8 Amazing Texas Islands You Need to Know About!

4 mins read
texas islands
by G. Lamar/Flickr

Nicknamed as the “Lone Star State,” Texas isn’t exactly famous for its beaches or islands. But being located on the Gulf of Mexico, there are many islands in Texas that you can visit!

While there are plenty of Texas Islands, we shall be discussing 8 of them in this article!

Some of them might be familiar to you, like the South Padre Island or Galveston island, but I doubt that you would have heard about the Boliver Peninsula or even the Matagorda Island!

So, here is a list of 8 amazing Texas Islands just for you!

1. South Padre Island

texas islands
by G. Lamar/Flickr

South Padre Island is one of the state’s most popular vacation spots, including family-friendly beaches and spring break party resorts.

You are sure to enjoy the island because of its beautiful beaches, fantastic restaurants, and most importantly, lively beach bars!

There are also a bunch of fun things you can do at the beach, such as seaside horseback riding, or take to the water for parasailing, paddle boarding, sailing, kayaking, restaurant sailboat cruises, jet ski rentals, pirate ship cruises, fishing adventures, sea turtle and dolphin watching among other things.

At South Padre Island, you can also enjoy their sandcastle festivals and relax during your time at the spa!

2. Galveston Island

texas islands
by Thomas Ohlsson Photograpy/Flickr

Galveston Island, located south of Houston, is one of the most popular islands in Texas. With 27 miles of length and a 3-mile long breadth, the island is heavily populated and deal with families looking to relax and enjoy the sand and sun.

Even though the beaches here do not compare to some other Texas Islands, there are plenty of attractions in Galveston island apart from beaches that you can surely enjoy! These include visiting the Moody Gardens, the Schlitterbahn Waterpark, and the Pleasure Pier, which has dozens of exhilarating carnival rides that are suspended over the water!

The island is also known for being the site of America’s greatest natural disaster, the Galveston hurricane of 1990, killing over 6000 residents. During the American Civil War, the Battle of Galveston Harbor took place here.

3. Bolivar Peninsula

The Bolivar Peninsula is an island outside Galveston Bay located right across from Galveston.

This place is probably not for you if you’re hoping for a super-touristy island holiday. However, it is a terrific location if you want to be far enough away from the noise and bustle to relax while still close enough to make a couple of journeys into the city.

Because of its proximity to Houston, it is simple to get here via Houston’s airports. A ferry service also sails between the Bolivar Peninsula and Galveston, making for a wonderful excursion!

4. Mustang Island

texas islands
by Jonathan Cutrer/Flickr

Mustang Island is an 18 miles long barrier island situated between the Gulf of Mexico and Corpus Christi Bay, stretching from Corpus Christi to Port Aransas.

You will find plenty of wildlife here, such as the white-tailed deer, sea turtles, armadillos, jackrabbits, and migratory birds. An estimated 600 kinds of saltwater fish abound on this famous island!

The settlement of Port Aransas is located on the island’s northern tip, while Mustang Island State Park covers the entire island’s southern part.

Mustang Island State Park is one of the prettiest, most gorgeous areas of publicly owned land on the Gulf, with its pristine beaches and crystal blue ocean! On the other hand, Port Aransas is known as the “Fishing Capital of Texas”!

In addition to this, there are many fun things you can do at Mustang Island, such as kayaking, swimming, fishing, hiking, dolphin watching, and sleeping in a tent right on the beach!

5. Matagorda Island

Galveston’s sister island, Matagorda Island, is a small barrier island and Wildlife Management Area. The entire island covers 56,688 acres and measures 8 miles long and about 4 miles broad.

It’s most renowned for its isolation, undisturbed natural beauty, a lighthouse built in 1852. Matagorda Island also supports various wildlife, including a diverse range of migrating birds and over 15 threatened or endangered species.

Relaxing on the beach, saltwater fishing, and picnicking are all popular activities on the island.

The Matagorda Bay Nature Park, with its water sports and other outdoor activities, is an excellent site for sports enthusiasts!

6. San Jose Island

San Jose Island is a small privately-owned barrier island off the northern tip of Mustang Island.

The island measures 21 miles long and 5 miles broad and is encircled by the Gulf of Mexico and Aransas Bay. The island is also easily accessible through a short ferry ride from Port Aransas.

The San Jose Island, especially the beaches below the vegetation line, make an ideal destination for birdwatching, shelling, fishing for Speckled Trout, Redfish, Flounder, and beachcombing for unique seashells such as lightning whelks, shark eyes, sand dollars, starfish, and angel wings.

7. Pelican Island

texas islands
by Don DeBold/Flickr

Pelican Island, located north of Galveston Harbor, is a popular destination for seasonal festivals, fishing, bird watching, beaches, and art and history museums.

The Island was once home to a fish and oyster industry, a shipyard, and an immigration station and is connected to the city of Galveston by a bridge.

Some of the major tourist attractions at Pelican Island include the Naval Museum and Seawolf Park, the golf course, the famous fishing pier, and the annual Oktoberfest festival!

8. Ward Island

Between Corpus Christi Bay and Oso Bay is a small piece of land known as Ward Island.

This Texas island is well-known among history enthusiasts because of its historical significance during World War II. Following the outbreak of World War II, the Navy established a massive training program on the island, which subsequently became the Naval Air Technical Training Center.

Since 1993 this island has been home to Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, which makes the island worthwhile to visit today.

The existence of various forms of wildlife and hiking or biking the 7.3-mile trail around the islands are also some of the selling points of the place.

Some other Texas islands could not find their place on this list. These Texas islands include Brazo’s Island, Follet’s Island, and other small uninhabited islands.

Each Texas islands has its charm and selling points, depending on your preferences.

We hope that this article about some of the Texas Islands was helpful to you! Do share with us which, according to you, is the best one on or off the list!

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