The Great Texas Birding Trail
This portion of the Gulf Coast of Texas is nirvana for birders and anyone who craves uncrowded shores.
Music: See the Birding Trail Playlist
Route: Port Arthur to Corpus Christi
Distance: 367 miles
Start: Port Arthur
Drive Highway 87 south through bird-filled marshes to Sabine Pass (13 miles), home to the Texas Point National Wildlife Refuge and Civil War Monument. Next up is the remarkable Smith Oaks Bird Sanctuary (59 miles), with its rookery for herons, egrets, and spoonbills.
Pit stop at FantaSea BBQ & Grill in Gilchrist (10 miles) which can't be beat for a lunch of pork ribs, brisket, or Zummo Meat Co. sausage. Thousands of waterfowl can be found at Boliver Flats Shorebird Sanctuary (16 miles), where you can drive on the beach.
Continue aboard the Bolivar ferry (4.5 miles) to Galveston (shown here). Check into Hotel Galvez (rates start at $134, see our review) for chic decor and a luxurious spa.
Finish by taking the toll bridge over to Follets Island (29 miles), followed by stops at Quintana Neotropical Bird Sanctuary (20 miles) and Aransas National Wildlife Refuge (148 miles) before the final leg into Corpus Christi (67 miles).