Destination guide

Avast, ye visitors! Enjoy a pretty town with a pirating past

Sweet, seaside Port Isabel was a frequent landing spot for Spaniards and pirates from the 16th to the 18th centuries. From 1872 on, it transformed into a hub of more reputable commerce and the endpoint of the Rio Grande Railroad. Now, the city is quaint and welcoming, with a charming downtown shopping area, miles of waterfront, and oodles of options for fishermen, sailors, nature lovers, and kids on the prowl for summer fun and adventure. Museums and the city's historic lighthouse add opportunities for travelers to explore the area's maritime origins.

Things to do

From sunken treasure to a lofty lighthouse

For a sunny, seaside city, Port Isabel has more history and historical landmarks than you might expect. The Treasures of the Gulf Museum displays artifacts from 3 Spanish galleons that went down nearby in 1554, plus hands-on activities for the whole family and a children's discovery lab. It's hard to miss the Port Isabel Lighthouse, which was built between 1852 and 1853. As the only lighthouse open to the public on the Texas Gulf Coast, the stately structure offers gorgeous views of the area; that is, if you don't mind climbing 70 steps to the top.

Activities

Hearing the call of the sea? Cast a line or coast the bay

Port Isabel offers visitors a hundred and one ways to cure their sea fever. Pirate's Landing Pier is the longest fishing pier in Texas, and there are plenty of options for fly fishing and boat rentals, too. If you prefer your marine life off the hook, try a dolphin-watching cruise, or cross the bridge to South Padre Island to spot sea turtle hatchlings toddle down the beach. Snag a Port Isabel vacation rental downtown, and you can walk to cute shops trimmed in pastel details and framed by towering palms.

Weather

Port Isabel is a haven on the tropical tip of Texas

Port Isabel's climate is tropical and lovely, especially in spring and summer. Spring breakers love to kick back on the south Texas coast, and your Port Isabel vacation rental will offer the best of both worlds: an easy drive from party central on South Padre Island, and a peaceful home base for a break from the crowds. Summer is hot, with temps hitting the upper 80s, so bring your sunscreen and enjoy the breeze off the South Bay. Winters are a little chilly for swimming but perfect for walking and biking.

Natural features

Birds, butterflies, and beasts of the sea

There's birdwatching galore in Port Isabel and neighboring areas. The city has placed specially selected foliage on the walkway connecting downtown museums to attract birds and butterflies, and ornithologists (pro or amateur) can visit the South Padre Island Birding and Nature Center, a beachfront wetland area with a boardwalk and observation tower. If you book downtown or near the pier, your Port Isabel vacation rental will be within walking distance from the Dolphin Research and Sealife Nature Center, which delights nature lovers of all ages.

How to get there

Traveling to and around Port Isabel

The nearest airport is in Brownsville, TX (BRO-Brownsville-South Padre Island Intl.), located 18.2 mi (29.3 km) from the city center. If you're unable to find a flight that fits your schedule, you could book a flight to Matamoros, Tamaulipas (MAM-General Servando Canales Intl.), which is 29.1 mi (46.9 km) away.

Where to stay around Port Isabel?

Our 2019 property listings offer a large selection of 1,948 vacation rentals near Port Isabel. From 314 Houses to 1,463 Condos/Apartments, find a unique house rental for you to enjoy a memorable stay with your family and friends. The best places to stay near Port Isabel for a holiday or a weekend are on HomeAway.

What are the popular points of interest near where I can stay when traveling to Port Isabel?

HomeAway offers a large selection of vacation rentals near lovely places in Port Isabel. From HomeAway travelers, the most popular points of interest to stay for a holiday trip or just for a weekend are:

  • Long Island Village Golf Course: 1,767 vacation rentals
  • Boca Chica State Park: 1,954 vacation rentals
  • South Padre Island Golf Club: 1,867 vacation rentals
  • Port Isabel Lighthouse: 1,766 vacation rentals
  • Dolphin and Nature Research Center: 1,955 vacation rentals

But there are many other points of interest around Port Isabel listed on HomeAway where you can find your place to stay. Please use our search bar to access the selection of vacation rentals available near the point of interest of your choice.

Can I rent Houses in Port Isabel?

Yes, of course. HomeAway has 314 Houses in Port Isabel. Our other popular types of vacation rentals in Port Isabel include:

  • Condos/Apartments: 1,463 rentals available
  • Cottages: 19 rentals available
  • Cabins: 19 rentals available

But you can also enjoy a great stay in one of our other vacation rentals including Bungalows and more.

Can I find a vacation rental with pool in Port Isabel?

Yes, you can select your preferred vacation rental with pool among our 1,711 vacation rentals with pool available in Port Isabel. Please use our search bar to access the selection of vacation rentals available.

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