Bolivar Peninsula and the town of Crystal Beach is a gem of a Texas beach getaway that offers a nearly limitless amount of things to see and do. Relax on the pristine wide sandy beach, swim in the inviting water, and work on your sun tan. Follow that up with some time fishing off a jetty or a round of golf at the nine-hole Rancho Carribe Golf Course. During the winter, head over to the Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge to see one of the thousands of birds that migrate to this part of the Texas Gulf Coast, a rare treat for birding enthusiasts and animal admirers. There are, of course, tons of other things to do in Crystal Beach and Bolivar Peninsula that will make your vacation one to remember. Read on to discover many of the experiences you’ll have when you visit.
Not only can you do just about anything on the beach, you’re rarely limited by location. Hang out with the crowds if you like, or get in your car and drive down the beach to a more secluded spot. While you can drive just about anywhere on the beach, you should keep in mind the kind of vehicle that would work best in the sand before you head out. With all the space you could ever need and a world of possibilities, you can make a beach getaway to Bolivar Peninsula truly your own.
Fortunately, you don’t have to go too far to take it all in for yourself. One of the major birding destinations in Texas, the Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge, is just 40 miles away. While you can see many birds year-round, fall and winter sees some of the most majestic birds migrate to the area, such as Sandhill cranes, snow geese, and roseate spoonbills. Another option is the Smith Oaks Bird Sanctuary, located in High Island just southeast of the refuge, where you can wander the tranquil walking trails shaded by 100-year-old live oak trees. The Horseshoe Marsh and Bolivar Flats bird sanctuaries on the west end of the Bolivar Peninsula are two of the peninsula’s other birding spots. No matter where you go, don’t forget your camera or binoculars, hiking shoes, and your birding checklist. After all, you won’t want to miss a thing while you’re in one of the best birding destinations in Texas.
Speaking of hazards, conquer a different set of them at The Gulf Range, a brand new 18-hole miniature golf course in Crystal Beach. Test your short game against your friends and family, then revel in your victory as you enjoy a drink at the saloon. Beyond the miniature golf, The Gulf Range has billiards tables, a volleyball court, an arcade, a giant jenga set, and more types of entertainment that folks of all ages can enjoy.
Although you can’t step inside the lighthouse, you can snap a compelling photo of it. The jet black façade, the result of years of coastal winds eroding the original black and white paint, makes it a distinctive subject for any kind of photo.
The spellbinding sound of crashing waves isn’t the only type of music you’ll hear while you’re in Bolivar Peninsula. On the contrary, this part of Texas is a thriving live music hotspot. The Stingaree Restaurant and Marina and HardHeads Icehouse & Grill routinely welcome first-class rock and rollers and country bands from all over the state. Even better, many of these shows are free. After enjoying a full day of listening to the cascading surf, treat yourself to the twangs of acoustic guitars and the crashes of drums at a concert venue in Bolivar Peninsula.
In most places you would probably need a car to get around, but not so in Crystal Beach. Here, one of the best ways to get out to the beach is by golf cart. Why carry your heavy cooler, beach gear, and fishing equipment when you could load it up in a cart and cruise to the beach? As it turns out, there are several places you can rent a golf cart in Crystal Beach, so it is easy to get one. The use of golf carts is so prevalent in town that there’s even a massive annual parade called the Golf Cart Poker Run. Held in August, the parade includes more than 200 golf carts and culminates with a live auction and an award for best decorated.
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