Mustang Island State Park

Mustang Island State Park
  • Drive from Austin: 240 miles/ 3.5 hours
  • Where am I? Corpus Christi, TX - south of Austin
  • Beach Amenities: Porta potty, outdoor showers
  • Food Options: We stopped for groceries at Sprouts in Corpus Christi, about 20 minutes from the state park. There are also options in Port Aransas.
  • What we brought: Made pasta salad that morning to bring for dinners (chicken, pasta, pesto, tomatoes), sandwich fixings, trail mix, bananas, apples, chips, 2 gallons of water.

Since we are both from ocean-oriented home towns, living in Austin, we miss the beach.

Mustang Island is the perfect place to get your beach fix for a weekend. When we first visited, we considered staying in Port Aransas. But after seeing the town a bit, it wasn't exactly what we were looking for in regards to camping. Mustang Island, being a state park, was definitely the better way to go. With 300 primitive beach camping spots, it was the best way to set up camp, enjoy the ocean, sand, small beach fire, and soak up the sun.

According to Texas Parks & Wildlife, Mustang Island was named for the wild horses that roamed the island for hundreds of years. However, no one is sure how the mustangs got here. Spaniards might have brought them, or perhaps they swam from a shipwreck. In the 19th century, ranches began infringing on the mustangs’ habitat. By the late 1800s, the herds of wild mustangs had disappeared from the island.

We've now stayed in Mustang Island twice. The first time, the wind was pretty brutal. Winds got up to 20 mph and didn't die down throughout the night. Staying in a tent on the beach, we were pretty exposed to flying sand. We woke up in the morning with a nice layer of sand covering us. Honestly, I think that tent still has sand residue in it to this day. The second time we went, the winds were not close to as bad. Although we did take advantage of sitting in the back of the car for dinner to protect our food, and teeth, from getting sand in it.