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5 Best Ways to Explore Portland
5 of the Best Ways to Enjoy a Gulf Coast Getaway in Portland
Embraced by refreshing coastal breezes and set on the shores of two bays, Portland is fully immersed in the magic of the Texas Gulf Coast. Located just northeast of Corpus Christi, the city is a haven for anglers, birdwatchers, windsurfers, and anyone looking to have the very best of the region just a short drive away. Full of stylish and affordable hotels, a diverse array of local eateries, and parks that provide idyllic escapes to nature, Portland is the kind of place you’ll want to stay a while. Discover just some of the ways you’ll love a getaway in Portland below.
Relish First-Rate Kiteboarding & Fishing
Bright blue skies, nearly constant winds, and the shallow waters of Corpus Christi Bay. Much more than an inviting setting for an afternoon picnic, Portland’s shores present the ideal conditions for kiteboarding and fishing. In fact, this part of the Corpus Christi area is among the windiest places in the country. Catch a few waves for yourself at Violet Andrews Park, one of the best places on the Gulf Coast to go windsurfing. Kiteboarding here is available year-round, and you won’t even need a wetsuit if you visit from March through November. Don’t have your own gear? Get all you need at Kiteboarding.com’s storefront right here in Portland, where you can even sign up for lessons if you want to give the sport a shot.
Extending far into the bluish-green waters of the bay, Indian Point Pier serves up both awe-inspiring scenery and first-rate fishing. Bring a chair and find a spot on the pier to cast your line. If you’re lucky, it won’t be long before you hook a black drum, redfish, or trout, the latter two of which you can catch year-round. The nearby Sunset Lake Park is also a stellar place to fish, especially because you’ll be immersed in a breathtaking wetland and saltwater lake habitat.
While kiteboarding, windsurfing, and angling are among the best ways to savor the outdoors in Portland, we’re just getting started.
Experience Birdwatching on the Gulf Coast
The Texas Gulf Coast is known as a mecca for birdwatchers due to its fresh and saltwater marshes, lakes, wetlands, and woodlands that house a stunning array of native and migratory birds. Located in the Corpus Christi Bay Loop of the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail, Portland’s Indian Point Pier and Sunset Lake Park are just the place to see some species you haven’t seen before. The Sunset Lake Hike and Bike Trail offers a relaxing stroll past native plants along a saltwater lake where you can see shorebirds like loons, grebes, and diving ducks. The trail at Violet Andrews Park passes through a more wooded area, meaning you just may see different kinds of birds from the pathway’s observation areas. Finally, the pier and surrounding area at Indian Point are fine areas for watching wading herons, egrets, and other waterbirds.
These three spots are near one another, so it’s easy to visit them all. Just make sure you bring your binoculars.
Savor Delicious Local Fare
Whether you’re windsurfing, birdwatching, or fishing, there’s no doubt that you’ll get a Texas-sized appetite at some point. Fortunately, Portland is full of local restaurants that serve up just what you’re craving. Sink your teeth into mouthwatering cuts of steak grilled to perfection or seafood dishes like Nueces Bay flounder hand battered in pecan flour and golden fried catfish caught in the Colorado River at Texas A1 Steaks and Seafood. For an elevated night out, Pep’s Mexican Steakhouse is the place for you. Savor porterhouse, sirloin, ribeye, tomahawk, and other cuts of Certified Angus Beef, or take your pick from an enticing selection of delicious enchiladas, sizzling fajitas, and gourmet tacos.
Hungry for a different kind of seafood? Take your pick from Poseidon Sushi’s long list of inventive signature sushi rolls and flavorful stir-fry dishes. For quick bites or to cool down with a smoothie or watermelon pizza, Fruit Barn is the place for you. Make your own fruit cup with cantaloupe, pineapple, banana, and more fruits, or craft your own smoothie bowl topped with coconut, oats, caramel, or even chocolate chips.
If you’re looking to have the kind of meal you can dress up for or something quick to get you back to the outdoors, Portland has a first-rate local eatery for you.
Stay in Style
When you’re ready to kick back for the evening, you won’t need to go far to find somewhere comfortable. Portland has a wide range of places to hang your hat, including new and affordable hotels with rates that don’t typically change during peak season. Get cozy at Staybridge Suites Portland, one of the city’s newest hotels. Each of the one- and two-bedroom suites comes with kitchens equipped with full-sized refrigerators, a dishwasher, microwave, and a counter-top cooking range, while neutral colors and wood touches throughout add a touch of luxury. Step out of your room and you can cool off by the swimming pool, cook up some burgers on the barbecue grills, or work up a sweat in the fitness center.
The inviting saline pool at the Home2 Suites by Hilton Portland is just one of the many other reasons you should book a stay here. Settle into your very own suite, all of which come with kitchens and plush Serta bedding. For that extra bit of space, opt for the room that has a separate living area and you’ll feel right at home. Finally, the cozy rooms at avid hotel Corpus Christi – Portland set the stage for a relaxing Gulf Coast getaway thanks to their open layouts and thoughtful furnishings. Start your day with a grab-and-go breakfast and a workout in the 24-hour gym. Then get a treat from the market before relaxing in your room after a long day out in Portland.
Explore Corpus Christi & the Beaches of Mustang Island
Portland is undoubtedly a destination all its own, but it’s also a fabulous starting point to discovering everything the Corpus Christi area has to offer. Cruise just a few minutes down Highway 181 over the glittering waters of the bay and you’ll find yourself in downtown Corpus Christi, where there are all kinds of things to see and do. Learn about World War II history as you meander through the USS Lexington, an Essex-class aircraft carrier built during the war. Five routes take you through 100,000 square feet and eleven decks, from the sick bay and crew’s galley to the flight deck and navigation bridge. The warship overlooks North Beach, where soft sands and rolling waves make it a welcoming spot to soak up the sun. While you’re here, stop by the Texas State Aquarium, where you’ll embark on a tour of the native species and habitats that make up the region.
Are you a baseball fan? Catch a Corpus Christi Hooks game at Whataburger Field. The AA affiliate of the Houston Astros, the Hooks has fielded prominent players like World Series Champion Jose Altuve. Come to a game and you might see a future champion before they make it big. To take in some other coastal vibes, make the quick drive to Aransas Pass to explore the Lighthouse Lakes Paddling Trails. Then catch the ferry to Port Aransas, where you can play a round on the beachside Palmilla Beach Golf Club and unwind on the sandy shores, or head just a bit farther north and you’ll be in Rockport. Here you’ll find Texas’ only Blue Wave Beach, a designation only given to beaches that maintain a certain standard of cleanliness. All these adventures are a short drive away from Portland. Stay here and you’ll be right in the middle of it all.
From its gentle bay breezes to its multitude of ways to relish the outdoors, Portland is a hidden gem. Plan your next Gulf Coast getaway here.