At the southern tip of Texas is a popular tourist attraction that has a colorful history, the Port Isabel Lighthouse. If you’re looking to learn about Texas’ past while also catching great views of the gulf, then visit this historical lighthouse that is about 20 miles outside of Brownsville, Texas.

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Port Isabel Lighthouse
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Port Isabel Lighthouse

The gulf coast of Texas is home to 16 lighthouses, however Port Isabel Lighthouse is the only lighthouse in Texas that is open to the public. The lighthouse was erected in the 1850s. During its early years, the lighthouse was a prominent feature during the Civil War where both sides used the lighthouse as an observation tower. In the 1860s, the lighthouse was used for its intended purpose, as a beacon for incoming ships. But at the turn of the century, the lighthouse was abandoned as shipping declined.

Point Isabel Lighthouse, Port Isabel, Texas
Credit: Bigstock.com
Point Isabel Lighthouse, Port Isabel, Texas

In 1950, the lighthouse finally received some recognition and become a historic site. And in 1970, it went through renovation to become the lighthouse we know today. Now, the Port Isabel lighthouse doubles as navigation for ships and a historical tourist attraction.

Visitors can explore the lighthouse seven days a week. At 50 feet above the ground, the lighthouse towers over the area and has become a popular spot for photographers. On a clear day, you could see South Padre Island from the top of the lighthouse. Simply climb the 75 winding stairs to the top of Port Isabel Lighthouse to catch these breathtaking views of the Texas gulf.

Top of Port Isabel Lighthouse
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Top of Port Isabel Lighthouse

If you’re wanting to learn more about this area’s past, don’t miss out on visiting the Port Isabel Historical Museum during your visit here. Also take a stroll around the property or enjoy a picnic at one of the picnic tables.

Port Isabel
Credit: tpwd.texas.gov
Port Isabel

Texas is full of historical sites, and Port Isabel should be added to your bucket list if you’re a history buff. However due to its photogenic character, photographers and couples renewing their wedding vows head to this beautiful spot in Southern Texas. Being the only Texas lighthouse open to the public, Port Isabel Lighthouse draws a variety of different people to the southern tip of the Lone Star State.

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