Museums of Port Isabel

#4 in Best Things To Do in South Padre Island
Museums of Port Isabel picture
Arinahabich/Getty Images

Key Info

302 East Queen Isabella Boulevard

Details

Museums Type
Half Day to Full Day Time to Spend
3.6scorecard
  • 4.5Value
  • 2.5Facilities
  • 4.0Atmosphere

While South Padre has earned a reputation as "Spring Break Central," history buffs won't be disappointed here. Visitors can choose to visit three popular historic sites, the Port Isabel Lighthouse, the Port Isabel Historical Museum and the Treasures of the Gulf Museum, individually or for a discounted entry fee, travelers gain access to all three.

The lighthouse was constructed in 1852 to help guide ships through Brazos Santiago Pass. Now it's the only one in the area that's open to the public — visitors are also invited to explore the ground's Keeper's Cottage. Located just south of the lighthouse and housed in an old dry goods store, the Port Isabel Historical Museum has one of the largest collections of artifacts from the U.S.-Mexican War, not to mention a theater and gift shop. Right next door is the Treasures of the Gulf Museum, a must-see if you're traveling with kids. Here they can learn all about what life was like aboard a 16th-century ship and get a good look at some of the treasure found beneath the waters of the Gulf. 

Visitors say the museums are great if you need to escape poor weather. And if you plan on visiting the museums, the lighthouse is a must-see as it's perfect for families and sure to be a huge hit with the kids. 

You can enter all three sites for less than $10 per person, but site hours vary. Check ahead with the Museums of Port Isabel website before planning your itinerary.

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#1 Laguna Madre Nature Trail

According to many, the best way to experience South Padre's wild side is to take a stroll along the Laguna Madre Nature Trail, a boardwalk that meanders from the South Padre Island Convention Center out to the Laguna Madre wetlands. This is also a major spot for bird-watching: Throughout the

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