TRAVEL BUG TALES: MORE TEXAS BEACHES THAT DIDN’T CUT IT
In our efforts to find a beach my mom could love in Texas, we visited other beaches along the coast over the years. While the Caves managed to have their usual good times, nothing could replace Myrtle Beach in Mom’s heart.
On another trip we went to Corpus Christi. In its defense it’s only a bay behind a barrier island on the Gulf of Mexico, so it starts out with a handicap. Like Galveston, the beach is on one side of the street and the hotels are on another. For kids who grew up playing in the dunes along Myrtle Beach and Edisto Island on the Atlantic – well, it’s just not the same. When we visited Corpus Christi we made a ferry trip to some island and visited something called Searama, but I think underwhelmed would be a good description of our reactions.
I do remember seeing families riding around in bicycle surreys and I thought that looked like a good time. I guess it was a little out of my parent’s budget, because we didn’t do it. In those years Mom was all about saving to buy a house, so we were quite economical. Decades later I visited with Bill and he wasn’t too keen on the surreys either. I guess I’m going to have to drag my bestie down there, because she’s always game for whatever I cook up.
The highlight of the trip with my parents was dinner at an ocean-side restaurant. While I distinctly remember the delicious meal and panoramic views of a harbor, I can’t remember the name of the place and in later years I couldn’t find anything comparable.
I love Texas and I rarely tolerate anyone saying anything derogatory about it, but the fact of the matter is that it’s not a great state for beaches. The East Coast has all those long, wide sandy beaches with pristine sand dunes. The West Coast has the drama of rocky cliffs and haystacks in the water. Then there’s Florida, which is just a strip of land with two coasts of gorgeous beaches and the marvel of the keys. Even the Gulf Coast States have some pretty beaches with amazing seafood restaurants and other attractions, like golf courses to entertain the beach-goer.
Texas just doesn’t. Padre is the prettiest beach in Texas I’ve been to, but it’s also a national seashore and that has curbed development. You do get a lot of beach and pristine dunes, but good luck finding anything else. To me beach means an early morning walk looking for shells followed by a hearty breakfast. Then you do a little shopping, see a local attraction or play a little putt putt. Lunch is something quick, because you’ll be in the water all afternoon. The evening meal is a big deal. Then it’s time for bed.
Looking for shells on Padre is a waste of time. There’s nothing to do out there except the beach, so you have to give up a whole day of beach, if you want to visit civilization. The few restaurants out there are mediocre. Is there a beautiful beach? Well, yes, but the truth of the matter is that the adult me is not as crazy about water and sand as my younger version. Slathering on suncreen and getting caked-over by blowing sand, while my force of nature (my head of hair) goes wild, is just not one of my favorite experiences. I can take about half an hour of that and I’m done. Sitting by the pool is more pleasant and with a good book I can last an hour.
With that being said, my family did manage to have a pretty good time in Padre during Mom’s search for a Myrtle Beach replacement, so I’ll tell you about that next week.