North Padre Island Local Beach Scene

North Padre Island, just off the coast of Corpus Christi is a barrier island off the coast of Texas. With mild winters and the warm water of the Gulf of Mexico as a playground, residents and visitors alike enjoy a laid-back beach lifestyle with a whole lot of Texas attitude.

The crown jewel of the area is the Padre Island National Seashore, is 70 miles of beach and protected shoreline designated as a US Park. Unspoiled and pristine dunes are home to more than 380 varieties of migratory birds, and wildlife abounds. As a barrier island, the West side is bordered by the Laguna Madre. The Laguna Madre, which is Spanish for “Mother Lagoon,” is home to a beautiful diversity in wildlife, vegetation, and unique habitats. With steady winds and mild weather, the Laguna Madre is a favorite spot for windsurfers and parasurfers alike. Fisherman enjoy a protected launch from Bird Island Basin, with ample parking for boats and trailers. The east side of the island is bordered by the Gulf of Mexico, with sand beaches and miles of shells.

 

North Padre Island National Seashore PINSVisitors enjoy the Malaquite Visitors Center, open year round offering great educational opportunities for visitors about the history of the area, and it’s most significant concern, the Kemp’s ridley sea turtle, the most endangered sea turtle species in the world, which nests on the beach from late April through mid-July.The National Seashore is also one of the few places people can see newly hatched Kemp’s ridleys released into the wild. Vehicle access to Malaquite Beach is limited on PINS, so plan a short walk from the Visitors Center down a boardwalk to enjoy the main beach. Vehicle access is available on PINS “North Beach” – but 4×4 vehicles are generally suggested. With a small fee to enter the park, paid either annually or as a day-pass, crowds to PINS are generally less than the open beaches of Padre Island. A beach parking sticker is required for the main beaches on Padre Island, which include those near Bob Hall Pier, at the Seawall, next to Packery Channel, and into Mustang Island and Port Aransas.

 

Surfing is a popular pastime on the Island, with a few shops that rent and sell equipment, and even provide lessons. Whatever beach you choose to visit, be sure that you adhere to a few simple rules. First, be sure and have a parking sticker; fines are as much as $250 if you’re ticketed. No glass is allowed on any beach areas and open fires (bonfires) are subject to seasonal bans – be sure and plan in advance. Lifeguard stations are also seasonal with hours that vary from week to week. Be sure and check the boards as you enter the beach for specific information. Driving on the beach is allowed, but be sure and obey all traffic signs and speed limits and watch out for pedestrians!
We think you’ll agree, North Padre Island has some of the most accessible, natural and friendly beaches anywhere in the world. Come Coast Awhile!

 

Top Restaurant Picks for “The Island”

North Padre Island’s proximity to the Gulf Coast is often cited as one of the reasons for moving. The affordable homes, mild temperatures, local school choices and active lifestyles are just a few of the reasons why more families are choosing “The Island” as their full-time home.

Dining choices on North Padre Island and the surrounding communities are just as pleasing, with something sure to please everyone. Here are a few of our favorites:

Dragonfly - Dragonfly would certainly be right at home on any street in the South of France. Locals and visitors to Upper Padre Island alike are delighted that Chef Dominique and his staff offer fresh, local cuisine with a decidedly International flair. Try the Tomato Basil Soup or any of the salads – they’re well-loved favorites and don’t skip the Creme Brulee for dessert. Hours vary depending on the season and specials change daily – but they’re always amazing.

Curacao Blues – Dragonfly’s little sister is all grown up. Serving tapas (small plates) of similarly prepared deliciousness, Curacao Blues also offers an eclectic beer and wine selection, and added “family-style” seating.

Snoopy’s – The local fresh-fish joint. Counter service and cash-only make this place an efficient haven for great fish and chips, oysters, shrimp and sides. It needs to be efficient – it’s very often the busiest place on the Island, with the best view of the sunset over the Laguna Madre. Everything is battered and cooked to order so be prepared for a short wait, but it’s definitely worth it. In the summer be sure to visit “Scoopy’s” next door for ice cream!

Doc’s – Next door to Snoopy’s is the fine dining choice, Doc’s. A full bar, weekend entertainment, hand-cut steaks and innovative seafood selections keep Doc’s patrons coming back week after week. Try the stuffed flounder – trust us, you’ll have enough for the next day’s lunch, and the freshly prepared and never frozen seafood stuffing is sublime.

Padre Pizzeria – Islanders know that they’ve got it pretty great when it comes to pizza. Locally owned Padre Pizzeria is gourmet pizza through and through. Hand tossed crust, fresh ingredients, perfect spices… and they deliver, too! Nothing beats an Amore Roma, with a caesar salad after the long 15 minute commute home from work.

Sushi Bar – We all wondered if Islanders would embrace a gorgeous, upscale sushi bar here on Upper Padre Island – after all, being a fishing village of sorts, most of us think of sushi as bait! We’re all delighted that Sushi Bar is now world-famous for the freshest, most flavorful rolls, as well as the perfect presentation and taste – and we’re proud that they’ve help put Upper Padre Island on the culinary map.

North Padre Island offers locals and visitors a wide variety of dining choices – these are just a few of our favorites. If you have a favorite tell us about it in the comments!

Writer: Chelle Honiker-Yarbrough

 

North Padre Island School Choices

Local School Options for Padre Island Residents

If you’re considering relocating to North Padre Island, one of the biggest considerations is the quality of life and community. Nothing adds to that community like our schools and of course North Padre Island Real Estate is blessed with choices not found in other Coastal Areas.

north padre island schools seashore learning centerSeashore Learning Center / Seashore Middle Academy
The jewel in the crown of North Padre Island’s education option are the Exemplary Charter Schools operated by the Island Foundation. Started by a group of parents in 1995 after a failed bond election, Seashore Learning Center was a “First Generation” Charter School, and remains the only school in the state to have maintained Recognized or Exemplary Ratings every year since it opened. Charter schools are public schools, tuition free and open enrollment. They adhere to the same standards as other public school, but have the added layer of accountability and requirements set forth by their charter – meaning the hopes, wishes and needs of the parents! Charter schools are free to innovate, and you’ll find no shortage of that around campus. Combined classrooms, family style lunches teaching manners and etiquette and unique teaching styles are all part of the “Seashore Way”.

With the great success of Seashore Learning Center, the Board of Directors of the Island Foundation in 2005 saw a way to expand and create a Middle Academy – college prep, with a strong math and science curriculum.  Partnering with the community to secure land donations, and after privately raising the start up capital, the Academy opened to rave reviews and happy students.

In addition to K-8 Education, the Island Foundation also offers Pre-K school and childcare. Visit their website at www.islandfoundation.com.

READ THE PARENT REVIEWS OF SEASHORE LEARNING CENTER

78418 Schools Flour Bluff Schools
Just over the bridge from the Island is one of the largest and most respected School Districts in the Coastal Bend. The Mighty Hornets are the home to some of the finest athletes, scholars, musicians and actors and some have gone on to National success!

Six campuses and athletic facilities are located on a single 170 acre site which supports 5,600 students in prekindergarten through 12th grades. The district is extremely competitive in academic and athletic programs and has participated in the district, regional, or state competitions for many years. A list of the 2007-2008 district accomplishments is listed on the website. The University Preparatory High School Program was launched in 2006 as part of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to establish a program for high school freshman to complete two years of college credit upon completion of their high school diploma.

The Board of Trustees was selected by the Texas Association of School Administrators as the Outstanding School Board of the Year 2000, and is the only school board in Region 2 who are continually commended by State Board of Education for completing Level II and III Complete Board-Superintendent Leadership Team training.

The district and the City of Corpus Christi have developed a partnership in 2000 with the opening of the Janet F. Harte Public Library located on school property which serves as both the high school library and the city public library.

READ THE PARENT REVIEWS OF FLOUR BLUFF HIGH SCHOOL

Private School Options
Rounding out the school choices for Padre Islanders are the many fine Private and Parochial Schools that Corpus Christi has to offer. College-prep Annapolis Christian Academy offers Pre-K through 12th grade education, with a Classical Christian emphasis. 100% of graduating Seniors have been accepted to prestigious schools like Texas A&M, Baylor, Trinity University, MIT and others. (Read the Parent Reviews of Annapolis Christian Academy)

Incarnate Word Academy is a respected and renowned Catholic K-12th grade school with emphasis on academics and the newest High School, John Paul II, has already distinguished itself as an athletic powerhouse in South Texas.

Relocation to any new place can be unnerving, but Moms and Dads on Upper Padre Island can relax, knowing that their education choices are varied and exemplary. If you have any other questions, be sure and ask one of your Coastline Properties Associates.