Summer Is Finally Here!
● By Michela May
By: Michela May Photo By: Rachel Benavides
It is official the first day of summer! I know many of you may not believe that since the heat is already encroached on a lot of our plans lately. I feel the same way, and have already had several sunburns saying that summer is already here. But truly, today is the first day of summer!
Lately, I’ve been finding the beach more and more enticing. They’re quiet and an escape from the confines of the apartment and office. As much as I enjoy keeping up my living area plants and writing during the weekend, sometimes it’s a great option to get out and not have to concentrate on chores and tasks for the upcoming week.
I plan far in advance with where to go and make sure everything is taken care of before I do. Most of my planning consists of what to pack, where I’m going, and the food selection to prepare. This weekend includes making a blueberry lemon cream pie. It’s a great refreshing dessert to treat yourself with after sitting in the sun for so long.
These long beach weekends always recharge me. There’s something about sitting out in the sun and not doing much, other than maybe enjoying a book or watching nature move around you, that makes me feel all the more ready for next week.
Here are some of my favorite beaches to visit during the summer months, or any month that is.
Padre Island National Seashore is one of the most pristine and gorgeous beaches that the Texas coastline has to offer. You can find miles of beautifully preserved beaches with white sand, encased between the warm sea water and high dunes. The waves here are different from the Port Aransas beaches. They are not as rough and moved the sand in a mesmerizing twist over the beach, leaving behind small patterns and lines. The sand is soft and fine, always soaking up the sun and radiating heat.
I even managed to dig up a young ghost crab. It was an accident—thinking it was a clam hiding under the sand while building a small sandcastle. There were thousands of them already on the beach, digging under the top layer of sand every time the waves shifted it, making air bubbles rise to the surface as they buried themselves. It was just as startling a discovery to me as it was for the crab. He was no bigger than my fingernail and looked absolutely appalled that I had uprooted him from his hideout. I was in shock staring at him for a minute before he scampered away, but he was beautiful. It really shows what kind of wildlife you can find there simply by going about your day.
Malaquite Beach is much of the same way, with the exception that it is even quieter. Here, if anyone is going have a large and loud beach party, they will probably rethink the location. This beach has no on-sand parking which helps maintain the natural beauty of the coastline. I love that about this beach specifically. There is less noise and traffic, and the people here are simply enjoying their time out on the sand. It is also just as full with small marine creatures as Padre. Barely a few miles apart, they share the same stretch of beach, but here the sand is not packed in by vehicles, making it one of the more sought after locations. This stop is an absolute dream and you can wade out seemingly forever.
Mustang beach has been one of my most visited spots, even since I was a child. With a large, flat coastline, this beach is perfect for anybody. It is close to Port Aransas and gets tons of traffic, but still has plenty of space for anyone to set up their spot and be secluded from others. This place has larger waves and higher wind speeds, which is perfect for any kite surfers and kite fliers alike that wish to take part in the windy terrain. Our parakeet kite did not manage to last in the wind too long without risk of breaking the cross spar, but during most weekends this beach is quite and sports some of the most interesting and colorful kites. Not to mention, there are plenty places to grab a bite to eat after an excursion. I typically enjoy a plate from La Playa every time I drive through Port Aransas. The atmosphere of the restaurant really plays into the relaxed beach lifestyle, all while providing traditional Mexican dishes.
For something a little closer to home, North beach is one of the livelier places to explore in Corpus Christi. Close to the Lexington and the Texas State Aquarium, there are plenty of people mingling and enjoying their weekend out on the beach. This is essentially a place just far enough away from home I could even stop by during the weekday if I wanted. Living in a place only minutes away from smaller beaches has its perks, but I typically love the drive and planning for the trips. It gives my mind something else to do other than mentally planning out stories for next week and following up with everything that comes with graduation.
One last beach that I enjoy is in Rockport. I oddly love the sand here. It has a course texture and moves differently with the waves when compare to all the other beaches previously mentioned. The water also does not get deep like some of the other beaches. There is a wide distance of shelf here so anyone can wade out pretty far before water hits waist deep. Most visits I manage to find plenty of sand dollar shells, too!
There are plenty more beaches that span the Coast Bend region, but these have always been my go-to spots for long beach outings. All these places provide something unique to the Coast Bend, from the wildlife to the sand we build castles with. Just make sure to take care of yourself and have a fun summer!