5 Reasons to go to the Beach in the Fall

1. No Crowds

It’s all yours – the beach is lovely, warm and uncrowded. Perfect for morning walks, evening walks and anything in between. I’m always surprised at how warm the water can still be in the Fall. My kids have even been in it at Thanksgiving!

It's all Mine!

It’s all Mine!

2. Great Shells

I’m amazed at the different shells we find on the coast. A few Septembers ago I was in Galveston with some friends and we found the entire beach was littered with quarter sized shells – I think they were disk clams (Elegant Dosinia). Shelling on St Joe’s Island is an adventure anytime of the year. One contributor to TripAdvisor said they found fantastic shells in November.

Sea Treasure

Sea Treasure

3. Great Temperature

The average highs and lows in degrees fahrenheit for October are:

Galveston 79.7 and 68.4.

Port Aransas 82 and 71.

Very. Nearly. Perfect.

Perfect conditions

Perfect conditions

4. Great Fishing

Port Aransas, TX Offshore Charters & Bay Fishing Guides says that Fall is a great time to fish – still warm, not crowded and with more flexibility in booking trips. In searching for charters/guides for family trips, I’ve also seen that some rates are less in the Fall.

5. Fun Local Activities Happen in the Fall

Check out the local calendar for goings on in the area  Port A Calendar of Events and Galveston Calendar of Events.

Highlights include – October 16-10 The Port Aransas plyWooden Boat Festival and Oct 23-25 The Harvest Moon Regatta

Boats heading to Port A

Boats heading to Port A

6. Bonus: Just Because You Can

Always a new place to explore!

Always a new place to explore!

We don’t really ever need a reason to head to the coast – Just grab friends and family and hit the road!

Good times ahead!

Winter Texans Wanted

It’s that time of year again – mid summer – happily most of the beach house dates are booked til September and the summer season is cruising along. Aound July 4th we start getting inquiries for Thanksgiving, Christmas and a winter stays. It feels strange to advertise for Winter folk in July, time is slipping by us like sand through our fingers, but most of the folks I know are trying to ignore that fact. Me too this year – my oldest heads to college in about a month…say it isn’t so! Alas, time is marching on and we change our headlines to start attracting the people that head south for the winter.

Weather on the coast in the Fall and Winter is fabulous! Highs in the upper 50’s and lower 60’s. Check out these links for Port Aransas and Galveston monthly average temperatures. The crowds are gone and the water is warm well into the Fall. It’s actually my favorite time of year to be at the coast.

Several major publications have stories about heading south to the Texas coast for the Winter. This great article from the Dallas Morning News lists some fantastic things about wintering anywhere from South Padre to Galveston.  This article from Texas Monthly is about Port Aransas and all the activities with directory (address and phone numbers) of places not to be missed.

Please check out our Pinterest Boards for more ideas about what to do as Winter Texans and ideas for activities in Galveston and Port Aransas. If you have any questions, let me know!

View of walking through dunes

Orcas in the Gulf!

Orca in Alaska

Orca in Alaska

While we have never seen Oracs in the Gulf, we snapped a shot of one on our trip to Alaska. Amazingly, recently Orcas were seen off the coast of Port A! Click on the link to see a really cool video taken by a fisherman of the experience! Thanks to the Port A South Jetty paper for the post! http://www.portasouthjetty.com/. See the video link on the website.

Port Aransas: Heaven and Hell

Remember the old joke about heaven and hell? It goes something like this. In Heaven, the British welcome you and provide the hospitality, the Germans provide the transportation, the Italians feed you, the French romance you, and the Swiss make the schedule and keep things running on time. In Hell, the Germans provide the hospitality, the British feed you, the French provide the transportation, the Swiss romance you, and the Italians run the schedule.

I must confess that I often have a similar love/hate relationship to the beach, especially at Port Aransas. I can give you one word, and you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.

Sand.

I mean, you’ve got some of the best sand in all of Texas. You have the SandFest and the PortA sandcastle guy. Burying little bodies and sometimes big bodies. Tiny footprints next to big ones, with an invisible held hand in between.

But as the years go by, I become less tolerant of sand in places that it doesn’t belong. In my car. In my house. In my shorts, and in my shorts, if you know what I mean. In my daughter’s hair, and two minutes before I told her we were getting in the car. In metal things that work, which soon after become metal things that work poorly and then not at all. I’m elevating my blood pressure as I type.

In the balance, since we got the beach house and out of our tents, sand is a whole lot more heaven and less hell. But I love it, and I hate it. You get the idea. Shall we move on?

Salt water.

Is there any greater point in the drive to the beach than when you get that first whiff of salty air? It means vacation, and as a land-locked Texan who was previously a land-locked Tennesseean, the mere proximity takes me to another state of mind. The first taste of salt water as I’m on a wave board or just swimming in the gulf is bliss. But good things are sometimes best in small doses.

Like when Spinner, our Aussie who could not swim with her mouth closed, swam for an hour straight, and then…

expelled that salt water in forms too vile to describe in detail for the next two hours straight. Speaking of metal things that used to be nice, our car was never the same. Don’t you feel like that dog sometimes? I mean, wave boarding is nice, but there’s nothing nice about a nasal… um… cleanse. To move my mouth to a happier place, I will slip back across that razor-thin line to heaven. On to food.

Fish.

Red fish, crabs, flounder, shrimp. When the oil spilled in the Gulf, my first brief panic was that I was going to lose our supply of the freshest fish in Central Texas. And that fish is so easy to catch in Port Aransas.

My fondest childhood fishing memory is of a trip when everyone in a family of five caught our limit, and brought our catch home. We didn’t even have enough room in our huge freezer to keep it all. We kept it at a neighbor’s house. And we had fresh fish every night for a week.

And then we had not so fresh fish every night for another period of time that I’ve blocked out. By now, if you’ve done your share of Port Aransas fishing trips, you know exactly what I mean. A successful trip is one where you’ve caught what you want to eat, and you were wise enough to stop, or throw the rest back. There’s nothing quite as miserable as a trip with high seas where you catch nothing. (That doesn’t happen too much around here.) Except maybe a trip when you catch too much.

To give you a happy ending to the bountiful catch, someone kicked the plug out of the freezer that had all of our neighborhood fish. We took that skunky fish and buried it in my mother’s tomato bed, and we buried them deep. We had the best tomatoes ever that year. I’m going to take this blog to a risky place, but trust me.

Bikini Clad Teenagers.

Well, so much for trust. But I’m going somewhere slightly different than you think. My daughters mean more to me than anything else in the world. My wife feels the same way. It’s awesome to see them grow. But it’s also terrifying in ways that only parents of beautiful teenage girls can believe. The beach has a way of bringing out the best of people watching. When I’m watching the people that I love play, the experience grows tenfold.

Now, you can see exactly where I’m going here. Just the words “teenage girls” can tell you about all about heaven and hell that you’ll ever need to know. The car trips and the stops to eat and the stops to pee and the stops to shop and the stops to pee again. The laughter and the late-night laughter (and the later night laughter).

Of course, these are the reasons we go to a beach house. When you can pack six girls into a room and let moms and dads get a good night sleep in the rooms below, you have the recipe for heavenly memories.

And just a tiny little slice of hell.

IB Magee Beach Park

The IB Magee Beach Park is located at the northern most tip of Mustang Island.  Consisting of 167 acres with 75 electric/water campsites and more primative camping on the beach, this park is a great place to beach camp.  The Horace Caldwell Pier is located in the park.  The pier, popular with fishermen, has a great observation deck to see the Gulf, the ship channel, San Jose Island and Port Aransas. There is a bath house available to campers as well as another beach bath house with a coin operated shower available to the general public.