Did you know you can drive on the beach in Texas? You can! Well, on Padre Island at least. People just drove right on to the sand, and pulled up to the water. I guess it beats lugging around a bunch of gear!
A ranger talk at Padre Island National Seashore taught us about the Gulf currents and how loads of stuff washes onto the shores there. Not just trash, although there is sadly a ton of it, but also fish bones, and sea beans from the Caribbean and South America. We were very proud to find a hamburger seed and a sea heart bean (it floated all the way from Brazil!). On the way out of the park we passed a controlled burn, which was a little too close to the road in my opinion!
Padre Balli beach was about a 10 minute walk from our Airbnb. It was a quiet and relaxing beach, with a fishing pier at one end. A good spot for pretty sunsets. On one of our walks we watched a Coast Guard drill. Another weekend, the beach hosted the Barefoot Mardi Gras Festival, with a parade on the beach! I think this gave us a small glimpse of how crazy spring break can get (but we left town just before the crowds arrived).