Chicago has its Cows, Cincinnati its Flying Pigs, and Port Isabel has Dolphins. Several of these fiberglass statues can be seen throughout Port Isabel, in public places, and in front of business establishments. Each one of the brightly colored figures is decorated differently, and they all add a touch of charm and festivity to the town. Here Karen is posing beside one of the Dolphins on Lighthouse Square.
Wherever you go in Port Isabel you're never far from Laguna Madre. This large shallow bay seperates Port Isabel from South Padre Island. The water is a deep blue, always warm, and usually calm. It offers unlimited opportunities for boating, fishing, water sports, and observing birds and dolphins. This picture is of one of the sailboats we saw from a sightseeing boat as we were out on the bay one afternoon during our visit. In the background you can see the Queen Isabella Causeway, the longest bridge in Texas, which connects Port Isabel with South Padre Island. See our South Padre Island pages for tips on that destination.
Gateway to South Padre Island
Port Isabel is the small town everyone passes through on their way to the main tourist destination, South Padre Island. It does, however, have a few features that deserve one's attention, which I am highlighting on my Pt. Isabel pages.
Pt. Isabel is the western terminus for the Queen Isabella Causeway, a 2 mile bridge which is the only land connection to S. Padre Island.
"Pt. Isabel Lighthouse"
This is the town's second claim to fame. Nearby a fort was built by American troops led by Gen. (later U.S. President) Zachary Taylor in 1846.
The lighthouse is open daily and for a small fee you can climb the steps and observe the area from the top.
Port Isabel, Texas
Many people pass by this historic town on the southern tip of Texas in their hurry to get to the better known resort of South Padre Island. We feel they do so at their own loss. Port Isabel is the older of the two communities and has much to offer in the way of historic, scenic and natural attractions. It was once home to the largest shrimp fleet in America, and is still a fishing village as well as a recreational spot.
When we recently spent a week-long vacation at South Padre Island, we found ourselves coming back over the causeway to the mainland and Port Isabel several times to sample its fine restaurants, museums, shops and nearby outdoor opportunities. We especially enjoyed exploring Port Isabel's splendid old Lighthouse Square and the waterfront.