Catch a fish you’ll be proud of, kayak a saltwater lake and take in a stunning sunset view, and experience all the other epic outdoor adventure in Portland, Texas. This family-friendly community sits at the convergence of Corpus Christi and Nueces bays, a region that is a hotspot for anglers, birders, and year-round sun seekers. Read on to discover some of the top things to do in Portland and start planning your retreat to the Texas Gulf Coast today.
No trip to the Texas Gulf Coast is complete without fishing, and that’s especially true in Portland. That’s because the coastal destination is home to the Indian Point Fishing Park & Pier, one of the top fishing spots near Corpus Christi. Find a spot on the long wooden pier and feel the refreshing sea breeze wash over you as you marvel at the majestic site of the USS Lexington, Harbor Bridge, and downtown Corpus Christi to the south. Although the fishing here is great any time of the year, winter is the best time to come. That’s when scores of black drum spawn in the area, leaving you with plenty to catch. Make sure to get a Texas saltwater fishing license before you visit.
Paddle in a tranquil saltwater lake, hike or bike a paved two-mile trail through coastal marshes and wetlands, and admire the many colorful birds of the Texas Gulf Coast. This is what you’ll find at Portland’s Sunset Lake Park, a 333-acre oasis. Located between Corpus Christi Bay and Nueces Bay, the park offers the best of both worlds. Swim, canoe, or kayak in the calm waters of Sunset Lake, or lay out on a sun-soaked beach. Bring your binoculars and watch herons, egrets, and pelicans hunt, roost, and nest. Friendly for nature enthusiasts and families, Sunset Lake Park offers plenty to see and do.
Travel a few miles west of Portland on FM 893 and you’ll be surrounded endless acres of wide-open farmland. However, if you take a left on FM 69E and drive south a moment, you’ll find a veritable showcase of the natural beauty of the Gulf Coast. It’s here, at the nine-acre Fred Jones Nature Sanctuary, that the native flora and fauna of the region thrives. Walk the tranquil hiking trails shaded by mesquite, blackbrush, acacia, Texas olive, and ash trees. Keep a keen eye out for the many types of birds that can be found in the park, most notably green jays, long-billed thrashers, and a variety of woodpeckers. A notable stop along numerous migratory paths, Fred Jones Nature Sanctuary is a great place to go birding near Portland throughout the year.
Gently sloping fairways, palm trees swaying in the warm sea breeze, and the bright blue waters of Corpus Christi Bay in sight. Play a round at NorthShore Country Club and you’d be forgiven for being a bit distracted by all the natural splendor of the Texas Gulf Coast. Yet you have 18 holes of golf to conquer, and that’s serious business. This links-style golf course in Portland will challenge your skills with its deviously placed sand and water hazards, forced carries, and elevated greens. It all culminates in the final four holes that sit along the bay, a worthy conclusion to one of the most scenic golf courses in the area. The course also has an on-site restaurant, pro shop, driving range, putting and chipping green, and practice bunker. Tee times for non-members are available by reservation Tuesday through Friday.
Thanks to its consistent southeastern winds, this part of the Texas Gulf Coast is a prime kiteboarding destination. While there’s no shortage of places to go kiteboarding, Violet Andrews Park stands out due to its friendly waves and shallow water. When you’re not hitting the waves, soak up the sun in the park’s large grassy area.
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