Texas Parks & Wildlife Magazine   




Boats, Bikes and Battles

South Texas offers nature, history and lots of sunshine.

From the coastal playground of Port Aransas to history-filled San Antonio, South Texas offers plenty to see and do. Wildlife is abundant — big whitetail bucks stalk the Brush Country, redfish cruise the bays and songbirds and hawks migrate through every year. Here are six places to visit in South Texas.

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 Sonja Sommerfeld | TPWD

Texas State Aquarium

Opened in 1990 and revamped in 2017, the nonprofit Texas State Aquarium in Corpus Christi is home to more than 460 species of wildlife from the Gulf of Mexico to the Caribbean with a focus on education and conservation. Get hands-on with stingrays and jellyfish in the touch tanks, and explore amazing underwater worlds filled with fish, dolphins, sharks, turtles and coral reefs.


 Chase Fountain | TPWD

Ferry Dolphin Watching

Connecting Port Aransas (on Mustang Island) to Aransas Pass (on the mainland), flat-bottomed ferries carry cars and passengers for free across the Corpus Christi Channel. If you’re lucky, you might get an escort from bottlenose dolphins riding the wake. The ride lasts about 10 minutes, and the line to get on varies from nonexistent to more than an hour at its peak.

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 Maegan Lanham | TPWD

Port O’Connor Paddling Trail

For those without access to a powerboat or plane, there are still ways to get to Matagorda Island. The Port O’Connor Paddling Trail gives kayakers a variety of options, ranging from a beeline through the marshy boundary of Espiritu Santo Bay to days of exploring various offshoots on the way to the 56,688-acre wildlife management area. Make sure to prepare for all that comes with coastal Texas environment; sunscreen and insect repellent are a must.


 Sonja Sommerfeld | TPWD

Medina River Natural Area

The Medina River Natural Area is a nature-filled gem on the southern outskirts of San Antonio. Its 511 acres of riverside landscape offer opportunities for hiking, biking and bird-watching on almost 10 miles of trails. Pecan and bald cypress trees line the trail near the river, with cactus and honey mesquite dotting the upland trails. Camping is available for groups.


 Chase Fountain | TPWD

Seguin Outdoor Learning Center

The Irma Lewis Seguin Outdoor Learning Center offers a set of mountain bike features that’s practically an amusement park for cyclists. There are seven miles of flowing single track, a pump track, skill trails and gravity-fed flow trails. That’s more than enough to get your heart beating and bump your skills to the next level.


 Chase Fountain | TPWD

Goliad’s history

Located along the San Antonio River in Goliad, this collection of historic sites allows visitors to imagine what life was like for Spanish explorers and early Texas settlers. The newly opened El Camino Real de los Tejas Visitors Center adds to an already impressive roster of sites: Mission Espíritu Santo, Zaragoza Birthplace, Mission Rosario and Presidio La Bahía. The state park offers camping; hike-and-bike trails connect the historic sites.



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