The Padre Island National Seashore offers more than 70 miles of magnificent coastline, prairies, wind tidal flats, and dunes, creating a wealth of recreational opportunities for locals and visitors alike. This barrier island separates the Gulf of Mexico from the hypersaline Laguna Madre, right off the coast of sunny Texas. Sea turtles nest in the area and over 380 species of birds call the region home, making it a great destination for animal lovers. Best of all, this national seashore is dog-friendly!
Your pooch must remain on a leash at all times during your visit, and can explore most of the seashore with you, including 60 miles of beach! The park asks that the beach area directly in front of the Pavilion stay free of pets, marked by several shade structures, but the rest of the beach is open for doggos! You'll find a sandy pet access trail leading from the parking lot to the beach, which features human restrooms and showers to help rinse off the sand when returning to your car. Take a dip in the Gulf with your furry bestie, or sunbathe in the sand.
Along with excellent swimming opportunities, you can also kayak the Laguna Madre. During certain times of the year, you may even be able to view a sea turtle hatchling release, something that few people get to witness in their lifetime. Fishing is also available here, but you'll need to pick up a fishing license before you get to the park, as they are not sold inside the national seashore.
Camping is another favorite activity for visitors to Padre Island National Seashore, and is also dog-friendly. The campgrounds are open year-round and are all available on a first-come, first-serve basis. The locations are primitive, but RV water filling and dump stations are available to all campers. You do need a permit to camp, even for tent camping on the beach, a pawrific way to spend a night with your pup. Permits can be found at the kiosks at the entrance to each of the five campground areas.
Be sure to bring all the essentials for a safe and fun day with your dog, including food, water to share, and of course, clean-up bags. Always pick up whatever your pup puts down, wherever you are in the national seashore. While the park is open 24 hours a day, everyday, the entrance stations are not. If you happen to come when the station is closed, please be sure to stop and pay when you leave, or the next morning if you are camping. Fees range from $10 per vehicle for a one day pass, to $20 for a 7 day pass and $40 for an annual pass.
For a pawtastic time on a stunning island, you and your pup are going to love the Padre Island National Seashore!