Founded by two graduates of Texas A&M’s Corpus Christi campus, Padre Island Surf Club caters to all levels of surfers, from first-timers to tube-riding competitors in the Texas Gulf Surfing Association. Instructors maintain a 4:1 student-to-teacher ratio during youth surf camps, tailoring their lessons to campers between the ages of 5 and 17. The team also organizes girls’ and women’s camps and after-school programs that reinforce basic math concepts by requiring students to count the sum total of each day’s high-fives.
When they aren’t building campers’ self-esteem through lessons that become more challenging with each new skill mastered, instructors turns kids loose to have fun with kayaks and standup paddleboards and even schedule trips to the Texas State Aquarium. Padre Island Surf Club’s educational efforts have earned them sponsorships from top industry companies such as Billabong, Kustom, and Surfline.
Staff Size: 2–10 people
Average Duration of Services: 2–4 hours
Recommended Age Group: All Ages
Fishing isn't always about chasing fish around lakes, rivers, and seas with your line in the water. Sometimes, it's about waiting for the fish to come to you. Lets Go Fishing CC TX's guides specialize in surf and pier fishing, and they know the right times to hit the shoreline in order to hook the best haul. They lead four-hour excursions during daylight hours, providing rods and bait and unhooking fish from the line when a customer makes a catch. They also conduct a few more specialized sessions, such as midnight pier-fishing excursions to catch sharks or trips from the shore in kayaks to hunt alligator gar, an unusual fish whose long, toothy mouth resembles an alligator's maw and whose tenor resembles Art Garfunkel's.
Private outdoor handgun range
Located about 5 miles from classroom facilities
20 people can shoot at once
Ear and eye protection provided
At a Glance
Among more than a dozen bullet points on his resume, Captain Bobby Luna of Luna & Associates holds certifications as an NRA-licensed firearm instructor and a DPS-certified concealed-handgun instructor. The US Army veteran and 30-year law-enforcement member trains his students to safely operate handguns and obtain their concealed-handgun licenses. He's also a retired game warden, which makes him an ideal instructor to teach a Texas Hunter Safety Course for novices and young hunters.
Perched on the shores of the Laguna Madre on the coast of south Texas, Bluff's Landing Marina and Lodge is a modern fishing and hunting lodge with a full-service marina. You’ll be within walking distance of the marina when you stay in a king or two-doubles room, decorated with rustic lodge items such as mounted deer heads and plaid-upholstered chairs, and you’ll have great views of the nearby ocean. Next door to the marina is Laguna Reef Restaurant, where the house chefs will cook up your day’s catch, or you can nosh on coconut shrimp and fried oysters while looking out over Laguna Madre. There’s free parking, a live bait and tackle shop onsite, and a free boat launch for the naval battleship you’ve been hauling around.
Funtrackers summons fun-seekers with a mother lode of scintillating attractions for guests of all ages. Drivers in tiny cars vanquish fellow racers with expert passing maneuvers and cloying drive-time radio jams across four different go-kart tracks, which range from a kiddie track built for drivers 3 aged and older to a pro track reserved for motorists with a valid driver’s license or permit. Floating in a 3-foot-deep pool, guests can douse each other with water from a squirt-gun turret built in to bumper boats, engaging comrades in a friendly rivalry to be continued at the 18-hole, tropical-themed miniature-golf course. Inside, buzzing sounds and whirring lights emanate from more than 50 arcade games, including skee-ball and air hockey, many of which reward success with tickets that can be redeemed for an assortment of fun prizes.
The Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History offers a chance to interact with everything from geology and biology to sunken ships and American history, all through the lens of South Texas examples. The 100,000-square-foot building contains many standing exhibits, a theater featuring local productions, the Children's Wharf playscape, and a new children's area and playground. Artifacts include one of the oldest shipwrecks in the Western hemisphere—the resting place of the San Esteban and Espíritu Santo—which plunged, storm-wracked, into the waters around Padre Island in 1554. The museum even boasts a Smithsonian-designed exhibit that explores the Seeds of Change, the five things brought to America via ship that changed its shape forever, including corn, potatoes, disease, horses, and a competent cartographer.