Two Fishy Texas Coastal Towns
DECEMBER 9: Just like when we were in Maine, time is flying as we have already been in Texas nearly a month and haven’t had a chance to look around much. We did have a little getaway to Austin a little over a week ago. We have found that even though there are lots of things we want to see and do in Texas, it is also nice to spend our weekends loafing at home. You know stay in your jammies, lay on the couch, and eat bonbons! So we are working on finding the perfect balance of relaxation and adventure. We are super lucky that these are the things we have to worry about. Since we arrived, we have been working 3 days a week. However, since the other Workamping couple left, we are now the 4-Day a week crew. Better for the piggy bank, but not as good for trying to tip the scale toward more adventure. Due to the timing of our change in schedule, this gave us an unexpected seven days off in a row! If only we had known in advance, we would have planned to do some traveling. We are still working on a list of must sees and must dos while we are in this area of Texas. If you have any suggestions, please do comment below or send us email or Facebook message. While Google reviews are great, personal recommendations are totally better.
Being completely new to the area, we still want to get to know our community. We have visited a few businesses in Port Lavaca, but had heard about several other small coastal towns nearby. Today’s agenda was to circle through two of them - Port O’Connor and Seadrift.
Like many of the nearby towns, Port O’Connor is primarily known for fishing. Anyone have a spare fishing pole they want to send our way? Neither of us our fishers, but we just may have to cast out a few lines while in this area. In the late 19th century, the area was laid out as a fishing settlement and as it grew in popularity it came the town of Port O’Connor in 1909, named after its main landowner at the time. When we arrived, we followed signs for “The Beach”. This brought us to a small little park and a long fishing pier. It was certainly a chilly afternoon, but it didn’t stop us from heading out to the end of the pier at King Fisher Beach. From there we had a view of the Matagorda Bay and Matagorda Island less than 3 miles from the shore. Matagorda Island was once an army air base, but the barrier island is now a National Preserve which is home for a wide variety of migratory birds. While not visible from Port O’Connor, just beyond the barrier island is the Gulf of Mexico. As we walked back the pier, we spotted some unusual looking blobs in the sand near the coastline. Once we got closer, we noticed they were jellyfish. We tried to tell ourselves they were just looking for some warmth and sun, but we knew that was not the case. There were lots and lots of dead jellyfish. It made me pout, but it was pretty interesting to see them up close and personal without worrying about getting tangled up in their tentacles.
We stayed on a road hugging the coast of the Bay as long as we could before heading about 15 minutes down the road to Seadrift. Port O’Connor has a population of 1,253 and Seadrift is slightly bigger with about 111 more people. Port O’Connor is not large by any stretch of the imagination, but is about 6 times larger than its neighbor Seadrift which land area in the incorporated town is only 1.167 square miles. Seadrift is a quaint fishing and shrimping community nestled along the shore of the San Antonio Bay. We parked a walked along the shore at the Bay Front Park. This just happens to be the end of The Great Texas Water Safari. Sounds cool, but what is it?? Now they say you should learn something new everyday and on this particular day this was our something new. The Great Texas Water Safari is the World’s toughest canoe race consisting of 260 miles of non-stop paddling. It originally started in 1963 and is held every June starting in Aquaria Springs in San Marcos and Seadrift playing host to this grueling race's finish line. You won’t find us participating in this race, but you may find us in the crowd of one of Seadrift’s other June events, Shrimpfest. I didn’t learn to like lobster in Maine, so I highly doubt I will learn to like shrimp in Texas, but that means double the fun for Russ. Maybe that’s why he married me, no chance of me snatching his precious seafood. On our way out of town, we passed two places we might meander on our next visit - Bubba’s Cajun Seafood and the Art Boat which is an art studio and gallery in the hull of a 60-feet steel shrimp boat.
Both Port O’Connor and Seadrift were both small, coastal towns where the emphasis is fishing & boating. While I’m sure they do draw some sun-seeking tourist during the summer months, they certainly aren’t like the coastal towns we have been accustomed to in our travels along the eastern seaboard of the United States. They are certainly low-key, laid-back communities were fishing in King! We do look forward to spending more time in both of the towns for special events or an afternoon by the water. I don’t think we will likely get an invitation to any of the Port O’Connor fishing tournaments nor will you see us pulling up to the finish line of the canoe race, but I do think we could play the roles of spectators quite well.