Padre Island National Seashore, one of the nation’s most popular national parks is located approximately 22 miles south of Port Aransas and is the longest stretch of undeveloped barrier island in the world. Visitor’s center is open daily except December 25. Features include a bookstore and exhibits, restrooms, rinse-off showers, first-aid and campsites. Park rangers offer a variety of interpretive programs throughout the week including beach walks, deck talks, junior ranger programs, family programs and star gazing parties.
Padre Island National Seashore is the only area in Texas where nests from five species of sea turtles have been documented. Turtle patrols for the endangered Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle and others species are conducted from late April through mid-July. The National Seashore is also one of the few places people can see newly hatched Kemp Ridley’s released back into the Gulf of Mexico. Located on the Central Flyway, a major migratory route for birds, about 380 species of birds have been documented within the park. Much of the beach is accessible only by four-wheel-drive vehicle and it is impossible to drive the entire length of the island. Nominal entry fee.