Sometimes referred to as the ‘Key West of Texas’, the Bolivar Peninsula is a 27-mile stretch of sand and history like no other place on the Texas Gulf Coast.  When most Texans go to the beach, they usually head for Galveston. However, for some road-less-traveled types, the miles of soft sandy beach, drive on and fish off of access, and laid-back lifestyle found here are second-to-none. People from all walks of life have discovered the area.  Many start out as vacationers but quickly become proud homeowners.

Including the laid-back communities of Crystal Beach, Gilchrist, High Island and Port Bolivar, the Bolivar Peninsula delights with breathtaking views of gulf-side sunrises and sunsets, world-class fishing, and a thriving music scene that attracts performers from around the country.  You can drive straight onto the beach. In fact, rent a golf cart by the day or week, or bring your own to drive endlessly up and down the beach.

Crystal Beach is an unincorporated community that stretches 7 miles (10 km) along Texas State Highway 87, in the middle of the Bolivar Peninsula. It is a popular destination, due in no small part to its allowing camping and campfires, but many come for the fishing opportunities. Some fish in the surf, while others take advantage of the rocks at the North Jetty. Later, you can grill your catch over the fire, or enjoy one of the many restaurants’ offerings — from burgers, seafood baskets and pizza, to steak and grilled shrimp. With various eateries and many fascinating local shops to browse, there’s no need to leave Bolivar.

The peninsula is also a major destination for birding, and home to several sanctuaries, the largest of which is the Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge. Between October and March, don’t miss the chance to see several of the many birds that migrate through the area, including as many as 27 species of ducks — be sure to bring a pair of binoculars and camera!

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