Friday, December 28, 2018

Exploring the Gulf Coast of Texas

Port Mansfield Deer

We had a stretch of beautiful weather leading up to Christmas, and with temps approaching 80 on Saturday, we decided to go for a drive to the coast.

Our neighbors at the RV Park had been telling Tom about a small town on the coast where there is a herd of deer that hang out in town and are really tame, so we decided to take a drive up there before heading down to South Padre Island.

It was a bit of a drive to get there . . . through the Wind Farm,

Wind Farm

Wind Farm

and over to the coast.  Port Mansfield is a small fishing town about midway up the coast between the north and south ends of Padre Island.  It’s also the location of the manmade channel that divides Padre Island in half.

Gulf of Mexico

It looked like quite the little fishing town,

Boathouses along the channel

with just a few homes and three small RV Parks.

We drove through the neighborhood, and that’s where we first spotted the herd of deer that call Port Mansfield home.

Deer in the yard

They were really curious, and not very timid around people.

Bucks just hanging out

Even the bucks were just relaxing in the grass.  Some of the littler ones were more cautious – see the little one peeking through the bushes?

See the little one peeking between the bushes?

Behind the neighborhood, there’s a small park with a nature trail.  We could see people over there feeding some deer, so we drove over to check it out. 

We walked along the trail,



and spotted about a dozen deer hiding in the trees.

Hanging out in the shade

As we walked around on the trail, they must have thought we brought food because they started following us.

This one buck just kept walking toward me, and even though I kept backing up, he just got closer and closer.

Curious buck

He came right over to me!

Some other people had shown up while we were on the trail, and were feeding some deer at the edge of the parking lot.  Apparently the bait shops sell bags of dried corn for $5.00.

Feeding him corn

Food brings them all out!

Tom walked over to them, and they shared some of their corn.

Tom giving it a tryHe had a couple of bucks eating out of his hand!

Getting closer

The rest of them were just milling around, not sure what they were waiting for.

A whole group of bucks

After hanging out with the deer for a while, we were getting hungry so we went looking for a restaurant in town.  There were only two, and one looked busier than the other, so that’s where we went . . .

Pelican’s Cove

Looks good for lunch

It was pretty good . . . we had mexican . . . big surprise! 

After lunch, we continued to South Padre Island . . .

South Padre Island

back through the Wind Farm, then south and east to Port Isabel and South Padre Island.  The drive up to Port Mansfield had taken longer than we anticipated, and it was after 3pm by the time we got to the beach.

Walkway to the beach

We stopped at one of the free beach access parking lots, and walked down to look at the ocean.

It was pretty quiet for a Saturday afternoon; just a few people on the beach.  It was the weekend before Christmas, though, so maybe things will pick up afterwards.

Lone seagull

Pretty quiet for a warm Saturday afternoon


We walked for a while, but we were getting sand-blasted on the back of our legs, and knew that when we turned around to go back, it would be worse.

We could see the dry sand blowing over the top of the wet sand.

Sand blowing over the beach

We got back in the Jeep and drove north along the island to look for the area where we could take the Jeep on the beach.  We didn’t find it, but we did see a bunch of people kite surfing on the bay side of the island, so we drove out on the beach to check it out.

Kite surfers taking advantage of the wind

We watched as several surfers zipped along on the water – the wind was really working to their benefit!


Huge spray

More kites waiting on the beach.

Kites at rest

Getting started on the water was a two-person job!

Need a helper to get started

Ready to go

Once they get out there, they can really move across the water!  We loved watching them – especially when they got some air!

Flying across the smooth water

Big air

They were fun to watch, and it was a great way to end the afternoon at the beach.

Parking on the bayside beach

1 comment:

  1. You are giving us some ideas of places closer to home to visit. Looks like you had a fun day.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.


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