We took a break from birding today and went to Crystal Beach, Texas. We wanted to see all the visitors on the beach for spring break. We kept hearing it was a very popular beach for spring break, but each time we checked the beach it was totally empty. Not today, we saw people for miles swimming, fishing and camping and just hanging out. New food trucks lined the beach and all the shops in town were packed. Crystal Beach is also known as Patton, it stretches seven miles along State Highway 87 in the middle of Bolivar Peninsula.
Crystal Beach is a family oriented beach community. Most popular as a resort destination in the summer, the mild gulf climate makes it comfortable all year round. The population of full-time residents is estimated at 1,600. Crystal Beach is thus the largest community on the peninsula in population as well as land area. Officials estimate that 80 percent of Crystal Beach property owners are "weekenders," so the summer, weekend, and holiday population is greatly expanded. Crystal Beach has a bank, a hotel, and one supermarket, the locals call it the “big store”.
Crystal Beach is named after its sand which is described as "sparkles like crystal". The average July high temperature is 93 degrees, the average January low is 51. Crystal Beach begins about 6.5 miles from the ferry and extends for about 7 miles, with low grassy dunes on one side and the shallow water and gentle waves on the other. This area was hit really hard by hurricane Ike, but it has really made a comeback with lots of new homes and businesses in the area. There is one school, Crenshaw Elementary and Middle School, in the area, it is built high off the ground on stilts. Most homes in the area are also raised on stilts for protection from hurricanes and flooding.
We enjoyed our day on the beach, I had a burger and Jerry had a couple of hot dogs from one of the food trucks, both were quite good. :-) Check back later for more from Texas.