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One Tank Trip for South Texas Camping
This Trip Sponsored By
Colonia del Rey RV Park
Total mileage / average drive time:
137 miles – 2 hours, 27 minutes
There are few other places on the map that embody the spirit of exploration and adventure like the southern region of Texas where sprawling deserts meet the Mexico border resulting in a blending of cultures and a collision of worlds both old and new. Here you are free to spend your evenings under the stars like a pioneer of old or choose the path of a more modern urban explorer.
Corpus Christi is the starting point for our adventure through south Texas, and boy, what a great place to start. As a major deep-water port, Corpus Christi is one of the most popular destinations on the coast where miles of beach, numerous piers and jetties and warm dry weather create the perfect climate for fishing, swimming, boating or just relaxing in the sun. Venture a little south of the bay and you will discover Padre Island National Seashore, consisting of more than 130,000 acres of pristine, undeveloped dunes, sandy beaches and grasslands. Unlike most other beaches, you can actually drive on the beaches here to access the remotest areas of the park. Fish, hike or take some time and learn about the efforts being made to rescue sea turtles at the visitors center. There are many exhibits on display on the natural and cultural history of the park. If you’re looking for an experience beyond the usual beach fare, rent a bike and head for the newly restored Seawall, offering spectacular views of the bay or swim with the dolphins at the Dolphin Connection. If you’re up to a little walking, discover some of the oldest and most beautiful structures in Corpus Christi at the Heritage Park, including the Britton-Evans Centennial House, once used as a Confederate hospital in the Civil War and later used as a citizen’s refuge during Indian and desperado raids during the 1870s.
40.3 miles – 46 minutes
Heading out of Corpus Christi on I-37N, merge onto TX-358E then merging again onto TX-44W. Make a left onto US-77S and follow it into our next stop, Kingsville. Welcome to the birthplace of the American ranching industry! Established by Captain Richard King in 1853, who also established the enormous 825,000 acre King Ranch, still in operation today. Get a first hand glimpse into the day-to-day operations of the ranch and stop by the visitor center for the incredible history of the ranch and the surrounding area. Tour buses will take you through many parts of the ranch where you’ll see the horse cemetery, auction area and many other historic buildings. For birders, Kingsville is an extraordinary place for viewing with more than a million acres of shorelines, brush and arid deserts where some 450 species of birds come to rest during the year.
96.5 miles – 1 hour, 45 minutes
Saddle up, we’re heading out of town on US-77S into our next destination, Harlingen, about 97 miles away. Taking its name from a canal-encircled town in the Netherlands, Harlingen is a beautiful location, popular for its easy access into Northern Mexico via the Free Trade Bridge 10 miles away and steadily gaining popularity for those looking for a warmer clime during those blustery cold days of winter. Because of Harlingen’s location at the convergence of two major flyways, birders will be in paradise along the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail, Ramsey Nature Park and Harlingen Thicket Bird Sanctuary, a 40-acre tract of native brush right within the city center. The historic section of downtown is widely known as one of the best places to get great deals on antiques. Many of the unique antique shops along the street have been restored to their former glory, which adds to the experience. Once you’ve shopped to your heart’s content, pay a visit to the Harlingen Arts and Heritage Museum and relive some of the glory days of Harlingen when it was an airbase. You’ll also find many other fascinating displays on railroads, ranching and vintage medical equipment.
Check out the 2011 One Tank Trip For South Texas
Check out the 2010 One Tank Trip For South Texas
Woodall's Recommended Campgrounds in Texas
Back to One Tank Trips for 2012