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16 Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Late Spring 2016 16 Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Winter 2015-1616 Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Late Spring 2016 18 Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Late Spring 2016 Corpus Christi with a population of about 300000 is the metropolitan center of the Coastal Bend and is home to the fifth-busiest port in the U.S. a prosperous and growing petrochemical industry Naval Air Station C.C. and the C.C. Army Depot and the ever-expand- ing Texas AM University C.C. Downtown Corpus Christi is located in the northeast end of the city along Cor- pus Christi Bay and is where youll find numerous hotels the seawall the Ameri- can Bank Center arena and convention center and the citys museums including Science and History Asian Cultures and the Art Museum of South Texas. The Harbor Bridge extends over the Port of Corpus Christi to North Beach and on to Portland and the North Bay Area. North Beach is where you find the U.S.S. Lexington aircraft carrier Museum and the Texas State Aquarium along with a full-service hotel and nu- merous motels and condominiums plus a mile-long stretch of pedestrian friendly beach on Corpus Christi Bay. On the South Side of Corpus Christi be sure to visit the South Texas Botanical Gardens Nature Center on S. Staples St. past Yorktown Blvd. The South Padre Island Drive SPID freeway takes you to North Padre Island The Island and to our Gulf of Mexico beaches. The Laguna Madre is the long large body of water that runs between Padre Island and the mainland Flour Bluff. Baffin Bay is lo- cated farther south along Laguna Madre and is accessible by land at Riviera Beach a few miles south of Kingsville. Padre Isles on North Padre Island is the largest waterfront community outside the state of Florida andThe Islandof- fers miles of beautiful beaches restau- rants shopping and the Padre Island National Seashore. Packery Channel separates North Padre and Mustang Islands and provides direct boating access to the Gulf of Mexico. Mustang Island is home to numerous beachfront condominiums and private homes and Knowing Your Way Around the Coastal Bend Welcome leads northward to Port Aransas Port A a fast growing fishing villagethat attracts affluent vacationers and second home owners sportfishing and nature enthusiasts golfers and beachgoers from across Texas and the US. Aransas Pass and Conn Brown Harbor are north of Port A across the ship channel via a 24-hour vehicle ferry and is home to a revitalized downtown area and excellent marina facilities. Just 2 12 hours south of San Antonio and east of Laredo 3 12 hours south of Austin and Houston and about a day south of DFW by car. Free Online Versions of every TCBM issue at www.thecoastalbend.com Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Late Spring 2016 19 Texas Coastal Bend Area Institutions of Interest Major Medical Facilities Christus-Spohn Health System The Coastal Bends leading healthcare provider operating three major medical centers three regional hospitals and numerous satellite facilities including the regional trauma center stroke care center and heart hospital. christusspohn.org Driscoll Childrens Hospital Regional childrens hospital has served the entire South Texas community for over a half century providing the very finest leading edge medical and thera- peutic care. Main facilities in Corpus Christi and the Rio Grande Valley. driscollchildrens.org Higher Education Texas AM University Corpus Christi The ever-expandingIsland University now serves over 10000 students offers 33 undergraduate majors 25 graduate programs and two doctoral degrees and competes in NCAA Division I sports. tamucc.edu Del Mar College Corpus Christis community college is one of the most accredited in the U.S. and offers associates degrees voca- tional training and adult education programs in dozens of fields on two main campuses a satellite economic development center and South Side campus to come. delmar.edu United States Military Naval Air Station Corpus Christi Headquarters for U.S. Navy Air Training Command celebrates its 75th anniver- sary in 2016 and is where thousands learned to fly including George H.W. Bush and John McCain. Also home to the Corpus Christi Army Depot largest military helicopter repair facility and largest civilian employer in the region. Naval Air Station Kingsville Fifty miles southwest of Corpus Christi is NAS Kingsville jet aviation training base for Navy and U.S. Marine pilots. The base hosts the 2016 Wings Over South Texas air show which features the famed Blue Angels demonstration squadron. 20 Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Late Spring 2016 Downtown North Beach TheLady Lexset more combat records than any carrier in U.S. Naval history and today rests in Cor- pus Christi Bay as the U.S.S. Lexington Museum on the Bay a tribute and memorial to those who served defending America. The sights and sounds are so real and so intense you become a part of the story the second you step foot aboard this World War II era aircraft carrier. 2914 N. Shoreline Blvd. on North Beach 361 888-4873 www.usslexington.com The Texas State Aquarium is one of the Coastal Bends top visitor attractions because it delivers the ultimate Gulf of Mexico experience bring- ing the undersea world to you up close and in person The artificial reef exhibit in the 125000 gallon main tank is home to dozens of species of fish including rays and sharks as well as countless shellfish and other invertebrates. 2710 N. Shoreline Blvd. on North Beach 800 477-GULF texasstateaquarium.org CorpusChristi Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Late Spring 2016 21 Art Museum of South Texas has for over 40 years been considered one of the leading museums of fine art in the state of Texas and in some respects the entire U.S. Permanent exhibits include work from South Texas Southwestern and Latin American art- ists in nearly all media. Traveling exhibits from some of the countrys leading museums and private collec- tions regularly visit the Art Museum of South Texas. 1902 N. Shoreline Blvd. Downtown 361 825-3500 artmuseumofsouthtexas.org Corpus Christi Museum of Science History chronicles over 500 years of South Texas history as well as the archeological and geological profile of the area. The museums Paleontology dinosaur and History of Guns exhibits are particularly popular. The museums brand new 3 million science education center opens this spring and offer kids hands-on learning experiences. 1900 N. Chaparral St. Downtown 361 826-4650 www.ccmuseum.com Getting Close to Nature South Texas Botanical Gardens Nature Center is definitiely not your grandmothers botanical garden Showcasing a 2600 sq. ft. screened Butterfly House Anderson Bromeliad Conserva- tory landmark Orchid House majestic Rose Garden and seasonal Plumeria Garden. Admire Sensory Gardenartscapeand diversity of quaint Hummingbird and desert Arid Gardens. Meet the new Resident Reptiles and colorful exotic parrots. Explore native habi- tat on the shaded Brennecke Nature Trail with its birding tower and bronze wildlife by world-renowned sculptor Kent Ullberg. From the rustic Palapa Grande enjoy serene views of Gator Lake and take an educational stroll through vast natural wetlands. 8545 S. Staples St. on South Side of Corpus Christi Open Daily 96 361 852-2100 stxbot.org Texas State Museum of Asian Cultures is home to an impressive collec- tion of art and artifacts from all corners of Asia. Learn about ancient Asian customs gaze at the art- istry of Japanese kimonos porcelains and even a rick- shaw Artifacts from India Sri Lanka Japan Hmong Thailand The Philippines Korea Taiwan Laos and Myanmer. 1809 N. Chaparral St. asianculturesmuseum.org Explore the Lore of Texas Surf The Texas Surf Museum chronicles the 50 year history of surfing on the Texas Gulf Coast with exhibits that include vintage surf boards photographs fins newspa- per articles and even a real Ford Woody. Interactive ex- hibits take visitors through the history of Texas surf and vintage surf films are shown in the museums movie theater. See footage and photos of hurricane surfing on the Texas coast including surfers being arrested The museum is located in Water Street Market home to the Executive Surf Club a Texas surf-themed restaurant and tavern. 309 N. Water St. Downtown 361 888-7873 info online visitcorpuschristitx.org usslexington.com texasstateaquarium.com ccmuseum.com artmuseumofsouthtexas.org americanbankcenter.com cchooks.com concretestreet.net artcentercc.org hurricanealleycc.com cctexas.com caller.com cctexas.com ortizcenter.com thecoastalbend.com Downtown Pub Crawl A tour of pubs and taverns in Downtown Corpus Christi will take you to a myriad of fun scenes and cool crowds. House of Blues StarrMesquite features rock and reggae nightly and now serves food. Cheers Starr St. is a D-town favorite with a fun local crowd. Dr. Rockits Blues Bar ChaparralStarr is home to awesome bartenders and great music almost-nightly just south is Mulligans Pub popular sports bar. Cassidys Irish Pub Water Peoples offers a fun scene with live music on weekends. Aria Sky Lounge ChapparalLawrence is a chic alternative dance club with rooftop terrace bar featured DJs on weekends. Havana Club SchatzelWater is a beautiful club featuring live Latin music on weekends the Republic ofTexas Bar Omni Hotel is a classic piano bar with amazing view Railroad Seafood Station ChaparralPower St. features Downtowns only brewery. Mirador de la Flor The Selena Memorial This beautiful dedication to the memory of Corpus Christis beloved Selena is located on North Shoreline Blvd.People St. T-Head BryanTumlinson Photo 22 Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Late Spring 2016 CorpusChristi Corpus Christis beloved Selena to be celebrated at Fiesta de la Flor festival this May Two-day event will feature a dozen musical acts honoring the Queen of Tejano at the beautiful Corpus Christi Bayfront Park Thousands of devoted fans from across the United States and around the world will descend upon Corpus Christis North Bayfront Park on North Shoreline Blvd. Friday May 6th and Saturday May 7th to honor the music and legacy of Selena Quintanilla Perez theQueen of Tejano Musicand pride of Corpus Christi her adopted hometown where her career was launched. TheFiesta de la FlorFestival of Flowers celebration will feature a dozen Tejano acts live on stage including Latin Grammy winners La Mafia Selenas widower and Los Dinos band mate Chris Perez Ramon AyalaThe Voicecontestant Clarissa Serna Pete Astudillo Erick Y Su Grupo Massore David Lee Garza Jorge Moreno Fito Olivares Ruben Ra- mos Elida Reyna and Isabel Marie Sanchez. On Friday eve- ning a special screening of the filmSelenawill be presented the movie that launched the career of Jennifer Lopez and was filmed in Corpus Christi and around South Texas. The event site on the northernmost end of North Shoreline Blvd. near the American Bank Center will include an artisan vendorstent food truck area and kidszone. Admission will be 5 for adults 2 for children under 12 and five and under kids free. The event opens at 530 p.m. Friday April 17th and 1000 a.m. on Saturday the 18th. A complete schedule and other details are available on the event web site fiestadelaflor.com A Note from the EditorI find it heartbreaking to consider what we lost on March 31 1995 when Selena Quin- tanilla Perez was taken from us at the hands of her embittered former fan club president. In her short life of just 23 years Selena earned her place as a bona fide superstar in the world of Tejano music and a source of immense pride in the hearts of Corpus Christians. I personally saw Selena perform live only once on March 8 1995 just 23 days before her tragic death at the grand opening of the Hard Rock Cafe in San Antonio in front of a small crowd of a few hundred. She sang in Spanish and in English her first language and every person in the audience who did not know her music was mesmerized by her incredible talent. Without a doubt Selena was destined to be- come a major star with the mainstream American audience as she had become with millions of Latin music fans in the United States Mexico and around the world. We are blessed to be left with her music and her rich legacy. chris perez ramon ayala clarissa serna and la mafia all performing at fiesta de la flor Weezer and Panic At the Disco to play Concrete Street Saturday June 11 Legendary Alternative band Weezer was formed way back in 1992 in Los Angeles and have since sold over nine million albums in the U.S. and over 17 million worldwide. Weezers debut album The Blue Album features now-classic hitsBuddy HollyUndoneThe Sweater SongandSay It Aint So.Subsequent effort produced hitsHash PipeIsland in the SunandBev- erly Hills.Las Vegas PopRock band Panic At the Disco was formed in 2004 and has released such hits asI Write Sins Not TragediesandNine in the Afternoon. Both band take the stage at Corpus Christis beautiful outdoor concert venue Concrete Street Amphitheater on Saturday June 11. concretestreet.net Get Ready to Laugh Here comes Katt Williams For almost 20 years Katt Williams has been entertain- ing audiences on film and on television with his special brand of make-you-cry-laughing humor based on his pimppersona made famous in the film Friday After Next. He has appeared on NYPD Blue The Boondocks My Wife and Kids and even the video game Grand Theft Auto IV. Katts most popular performances are his stand up comedy act which he will perform live at American Bank Center Arena Friday May 21. americanbankcenter.com Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Late Spring 2016 23 American Bank Center Regional multi-purpose venue hosts concerts for up to 10000 in the Arena and smaller performances in the Selena Auditorium. Thurday May 5 Arena Def Leopard STYX and Tesla1980s Hair Rock in all its glory. Monday May 9 Sunday May 22 Arena Corpus Christi Fury FootballSemi-pro American Indoor Football League home games. Saturday May 14 and Saturday June 18 Exhibit Hall Hurricane Alley Roller Derby H.A.R.D.Old school fun at local roller derby home match. Saturday May 21 Arena Katt Williams Conspiracy Theory TourLegendary comedian live on Corpus Christis biggest stage. americanbankcenter.com Concrete Street Amphitheater Sunday May 29 Bash at the Beachwith Josh Abbott Band Pat Green and More. Saturday June 11 Weezer and Panic At the Disco. Monday June 27 In This Moment. concretestreet.net LiveonStage Brewster Street Ice House Bar restaurant and concert venue with family-friendly kidszone. May 6 The Spazmatics May 7 Duke E. Brown May 11 Sheriff Kaelin Fundraiser and Concert May 12 Rich OToole and Steven James The Jaded May 13 Scarecrow People May 14 2nd Saturday Sing-Along Piano Bar May 19 Marty Haggard with J.R. Castillo May 20 James Little Band May 21 Metal Shop May 26 Josh Ward Band with Midnight River Choir May 27 Rotel and the Hot Tomatoes May 28 Hip Hop Hooray June 4 Aaron Watson with Ned Ledoux Cameran Nelson June 9 Turnpike Troubadours with The Old 97s and the Os June 17 Jerry Diaz Hannahs Reef June 23 Wade Bowen. 1724 North Tancahua 361 884-2739 brewsterstreet.net Rockits Whiskey Bar Saloon This classic downtown bar is also one of the citys most popular live music venues featuring free no cover live music on Thursdays locan and regional bands on the weekends First Fridays with Clarissa Serna and Open Mic Mondays. 709 N. Chaparral St. 361 360-0330 rockitscc.com Executive Surf Club Popular Water Street Market restaurant and tavern features local and Texas bands most nights of the week. Home of great hamburgers sandwiches and beer on tap. 309 N. Water Street 361 884-7873 executivesurfclub.com def leopard panic at the disco spazmatics turnpike troubadours Pat green 24 Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Late Spring 2016 CorpusChristi LiveonStageHarbor Playhouse The Little Mermaid June 3July 17 Ariel King Tritons youngest daughter wishes to pursue the human Prince Eric in the world above and bargains with the evil sea witch Ursula to trade her tail for legs. But the bargain is not what it seems and Ariel needs the help of her colorful friends Flounder the fish Scuttle the seagull and Sebastian the crab to restore order under the sea. Disneys The Little Mermaid is a hauntingly beautiful love story for the ages. One Bayfront Park harborplayhouse.com Aurora Arts Theater I Want to be a Princess May 14Three Performances An original play about a little girl who was calledprincessby her father and went about trying to become one for real. The Vatos Locos of Comedy May 2021 Three zany stand up comics all from the streets of Corpus Christi provide a night of side-splitting comedy. Avenue Q June 3 July 7 The laugh-out-loud musical tells the timeless story of a recent college grad named Princeton who moves into a shabby New York apartment all the way out on Avenue Q. This is a truly unique show that has quickly become a favorite for audiences everywhere. Although the show addresses humorous adult issues it is similar to a beloved childrens show a place where puppets are friends monsters are good and life lessons are learned. 5635 Everhart Rd. auroraartstheatre.com the little mermaid avenue q Beach Ball Carnivale at Texas State Aquarium Come enjoy the best beach party in South Texas with a Caribbean flair this year - Beach Ball Carnivale at the Texas State Aquarium. The Aquariums fundraiser will marry the colors and sounds of Carnivale with the casual atmosphere and fun of a beach party. Enjoy an evening of dinner drinks music entertainment animal am- bassadors and a chance to purchase some amazing auction items. Headline entertain- ment for the evening will be the Surf City All-Stars featuring original members of the Beach Boys and Jan Dean. All proceeds raised will go to support the Texas State Aquarium. texasstateaquarium.org Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Late Spring 2016 25 CorpusChristi Mesquite Street Comedy Club The promoters at Mesquite Street Comedy Club have put together a consistent venue for nationally known stand up comics like Jim Breuer Chris Kattan and Pauly Shore. Visiting this Spring Carlos Mencia May 19-21Yes the Mind of Mencia is coming to Corpus Christi. Mencia has worked as one of the top touring comics for over 20 years. Dustin Ybarra May 19-21As seen on The Goldbergs and Gotham. Chris Kattan A Night at the Roxbury Tour with guest Javi Luna June 3 SNL legend and comedy film icon returns to Corpus Christi for two big shows on June 3. 615 Mesquite St. Downtown laughdowntown.com carlos mencia Art Museum of South Texas Liquid Light Photographs from Beneath the Sea Through July 10 The portfolio of artistsmultiple efforts in the genre of underwater photography includes nine photographers with multiple works in silver gelatin and palladium print techniques. The portfolio is an outgrowth of that new awareness of working with the marine imagery of Ernest Brooks. The Marine Art Photography Portfolio is an invitation to see freshly and to be aware of some of the wonder-filled and mysterious work being done that is rarely seen. 1902 N. Shoreline Blvd. artmuseumofsouthtexas.orgchris kattan 26 Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Late Spring 2016 CorpusChristi Hurricane Alley Waterpark The citys downtown waterpark features five water slides including the epicCat 5 which towers 65 feet above the complex and spirals two-person tubes through a thrilling series of turns. The swim-up bar is a big hit with grown-ups. Hurricane Alley is directly adjacent to Whataburger Field where the Corpus Christi Hooks play offering the perfect afternoon package of waterpark fun plus a pro baseball game in one of the most beautiful settings in Texas. Open weekends in May daily starting Memorial Day Weekend 702 E. Port Ave. hurricanealleycc.com Pro Baseball on the Bayfront Corpus Christi Hooks Baseball The Corpus Christi Hooks are the AA affiliate of the Houston Astros playing in the Texas League. The team has introduced a number of Major League stars to profes- sional baseball like Hunter Pence outfielder for the former world champions San Francisco Giants. Whataburger Field East Port Ave. cchooks.com Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Late Spring 2016 27 ButterfliesReptilesParrotsOhMy Thisinformal rather outside-the-box botanical garden showcases its beautiful new Orchid Conservatory Rose Garden artful Sensory Garden screened Butterfly House Bromeliad ConservatoryseasonalPlumeriaGardenandmuchmore. Meet our Resident Reptiles and vibrant Exotic Parrots. Explore trails Birding Tower and wetland boardwalk. Shop Natures Boutique. Flora Fauna FUN Open Daily 9am to 6pm ExceptThanksgiving Day Christmas Eve Christmas Day. 8545 S. Staples St. Corpus Christi 361-852-2100 www.stxbot.org Food Truck Fridays A La Mano Food Truck Fridays is the bringing together of some of the citys favorite mobile vendors. Last Fri day of the Month Bayfront Park North Shoreline Blvd. Americas Largest Relay Marathon Saturday May 21st Some 16000 runners from all over the U.S. and across the world will run the 41st Annual Beach to Bay Relay Marathon which starts on North Padre Island and finished on the Corpus Christi Bayfront.This challenging race takes runners over the JFK Causeway from the island and up Ocean Dr. to downtown. beachtobayrelay.com Gastropub Now Open A place where both food and cocktails are created with care and creativity This is the gastropub and Corpus Christi is now enjoying its first ever such establishment namely The Post at Lamar Park. Take a dive and enjoy something different like a custom house cocktail or fish tacos presented as youve never seen before. 411 Doddridge St. in Lamar Park Center 361 452-0907 28 Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Late Spring 2016 Best Golfing Value in Texas In a time when Corpus Christis private country club golf courses have dropped like flies the City of Corpus Christis municipal courses are in the best condition in their history thanks to a management deal embarked upon with Foresight Golf based in Boerne. The Oso Beach Golf Course is located at the southern end of S. Alameda St. near the intersection of Ennis Joslin Rd. and Ocean Dr. and was the site of major competitions in its early days featuring legends like Ben Hogan and Sam Snead. The Gabe Lozano Golf Center is located on the citys west side on Old Brownsville Rd. and features both an 18-hole championship course and a 9-hole executive course. Both facilities are beautifully maintained offer instruc- tion by PGA certified professionals both for individu- als and groups and have driving ranges and putting greens. Best of all you will find the lowest fees by far making Corpus Christis courses the best golfing value in all of Texas Portland Texas for Adventure Portland is a sought-after location for kiteboarders and windsurfers who come for the consistent winds of the bays and comfortable spots to rig their gear. Sunset Lake is a 333-acre public park with pristine wetlands along a saltwater lake outlined by a two-mile hike and bike trail. The area is a happening place for nature- lovers and is ideal for birding fishing kayaking and sailing. Fishing is great at Indian Point Pier which is at the end of Sunset Lake Park. Fred Jones Sanctuary and Violet Andrews Park are also both ecologically rich protected areas. North of Corpus Christi Hwy. 181 Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Late Spring 2016 29 Public Tennis Facilities H.E.B. Tennis Center has hosted major tennis events over its storied 50-year history and is the tennis home for thousands of Corpus Christians. 1520 Shely St. 361 888-5681 premiertennisacademy. com Al Kruse Tennis Center is named in honor of a local teaching legend and is conveniently located near downtown and the bayfront. 502 King St. 361 883-6942 High School Facilities at CCISDs King and Carroll High Schools are free and open to the public on weekends and when school is not in session and when the courts not in use by school teams or their players. King High School 5225 Gollihar Rd. Carroll High School 5301 Weber Rd. Golf Tennis Oso Beach Municipal Golf Course is one of two City of Corpus Christi public facilities located on the south side of town near Oso Bay. 5601 S. Alameda St. 361 826-8010 ososbeachgolf.com Gabe Lozano Golf Center is the second municipal course located on the citys west side and includes an 18-hole regulation course a 9-hole executive course and a lighted driving range. 4401 Old Brownsville Rd. 361 826-8016 lozanogolfcenter.com Schlitterbahn Golf Club on North Padre Island is lo- cated adjacent to the new water park and features nine championship holes available for daily play. 14353 Commodores Dr. 361 949-8006 schlitterbahn.com NorthShore Country Club north of Corpus Christi in Portland is one of the most picturesque courses in Tex- as. Available for daily play Mon-Thurs and everyday via reciprocal country club membership. 801 E. Broadway Ave. Portland 361 643-1546 northshoretx.com Palmilla Beach Golf Club in Port Aransas is one of the few true Scottish-style links courses in the U.S. and is the newest course in the Coastal Bend. 265 Palm Island Dr. Port Aransas 361 749-4653 palmillabeach.com 30 Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Late Spring 2016 SPID Commercial Zone Map SPID Freeway Weber to Greenwood Map SPID Zone Not to Miss Bourbon Street Candy Co.Everyone loves candy and this is the place to find the very best. 361 249-6727 La Palmera 2nd level next to Dillards Takeniwa Asian BistroFantastic sushi live cooking show at hibachi tables. 361 336-6888 5216 SPID near La Palmera Get Air Corpus ChristiIndoor trampoline and bounce park fun for kids of all ages 361 249-9227 4701 S. Staples St. BenjaminsThe Coastal Bends favorite surf skate and beachwear shop. 361 993-2520 1233 Airline Rd. McArdle La Palmera Mall CorpusChristi get air c.c. Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Late Spring 2016 31 Flour Bluff Map Corpus Christis southernmost mainland community is the gateway to Padre and Mustang Islands and is home to friendly down-to-earth folks and exceptional public schools. Flour Bluff is also where Naval Air Station Corpus Christi is located which has instilled a strong military tradition in the community. SPID FreewayFar South Side Map CorpusChristi 32 Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Late Spring 2016 Padre Island is the longest barrier island in the world and the second largest island in the US to Long Island NY. Padre Isles is the largest waterfront development in the US outside the state of Florida with some 4000 single and multi-family homes located on the com- munitys extensive network of canals. Although the vast majority of homes in Padre Isles include boat docks andor lifts and many residents own ocean-worthy rec- reational vessels until 2006 the closest pas- sage into the Gulf of Mexico was through the Port Aransas Ship Channel more than 20 miles and over an hour north. More beaches greater beach access than any destination on the Entire U.S. Gulf Coast COLLEGEYOUNG ADULT ZONE FAMILY-FRIENDLY BEACH ZONE The official opening of Packery Channel in October 2006 was the culmination of decades of effort by hundreds of Texans at all levels of government. Not only does the channel provide direct access to the gulf in less than five nautical miles of most homes but contrary to envi- ronmentalistswarnings about negative ecological consequences water quality in Laguna Madre and in North Padres canal system was significantly improved as was the fishing with the opening of Packery Channel. North Padre Mustang Islands T heres no question that the Coastal Bends gulf beaches are the number one attraction for visitors any time of yearand who can blameem While spring weather in the Coastal Bend and most of Texas for that matter is anything but predictable our islands tend to offer the most hospitable climate for any kind of outdoor activity. High daytime temperatures in mid-March can range from 50F after a strong cold front to 85F under high pressure and southeasterly winds. So whether its campfires and ponchos or board short and bikinis our island beaches are where to be this spring. The islands offer the most and the most accessible beaches in Texas for surfing fishing sandcastle building or justchillinunder the sun. Padre and Mustang Islands beckon you this spring 34 Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Late Spring 2016 North Padre Mustang Islands For lucky Coastal Bend residents its easy to take for granted the fact that we are surrounded quite literally by saltwater. Aside from the Gulf of Mexico our bays and estuaries provide some very fertile fishing waters some of the best in the state of Texas which are virtually all accessible to the public. Some of the best Fall fishing spots are located on and on the way to North Padre and Mustang Islands. For easy reference see Upper Laguna Madre Fishing Map on page 72. JFK CausewayThis is the over water highway from mainland Corpus Christi Flour Bluff to North Padre Island. Take thelow roadexit before the curve at Humble Channel which is straddled by Cos-Way and Red Dot bait stands both with fishing piers that run along the channel a major migration route for Redfish Speckled Trout and Flounder. Continue on the low side of the causeway toward the island for easy wade fishing access to Laguna Madre. Packery ChannelFrom Padre Island turn north on Highway 361 toward Port Aransas. You will see the Packery Channel Bridge and easy parking areas on both sides of the bridge that provide direct ac- cess to this very busy route for migrating fish between the Gulf of Mexico Laguna Madre and Corpus Christi Bay. Mustang Island State ParkFarther north on High- way 361 you will see state park structures on the ocean side but you will also see unpaved access roads on the west side of the highway which lead you to productive wade fishing along the back side of the island in Corpus Christi Bay. Just pull over and start fishin Driving on the Beach with dignity DO Stop before entering soft high sand and plan your route Use a low gear Proceed at a brisk steady speed Use flat boards or even seaweed under your tires for traction if you get stuck Rock your vehicle out of sand if you get stuck DONT Assume yourall wheel drivevehicle performs like a 4-wheel drive Stop in high sand like you would in snow Gun your accelerator in an angry attempt to get unstuck CussCry Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Late Spring 2016 35 North Padre Mustang Islands Choosing the right beachfor your fun in the sun can be the biggest decision you make for your Spring Break in the Coastal Bend. J.P Luby Surf Park just north of Packery Channel between Zahn Rd. and Newport Pass Rd. is where youll find the party people collegeyoung adult crowd. On the south side of Packery Channel along the Michael J. Ellis Seawall and south to the Padre Balli Park and Bob Hall Pier area families with young kids find the most hospitable beach setting. Farther south on Padre Island you will find the least regulated and maintained area of the beach which extends 12 miles south to the northern edge of the Padre Island National Seashore. If you are taking a large group that prefers greater privacy this may the beach zone for you but we advise traveling in trucksSUVs preferably with 4-wheel drive but definitely with higher ground clearance and taking all the supplies youll need for the day. A day at the beachon Padre and Mustang Islands is a largely unique experience as our islands offer the most beach access for vehicles. Parking is allowed permit required in most areas within 50 feet of the wa- ters edge and smart beachgoers this summer will arrive early and prepared. A shade canopy is a good idea as are a bonfire and barbecue pit. Work with the wind and not against it. Glass containers and driving in the dunes are prohibited and all road rules apply to beach driving including seatbelt and DWI laws. A vehicle-free pedestrian beach has recently been established on the southern end of the Padre Island Seawall near Whitecap Beach. Shore Fishingon our islands is plentiful and accessible from dozens of locations. Bob Hall Pier is located at the Nueces County Padre Balli Park south of the hotels and condos and is the site of several record catches. The Packery Channel Jetties offer free direct access to a hot zone of fish migration between the Gulf of Mexico and Laguna Madre. Horses on the Beachbrings visitors a most memorable and exciting experiencehorseback riding on our beautiful North Padre Island beaches www.horsesonthebeachcorpus.com 36 Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Late Spring 2016 jbs German Bakery Cafe serves authentic Ger- man cuisine and fantastic baked delicacies like real strudel Bavarian cream pie and German breads and pastries. Located on a canal JBs offers a wonderful waterfront setting and perfect spot to enjoy a gourmet coffee and delicious breakfast or lunch. 15137 S. Padre Island Dr. Park Rd. 22 north of Whitecap Blvd. Snoopys Pier is long established as one of the Coastal Bends most famous and favorite dining estab- lishments. Enjoy great Gulf seafood hushpuppies and hamburgers in a family setting inside or on the large waterfront deck. Out boating Dock at Snoopys grab an awesome lunch an ice cream from Scoopys next door and head back out on the water. Breathtaking sunsets over Laguna Madre. On the Intracoastal Water way south of the JFK Causeway Docs Seafood SteaksThe Laguna Madre wa- terfront is the setting for this popular island eatery bar and event venue. Docs menu is inspired by the favor- ites that make Coastal Bend seafood famous the world- over including fresh bay flounder served blackened Florentine with a white wine sauce crab-stuffed and even sauted flounder. Docs is located on Padre Island next to the JFK Causeway and offers one of the areas most picturesque waterfront dining experiences On the Intracoastal Waterway south of the JFK Causeway mikel mays beachside bar grill on Bob Hall Pier at the Padre Balli Park on North Padre Island. The public pier is one of the most popular local spots for shore fishing and surfinglast year a world record on- shore catch and release bull shark was caught on the pier adding to its legend. Mikel Mays is a full bar with the best beach view possible along with awesome sliders shrimp oysters a rib eye sub and more. At Bob Hall Pier Nueces County Padre Balli Beach Park Waterfront Dining on Padre Island Jbs german mikel mays Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Late Spring 2016 37 Texas Sealife CenterEach year in the Coastal Bend hundreds of sea animals become injured stranded and otherwise subjected to duress often due to human behavior. For decades bands of ecological volunteers have acted to rescue and rehabilitate injured wildlife but with limited resources and facilities. The Texas Sealife Center was established in 2012 in the Packery Channel Park building on North Padre Island a facility donated by Nueces County. The new center provides space for rescued sea turtles birds mammals and other creatures and works hand-in-hand with Tony AmosAnimal Re- habilitation Keep ARK in Port Aransas. An important element of the sealife rescue mission is educating the public about the dangers of garbage and human interfer- ence with sea animals a core mission of the Texas Sealife Center. 14225 S. Padre Island Dr. on Padre Island Mustang Island State Park encompasses almost 4000 acres that stretch across Mustang Island between North Padre Island and Port Aransas and includes shore- line on both the Gulf of Mexico and Corpus Christi Bay. The facilities area of the park located within the main gate includes RV spaces and campsites restrooms and ranger station. Park beaches tend to be less crowded with fewer vehicles and two rock jetties extend in to the gulf. On the back side of the island a network of flats and marsh zones provides fantastic fishing and birdwatching along with an exten- sive paddling trail. Google Mustang Island State Park Padre Island National Seashore is the native island experience in its rawest form including the best shore fishing in the countrya bold statement to be surebut consider that one of the worlds strongest ocean currents the Gulf of Mexico Loop Current enters the gulf at Mexicos Yucatan Peninsula and ex- its at the Florida Straits and makes its sharpest turn along the National Seashore. The result is that thegut or drop-off between sandbars can be up to 15 feet deep between the shoreline and first sand bar among the deepest in the world. In those deepest near-shore guts big fish are fed on by even bigger fish which makes Big Shell and Little Shell exceedingly popular with shark hunters and other big game fisher- men. The park boasts that some 380 species of birds half of all those identified in the United States have been spotted here The Kemps Ridley Sea Turtle has made an amazing comeback at PINS a major U.S. nesting ground thanks to the efforts of park staff and volunteers. Through these efforts PINS has become one of the more important nesting sites on the Gulf Coast. nps.govpais 361 949-8068 Parks Offer First-hand Marine Education 38 Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Late Spring 2016 Port Aransas P ort AransasPort Ato the locals and part-time locals has fast-become the most popular destination on the Texas Coast for summer vacationers from throughout Texas and from much of the United States. Last year hotel sales were up double digits once again and both commercial and residential construction are at record levels. Fishing charters restaurants and retailers have seen the best times ever and summer 2015 with the arrival of Schlitterbahn right down the road prom- ises to be another record-setter. Coming to Port Aransas this May is what promises to be one of the areas most popular new attractions the Red Dragon Pirate Ship operated by the company that owns the Black Dragon Pirate Ship in South Padre Island. This fully operation vessel takes groups around the channel and bays under the direction of a crew of pirates in full costume. Port Aransas has featured pirate cruises and dolphin watch excursions at Woodys Sports Center for years and other marina locations offer parasailing jet-propelled Fly Board rides and of course fishing charters on both private boats and party boats. Port A the Top Texas Beach Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Late Spring 2016 39 With demand for vacation homes retirement properties and especially overnight rentals in Port A at a boiling point new construction can be seen in just about every scope and size. In 2013 the Newport Dunes Golf Club and adjacent property was purchased by San Antonio-based KoontzMcCombs Development who has held land on the gulf side of Highway 361 and next to Island Moorings Marina and for several years where a condominium project has been on hold since 2009. With the purchase and rebranding of the Newport property to Palmilla Beach Resort Golf Club plus tangible improvements now in place including a new club house restaurant dubbed Black Marlin Bar Grill and golf pro shop the company has taken the first big steps in developing one of the premium waterfront com- munities on the Texas Coast. The City of Port Aransas takes the quality of their beaches seriously so just about every morning you can see workers manicuring the beach with heavy equipment so guests have easy access by car truck golf cart or on their own two feet. Port As gulf beach stretches over 10 miles south to the Mustang Island State Park and are all accessible by vehicle. The town north of Avenue G is a true oceanfront village bustling with laughter and fun activities from great dining to shopping an art center and galleries and even hands-on experiences like pot- tery or model making and painting. You can learn about Port As rich and storied history at the Port Aransas Museum on N. Alister St. and you can get a close look at the world of ocean research at the University of Texas Marine Science Institute visitor center. With all to do in this island paradise one week two weeks or more may just not be long enough this year Port Aransas Art Fiesta Weekend The Art Center of Port Aransas was officially formed in 1996 by a group of enthusiasts and artists who recognized that Mustang Is- land offers endless artistic inspiration and that hundreds of very talented folks find themselves so-inspired. In what has become a May tradition three wonderful art and music events converge on the third weekend of the month. 9th Annual Fiesta de Mayo Friday May 13th at Port Aransas Civic Center 710 W. Avenue A this annual dinner and fundraiser includes live Quick-Draw Art- ists live and silent auctions live music and open bar. This years dinner kicks off a weekend of Art Center events. 11th Annual Port Aransas ArtFest Sat-Sun May 14-15 at Roberts Point Park on the ship channel the ArtFest will feature dozens of local artists and artisans and their work ready and available for sale to the public. 33rd Annual Songwriters Showcase Sunday May 16 700 p.m. at Roberts Point Park one of the most beautiful and relaxing settings on the Texas Coast and the per- fect spot for an evening music festival that brings together local artists residents and visitors. 40 Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Late Spring 2016 While Port A is known across the country for its bounti- ful offshore game fishing onshore fishing is among the best on the Texas coast as well. Surf fishing is of course accessible from almost anywhere on the beach but is more practical in the early mornings before the beach crowds arrive during a busy period like Spring Break. Horace Caldwell Pier is located on the Port Aransas beach at the I.B. Magee Nueces County Park and extends 1200 feet into gulf waters. The pier facility includes a cafe and bait shop and is as popular with surfers as it is with fishermen who pull in redfish drum shark and a variety of other native species. The Port Aransas Jetties form the underwater structure that creates the ship channel which runs between them. The south jetty is located in Port A at the north end of the beach. The north jetty is located on St. Joseph Island St. Jos which is accessible via the privately-run Jetty Boat operating from Fishermans Wharf. Both jetties offer free access to the unique rocky underwater habitat that is home to a unique variety of fish. Terrific Port A Shore Fishing Golf carts the big thing in Port A Golf Carts may be driven on the beach and on city streets with speed limits under 35 mph which pretty much covers the entire town. Carts may not be driven on South Alister TX-361 south of Avenue G and drivers must pull to the side when safe to allow faster vehicles to pass. Always operate with great care 42 Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Late Spring 2016 Port Aransas The University of Texas Marine Science Institute UT- MSI is the oldest and most significant marine research facility on the Gulf Coast established in a beachside cabin in 1941. The facility has excelled over the years in countless marine research projects that have impacted industries including oil and gas exploration shipping and mariculture and have influenced U.S. and international marine pollution and conservation laws. UTMSI welcomes visitors daily where self guided tours and educational movies are among the attractions offered in the visitors center. Seven aquatic displays depict Texas coastal habitats and the organisms that live in them including Spartina black mangrove marsh oyster reef open bay bottom rock jetty and offshore artificial reefs. Other displays in the main building highlight current and past research projects and feature representative specimens and photographs of local plants and animals. 630 E. Cotter Ave. www.utmsi.utexas.edu Marine Science Institute Port A Community Theater This very popular theater group is a mainstay of the Port A community. Weekends in JuneDisneys The Jungle Book is the action-packed adaptation of the classic ad- venture story precocious Mowgli grows up believing hes as fierce a wolf as any of the members of his pack. When he learns he is actually a human he must discover how to reconcile these very different identities. 361 749-6036 portaransascommunitytheatre.com 44 Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Late Spring 2016 Port Aransas the port aransas museum is a worthy testament to one of the most historically significant communities on the Texas Gulf Coast which was established as a cattle and sheep ranching settlement in the 1850s. During the same period steam- ship service was commissioned between Sand Point as the town was then called and New Orleans necessitating the construction of the Aransas Pass Lighthouse on St. Josephs Island. The Tarpon Inn opened its doors in the 1880s and became the center of local sportfishing activity. The Inn and Port A welcomed its most famous angler in 1937 when President Franklin D. Roosevelt caught tarpon from a Farley boat pictured above. The museum is home to local artifacts and over 12000 historical photos. 361 749-3800 N. AlisterBrundrett St. portaransasmuseum.org PALMILLA BEACH GOLF CLUB is among the very few truly authentic Scot- tish-style links courses in the United States. The natural coastal terrain which features an ocean beach and sand dunes followed by native island vegetation on which the course is built are required features of the links course and are all found on Mustang Island. The Arnold Palmer Signature Design course is the golfing legends very first ocean-side design and one in which Palmer placed special attention and oversight. The result is a challenging championship experience the requires players to negoti- ate narrow rolling fairways imposing greens and stacked sets of bunkers in the links tradition. Five sets of tees are offered for a variety of skill levels. 361 749-4653 265 Palm Island Dr. palmillabeach.com 46 Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Late Spring 2016 The people of Port Aransas should be commended for making the choice to invest in a first class community park that offers year-round activities for every member of the family even the four-legged ones The 10000 square foot Skate Park was professionally designed to provide a fun experience for skaters of all ages and skill levels. Features include gaps flats hub- bas and grinds all popular skater lingo plus a seven foot kindey shaped bowl. An Exceptional Community Park The parks beautiful Public Swimming Pool is open daily during the summer and weekends during other warm weather times of the year and offers a wonder- ful family friendly atmosphere complete with certified lifeguards. The Baseball and Softball Fields at the community park are newly constructed and well maintained and offer a place to play for Little League high school and private league games. A one acre Dog Park is open during daylight hours and provides two separate canine play grounds one for large dogs and one for the little guys. Installed toys water stations and waste pick up stations provided as well as fire plugs from the PAVFD. Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Late Spring 2016 47 Port Aransas No vacation to the Coastal Bend is complete without getting your time on the water and unique adventures are abound include pirates dolphins jet skis and even sailing yachts. Woodys Sports Center located on the Port Aransas Marina is home to a variety of waterborne adventures in addition to fishing the most popular of which are its Dolphin Watch Nature Tours. The waters of the Coastal Bend are home to thousands of bottlenose dolphins that seem to find great fun traveling in the wakes of boats and ships. Dolphin Watch takes you up close to these magnificent animals in their natural environment. 136 W. Cotter Ave. 361 749-5252 woodysonline.com Especially during the spring and summer months dolphin excursions have been known to come under mock attack by watergun-wielding pi- rates aboard a second boat. Luckily these are traditional theatrical pirates and not those that have made so much news in recent years. This super-fun adventure is ideal for groups of all ages Paradise Jet Ski Rentals operates dur- ing the spring and summer months at Woodys seven days a week from 900 a.m. to dusk and offers three-seater 1200 hp Yamaha Jet Skis. 361 749-6904. Fun on the Water in Port A Stray Cat Sailing Adventures offers bay and gulf yachting excursions on the 32 Stray Cat sailing catamaran. Pet friendly. 361 416-0054 straycatsailingadventures.com Port A Parasail One of the most popular saltwater adven- ture sports is available all summer. 361 749-4600 portaparasail.com Red Dragon Pirate Cruises offers an in- teractive floating theater pirate themed experience that is fun for the whole fam- ily. The newly constructed ship features a crew of pirateswho lead eager guests on cruises in the channels and nearby bays. Snacks and full bar. 361 749-2469 reddragonpiratecruises.com 48 Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Late Spring 2016 A very cool ride but one to avoid Sadly every year in the Coastal Bend a precious few of our millions of beachgoing visitors fall victim to the very natural elements that give us the wonderful beauty and enjoyment we find on our gulf beaches. But while Hollywood films and suburban legends would lead one to believe that the greatest dangers you might encounter at the beach are sharks of course stingrays jellyfish errant surfboards birds of prey or any number of perilous unknowns of the sea it is in fact the rip current that presents the greatest danger to bathers and surfers of all ages sizes and athletic prowess. Please take a few minutes to understand the danger of rip currents how to identify them and how to avoid and escape them. Courtesy of The Weather Channel and www.weather.com. A rip current is a narrow zone typically 3 to 20 yards wide of fast-flowing water 1-3 mph sometimes faster moving from shore to just beyond the breaker-zone. Rip currents are always present when waves break on a beach. Wave height wave period the time inter- val between successive waves breaker angle to the beach man-made obstacles piers and jetties and local deeper chan- nels in the surf zone all contribute to rip currents. Rip currents are stronger and extend to deeper water as breaking wave heights increase. But for weak swimmers or those who cannot swim waves high enough to break in water over their heads approximately 6 feet or deeper are sufficient to cause a person 6 feet or shorter to drown. That wave height can be as low as 4 feet Rip currents begin at the sand-water line and extend through the surf zone they can capture people in very shallow water and drag them to deeper water. Fortunate- ly most people are able to walk out of a rip current when water is knee deep or shallower. But waist deep or higher water can prevent a person from walking away. If you get caught in a rip current Remain calm to conserve energy and think clearly. Never fight the current. Think of it like a treadmill that cannot be turned off of which you need to step to the side. Swim out of the current in a direc- tion following the shoreline. When out of the current swim at an angle away from the current toward shore. If you are unable to swim out of the rip current float or calmly tread water. When out of the current swim towards shore. If you are still unable to reach shore draw attention to yourself by waving your arm and yelling for help. Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Late Spring 2016 49 Check out these unique retailers to find the perfect item for your new vacation digs or a memento of your trip. Fish Tales Nautical Boutique offers a wonderful selection of island apparel for men women and children art home accessories kitchen ware candles glass jewelry handbags and more. Among the shops most popular items are Pembroke womens swim- wear and Rum Reggae mens shirts. 345 N. Alister St. in Old Town Center 361 749-4733 Fire It Ceramics offers a truly hands-on experience thats great fun for the whole family. Here you get to choose a ceramics project shape it to form paint it and fire it in the kilna day or two later you pick up your piece which can range from simple tableware to elaborate sculptures. Perfect for parties and groups 210 N. Alister St. 361 749-7976 fireitceramics.com Fly It Port A is the only shop of its kind south of San Antonio and is where you will find the full array of kites from traditional to ultra-modern high perfor- mance plus self flying and box kites. Air Swimmers darts and accessories wind socks traditional toys and games. 405 W. Avenue G 361 749-4190 Lisa Mayo Interiors Lifestyle Boutique brings high-end interior design and furnishings to the fast growing Mustang Island community. You will find unique selections that compliment the island lifestyle and reflect designer Lisa Mayos distinct style. 320 W. Avenue G 361 749-0692 lisamayointeriors.com Indigo Eclectic is most aptly named as you will find a truly diverse and unique collection of gifts home ac- cessories furniture handbags island fashions shoes and sandals all in this ownerdesigners one of kind style. Something for everyone and every taste can be found at Indigo. 1023 TX Hwy 361 361 749-5849 indigoeclectic.com Chillas Gift Shop offers a wide selection of home garden and patio decor including Talavera pottery of many sizes and styles. You will also find candles sea- sonal items jewelry and Minnetonka footwear. 2119 TX Hwy 361 361 749-2653 chillasporta.com Port A home to unique shops and galleries indigo eclectic Port Aransas 50 Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Late Spring 2016 Silver King Jewelers has become something of a hid- den gem so to speak in Port A for shoppers looking for unique jewelry styles the latest designs from popular silver artisans the world-over and even engagement ring sets featuring brilliant man-made diamonds. 210 N. Alister 361 749-5464 thesilverkingjewelry.com Raggdoll Boutique is home to a wide selection of fash- ion apparel bags shoes and accessories. New products arrive daily and include boutique brands like Natural Life Ya Los Angeles Umgee Elan Ivy Jane Cover Charge and Me Too. 124 E. Avenue G 361 749-0822 Raggdoll Boutique Too 14457 SPID on North Padre Jo Ds is long established as one of Port As favorite boutiques and home decor retailers. Express your island style on yourself and in your home when you choose from Jo Ds wide and rotating selection of womens fashions furniture and more. 345 N. Alister The Shops at Old Town 361 749-2290 Gratitude offers a world unto itself of fun quirky and a little crazy all inspired by the shops beloved and eccentric owner. Find a wide selection of gifts ap- parel sunglasses and readers along with essential oils jewelry greeting cards wall art and much more 316 N. Station St. 361 749-0302 portagratitude.com Lone Star Taste has brought a wide and unique selec- tion of Texas specialty food products to Port A from jellies and barbecue sauces to rubs marinades and salsas. Hundreds of products are available with new ones arriving weekly. Gift baskets available. 1023 TX Hwy 361 361 749-7100 lonestartaste.com Port A Lighthouse is the towns newest and certainly most unique retail shop where you will find a wide variety of neon signs lighted toys jewelry and gifts and even flashing dog and cat collars Pick up a premium scented candle safety toy for your child or tire lights for bicycles and golf carts. College logo lights too 315 S. Alister St. 806 535-0558 portalighthouse.com the silver king port a lighthouse 52 Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Late Spring 2016 Located in the Central Flyway the island boasts hundreds of native and migrating species. Encounters with Coastal Bend nesting species such as the Roseate Spoonbills Least Grebes Reddish Egrets Black-Bellied Whistling Ducks Bitterns and Rails bring birding enthu- siasts back to this island sanctuary time and time again. With five sites along the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail Wetlands Park Paradise Pond the Birding Cen- ter Mustang Island State Park and the South Jetty Port A hosts many must-see look outs for avid birders and wildlife photographers. Boardwalks and observa- tion towers are built over wetlands with vegetation pockets specially designed to attract birds. The Birding Center Wetlands Park Paradise Pond and The Nature Preserve were designed to give birders theup-close ability to observe hundreds of species in their natural habitats. From the natural wetlands inlets and 18 miles of natural beaches and dunes to the rock jetties piers and marinas the island offers dozens of perfect vantage points to marvel at the magnificent migrating birds that consider Port A the perfect rest stop. The Port Aransas Nature Preserve encompasses 1217 acres of undeveloped land in an area formerly known as Charlies Pasture where early island residents once grazed their cattle. Located between the ship chan- nel the community park State Highway 361 and Piper Channel features at the Nature Preserve include over three miles of hike and bike trails a pavilion board- walks over algal flats crushed granite trails on the uplands covered seating sites and two towers over- looking wetland areas around Salt Island. The natural areas extensive tidal flats provide feed- ing areas and important habitat for shorebirds and endangered and threatened species such as the piping plover. There are two entrances to the Preserve the end of Port Street and off State Highway 361 near Mustang Beach Airport. To keep the preserve unspoiled certain environmental rules apply. Birding year- round in Port A Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Late Spring 2016 53 The Coastal Food List Typical meal wbeverage under 10 10-20 20-30 30 harrisons landing Corpus Christi Coastal Food Harrisons Landing The casual atmosphere that comes with life on the water is what youll find at Harri- sons Landing which is actually a yachting center and marina boutique and bar and restaurant all in one Enjoy cold gulf shrimp and a frosty margarita while taking in the breathtaking sunset over Corpus Christis marina and Bayfrontall while toe-tapping to the sounds of a popular local beach band. Harrisons offers a delicacy for just about any tastefish tacos with avocado and cilantro topped with a special Mexican sauce makes for a perfect lunchcolossal shrimp served grilled or fried in a variety of special battersor enjoy a perfectly grilled fresh fish filet. You might love Harrisons Landing so much that youll find yourself back the next evening for a yacht ride or sunset cruise. Indoor dining in the beautiful Marina Room now open. Dont miss Sun- day Champagne Brunch 108 Peoples Street T-Head 361 881-8503 harrisonslanding.net Water Street Market For almost three decades Water Street Market has been home to three of the citys favorite restaurants. The Water Street Oyster Bar and Water Street Seafood Company feature a wide selection of fresh Gulf seafood prepared grilled blackened or fried including a number of recipes that carry a clear Cajun influence. Truly original items include the Shrimp Harpoons mesquite grilled skewers with Andouille sausage the Shrimp Enchiladas and the ever-popular Crawfish Stuffed Chicken. The Oyster Bar 54 Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Late Spring 2016 Republic of TexasFine Dining Marina View OMNI Hotel 20th Floor 361 887-1600 x3515 Mon-Sat 5p-10p Sun 5p-9p Glass PavilionCasual Breakfast Steaks Salads OMNI Hotel 2nd Floor 361 887-1600 x3510 Mon-Fri 630a-2p 6p-10p Fri-Sat 11p Seawall Food SpiritsOutdoorWaterfront 520 S. Shoreline Blvd. 361 726-3533 Tues-Thurs 11a-10p Sat-Sun 11a-12a UI RestaurantCasual Family Style 309 S. Water St. 361 883-3492 Sun-Thurs 11a-10p Fri-Sat 11a-11p Mamma MiasFine Italian 128 N. Mesquite St. 361 883-3773 Wed-Thurs 5p-9p Fri-Sat 5p-10p WhataburgerFamous Hamburgers 121 N. Shoreline Blvd. 361 881-8987 24 Hours a Day Dos ComalesMexican Food Margaritas 227 N. Water St. 361 885-7702 11a-11p Daily Executive Surf ClubCasual Burgers Salads 309 N. Water St. 361 884-7873 Sun-Thurs 11a-11p Fri-Sat 11a-12a Water Street Oyster BarSeafood Sushi 309 N. Water St. 361 881-9448 Sun-Thurs 11a-11p Fri-Sat 11a-12a Water Street Seafood Co.Seafood 309 N. Water St. 361 882-8683 Sun-Thurs 11a-10p Fri-Sat 11a-11p Aka DowntownSushi Asian Seafood 415 N. Water St. 361 882-8885 Lunch 11a-2p Dinner 5p-10p Closed Sun SubwaySandwiches 433 N. Shoreline Blvd. 361 888-8800 1202 N. Chaparral St. 361 884-1300 Joes LighthouseWaterfront Seafood 444 N. Shoreline Blvd. 361 904-0227 11a-12a Daily Bella LunaTraditional Italian 429 Schatzell St. 361 887-4777 Mon-Fri 11a-3p Wed-Sat 5p-10p Thai SpiceGourmet Thai Cuisine 523 N. Water St. 361 883-8884 11a-11p Daily Bleu BistroFine Romantic Dining 500 N. Water St. 361 887-2121 Lunch 11a-2p Dinner 5p-10p Fri-Sat 12a Mesquite St. Pizza PastaCasual PizzaItalian 617 Mesquite St. 361 882-7499 Open Daily at 11a House of RockBar Music Venue Casual Food 511 Starr St. 361 882-7625 Mon-Sat 11a-2a CrawdaddysCasual Cajun Seafood 414 Starr St. 361 883-5432 Sun-Thurs 11a-11p Fri-Sat 11a-12a Vietnam RestaurantFine Fusion Dining 701 N. Water St. 361 853-2682 Lunch 11a-2p Dinner 5p-9p Fri-Sat 10p Downtown GrillCasual Steaks Seafood 622 N. Water St. 361 883-4745 Sun-Thurs 11a-10p Fri-Sat 11a-11p Harrisons LandingOutdoorWaterfront 108 Peoples St. T-Head 361 881-8503 Sun-Thurs 11a-11a Fri-Sat 12a Sun Brunch Landrys SeafoodWaterfront Fine Seafood 600 N Shoreline Blvd. 361 882-6666 Sun-Thurs 11a-9p Fri-Sat 11a-10p Hoegemeyers Barbecue BarnTexas BBQ 711 Concrete St. 361 884-4227 Mon-Fri 11a-3p Burger KingHamburgers Breakfast 309 IH-37 361 883-3777 6a-12a Daily Railroad Seafood StationSouth Texas Seafood 1214 N. Chaparral St. 361 883-6200 Mon-Thurs 11a-10p Fri-Sat 11a-11p Brewster Street Ice HouseCasualMusic Venue 1724 N. Tancahua St. 361 884-2739 Sun-Wed 11a-11p Thurs-Sat 11a-2a Hesters at the Art MuseumWaterfront Cafe 520 S. Shoreline Blvd. 361 885-0151 Tues-Thurs 11-10 Sat-Sun 11-12a Pier 99Waterfront Casual Seafood 2822 N. Shoreline Blvd. 361 887-0764 Tues-Thurs 11-10 Sat-Sun 11-12a Kellys Deli MarketGourmet Sandwiches 2825 N.Shoreline Blvd. 361 886-6000 Open DailySeasonal 7a-7p BlackbeardsCasual Family Seafood 3117 Surfside Blvd. 361 884-1030 Sun-Thurs 11a-9p Fri-Sat 11a-10p Fajitaville on the BeachFajitas Seafood 221 S. Hotel Place 361 888-5554 Sun-Wed 11a-10p Thurs-Sat 11a-11p Coastal Food Downtown North Beach Restaurant Locator Map 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 7 8 10 11 12 13 9 23 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 56 Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Late Spring 2016 opened a sushi bar in recent years that has become very popular among downtown visitors especially during happy hour. The Executive Surf Club is known for its vast beer selection fun outdoor live music venue and a terrific menu of gourmet ham- burgers chicken burgers quesadillas and more. 309 N. Water St. 361 881-9448 361 884-SURF executivesurfclub.com waterstreetrestaurants.com The Post at Lamar Park A new high level of dining and mixology made its way onto Corpus Christis culinary scene when this firstgastropubopened this year at the old U.S. Post Office location in Lamar Park Center in Midtown just two blocks from Ocean Drive. So many facets of The Post set it apart from other local establishments starting with one of the best stocked bars south of San Antonio and bartenders who take their profession seriously. Both classic and modern fusion cocktails are created with great skill from the Old Fashioned and classic Mojito and Brandy Alexander to innovative martinis like the Mexican and the Cucumber. Food offerings at The Post are equally interest- ing and well done including terrific burgers unique takes on fish tacos and eggrolls Lobster Truffle Mac Cheese and even a first class Tenderloin sandwich. 411 Doddridge Street Alameda in Lamar Park Center 361 452-0907 Corpus Christi Hoegemeyers BBQ Barn Just about everyone with a backyard grill thinks they make great barbecuesome of these folks end up openingcue restaurants but only a few really know what theyre doing. In downtown Corpus Christi the recently opened Hoegemeyers BBQ is where you want to go as these folks know barbecue. Every item on the menu is made fresh daily and they keep serving until they run out in the afternoon. Enjoy all the traditional favorites served Hill Country style on plain butcher paper except of course for the scrumptious cobblers which you must save room for or at least take a helping home for dessert. Eat by the pound or by the plate and Hoegemeyers is the perfect place to call if you need to feed a hungry group of beachgoers or fishermen and women. Located next door to Concrete Street Amphitheater in a 1920s build- ing diners and beer drinkers also enjoy live music and other festive events some weekends. 711 Concrete Street Downtown Corpus Christi 361 884-4227 hoegemeyers.com Open for Lunch Only MondayFriday Vietnam Restaurant Corpus Christis true fine dining establishment is home to classic fusion cuisine born in French-influenced Vietnam featuring recipes served decades ago in the ances- tral eatery of this restaurants owners. Diners return again and again to enjoy the finest creative cooking that includes Chateaubriand Chilean Sea Bass in a White Truffle Sauce Halved and Roasted Chicken and Duck Grilled Eggplant in Fish Sauce and memorable fusion creations like Black Pepper Fried Jumbo Gulf Shrimp and a the post at lamar park 58 Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Late Spring 2016 Corpus Christi Redfish in Mushroom Cream Sauce. Vegetarians find delectable options at Vietnam Restaurant including Pepper Fried Broccoli Crispy Sweet and Sour Tofu plus the exceedingly popular Vegetarian Delight platter. Each evening Chef Lam offers forth off-menu features that are often seasonal in nature and which always dazzle diners with rich flavor and spectacular presentation. Expect the finest service in Corpus Christi delivered by a professional knowledgeable staff. 701 N. Water St. Downtown Corpus Christi 361 852-2682 vietnam-restaurant.com fine dining vietnam Pier 99 Some of the best seafood sandwihes and hamburgers in the Coastal Bend can be found at Pier 99 located on Corpus Christi Beach between the U.S.S. Lexington and Texas State Aquarium. This place is all about waterfront dining with the biggest dining patio built over water in the area and the unique views of downtown and the bay offered from historicNorth Beach.Pier 99 features a huge diverse menu with something for everyone seafood lover or not including awesome desserts like Key Lime pie and peach cobbler. Live country music beach rock and Blues liven up the scene most evenings and all weekends over the summer. 2822 N. Shoreline Blvd. North Beach 361 887-0764 pier99restaurant.com pier 99 60 Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Late Spring 2016 Mesquite Street Pizza Pasta This little pizza shop in Downtown has taken off to be- come one of the most popular places in the city. Enjoy a wonderful variety of gourmet pizzas in traditional sizes as well a giganticgiant sliceand the breathtaking 30-inch pizza. Youll also find a nice selection of fresh salads as well as some of the best homemade pasta dishes in town. Many places make their case for best burger and judging from online reviews and return business Mesquite Street is at the top of the running. Full bar service with specialty drinks like the famous Big Red Margarita. Live comedy on the weekends and open mic Thursdays nationally known comedy acts at Chuckles Comedy Club next door. 617 Mesquite St. 361 882-7499 eatpizzadowntown. com Sandis Diner For decades the popular Boatners Cafeteria was located at this classic downtown-becomes-midtown location next to Spohn Shoreline Medical Center and after setting empty for years has been brought back to life to the culinary delight of locals and visitors alike. Breakfast all day features what are without much argument the very best waffles in Corpus Christi. Enjoy eggs and omelets anyway you likeem as well as breakfast tacos that will keep you away from the taquerias Salads are the freshest and perfectly prepared and Sandis burgers make you feel like Mama made it for you. Everything on the menu is top notch and quality product and loving care come through every time you step inside. Breakfast and lunch served all day. 704 Ayers St. 361 334-3850 Open Mon-Fri 7A- 4P Sat 7A-2P Corpus Christi Seawall Food Spirits The Corpus Christi Bayfronts one and only beach front eatery and watering hole is home to some of the best seafood in town. Try the White Nachos which are made with baby shrimp and crab meat and topped with fan- tastic homemade guacamole. Seawalls jumbo shrimp are so fresh they might jump off the platebut instead are perfectly grilled or fried or served alongside fried fish and oysters. Enjoy awesome beach food like ham- burgers and hot dogs while taking in Corpus Christis iconic bayfront view. The full bar serves up perfect margaritas and daiquiris. Live music on the weekends during spring and summer. 520 S. Shoreline Blvd. 361 726-3533 sandis diner Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Late Spring 2016 61 Coastal Food South Side Midtown Featured Local Restaurants Saltwater GrillCasual Gourmet Seafood 2401 Cimarron Blvd. 361 993-7258 House of Burgers Wings Gourmet Burgers Wings Mexican Food 1645 Airline Rd. 361 334-2221 Bamboo GardenChinese Vietnamese 1220 Airline Rd. 361 993-7993 Catfish CharliesCatfish Cajun Seafood 5830 McArdle Rd. 361 993-0363 Oso Grill PierSeafood Burgers 6124 Ocean Dr. 361 906-0042 La JaibaAuthentic Mexican Seafood 5922 S. Staples St. 361 452-7837 Janets CakeryBakery Custom Cakes 5880 Everhart Rd. 361 991-6212 Southside BarbacoaTacosMexican Food 5894 Everhart Rd. 361 334-0880 Takeniwa Japanese Restaurant Sushi Japanese Chinese Hibachi 5216 S. Padre Island Dr. 361 336-6888 Good-N-Crisp ChickenFried Chicken More 4934 Gollihar Rd. 361 452-1291 Town Country CafeBreakfast Lunch 4228 S. Alameda St. 361 992-0360 WallbangersFamous Hamburgers 4102 S. Staples St. 361 855-8007 Clicks Paradise Tropical Bar GrillBilliards 5141 Oakhurst Dr. 361 852-9252 The Post at Lamar ParkGastropub 411 Doddridge St. 361 452-0907 12 13 14 1 2 3 4 Hours can be seasonal. Please call ahead. 6 7 8 9 11 5 10 62 Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Late Spring 2016 Coastal Food wallbangers takeniwa WallbangersThe Burger Place This Corpus Christi institution was the first to specialize in gourmet hamburgers and has been delighting devoted fans young old and in-between for some 30 years. Wallbangers coined its method of creating the perfect burgerBurgerologywhich starts with buns made fresh daily white and wheat five varieties of the highest quality cheeses a salad and topping bar stocked with the freshest vegetablesbut of greatest importance is the beef itself. You will only find fresh ground chuck here notground beefand there is a huge difference. At Wallbangers your burger is made from the same part of the cow from which rib eye steaks and chuck roast are cut not the underbelly where you get ground beef. Enjoy a masterpiece bacon cheddar or mushroom mozzarella Stuffed Burger a rib eye steak sandwich Philly cheese steak turkey burger mini-burger three choices of grilled chicken sandwiches or theginor- mousThree-Pound Banger Burger which feeds up to six. 4102 S. Staples St. 361 855-8007 wallbangersburgers.com Takeniwa Asian Fusion Bistro One of the very few non-chain establishments in the SPID commercial zone Takeniwa offers an inviting atmosphere in which to enjoy elaborate and expertly prepared sushi and all your favorite classic Chinese dishes. Live cooking shows take place in the bistros hibachi area always a huge hit with the kids and that offers fantastic beef chicken pork shrimp and lobster. Takeniwas multiple hibachi stations are the citys newest and most finely constructed. You will find a sushi menu that offers something for every taste from the safest California Roll to most exotic eel creations. Expect excellent service skilled chefs and great attention to detail at this exceedingly popular eatery. Full bar. 5216 S. Padre Island Dr. next to La Palmera Mall 361 336-6888 takeniwa.com Corpus Christi 64 Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Late Spring 2016 Corpus Christi Coastal Food house of burgers wings House of Burgers Wings This terrific South Side burger joint took on a new menu along with new ownership and staff last summer and the results have been overwhelmingly celebrated by local diners. Thick gourmet burgers the kind with flavor all the way through are prepared in a number of delicious combinations that include the Bacon Egg the Mexican and the traditional cheeseburger. For those with a country appetite or those wanting to share a huge plate the giant chicken fried steak if for you served with mashed potatoes and perfect country gravy. Added to the menu this year is a nice selection of homemade Mexican food including some of the best green chicken enchiladas you have ever had 1645 Airline Rd. Williams St. 361 334-2221 Middle East Restaurant Market For many years Corpus Christians enjoyed the citys best gyros and baklava at the food counter of this mini-grocery store that specializes in Arab Greek Persian Indian and European products. Earlier this year the food counters many fans were thrilled to see the full service Middle East Restaurant open up next door and the accolades are coming in Diners enjoy authentic regional cuisine including those famous gyros Kibbi Sheesh Tawook Chicken Tikka Suflaki Shawarma Lamb Kabobs Falafel and Kafta. Youll also find the very best Tabbouleh salad Hummus Samosa Baba Ghanoush plus an array of Greek salads soup and those incredibly delicious Baklava. The scene is casual cafe and you will enjoy watching your meal being prepared in the open kitchen. 5405 Everhart Rd. two blocks south of SPID 361 854-8445 66 Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Late Spring 2016 Catfish Charlies For years this Southern-style fish house has delighted generations of diners who enjoy the very best freshwater pure water Mississippi Fried Catfish you will find in South Texas along with crowd favorite fried shrimp and oysters. True to the South- ern tradition Catfish Charlies is one of the few local establishments where youll find Cajun style Frog Legs. Terrific Opelousas style seafood gumbo and those awesome Hush Puppies along with Bayou Teche Creole Shrimp complete the simple but incredibly delicious menu. Beer wine and homemade Sangria. 5830 McArdle Rd. at Airline Rd. 361 993-0363 catfishcharlies.net Corpus Christi Southside Barbacoa Mexican Restaurant Proof positive that most of the very best eateries are owner operated on a daily basis including of course the all important task of cooking. This little cafe on Corpus Christis South side saw an instant explosion in business in December 2015 when their very popular carne guisada taco was named amongThe 120 Tacos You Must Eatby Texas Monthly magazine. What locals and out of town visitors know this place best for is their truly authentic 100 made the traditional Mexican way Bar- bacoa. Enjoy fantastic enchiladas and a variety of Mexican specialties. 5894 Everhart Rd. in the Market at Everhart 361 334-0880 Open Tues-Sat 5A-2P Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Late Spring 2016 67 La Playa Mexican Restaurant Cantina In a city with over 80 taquerias the quest for fresh high quality Mexican food especially for out of town visitors can be a hit and miss effort to say the least. La Playa on SPID just south of Weber Road is your first and final stop for great food the best Margaritas in town and friendly prompt service like one would expect in Mexico itself. Enjoy delicious sizzling fajitas prepared from beef chicken shrimp and sausage the house signature delicacy the stuffed fried avocado giant shrimp cocktails traditional Tex-Mex tacos en- chiladas and tamales a fantastic selection of gourmet seafood dishes from both coasts of Mexico wonderful salads and soups steaks and barbecue including Baby Back ribs and even decadent desserts like tres leches cake. Full cantina bar offering house specialty drinks. 4201 S. Padre Island Dr. near Weber Rd. 361 853-4282 Corpus Christi Town Country Cafe Not too many establishments carry the distinction of local institutionbut the TC truly is in business in the citys center since the early 1950s where each of their daytime hours seems to be filled with an ongo- ing stream of devoted customers old young and in between. With your first visit or two you will undoubt- edly latch onto one of two menu favorites especially if you order from the breakfast side but if you try something new on every visit your list of favorites will only grow. Long before the chain freeway diners this place was the go-to breakfast place serving the best pancakes an unlimited combination of omelettes fluffy biscuits and Mexican favorites like Huevos Rancheros. What you would not expect is what might be the areas best seafood value on a single plate the fantastic broiled redfish topped with fried shrimp. Be patient on weekends as crowds descend. 4228 S. Alameda St. in Town Country Center 361 992-0360 68 Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Late Spring 2016 Oso Grill Pier This long standing public fishing pier located in a most discreet location on Ocean Drive provides one of the most beautiful and inviting settings anywhere in the Coastal Bend for a wonderful time with friends and familyboth to enjoy terrific homemade seafood and hamburgers and even to fish on the lighted pier that extends into Corpus Christi Bay. Crawfish boil all week- end Friday through Sunday and live music on Friday nights brings the place to life. Located on Ocean Drive at Ennis Joslin Road on the way to the university. 6124 Ocean Dr. 361 906-0042 Corpus Christi Saltwater Grill This establishment has earned its place among the very best seafood restaurants in the entire Coastal Bend let alone the South side of Corpus Christi. Al- most every variety of seafood cooking except maybe sushi can be found here and it is all done very well using high quality fresh product. Starters range from fried calamari and crab cakes to ceviche and seared tunaand we have found the biggest and freshest raw oysters at Saltwater Grill. Fish and shrimp are pre- pared char grilled or fried and signature dishes Mahi Mahi Alto Cocina topped with blue crab and avocado Teriyaki Grilled Salmon and Crab Stuffed Flounder. Landlubbers will love their hand cut Angus steaks and homemade desserts include the exceedingly famous TeKeyLa Lime Pie. 2401 Cimarron Blvd. 361 993-7258 Open Daily 11A-10P saltwatergrillcc.com Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Late Spring 2016 69 Coastal Food Clicks Paradise Billiards Tropical Bar Grill In addition to serving with distinction as Corpus Christis finest billiards hall Clicks Paradise offers the very best place in town to watch live sports on dozens of high def- inition TVs and on its biggest-in-town 190projection TV. The experience is made complete with a resoundingly popular staff of bartenders and waitresses as well as an awesome food menu that includes all the popular bar selections like nachos po- tato skins and traditional appetizers unique creations like homemade potato chips topped with chili and cheese and one of the best burgers you will find on the South Sideand some of the best wings in town. In addition to great food cocktails and billiards Clicks Paradise offers darts shuffleboard and even ping-pong 5141 Oakhurst Dr. 361 852-9252 clicksparadise.com La Jaiba Mexican Seafood Grill For those lucky enough to have spent time deep inside Mexico on the Pacific or Gulf Coast and to have enjoyed the amazing seafood creations born there you will feel wonderfully at home at this sixth location the first in Corpus Christi of this Rio Grande Valley mainstay. Order oysters on the half shell and you will enjoy some of the biggest and freshest anywhere. The Mexican ceviche is the best on this side of the border and house specialties include fresh whole fish filet seafood enchila- das Oysters Rockefeller crispy and delicious fish chicharones and for the ultimate authentic Mexican seafood experience the Canzuela de Mariscos features king crab legs scallops clams colossal shrimp mussels and fresh fish. Full bar. 5922 S. Staples St. 361 452-7837 vivalajaiba.com Corpus Christi clicks paradise la jaiba 70 Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Late Spring 2016 Corpus Christi Vino Mio Social Club Winery In our ongoing quest to discover the newest and most unique Coastal Bend hang outs Vino Mio in Midtown Corpus Christi may be our greatest recent find. This is the citys first dedicated wine bar with a significant difference over just about any such establishment Vino Mio makes its own wine and has developed a wide variety of reds whites and specialities includ- ing your merlot your cabernet chardonnay pinot griogios including a terrific cranberry-infused and even ports. But what will strike you about Vino Mio before you take your first sip is the cooler-than-cooler lounge scene created into its decor the lighting the rich leather sofas and background tracks of Swing Jazz and 60s Jungle. Live music most days of the week and always Friday and Saturday. 4102 S. Staples St. next to Wallbangers 361 728-6445 MolA Taste of Central Mexico In a city with over 80 taquerias much of the dining public may carry some confusion about what Mexican food really is and if you have traveled past the border in Mexico you may be expecting something much different than what you find in these establishments. Mol has brought the authentic cuisine of Mexico to the Coastal Bend probably the only establishment to do so in which the emphasis is on natural ingredients and creating every item from scratch. In the US mol generally refers to a poblano sauce in Mexico the term refers to a wide range of sauces originating in San Pe- dro Atocpan near Mexico City. By no coincidence this is the home of Mols owners and is where its entire menu was born. Enjoy a full bar and festive atmo- sphere in addition to the best Mexican food in Corpus Christi. 6042 S. Padre Island Dr. in Gulfway Shopping Center 361 334-6081 molerestaurant.com Middle East Restaurant Market For many years Corpus Christians enjoyed the citys best gyros and baklava at the food counter of this mini-grocery store that specializes in Arab Greek Persian Indian and European products. Earlier this year the food counters many fans were thrilled to see the full service Middle East Restaurant open up next door and the accolades are coming in Diners enjoy authentic regional cuisine including those famous gyros Kibbi Sheesh Tawook Chicken Tikka Suflaki Shawarma Lamb Kabobs Falafel and Kafta. Youll also find the very best Tabbouleh salad Hummus Samosa Baba Ghanoush plus an array of Greek salads soup and those incredibly delicious Baklava. The scene is ca- sual cafe and you will enjoy watching your meal being prepared in the open kitchen. 5405 Everhart Rd. Two blocks south of SPID 361 854-8445 Know of a Great Locally Owned Restaurant that should be in the Tour Guide Let us know by email costamedia.texasgmail.com Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Late Spring 2016 71 Coastal Food Flour Bluff North Padre Island Restaurant Locator Map Island ItalianCasual Italian 15370 S. Padre Island Dr. 361 949-7737 Brooklyn Pie CompanyN.Y. Pizza 15326 S. Padre Island Dr. 361 949-1100 La Palma Mexican RestaurantMexican 15326 S. Padre Island Dr. 361 949-0779 Mikel Mays Bar GrillCasual Waterfront On Bob Hall Pier 361 949-7437 Black Sheep BistroEclectic 15201 S. Padre Island Dr. 361 949-4819 JBs German Bakery CafeGerman Cafe 15137 S. Padre Island Dr. 361 949-5474 Rock Rolls Sushi LoungeSushi 15121 S. Padre Island Dr. 361 949-1110 Costa Sur Wok Ceviche BarPeruvian 15113 S. Padre Island Dr. 361 945-8303 DragonflyEuropeanInternational 14701 S. Padre Island Dr. 361 949-2224 Good N Crisp ChickenChickenHomestyle 14601 S. Padre Island Dr. 361 949-0011 Veranda at SchlitterbahnAmerican 14353 Commodores Dr. 361 949-8056 Cancun Seafood Bar GrillSeafood 11862 Texas Hwy 361 361 949-3125 Padre Island Burger Co.Gourmet Burgers 14414 Texas Hwy 361 361 949-3490 Padre PizzeriaGourmet Pizza 14993 S. Padre Island Dr. 361 949-0787 Texas Mesquite BBQBBQ 14457 S. Padre Island Dr. 361 949-0065 WhataburgerFamous Hamburgers 14301 S. Padre Island Dr. 361 949-7777 ScuttlebuttsSeafoodSteaksSushi 14254 S. Padre Island Dr. 361 949-6769 Mad Meats MoreButcher Shop 14254 S. Padre Island Dr. 361 949-8888 La Isla Mexican RestaurantMexican 14237 S. Padre Island Dr. 361 949-3341 SubwaySandwiches 14225 S. Padre Island Dr. 361 949-9611 Island Time Sushi BarSushiSeafood 14225 S. Padre Island Dr. 361 949-3046 Bangkok StarAuthentic Thai 13923 S. Padre Island Dr. 361 949-4900 Island JoesCoffeeCafe 13923 S. Padre Island Dr. 361 867-1276 Docs Seafood SteaksSeafood 13309 S. Padre Island Dr. 361 949-6744 Snoopys PierCasual Seafood 13313 S. Padre Island Dr. 361 949-8815 Laguna ReefCasual Seafood 4242 Laguna Shores Rd. 361 937-2600 Taqueria JaliscoMexican 10533 S. Padre Island Dr. 361 937-4606 Pizza HutPizzaItalian 10525 S. Padre Island Dr. 361 937-6336 SubwaySandwiches 10529 S. Padre Island Dr. 361 937-2161 Hunan ExpressChinese 10421 S. Padre Island Dr. 361 937-2222 WhataburgerFamous Hamburgers 1121 Waldron Rd. 361 937-2661 Little Manilla Lumpia HouseFilipino 2124 Waldron Rd. 361 937-5651 Bustillos BBQ Taco ExpressBBQMexican 418 Naval Air Station Dr. 361 939-7179 Boardwalk CafeCasual American 706 Naval Air Station Dr. 361 937-5189 Howards BarbecueBBQ 10210 S. Padre Island Dr. 361 937-1377 El Gallo de JaliscoMexican 10329 S. Padre Island Dr. 361 939-7726 Coffee Waves Flour BluffCoffeeCafe 10309 S. Padre Island Dr. 361 353-4586 Churchs ChickenFried Chicken 9929 S. Padre Island Dr. 361 937-3333 Pauls Seafood MarketRaw Seafood 9810 S. Padre Island Dr. 361 939-7447 La Palma Mexican RestaurantMexican 9929 S. Padre Island Dr. 361 937-3333 La Playa Grill BarCafeSandwiches 1007 TX Hwy 361 361 749-0825 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 12 13 14 15 16 16 17 18 18 19 19 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 20 11 Many island restaurants are seasonal in their open days and hours. Please call ahead. 2 72 Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Late Spring 2016 Grilled Citrus Yellowfin Tuna wAvocado Spinach What You Will Need 1 tuna steak ah or yellowfin Pinch of salt and pepper 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 2 tablespoons soy sauce 1 teaspoon freshly minced ginger 2 cloves garlic minced 12 cup chopped cilantro Juice of 1 lime plus the zest 1 teaspoon sugar 12 avocado thinly sliced 4 cups fresh spinach What to Do Season both sides of the tuna with salt and pepper. In a small bowl whisk together 2 tablespoons oil soy sauce ginger garlic cilantro lime juice zest and sugar. Add the fish and marinate for at least 2 hours in the fridge. In a small skillet heat the lastTbs of oil. Add the spinach and wilt slightly.Toss in a teeny pinch of salt and pepper. Remove from heat and set aside. Remove the fish from the marinade and grill or sear for 2 minutes on each side. Keep it rare in the center. PLEASE Pour the remaining marinade into a small saucepan and reduce until it becomes thick 2 minutes. Top the wilted spinach with the fish followed by the sliced avocado and a nice drizzle of the reduction. 74 Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Late Spring 2016 Coastal Food Padre IslandFlour Bluff JBs German Bakery Cafe and Strudel Mania The Coastal Bends first and only authentic German bakery opened to the raves of grateful Padre Islanders a few years ago and JBs popularity and notoriety has spread across South Texas. Stories of San Antoniansthree-hour spontaneous day trips tothe beachthat always include a long stop at JBs for a big bag of baked goods to go have given way to more frequent testimoni- als of those who drive half an hour fromin townfor their taste of the best baking in the region. JBs pastries breads cakes pies and yes the strudel will take you back to Europe if youve been and will transport your taste buds to a new delightful place if youve not. Owners Juergin and Brigitte exhibit their love of food daily through the hard work and precision with which they deliver culinary bliss to their lucky customers. 15137 S. Padre Island Dr. on Padre Island 361 949-5474 6062 Holly Rd. 361 947-6662 jbsgermanbakery.com Costa Sur Months of anticipation came to an end in 2013 when Costa Sur opened on North Padre Island. Small bands of fans of island chef Nick Mackrizz who made his name running the cold food counter at Island Mail-n-More have flocked to Costa Sur to see their man in action at the helm of a fully-equipped kitchen. Chef Nick has been freed to flex his culinary muscle in creating a diverse menu inspired by his native Peru that includes fish tacos Peruvian style fried rice and lo mein sauted chicken breast and tenderloin seared or fried fresh fish of the day and of course the one-of-a-kind Peruvian Ceviche that made him famous on the island This ceviche is an ex- perience that will change how you think about fish and maybe how you think about your entire daily diet. Its that good and good for you. Costa Sur recently unveiled their greatly expanded space which added a new cocktail bar a new ceviche bar and tripled the size of their original space. 15113 S. Padre Island Dr. on North Padre Island 361 945-8303 costasurcc.com jbs german bakery 76 Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Late Spring 2016 Coastal Food Padre IslandFlour Bluff Laguna Reef Locals discovered this Flour Bluff seafood house shortly after it opened but its remote location has kept it something of a hidden gem for most visitors to the Coastal Bend except for fishermen heading into the waters of Upper Laguna Madre and Baffin Bay. Laguna Reef is located at Bluffs Landing Marina on the far southern end of Laguna Shores Road and has earned a reputation as a home of culinary creativity and skill with the tender bounty of the sea. For this food snob crab cakes and whole floundereach served as occasional specials at Laguna Reefare the real test for seafood cooking because the chef is dealing with products that fully take on the spices and flavors to which they are exposed not to mention the complex cleaning and preparation work involved. High quality standards permeate to all recipes on the menu which includes just about every imag- inable incarnation of grilled broiled and fried seafood many with a Cajun touch. Laguna Reef will cook your freshly caught and cleaned fish filets. 4242 Laguna Shores Rd. Bluffs Landing Marina 361 937-2600 Snoopys Pier Few establishments can claim true legend status but in the world of Texas coastal seafood Snoopys is the real deal. Stories of Steve Martin Laura Bush and other celebrities stopping in gives way to the fact that year after year the very best fish oysters shrimp and of course hush puppies are served up in this waterfront fish house which offers one of the best views in Texas that of the beautiful Laguna Madre. While fried seafood made Snoopys famous over the years their menu has expanded to include deviled crab fish tacos and the ever-popular Snoopyburger. Located on the Intracoastal Waterway in the shadow of the JFK Causeway Snoopys offers free boat docking for customers and whatever you do dont forget to hit Scoopys next door the on-site dessert and ice cream shop. 13113 S. Padre Island Dr. North Padre Island directly south of JFK Causeway 361 949-8815 snoopyspier.com 78 Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Late Spring 2016 Padre IslandFlour Bluff Dragonfly Curacao Blues This French-owned and operated island bistro is home to the most international menu in the Coastal Bend with fully authentic dishes from Europe and Latin America. DragonflysWorld Tour by Landside of their menu includes French-style filet mignon in tarragon sauce lamb meatloaf and healthy Mediter- ranean chicken plus a wonderful Italian beef lasagna. TheWorld Tour by Seaside offers delicious American crab cakes a French-inspired crusted fish and grilled shrimp plate seafood-stuffed cannelloni from Italy fish tacos from Hawaii and a savory grilled shrimp skewer with coconut sambal sauce ala Malaysia. Cura- cao Blues next door is the islands first tapas bar which offers a laid-back place to relax and enjoy Spanish- style delicacies and wonderful wines and cocktails like their signature blackberry mojito homemade watermelon martinis and island-favorite sangria. 14701 S. Padre Island Dr. 361 949-2224 dragonflycuracao.com Bangkok Star Restaurant Without a doubt this is the island home for authentic Thai cuisine plus wonderful sushi prepared more in the Thai style. Enjoy sensational soups and curry with chicken and shrimp always the best products and best cuts like real white chicken breast in every order. Traditional dishes like orange and sesame chicken are prepared perfectly as like you would find in some of the best West Coast Thai food houses. Popular Masa- man and Panang curry and even Flounder curry com- plete a first class menu that caters to those who have enjoyed and appreciate the cuisine and of Thailand and Southeast Asia. Bangkok Stars sushi selection is second to none on the island and Port A residents might remember Thai Phoon. 13929 S. Padre Island Dr. 361 949-3550 Texas Mesquite BBQ Grill Padre Islands single barbecue joint recently came under the new ownership of two veterans of Corpus Christis restaurant industry manager Debra Foster and chef and pit master Orlando Quintanilla. By the summer island visitors and residents were enjoying a new menu that not only took the quality of the res- taurants Texas barbecue to new heights but also in- troduced a new layer of gourmet cuisine to the island. Quintanilla learned to appreciate real South Texas cooking growing up on the King Ranch and after years in the oil industry worked for free under several of the Coastal Bends most respected restaurateurs in what became a hands-on culinary education. His skill translates into the delicious tender and perfectly prepared brisket ribs sausage chicken turkey and pulled pork that your find at Texas Mesquite. Every- thing here is homemade including rubs and sauces that contain the most tasteful and natural ingredients like hand-selected peppers and spices. The gourmet burgers are fantastic and this is one of the few eateries where you find exotic meats like elk bison goat and even kangaroo 14457 S. Padre Island Dr. 361 949-0065 texasmesquitebbq.com Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Late Spring 2016 79 Padre IslandFlour Bluff Island Joes This welcome addition to the Padre Island food scene opened recently at the Boardwalk Center just over the JFK Bridge. This warmly decorated espresso based cof- fee shop showcases photography by Bryan Tumlinson several items of which are available for sale. The own- ers have created a cool place for islanders and visitors to relax and enjoy a hot or cold beverage and a pastry in an inviting family friendly setting. Island Joes will host live music on weekends open-mic nights game and movie nights starting this fall. A percentage of Island Joes sales goes toward hunger relief programs which the owners operate in the Dominican Republic 13919 S. Padre Island Dr. on Padre Island 361 867-1276 Brooklyn Pie Co. For New Yorkers pizza can be something of a reli- giontheres one way to do it and only one place where you can get it. The style of pizza is thin and crispy the test of authenticity has to do with folding your slice and it not droopingand when New York style pizza is sold by the slice its a GIANT slice that easily suffices as ones lunch. This is what you find at Brooklyn Pie Co. a concept that was perfected in Austin and that opened on North Padre Island late last year. New Yorkers say that the pizza here is as close to what you find in the Big Apple and locals are catching on to the flavor and quality that is achieved by using the freshest high quality ingredients and by mak- ing dough and sauces from scratch every day. Build your own pizza stating with traditional Italian red or basil sauce or choose of the many specialty pies you will find including the Margherita the Meat Lovers two varieties of Hawaiian vegetarian the classic New York the Laguna with artichoke hearts white cheddar cheese and spinach and many more. Enjoy terrific Buffalo wings and fresh salads. Deliver to Padre Island and Flour Bluff. 15326 S. Padre Island Dr. on Padre Island 361 949-1100 brooklynpie.compadre 80 Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Late Spring 2016 Island Italian Padre Island natives harbor a soft place in their hearts for this beloved local institu- tion. The restaurants late founderTagTagliaferro was for years one of the islands most notable and popular business owners and whether you stopped in for your weekly lasagna or you ordered five pizzas at a time for the kidspool party Island Italian was always the go-to place for great food served hot and fresh. These days Tags son Tony carries on the tradition of treating customers as family and serving up wonderfully prepared Italian standards from ravioli to mostaccioli a range of de- licious creations in chicken shrimp scallops and clams steaks and veal and stoned- baked pizzas that are of island legend. Pizza deliveries limited to North Padre Island 15370 S. Padre Island Dr. Park Rd. 22 North Padre Island past Whitecap on beach side of highway 361 949-7737 islanditalian.com Little Manila Lumpia House Those who know and appreciate the wonderful cuisine of the Philippines will find their new Coastal Bend home in Flour Bluff. Enjoy classic lumpia which can be easily confused with an eggroll but that is made with a traditional combination of spices vegetables and beef or pork. Little Manilas Abobo Chicken is a menu favorite burst- ing with flavor and perfectly prepared and is served as its own entree or as part of the lunch combo with Bihon noodles rice and teafor less than a song You will forget your notion of Sweet and Sour Chicken when you try it as Little Manila in the Filipino style that is lighter and less oily than what you may be used toand Elenas homemade sweet and sour sauce puts this dish over the top. 2124 Waldron Rd. in Flour Bluff 361 937-5651 Padre IslandFlour Bluff Docs Seafood Steaks The Laguna Madre waterfront is the setting for this popular island eatery bar and event venue. Docs menu is inspired by the favorites that make Coastal Bend seafood famous the world-over including fresh bay flounder served blackened Florentine with a white wine sauce crab-stuffed and even sauted flounder. Fresh Gulf shrimp are featured throughout the Docs menu including grilled wrapped in bacon and stuffed on skewers in appetizers and salads and of course breaded and fried--the favorite of kids of all ages. Beefeaters will enjoy the grilled 12 oz. rib eye the surf and turf and chicken fried steak. Docs is located on North Padre Island next to the JFK Causeway and offers one of the areas most picturesque waterfront dining experi- ences including unbelievable sunsets over Laguna Madre. Outdoor events facility available for reunions weddings fishing tournaments and more. 13309 S. Padre Island Dr. 361 949-6744 docsseafoodandsteaks.com Padre Pizzeria Now 16 years-in this popular island pizza joint has earned quite a reputation for great tasting pizza made from the freshest and highest quality ingredients. In addi- tion to terrific classic pizzas this place is known for its wide variety of delicious and slightly off the beaten path specialty pizzas like the Bacon Cheeseburger the BBQ the Greek the Hot Wings pizza the Padre Mexicana the Thai Surprise the Philly Cheesesteak and the Creamy Siracha. You will also find fantastic renditions of your classic specialties like the Sicilian Veggies Galore Meat Lovers and of course the Kitchen Sink. If you make it past the pizza you might also try a healthy salad an Italian sub including the awesome Chicken Parm calzones and a nice and sweet dessert selection. 14493 S. Padre Island Dr. just before Schlitterbahn 361 949-0787 padrepizzeria.com Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Late Spring 2016 81 Coastal Food Port Aransas Mustang Island Restaurant Locator Map Trout St. Bar GrillFine Seafood 104 E. Cotter Ave. 361 749-7800 Virginias on the BayCasual Seafood 815 Trout St. 361 749-4088 Frankies KitchenCasual Diner 717 Tarpon St. 361 749-1909 GiggitysBar Seafood Steaks 722 Tarpon St. 361 749-3663 Liberty Hall InfernoEclecticSushi 106 E. Cotter Ave. 361 749-4888 Roosevelts at Tarpon InnFine Dining 200 E. Cotter Ave. 361 749-1540 Tarpon Bar GrillSeafood 224 E. Cotter Ave. 361 749-1947 SubwaySandwiches 605 N. Alister St. 361 749-5650 Iries Island FoodCasual Gourmet 503 N. Alister St. 361 749-2310 Port Aransas Brewing Co.Casual 429 N. Alister St. 361 749-2739 EATS Port ACafe Breakfast Lunch 112 E. White Ave. 361 749-4286 Oceans of SeafoodCasual Seafood 165 W. Cotter Ave. 361 749-4994 Harbour Lights GrillCasual Waterfront Woodys 134 W. Cotter Ave. 361 749-0771 FINS Grill IcehouseCasual Seafood 420 W. Cotter Ave. 361 749-8646 Dairy QueenHamburgers 307 W. Cotter Ave. 361 749-3339 The PhoenixEclecticSeafood 337 N. Alister St. 361 749-9277 CastawaysCasual Seafood 320 N. Alister St. 361 749-5394 Wild Horse Saloon GrillAmerican 212 E. Beach St. 361 749-0105 La Playa Mexican GrilleMexicanSeafood 222 E. Beach St. 361 883-3773 Venetian HotplateFine Italian 232 E. Beach St. 361 749-7617 The Crazy CajunSeafood Boil 303 E. Beach St. 361 749-5069 Beach Station St. GrillSeafoodSteaks 235 E. Beach St. 361 749-2303 Stingrays Taphouse GrillAmerican 401 E. Beach St. 361 749-2287 Donut PalaceDoughnuts 210 N. Alister St. 361 749-2110 San Juan RestaurantMexican 410 Cut Off Rd. 361 749-6521 Island CafeCasual AmericanBreakfast 301 S. Alister St. 361 749-1741 Moby DicksCasual SeafoodBreakfast 517 S. Alister St. 361 749-9447 Averys KitchenCasual AmericanBreakfast 200 W. Avenue G 361 749-0650 Port A PizzeriaPizza 407 E. Avenue G 361 749-5226 Shells Pasta SeafoodSeafood 522 E. Avenue G 361 749-7621 WhataburgerFamous Hamburgers 729 TX Hwy 361 361 749-0681 Seafood Spaghetti WorksSeafoodItalian 901 TX Hwy 361 361 749-5666 Ed the BeachcombersFine Dining 905 TX Hwy 361 361 749-2662 Coffee WavesCafeSandwiches 1007 TX Hwy 361 361 749-0825 Cancun Grill CantinaMexicanSeafood 1023 TX Hwy 361 361 749-5596 Miss Ks Bistro CateringCafe 1726 TX Hwy 361 361 749-7776 KodysCasual SeafoodBurgers 2034 TX Hwy 361 361 749-8226 Pizza HutPizza 2200 TX Hwy 361 361 749-4555 Slice of Chicago PizzaPizza 2217 TX Hwy 361 361 749-1530 La BaratariaAmerican Fine Dining 3500 Island Moorings Pkwy. 361 749-2212 Black Marlin Bar GrillSeafood Steaks 258 SnapdragonPalmilla Beach 361 749-4653 LisabellasEclectic American Cinnamon Shore 361 749-4222 Seaside CafeBarCafeBreakfast Cinnamon Shore Club 361SeafoodSteaksBreakfast Port Royal Ocean Resort 361 749-5011 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 23 11 Many Port Aransas restaurants are seasonal in their open days and hours. Please call ahead. 82 Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Late Spring 2016 Port Aransas Coastal Food FINS Grill Icehouse One sure sign of how a Port A restaurant is doing is not the size of the crowd on a Friday night but the size of the crowd on a Wednesday afternoon. FINS is packed with locals who have chosen this casual seafood and hamburger haute as regulars frequent visi- tors who never miss this place when on the island and new tourists who have heard about the great food and fantastic waterfront view. Enjoy the fresh Gulf catch of the day fried or broiled a terrific selection of shrimp creations including tropical Coconut Shrimp fresh salads and seasonal offerings like ceviche and Mahi salad dip. At FINS youll also find one of the best burgers in Port A the increasingly famous half-pound Angus burger. Cooks your catch. Live music on weekends. 420 W. Cotter Ave. next to Deep Sea Headquarters 361 749-8646 finsgrillandicehouse.com Island Cafe This is one of those best-kept secrets held by Port A locals as a place for outstanding food at a decent price any day of the week. Its hard to beat breakfast at Island Cafe which features all the most popular items but is prepared like your best friend made it for you. Dont be shocked to find borderline gourmet cooking at this place as well along with the work of an obviously skilled pitmaster. Fish and chips at Island Cafe is a crowd favorite as well as comfort foods that will give your day that sweet soft landing. 301 S. Alister St. 361 749-1741 Iries Island Food The wave of chef-owned gourmet restaurants in Port Aransas is quickly establishing the island village as one of the top dining destinations in the state of Texas and the addition of Iries is a real step in that direction. Transplanted Austin Chef Martin Frannea has assembled a wonderful lunch menu that features garlic and ginger Kahuka-style fins grill icehouse 84 Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Late Spring 2016 shrimp chicken and beef Asian-inspired Treasure Beef strip loin marinated in a brown sugar and chile soy sauce and your choice of fried rice. Iries tacos will twist your definition of delicious with over a dozen variet- ies from simple bean and cheese to beef fish shrimp fried oyster Texas beef and even from time to time Maine lobster To the delight of islanders and frequent visitors alike Iries started opening for dinner this year. 503 N. Alister St. 361 749-2310 iriesislandfood.com Oceans of Seafood This fish market of almost 40 years in Port Aransas took the big step a couple of years ago and opened a seafood restaurant largely based on the large collec- tion of Southern seafood recipes published as a book by the owners mother decades ago. The culinary result is a wonderful selection of fresh simple but perfectly prepared fried fish shrimp and oysters grilled snapper blackened tuna stuffed crab and crab cakes as well as the very popular Louisiana shrimp boil with corn potatoes and Adouille sausage. The atmosphere at Oceans of Seafood is genuine Texas fish house with colorful fishing memorabilia on the walls and dozens of wind chimes hanging from the ceilingalmost all for sale. The great seafood quality you find here may be exceeded only by the terrific value as no plate on the regular menu is priced above 18. 165 W. Cotter Ave. 361 749-4994 La Barataria Chef owner Lezlie Keebler has for four years been delighting guests with an elegant fusion of American cuisine with French and Cajun influences. La Baratarias Continental menu that includes escargot chops and prime steaks and a variety of seafood including Mahi Mahi sashimi grade Ahi tuna and impeccably pre- pared crabcakes and equally delicious lobster cakes plus terrific gourmet pizzas. Enjoy an extensive wine list. Champagne Brunch now offered Sunday starting at noon. And the big bonus Great service. 3500 Island Moorings Pkwy. 361 749-2212 labaratariarestaurantwinebar.com Liberty Hall Inferno Legendary island restaurateur Guy Carnathan has run some of the most acclaimed eateries on the Texas Coastall in Port Aunder the aliases Beulahs at the Tarpon Inn The Other Guys and The Pelican Club. These days he and his keen sense of what diners really want can be found at Liberty Hall Inferno where menu selections are centered on classic Southern Seafood including Bouillabaise Yucatan style Grilled Yellowtail Plantain Crusted Red Snapper Chicken Fried Floun- der Blue Crab Crusted Flounder Brazilian Fish Stew and even South Texas favorites like Jumbo Gulf Fried Shrimp. 106 E. Cotter Ave. 361 749-4888 Moby Dicks One of the most popular and busiest establishments on the island and for good reason. Some of the best seafood in town is a good start which includes oysters Port Aransas 86 Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Late Spring 2016 Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Late Spring 2016 87 served raw Mexicali and Rockefeller. The catch of the day is prepped how you like it and youll find Texas cut steaks on the menu traditional seafood served grilled fried and even Hawaiian style and without a doubt locals know Moby Dicks is one of the best breakfast houses. 517 South Alister St. 361 749-9447 Trout Street Bar Grill One of the most popular restaurants in the Coastal Bend got that way by not only offering the most perfect waterfront setting but with truly terrific food. Seafood creations here are top notch starting with some of the best Cajun gumbo you will ever eat. Fresh fish ar- rives daily and nothing starts out frozen including wild-caught Gulf shrimp that makes for wonderful salads and shrimp cocktail grilled prepared with pasta and of course as the main attraction as fried jumbo Gulf shrimp. You will also enjoy hand cut steaks perfectly prepared along with terrific burgers and sandwiches grilled quail and even chicken fried steak. Trout Street is located right on the Port Aransas Marina and dining both indoor and on the out- side deck are available. 104 W. Cotter 361 749-7800 tsbag.com Stingrays Taphouse Grill On the surface Stingrays is a first-class open air sports bar complete with almost two dozen high-definition TVs pool tables and dozens of beers on tap and bottledbut wise patrons are the ones who show up hungry. Beyond being a great bar one that is dog-friendly none- theless Stingrays is easily one of the best dining establishments on the island and in the entire Coastal Bend for that matter. Start with the best pizza weve found on Mustang Island baked in an authentic brick pizza oven the kind of food youd expect to find in a sports bar plus gourmet hamburgers including the house signature Makers Mark Burger. Stingrays menu takes a more serious turn when you see the hand cut ribeye and filet the perfectly Port Aransas Coastal Food 88 Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Late Spring 2016 prepared Ahi Tuna Steak and the very popular Tequi- la-Lime Shrimp. 401 Beach St. 361 749-2287 stingraystaphouse.com EATS A great day starts with a great breakfast and takes off with an even better lunch both of which you will find at this artisan cafe and bakery tucked away right off N. Alister St. at White. All of the wonderful muffins cin- namon rolls and other pastries are baked here daily along with bread and croissants for amazing sand- wiches like chicken salad BLTs and the Club. Enjoy a full selection of homemade breakfast items like blue- berry or gingerbread pancakes biscuits and gravy and breakfast sandwiches and tacos. Enjoy smoothies and gourmet coffee creations. This year EATS welcomed Master Chef Billy Joe Wilson a one-time college foot- ball player who made a name for himself in Austin and San Antonio. With his arrival has come dinner service and an expanded menu that includes a gourmet take on meat loaf watch out Mama fantastic salads new soups including homemade tortilla and much more. Call for group orders and youll eat like royalty 112 E. White St. at N. Alister St. 361 749-4286 Open Wed-Sun PortAPizzeria For years this neighborhood establishment has pleased locals and visitors alike with fresh made from scratch pizzas pasta calzones and Italian subs. You will find one of the longest list of available toppings anywhere so build the exact pizza you like best from eight to sixteen inches. Specialty pizzas include the Veggie Delight the Margarita the ChickenBacon Ranch the All Meat the Philly Cheese the Greek and even the Taco Pizza Enjoy a nice selection of wings and Italian appetizers as well as the soup and salad bar. Pizza buffet is available all day long every day of the week. 407 E. Avenue G. 361 749-5226 portapizzeria.com Port Aransas Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Late Spring 2016 89 Port AransasAransas Pass 1 Mustang Island State ParkGreat surf fishing north of Fish Pass Jetties use Beach Access Rd. 2 north of entrance. 2 Shamrock IslandCrossroads of migra- tions route and feeding areas wade fishing and clear water in the summer. 3 Port Aransas BeachSome of the best surf fishing in the Coastal Bend. 4 East FlatsBack side of Mustang Island good kayak wade and flats fishing. 5 Island Moorings MarinaBoat launches and ships store. 6 Horace Caldwell PierExtends 1230 feet into the Gulf good year-round fishing. 7 Port Aransas MarinaNumerous char- ters along waterfront boat ramps at park. 8 St. Josephs IslandUndeveloped island with great surf and jetty fishing. 9 Charlies PasturePark and open area with pier along ship channel. 10 Aransas Pass WetlandsRegulated no- prop zone in marshes with network of kayak trails great wade fishing along causeway. 11 Stedman IslandMarina bait shop pier and boat launches on Redfish Bay. 12 Aransas PassBoat launches and dry dock at Conn Brown Harbor marina bait and launches at San Patricio Co. Navigation Dist. 13 Redfish CoveLittle-known productive spot along boat channel. 14 Ingleside-on-the-BayPublic boat launches along ship channel. Coastal Bend Fishing 90 Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Late Spring 2016 Upper Laguna Madre 1 Padre Island National SeashoreThe lon- gest stretch of natural beach in the U.S. offers legendary fishing on both the Gulf of Mexico and Laguna Madre sides of the island. 2 Padre Island BeachKleberg County Less wild than PINS and easier to access this stretch of island beach offers great surf fishing. 3 Bob Hall PierFew public piers are more notable home of the world record onshore catch-and-release an 800 lb. Blacktip Shark. 4 Packery ChannelOpen migration route between the Gulf and the Laguna offering new jetties ample parking boat ramps and fantastic cast and wade fishing onshore. 5 Padre Isles Public Boat RampsCanal- front community provides at least five free public boat ramps providing access to Upper Laguna Madre. 6 Marker 37Bait shop marina storage launches ethanol-free fuel and pier on Laguna Madre take first exit on island side of JFK Causeway. 7 JFK Causeway Low RoadFrom Flour Bluff take causeway to the island but exit to low road along water for great wade fishing. 8 JFK Causeway Island SideUnderneath the bridge find Clems Marina and Billings Bait offering launches store and pier. 9 Packery Channel ParkOnshore wade fishing along channel and flats prime migra- tion route and feeding waters. 10 Kayak LaunchFree launch site situated within productive flats fishing zone. 11 Corpus Christi PassSome of the re- gions best wade fishing can often be found on the back side of Mustang Island and this site Coastal Bend Fishing Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Late Spring 2016 91 just north of Beach Access Road 3 offers fantastic access to the flats feeding and breeding zone toward the northern end of Laguna Madre. All-vehicle access near highway trucks can traverse extensive series of trails. 12 Fish PassMustang Island State ParkFish Pass was once many years ago open to the Gulf of Mexico from the northern end of Laguna Madre. Although now closed jetties remain extended into the Gulf several hundred feet and some species are known to congregate and feed in between the jet- ties. Beach can be accessed for a fee from the park entrance or free by using Beach Access Road 2 and working your way south. Excellent surf fishing along the typically-uncrowded route. The back side of the pass marks where Laguna Madre becomes Corpus Christi Bay and harbors numerous species feeding just about yearround. 13 Naval Air Station Corpus ChristiThose with military credentials can access the excellent launch and shore fishing facilities on the Navy base located at a perfect strategic loca- tion at the northern end of the Laguna. 14 Boat Hole BasinThis is perhaps one of the least-known but most unique fishing sites in the Coastal Bend. Multiple channels feed bay and gulf waters and the fish that come with them into this heavy seagrass zone. 15 Humble ChannelThe damming effect of the JFK Causeway means that the flow of water and fish in the Upper Laguna Madre is funneled through limited passageways. The first of course is the Intracoastal Waterway under the bridge to the island and the other is Humble Channel located a little more than a half-mile from the mainland Flour Bluff. In addition to being a popular spot for fishing boats two of the areas busiest fishing piers Cos-Way and Red Dot straddle the channel and provide the best access possible to the many species that traverse the channel in their migration through Laguna Madre. 16 Laguna Shores RoadRuns along Laguna Madre in Flour Bluff numerous boat launches and sites for shore and wade fishing. 17 Oso BayWhile this small bay which is fed freshwater by Oso Creek is known more for flounder gigging warm water released from the electrical power plant is said to attract large Redfish. Access at Yorktown Blvd. 18 Bluffs LandingLocated at the southern end of Laguna Shores Road this full service marina facility offers a boat lift storage facility launches fuel lodge and guides for charter in Laguna Madre and Baffin Bay. Home to popular Laguna Reef Restaurant. 19 Baffin Bay20 miles south of Flour Bluff rests one of the most famous fishing destinations in the United States. Baffin Bay is renown for record Speckled Trout which dwell in the extensive network of Serpulid Worm reefs that began forming over 3000 years ago. Boaters should exercise extreme caution in this area as the reefs present a boating hazard. You will see dozens of private fishing cabins situated along Laguna Madre all of which are privately owned on plots leased by Texas Parks Wildlife. The mainland is the private property of the King Ranch so visitors are cautioned against unboarding at these locations without permission. Want to go Fishing Then Fish with the Best Captain Fred Cardona and the Coastal Bend Guides Corporate Outings and Groups 469 867-5653 www.captfredcardona.com 92 Texas Coastal Bend tour guide Late Spring 2016 Keeping it Legal Texas Bag Size Limits - Saltwater Fish Important rules and details denoted with should be consulted for complete and accurate informa- tion that applies to certain species. This can be found on the TPWD web site www.tpwd.state.tx.us Source Texas Parks Wildlife Department Species Daily Bag Length in Inches Min-Max Texas Fishing License Info Obtaining a fishing license in Texas is particularly easy and not particularly expensive but is required for all forms of fishing in Texas watersand while Texas Game Wardens are among the friendliest folks youll ever meet they do have search and entry authority that is more broad than any other Texas peace officer. A fishing license is required for any person over age 17 who takes or attempts to take fish clams oysters shrimp or any other aquatic life in Texas public waters and for fish brought ashore in Texas but taken in federal waters which begin nine nautical miles offshore. In addition to children under age 17 fishing licenses are not required for Texas residents born before January 1 1931 anyone fishing in a Texas State Park and mentally disabled persons who are supervised. Every year the first Saturday in June is Texas Free Fishing Day when no license is required. Anglers should know that TPWD fishing regulations prohibit a number of activities including tournament fraud or to take kill or disturb sea turtles or their eggs endangered or threatened fish species such as paddle- fish smalltooth sawfish and others diamondback terra- pin a turtle species or any marine mammal including dolphins whales and porpoises. It is also illegal to leave edible fish or bait fish taken from public waters to die without the intent to retain the fish for consumption or bait. Rules also apply to tag and release fishing. Fishing license packages most popular in the Coastal Bend are Saltwater Package 30 for Texas residents R and 63 non-residents NR Freshwater Package 30 R 58 NR All-Water Package 40 R 68 NR Saltwater Sportfishing Stamp required 10 for all Freshwater Stamp 5 for all One-Day All Water Fishing 11 R 16 NR Senior age 65 but born after 1930 Resident Saltwater 17 Senior Resident Freshwater 12 Senior Resident All-Water 22. A number of hunting combination licenses are also of- fered along with a Lifetime Resident Fishing License for 1000. Active duty military members pay the Resident fee fishing licenses expire in Texas on August 31 each year and year-from-purchase licenses are available. Fishing licenses are sold in over 1700 locations includ- ing grocery stores outfitters park offices and more. All the info is available online tpwd.texas.gov