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20420 Park Rd. 22, Corpus Christi, TX 78418

This 70-mile stretch is the longest expanse of undeveloped barrier island in the world, home to endangered crabs, sea turtles (nesting season is from late April to mid-July), and 149 species of fish. Even the first four miles of the park—the only section that’s accessible without four-wheel drive—feels vast and overwhelming: acres of dunes tumble along 50-yard beaches, large pieces of driftwood stick out of ocean waters, and more than 380 species of birds nest here.

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Padre Island National Seashore

This 70-mile stretch is the longest expanse of undeveloped barrier island in the world, home to endangered crabs, sea turtles (nesting season is from late April to mid-July), and 149 species of fish. Even the first four miles of the park—the only section that’s accessible without four-wheel drive—feels vast and overwhelming: acres of dunes tumble along 50-yard beaches, large pieces of driftwood stick out of ocean waters, and more than 380 species of birds nest here.