During the sweltering days of summer (and the way-too-long months of winter), it seems everyone digs out their swimsuits and flocks the nearest Insta-worthy, palm-tree lined paradise.
During these high-tourism seasons, the best vacation spots seem to double in population.
But crowds, beach concerts, and tailgates aren’t everyone’s speed, and here in the Coastal Bend, there are plenty of quiet havens to escape the crowds and enjoy a leisurely holiday. To help you find your own peaceful corner of the world, we’ve created a list of the less-traveled (but no less beloved) vacation spots in the Coastal Bend.
1. Holiday Beach and Lamar
Why We Love It: These two Rockport neighborhoods are the very definition of a getaway destination. A few steps removed from the hustle and bustle of city life (and surrounded by wildlife and state parklands), both are perfect for fishing, boating, and beaching it up. No fuss, just fish. Vacationers can grab some comfort food at Caroline’s Turtle Bay Cafe, try out the shark fishing in Copano Bay, and take a short drive (though it’s even closer by boat) to the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge.
Where To Stay: If you dream of sipping sweet tea and watching for dolphins from the shade of your private porch, might we suggest this adorable coastal cabin in Lamar on Airbnb?
In Holiday Beach, vacation homes come in myriad styles and sizes, and the water is never more than 3 miles away — take this canal front home, for example! The masses haven’t discovered this little haven yet, so the area is still rich in spacious land that is practically begging for custom builds. And pretty much every home comes with a deck for days of lounging and gazing at the sunset.
Why We Love It: Talk about spacious and relaxing! There’s no end of hiking, swimming, boating, and fishing, especially at Lake Corpus Christi State Park. Plus, the award-winning South Texas Distillery is right in town, and it’s perfect for relaxing with friends or family…10/10 would recommend an afternoon spent in their tasting room.
Where To Stay: How about right on Lake Corpus Christi? Vacation properties like this lakefront beauty provide homeowners and renters with a sizeable chunk of land, unlimited access to the lake for water sports, and oftentimes a private pier and/or boat ramp!
609 Carmel Dr: $399,900
Short-term vacationers might enjoy this cozy cabin for two on a beautiful, sprawling tract of Texas farmland. Southern Charm on the outside…
…modern sophistication on the inside.
3. Padre Island (The Canal Side)
Why We Love It: With 70 miles of stunning coastline, delicious eats, and a busy events calendar, North Padre Island is the place for a laid-back, sun-soaking, crowd-free vacation in South Texas. (And it’s not to be confused with party-central South Padre Island.) On the island, everything is within walking distance: the coffee shop, the waterpark, the bars, and the beach.
Where To Stay: The small number of chain hotels on the island tend to attract most of the tourists, but why stay at a cookie-cutter hotel when there’s a goldmine of unique and convenient vacation homes and Airbnb rentals at your fingertips? All along the canals of the Laguna Madre on the island’s western side, Padre Island homes like this residential beauty decorate the waterfront with tropical color.
4. Downtown Corpus Christi
Why We Love It: Sure, downtown Corpus Christi gets its fair share of tourist attention, but so often vacationers head straight to beach towns like Rockport and Port Aransas, grab a hotel on the beach, and camp out for a week on the sand. And we don’t blame them! But we think the “sparkling city on the coast” definitely deserves a shout-out, too.
The active and diverse cultural, art, and foodie scene of downtown Corpus Christi is a favorite among Coastal Bend residents, but all too often vacationers drive right by on their way to the islands — rookie mistake! Between the top-notch museums, an emerging arts scene, impressive array of locally-owned bars and eateries, and booming events calendar, this corner of the Coastal Bend deserves way more attention than it gets.
Where To Stay: Downtown vacation homes and condos like this one boast trendsetting architecture, an unbeatable central location, and affordability — all the trappings of a “home away from home.” Plus, most come with gym access, garage parking, and gated access.
Why We Love It: Staring back at Corpus Christi from across the bay is Portland, a town of coastal tranquility tailor-made for outdoorsy folk and adventurers. Need to stretch your legs? Head to Sunset Lake Park for a hike through coastal wetland habitats and up-close look at the local wildlife. Fancy a couple rounds of golf? Reserve a tee time at the sought-after NorthShore Country Club.
Where To Stay: Property in the Coastal Bend is known for its affordability, but Portland definitely stands out as a “more-bang-for-your-buck” town. Vacation properties range from the casual condo to the stately country club estate, and homes are usually generous in how much house they give for your dollar. This spacious home is a prime example of the impressive layout and luxury style typical of a Portland property.
If you’re looking for that “home away from home,” Keller Williams Coastal Bend has the experience and expert knowledge to make your search a breeze! Buying a home for the first time? Download our exclusive Buyer’s Guide. Want to know your loan options? Speak with a local lender. And when it’s time to find the perfect home, contact an agent to help you make your dream home a reality.