Things to Do

Climb to New Heights at the Reopened Historic Port Isabel Lighthouse

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If you have an affinity for lighthouses, then you’re in luck: The Historic Port Isabel Lighthouse, located in far south Texas has reopened to visitors. The lighthouse closed in 2016 so that repairs could be done to the historically significant fixture of the Gulf Coast. Repairs to the hand-railings, exterior stucco, windows, and roof have left the lighthouse looking as shiny as a new penny and ready for visitors.

Only Accessible Lighthouse in Texas


Photo: Facebook/portisabeltx

The Port Isabel Lighthouse was built in 1850 and cost $7,000 to create. It is one of 16 lighthouses built to help in the navigation efforts of sailors who used the Gulf Coast region for trade. The Port Isabel Lighthouse helped to lead ships from Mexico, Europe and other parts of the U.S. to the Brazos Santiago Port. It is estimated that in the mid-1800’s more than $10 million worth of cotton was exported through Port Isabel.

The Port Isabel Lighthouse stands 72 feet tall and is the only lighthouse accessible to visitors in the state. The view from this lighthouse is like none other, as guests can climb the 75 twisting stairs and gain access to views of the Gulf of Mexico, South Padre Island, and surrounding beaches that are unlike any other views in the state. The Port Isabel Lighthouse has even been a notable wedding ceremony locale for couples looking for a truly unique wedding venue.

Learn More About Port Isabel at the Historical Museum

shrimp boat
Photo: Facebook/portisabeltx

In addition to the lighthouse, visitors to Port Isabel can tour the Port Isabel Historical Museum and Treasures of the Gulf Museum. The museums highlight the history of the area from when it was inhabited by the Coahuilitican Indians and throughout its time as an important component in the Texas shrimping industry.

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