Illustrations © Bryan Spear

Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge

PARKS | SOUTH TEXAS REGION


 22688 Buena Vista Rd | Los Fresnos

 $3 vehicle parking fee


 Snap a selfie along one of the park's wildlife watching or nature trails.


Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge is the U.S. half of the first binational Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network site. Together with Rancho Rincón de Anacahuitas in Mexico, the sites host more than 100,000 shorebirds annually, plus butterflies, deer, wildcats and other species that might migrate across international borders.


Mustang Island State Park

SPLASH | SOUTH TEXAS REGION


 9394 State Highway 361 | Corpus Christi

 $5 park admission


 With the Gulf in the background, take a selfie next to any of the park’s wooden beach picnic shelters.


Who doesn’t love the beach?! With more than five miles of coastline, you’re sure to find room for summer fun at Mustang Island State Park.


The Republic of the Rio Grande Museum

HISTORY | SOUTH TEXAS REGION


 1005 Zaragoza St | Laredo

 $3 museum admission


 Snap a selfie in front of the museum’s seven flags, or holding a copy of the Laredo Morning Times, with seven flags on its banner.


Since European settlers arrived in what is now Texas, the territory has been a part of six countries: Spain, France, Mexico, the Republic of Texas, the Confederate States of America and the United States. The border city of Laredo, however, was once part of a seventh: the Republic of the Rio Grande, an independent country that, in 1840, lasted 10 months. Learn more about the seven flags of Laredo and Texas at the Republic of the Rio Grande Museum.


La Sal del Rey

QUIRKY | SOUTH TEXAS REGION


 22 miles west of Exit 186 of N Hwy 77

 Free admission


 Forget footprints in the sand — try footprints in the salt. Snap a selfie of yourself and your salty steps.


One of three naturally occurring salt lakes in South Texas, La Sal del Rey (the king’s salt) is a 530-acre hypersaline lake that sits above an estimated 4 million tons of salt. It’s seven times saltier than the ocean. Be ready for a mile hike down to the site.


Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge

WILDLIFE | SOUTH TEXAS REGION


 3325 Green Jay Road | Alamo

 $5 vehicle parking fee


 Take a selfie from any stage (base, intermediate deck or top deck) of the 40-foot open-air Tree Tower Overlook.


The Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge is a birder’s delight. Look up as you walk along the 12 miles of foot trails to see chachalacas, kingfishers, green jays and pelicans. Try the canopy walk — a rope bridge extending between two towers — and experience wildlife above, below and right next to you.


Whataburger

BONUS | SOUTH TEXAS REGION


 121 N Shoreline Blvd | Corpus Christi


 Snap a selfie with an order of fries, a soft drink or a milkshake in front of the flagship Whataburger location.


If you're anywhere near Corpus Christi, you need to stop off at the flagship WHATABURGER.