Beach Vacations USA

Texas' Mustang Island State Park

When it comes to beach vacations or getaways, there are more than enough options for the trip planner to choose from. One of the more unique beach trip possibilities that anyone can take is a visit to Mustang Island State Park on the southern coast of Texas. Mustang Island State Park is not an overly developed commercial vacation location, but for anyone wanting to get away from the stress of every day life, it just may be exactly what is needed. This popular state park has been the site of many successful family vacations for decades, and there is no reason that any traveler looking for a location to spend a great time on the Gulf Coast shouldn't look towards Mustang Island State Park.

The park is located near Port Aransas, Texas and is an actual island just off the coast of the mainland. There are five miles of beaches that travelers can explore and the island itself is just shy of 4,000 acres in size. The state park is a rather recent development when compared to most state parks in the state of Texas and around the country in that it was not purchased by the state until 1972 and not opened to the public until 1979. The park is connected to the mainland via the JFK Causeway and is conveniently located near the city of Corpus Christi.

There are a number of activities available to keep visitors to the state park occupied during their visit to Mustang Island State Park. The long sandy beaches are great for picnicking, sunbathing and going for long walks. There are also a number of more rocky areas that are great for exploring and trying to find treasure returned to the island from the sea. The hard packed sand near the water's edge is perfect for mountain bike riding and there are well over five miles of beach to explore and ride along. The waters that surround the island are popularly used for a number of outdoor activities including surfing, swimming and kayaking.

The state park has provided a number of facilities that make life easier for visitors whether they are staying overnight or not. Shaded picnic shelters make lunches and early dinners an easy thing to plan for regardless of the weather. Fully equipped restrooms with electricity and hot showers are just the thing for anyone who has spent a long day in the sand and surf playing and swimming in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. For those wishing to enjoy the island long term, there are well over 300 developed campsites available. Camping overnight on the island is a pure joy with the smell of the sea air and the sound of the breaking waves audible from a number of the campsites.

The sand dune covered Mustang Island is relatively unique when compared to the other coastal barrier islands in the area. The average dune is about twenty feet high and they provide a very fun and interesting place for both adults and children to spend a long day exploring and searching. There are a number of small animals available for viewing on the island too. Most visitors or campers report seeing ground squirrels, grasshopper mice and pocket gophers quite frequently. Additionally, other animals that reside on the island include opossums, skunks, jackrabbits, cottontail rabbits, raccoons and armadillos. Bird watching is a very popular activity on the island with many bird watching groups traveling to the island regularly. The wildlife available for viewing on Mustang Island add to this being a great beach vacation experience that cannot be duplicated in many more developed areas.

While Mustang Island State Park may not be able to compete with Miami Beach when it comes to glitz, glamour and a crowd filled beach, those more famous beaches cannot compete with Mustang Island when it comes to seclusion, wildlife and the opportunity to closely experience nature in a coastal setting. From the sand dunes that cover the inner land of the island to the beaches that allow visitors to play in the beautiful Gulf of Mexico, Mustang Island State Park provides visitors lucky enough to visit it with a unique opportunity to both enjoy a beach vacation and also relax in a more calm and serene atmosphere. Mustang Island State Park is a great place for any family or young couple to enjoy a vacation or short getaway. The island is truly one of the most unique areas that vacationers have access to when seeking a beach vacation.

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