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Cover 07/10/2013

Beaches Be Trippin': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Photo: Photo by Callie Enlow, License: N/A

Photo by Callie Enlow

Not a bad view in Port A


Maybe you take the “getting away from it all” aspect of vacations literally, and you just want to get away, from. it. all. Check Boca Chica State Park, a secret spot Brownsville has been keeping for years, only recently blown up by a Texas Monthly cover and the announcement that SpaceX has been buying up lots just a quarter-mile away for a potential launch site.
Despite being a state park, there’s zero infrastructure (not even porta potties), though you can camp, fish, and swim. The water is clear and you can drive on the beach, or take a four-wheeler, the preferred transportation method of locals. Some people even take metal detectors to search for buried treasure leftover from pirate days. The nearby mouth of the Rio Grande provides some of the world’s best bird-watching at the World Birding Center, as well as excellent fishing and paddling opportunities. If the Survivor shtick gets old, Brownsville is just 20-40 minutes away. The Brownsville natives I interviewed all mentioned that upon leaving Boca Chica, you’ll pass through a border patrol checkpoint, and you know what that means.

Sleep: Camping is the only option on Boca Chica. Again, it’s worth repeating that things like lights, showers, toilets, and pavilions aren’t available. Call the Brownsville CVB, (800) 626-2639, for details.

Food: If you tire of spit-roasting your fresh-caught fish Hunger Games-style, make the trek to Brownsville and check out the wonderfully named Toddle Inn (1740 Central) for breakfast tacos or downtown’s teeny-tiny Rutledge Hamburgers (1126 E Washington) later in the day.

Nightlife: Naked dance party by the campfire, anyone?

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