Leaving South Padre

10 04 2014
Isla Blanca Park

Isla Blanca Park

It’s been two weeks since we crossed the Queen Isabella Causeway to arrive on South Padre Island.  We’ve explored new eateries, sailed on the Brownsville ship channel and enjoyed watching life along the beach.

One of our favorite new discoveries on South Padre is the Palm Street Pier Bar & Grill.  Located on the lagoon side of the Island, this laid back pub offers award winning shrimp dishes, awesome nachos, tasty salads and great burgers and baskets.  On weekends, the Pier offers live music and dancing.  Table seating is literally on piers over the water with the kitchen and bar area in the back of the open air building.  This is a perfect spot to enjoy a cool refreshment and snack in the afternoon or a beautiful sunset, dinner and dancing into the wee hours.

Padre Island Brewing Company

Padre Island Brewing Company

Another one of our favorites that we found last year is Padre Island Brewing Company.  Perfect for a late lunch, the Brewery offers great sandwiches and burgers and of course their award winning brews.  They also offer pizza, seafood, steaks and chicken favorites.  Beers available during our visit included Speckled Trout Stout, Padre Island Pale Ale, Blonde Ale and Tidal Wave Wheat.

Another new discovery this year is Isabel’s Café.  Back across the causeway bridge in Port Isabel, Isabel’s is well known for great value, low cost breakfasts.  Offering classic American dishes complemented by spicy Mexican plates, this casual, small diner caters to both locals and tourists and celebrated their 40th anniversary this year.  Many reviews note that the Mexican plates include what may be the best tortillas ever – and we would agree – very tasty!

Super Carrier USS Forrester

Super Carrier USS Forrestal

With our sites at the edge of Isla Blanca park, we had great views of marine traffic in and out of the Gulf Intercoastal Waterway and the Brownsville ship channel.  Most of the ships and boats are tourist trade – deep sea fishing, dolphin watches, parasailing and the twice daily voyage of the Black Dragon pirate galleon from Port Isabel. But, every so often a really huge barge or freighter will make its way through the channel to or from the port of Brownsville about 20 miles inland.  Last February the 60 year old super carrier USS Forrestal took its final trip to Brownsville for dismantling and scrapping.

Today we sailed with Breakaway Cruises on a Port of Brownsville tour.  In addition to the massive ship recycling operations, Brownsville is home to many shrimp boat companies, provides building and repair facilities to offshore drilling platforms and international import/export facilities to Mexico. Tomorrow we’ll pack up and make the short trip back to Tropic Winds in Harlingen.  We have a “home washing” scheduled for Saturday, will complete some minor maintenance items, resupply the pantry and plan to be back on the road north by Tuesday or Wednesday.  More from somewhere in south-eastern Texas as we begin our journey home.

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