A Taste of Coastal Texas

This article is an itinerary.

Understand

Texas State Highway 35 runs from Houston to Corpus Christi, keeping a slight distance from the Gulf of Mexico. A short trip along the highway can reveal scenes and character that you can't get along the interstate. Expect to see skyscrapers and shacks, sprawl and space, and everything in between - and this is only a small slice of what there is to see in Texas.

This itinerary is written for a three-day weekend trip, Friday through Sunday, especially about the second Saturday in June. Several of the listed attractions are available only about that time. Of course, by picking only a few of the listed items, a traveller can follow the full route in under a day.

Prepare

While some locations are fairly remote, you'll never be too far from civilization. You'll need to use a private car (there are plenty of rental locations at either endpoint), so just make sure to stop for gas when you near a quarter tank. Aside from a basic road safety kit, you'll be able to meet any need that comes up with roadside resources. The most remote place on SH-35 is less so than some places on Route 66.

Get in

If you aren't already in the Houston area, it's closer to fly into Houston Hobby Airport (HOU) - it borders SH-35.

Drive

While the "headwaters" of SH-35 are in Mason Park, on Bray's Bayou, safety, sprawl, standards, and one-way streets limit the practical starting point to SH-35 (Telephone Rd.) at I-45 (Gulf Freeway).

Houston to Pearland

Begin by heading south on SH-35 (here known as Telephone Rd.) from I-45. You'll quickly pass IH-610 and through Houston's Golfcrest neighborhood. This area was considered posh in the 1920s, but has since fallen and is beginning to gentrify. While there is little of specific historical merit along the road, the sights are worth seeing.

See

After you pass Hobby Airport and the urbanization fades, you'll pass pastures and feed stores before you even reach BW-8 (the Beltway). You will notice an abrupt rising of buildings again as you enter Pearland.

Eat

If you started in the morning, you might already be ready for something to eat. Among many great places to breakfast are the Busy Bee Cafe, if you have time to sit down and enjoy yourself, or Sonic if you're in a hurry.

Pearland to Brazoria

Take 521 after Angelton, cross the Brazos.

See

Brazoria to Bay City

Take SH-36 north to West Columbia, then SH-35 South (left) to Bay City.

See

Eat

If you didn't catch lunch in Brazoria, there's a couple more places not far down the road in Old Ocean.

Bay City has several decent places too.

Bay City to Palacios

Take SH-35 South to Palacios. Stay on Business 35 (1st St., then Main St., then follow it right). If you've been visiting most of the listed attractions, it will probably be coming up on dinner time. Take a couple of hours for a good meal, walk along the water, and look around at some of the history.

See

Eat

Sleep

Palacios to Seadrift

Get up, grab breakfast (you might consider heading back up north to Blessing to eat at the Hotel), and get on the road. The Half Moon Reef Lighthouse was moved from Palacios to Port Lavaca several years ago for preservation. It's appropriate that you'll pass right by it.

Seadrift is well worth the detour, though getting there can be an adventure. Follow SH-35 south again. FM-185 makes a staggered cross of SH-35 a few miles down the road. Take FM-185 south (left). You'll pass through Long Mott (if you even notice it), and find yourself deep in the middle of nowhere. Press on! You'll eventually pass The Captain's Quarters on the left, and come up Main St. Take it south (right) to reach the water.

If you happen to come into town on the weekend of the second Saturday in June, you're in for a treat. Shrimpfest is held on Friday and Saturday night, and the Texas Water Safari finishers begin to come in Sunday evening. Both of these events are at the pavilion in Bayfront Park. If you stay for the festivities, you might need to spend a second night on the road. Be aware that lodgings in Seadrift on that weekend are usually completely booked a year in advance, and plan accordingly.

You might otherwise consider chartering a fishing trip on the bay.

See

Eat

Do

Sleep

Seadrift to Rockport

Get out of Seadrift in the morning (unless you dally and get some morning fishing in). Take FM-185 north (left) to SH-35, Then SH-35 south (right) through Tivoli (don't blink, you might miss it!) to Rockport. Rockport began as a cattle packing town about the time of the civil war, but became a fishing village in the 1920s. Its primary industries now are fishing (and shrimping) and tourism (and recreation). You'll be able to rent a jetski or sailboat, swim, and explore the town.

See

Eat

Rockport to Corpus Christi

Follow SH-35 South one last time. It will take you to straight to Corpus (which, despite being Latin for "body", is regularly used as the city's nickname).

See

Eat

Sleep

You might need to catch up on sleep after seeing the sights in town.

Go next

You can fly out of the airport, or take I-35 north to San Antonio, then I-10 back to Houston. Or go back north on SH-35 and see what you missed the first time.

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Thursday, January 14, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.