The highlight of our trip was just 20 miles away at Malaquite Beach located in the Padre Island National Seashore. A tranquil beach with a spacious visitor center where picnic tables abound to escape the menacing sun and still hear the soothing sounds of the Gulf of Mexico. The place features shower and changing rooms, clean restrooms, a gift shop and plenty of paved parking.

What impacted me the most was the beautiful and serene prairie leading to Malaquite Beach. Padre Island is an ever-changing and varied landscape. Blowing sands off the beach help create dunes, which form the eastern shore of the Island. Dunes shift and change until plants take root and provide stability. These dunes are critical to the island because they form a natural dike, which prevents storm tides from inundating and destroying the grasslands. They are the barrier in “barrier island”

Malaquite Island also offers primitive RV sites, but with the heat we are experiencing we decided to visit sometime in the fall or spring. For more on Malaquite Beach including entrance fees and 7-day passes please click here. Admission is $10 per vehicle and free for veterans who show a valid ID.

After swimming, sunbathing, and building sandcastles we were so hungry we decided to look for a pizza place. We found Padre Pizzeria in North Padre Island and it was much better than what we expected. The place has a friendly and cozy ambiance with a good selection of wines and popular Italian entrees not to mention the delicious pizzas.

Our granddaughter loved her vacation and said it was the best time ever!