Bolivar is a narrow peninsula on the upper Texas coast between the Gulf of Mexico and East Galveston Bay. It lies in a northeasterly direction separated from Galveston Island by the Houston Ship Channel and the Bolivar Roads, 3 miles wide. Free Public Ferries link the Peninsula with Galveston Island.
The Peninsula is called 'an offshore sandbar at the eastern end of a chain of islands extending along the Texas and Mexico coasts'. The widest point of the Peninsula's 27 miles is between Crystal Beach and Caplen, (about 3 1/2 miles). It is also known as a barrier peninsula.
Bolivar Peninsula was named in honor of Simon Bolivar (1783-1836), a freedom leader fighting to free South and Central America from Spanish rule.
The industries of Bolivar Peninsula are mainly tourism and commercial fishing, concentrating on harvesting and marketing shrimp, crabs and oysters. Their boats are docked at the seafood houses, and are a great photo opportunity on a summer evening.
There are five small communities on the peninsula. Port Bolivar, Crystal Beach, Caplen, Gilchrist and High Island, none of which are incorporated. The residents of these communities are members of civic organizations, such as the Chamber of Commerce, Volunteer Fire Department, Emergency Medical Service, A.A.R.P., Lighthouse Krewe, Community Outreach, & Jesse Tree.
Crystal Beach has the largest population. It is primarily a resort community catering to summer tourists. There are several hundred beach houses available to rent on a weekly basis from the many real estate companies, or individual home owners. The rental units are all privately owned homes with full kitchens and sleeping facilities for families of any size.
You will find a variety of fine restaurants, grocery stores, a bank, water slide, night clubs, gift shops, video stores, convenience stores - even a Golf Course!
DIRECTIONS TO CRYSTAL BEACH:
Take I-45 south to Galveston. After you pass over the causeway, continue down Broadway until you reach the beach. Turn left on Ferry Road, (two stop lights), and continue to the landing. It takes the free Galveston-Bolivar Ferry about 20 minutes to travel across the bay to Bolivar Peninsula.
When you exit the Ferry, you are on Highway 87 at the community of Port Bolivar, home of the Bolivar Lighthouse and the North Jetty, famous for fishing.
Crystal Beach is northeast on Highway 87 about 10 miles from the Ferry Landing. Our great Gulf front location makes summer, fall, spring and even winter months ideal for family vacations on Bolivar. Summer is the time for spending lazy days on the beach, shelling, crabbing or fishing. Spring is for birdwatching and more shelling, and the fall fishing is great.
ALTERNATE ROUTE from Houston (to avoid the Ferry). Take I-10 east to Winnie (exit# 828).
Take I-10 west to Winnie, then head south on Highway 124 until you come to the beach road, Highway 87. Turn right, go about 17 miles to Crystal Beach. In the community of Gilchrist, you will pass over the bridge at Rollover Fishing Pass.