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Padre Island National Seashore

In 1519, when the first Spanish fleet sailed along the shore, the island was peopled by the Karankawa Indians. Padre Island became infamous as a graveyard for ships blown onto the island during storms. Around 1804, Padre Nicholas Balli, for whom the island was named, used it for his ranching operation, the first permanent European settlement on the island.

Causeways at Corpus Christi and Port Isabel connect both ends of the island to the mainland, but there is no through road; a paved road extends for only 6 miles within the national seashore and a channel separates the two islands. There is no crossing for people or vehicles over the channel. Picnicking, sportfishing, camping and driving are allowed on the seashore, except for a 4.5-mile stretch at Malaquite Beach reserved for pedestrian traffic. The Malaquite Visitor Center presents interpretive naturalist programs daily. Food is available.

Seashore open daily 24 hours. Visitor center open daily 9-5; closed Christmas. Admission, valid for 7 days, is $25 per private vehicle; $15 per person arriving on foot or by bicycle. Phone (361) 949-8068 or (361) 949-8175 for recorded weather conditions.

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