Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Surfside, TX. Birding, Fishing, Shelling, Surfing, Horses, Sport-fishing, Diving! Benedict Arnold.


For “Travel Tuesday”, let’s visit Surfside, TX

Surfside is located in the Texas Gulf Coast Region.

#Region.R_Description# “Home to some of the best beaches in America, the Texas Gulf Coast region draws millions of visitors to this Texas playground. Stretching some 350 miles from South Padre Island & the Rio Grande Valley, all the way to Beaumont & the Louisiana border, this region is renowned for its wildlife & natural beauty, as well as the home of America's space program. Discover the Beaches of the Texas Gulf Coast Region.”


“Come discover Surfside Beach with its 4 miles of unspoiled shoreline. It’s a perfect retreat for recreational sports, sun worshipers and nature lovers alike.

Explore miles of sandy beaches - walk, fish or just watch the ships come and go from our ship channel jetties. The sun sparkles like a diamond on the waves, and the neo-tropical climate is at an average of 70 year-round, which offers ample opportunity to work on that perfect tan.

There are a variety of accommodations to choose from on this island. Motels, Beachfront houses, R.V. parks, and camping all can be found at Surfside Beach, Texas.

While on vacation, you can enjoy a variety of restaurants offering fresh seafood and island specialties. The night life at Surfside Beach is always active. Whatever you choose, you're sure to have a great time only a hours drive from Houston.

The relaxed atmosphere makes Surfside Beach the perfect vacation destination.


“A lot of folks think Surfside Beach is “for the birds” and we couldn’t agree more. It’s also for the birding enthusiast who treasures seeing our feathered friends in their natural habitat. Southern Brazoria County contains a part of the Columbia Bottomlands forest and is a major neotropical migrant stopping point in spring and fall. It’s also along a major migration route bordering the Gulf of Mexico where many common species that winter in the neo-tropics often linger until Christmas. A great way to see the birds is the annual Migration Celebration, held in April. Each year, more than 1,700 sites across the nation conduct Christmas bird counts, with Texas’ three counts placing in the top five annually.”

More about Birding


“Take a bike ride to the marshland on Surfside's  Intracoastal shoreline and spot one of these rare roseate spoonbills.  Roseate spoonbills capture the pink glow of sunrise in their wings in flight. Those same rosy feathers proved a near death sentence when demand for feather hats decimated spoonbills, great egrets and other fine-feathered fowl until plume hunting ended before World War I.
Surfside's Intracoastal Shoreline is the southern boundary of the Brazoria National Wildlife Refuse. 

The Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge is the key location on the Texas Gulf Coast which drew one the highest Audubon Christmas bird counts in the nation- more than 200 species.  In winter, more than 100,000 snow geese, Canada geese, pintail, northern shoveler, teal, gadwall, American wigeon and mottled ducks fill the plentiful ponds and sloughs to capacity. Sandhill cranes join in too.
In summer, birds that nest on the refuge include ten species of herons and egrets, white ibis, roseate spoonbill, mottled duck, white-tailed kite, clapper rail, horned lark, seaside sparrow, black skimmer, and scissor-tailed flycatcher.”


“If the fish are always biting in Surfside Beach maybe it’s because there are just so many fish here and so many places to catch them. With over 50 miles of shoreline along the Gulf of Mexico and hundreds of miles of waterfront along rivers, creeks and bays, Surfside Beach offers something to suit every fishing taste and level of experience.

imagesCA7333F7On any given morning, for example, you’ll encounter fellow fishers in search of redfish among the grassy flats or along the shores of Christmas Bay. You can cast your line from the wide sandy, shell-scattered beach, though wading, drifting and poling are equally effective.”

More about Fishing

“The Gulf Coast at Surfside is known for it's excellent bay and offshore fishing. Offshore the depth of the water changes dramatically. This deep water habitat attracts many varieties of fish such as red snapper, ling, bonita, and kingfish.
Natural bottom structure, coral reefs, and offshore oil platforms provide a perfect underwater world for fish to thrive.

Surfside is the headquarters for many charter and party boats of all sizes. Experienced captains make a day's fishing out where the big ones are an exciting and enjoyable activity. Inshore wade-fishing, bank fishing, or fishing off the long jetty, allow anglers without a boat the chance to tie into flounder, redfish, or speckled trout. Just north lies Christmas Bay and San Luis Pass, offering bay boaters miles of prime shoreline and deeper channels to explore. Or launch from Surfside and head to they jetties or venture offshore. Numerous Bait and Tackle stores can supply live bait, lures, fishing equipment, and offer advice on where to catch fish.”




“"Shell Shocked" is what you will be after discovering the 600 known shell species found among our 27 miles of sandy beaches of Brazoria County. Surfside Beach is one of the few of the Shell Hunting hot spots in the area. You will be astonished at the scads of sea shells speckling Brazosport beaches. While you’re at it don't forget to go crabbing on a summer evening at the Surfside Crabbing Pier or along the beach.  Want to learn more about sea shells of the Texas Coast click here




“There is a reason Surfside Beach is called Surfside. Surfside Beach produces some of the better, more consistent surf on the upper Texas coast. It works on small swells and hold double overhead and better. Two factors are responsible for this fact: deep water and long jetties. Deep water is much closer here and south of here, only about 8 miles offshore, compared to 35 miles at Galveston. The deeper water allows the swell to pass without decreasing wave size due to the drag of shallow water.  The best surf is usually a 1/2 mile+ or so north of the jetty, at about Texas Street".
Under a strong S/SW wind, the jetty blocks sideshore wind, while allowing the swell to wrap cleanly to the beach. A strong NE/E/SE wind creates overhead surf, but the onshore wind creates choppy conditions.   Portions of this review are from Superior Surfboards
To get your Boards, wax and other surfing gear check out these local Surf Shops:

  • Beachfront RV Rentals (979 824-2990)   Web Site
  • Bingo's Boards (979 230-9000)     Web Site         
  • Breaker Sports (979 233-8308)”


Fun to Rent


Beach Bum Horse Rides: 979-373-8789

September through May on Surfside Beach

  • Year Round on County Beach

See our Beach from a totally different point of view !





"I love my horse not only for what he is, but what I am, when I am with him."  




Web Site





Jet Ski Rental

Jetski Rentals - Banana Boats - Dolphin Tours. Located on Surfside Beach

Bingo Boards, 18 Fort Velasco Road, Surfside Beach, TX 77541.
979-230-9000 Renting Surf Boards, Clothing. Web Site



Deep Sea Sport-fishing Charters

Great fishing fun for all ages and levels of experience.   We cater to families as well as the most avid angler.  There is something for everyone at Surfside Beach Charters from family fun to bachelor parties, to corporate trips,  One half day, full day, and overnight trips available.    We specialize in Red Snapper, Kingfish, Dorado, Ling, Amber Jack, Grouper, Sharks, Bull Redfish, Tarpon, Wahoo, Tuna, and even Billfish :    http://www.surfsidebeachcharters.com/index.html



images[10]“We’ll transport you and your gear to some of the most interesting dive spots on the Texas Gulf Coast, including The Va Fogg and numerous offshore oil platforms. Don’t forget your underwater camera and fish chart. On a clear day the gulf can provide some excellent photo opportunities.    http://www.easygulffishing.com/


Historical Sites


“Walk in the Footsteps of Stephen F. Austin.  Known as the Cradle of Texas, Surfside is the home of the famous Fort Velasco. http://www.civilwaralbum.com/misc10/velasco1.htm . The actual Fort was located near the current City Hall.  It was at this port that Stephen F Austin and his colonists first arrived in Texas in 1821.  Eleven years later, in 1832. The first battle of Texas’ war for independence was fought here.”

Historical Markers state:
"Here was fought a battle-- the first collision in arms between Texas colonists and the Mexican military-- a conflict preliminary to the Texas War for Independence. On June 26, 1832, when Texans under John Austin and Henry Smith came down river with cannon for use against Mexican forces at Anahuac, they ran against the resistance of Lt. Col. Domingo de Ugartechea. As commander of Mexican forces at Velasco, Ugartechea refused passage through the mouth of the Brazos River to the vessel bearing the cannon to Anahuac. Some 112 Texans attacked the port at midnight, and after 9 hours under the fire of Texas rifles and cannon, the Mexican garrison was forced to surrender. The Battle of Velasco, brought on by a customs quarrel at Anahuac, was unknowingly fought after the dispute at Anahuac had been peaceably settled.
After the victory at San Jacinto 4 years later, President David G. Burnet moved the capital of the Republic of Texas temporarily to Velasco. Here the Treaty of Velasco, ending hostilities between Texas and Mexico, was signed on May 14, 1836.”



From me: 


Damage from Rita.

I have been to Surfside several times, and really liked it.   My son would go crabbing in the pools. We would camp on the beach when the redfish were turning. So it was very upsetting when Surfside was completely devastated, first by Rita, and then by Ike.  They really have done a lot to overcome this.

Massive storm surge swallows Surfside Beach

Water churned up by Hurricane Ike covers Texas 332 in Surfside Beach on Friday. The water continually rose during the day. Photo: JULIO CORTEZ, CHRONICLE

SURFSIDE BEACH — “The Gulf of Mexico pushed through the streets and brownish waters poured into homes Friday as Hurricane Ike swallowed this island community.  As the storm pushed toward shore, its churning waters washed over mailboxes and stop signs, threatening destruction to scores of vulnerable homes.  There was fear that even though Surfside Beach was overwhelmed, far worse was to come in the night.  Roadways in and out of the city were impassable, cutting off this community, which had been evacuated by all but a handful of residents.”    September 13, 2008 http://www.chron.com/news/hurricanes/article/Massive-storm-surge-swallows-Surfside-Beach-1782377.php 



Hurricane Ike left considerable damage in Surfside Beach, Texas, Saturday, Sept. 12, 2008. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)


I chose Surfside after reading this blog about “Birding Surfside Beach”: Feb 13/13  http://www.mytripjournal.com/travel-719633 which has many lovely pictures of the birds and beach.


On This Day:

Congress overlooks Benedict Arnold for promotion, Feb 19, 1777:

“On this day in 1777, the Continental Congress votes to promote Thomas Mifflin; Arthur St. Clair; William Alexander, Lord Stirling; Adam Stephen; and Benjamin Lincoln to the rank of major general. Although the promotions were intended in part to balance the number of generals from each state, Brigadier General Benedict Arnold felt slighted that five junior officers received promotions ahead of him and, in response, threatened to resign from the Patriot army.

Arnold continued to feel unjustly overlooked by his superiors. Finally, in 1780, Arnold betrayed his country by offering to hand over the Patriot-held fort at West Point, New York, to the British. With West Point in their control, the British would have controlled the critical Hudson River Valley and separated New England from the rest of the colonies. His wife, Margaret, was a Loyalist and would not have objected to his plans. However, his plot was foiled, and Arnold, the hero of Ticonderoga and Saratoga, became the most famous traitor in American history. He continued to fight on the side of the British in the Revolution and, after the war, returned to Britain, where he died destitute in London in 1801.”



It was time to catch up on ‘paperwork’.  Also time to decide what kind of ‘permanent affixed heat source’ to install in this house to make it comply with HUD regulations.  This Cape Cod style house was built so that a large dormer could be added in the attic for more living space, so I don’t want to install central heat/air with all that ductwork that traps allergens.  The Middle Room can be converted into a staircase. 

imagesCA127Y2O My computer is acting slow, even with all kinds of cleaning, so I was also looking for a faster laptop to replace it.  Every time I see that hour glass ‘thingy’, I want to wring it’s head off!  It takes too long to do anything on it, and wastes a lot of time.

Miss Priss couldn’t understand why I didn’t give her any breakfast this morning.  Chris just picked her up to go to vet to be spayed today.


Dizzy-Dick said...

If you don't want central heat, how about base board heaters around the edges of the rooms?

LakeConroePenny,TX said...

Thank you for your comment, DD.

I thought about that, but I have furniture and bookshelves around just about every empty space! I would also have to re-wire the house to accomdate them.

I am looking into those 240 v. wall heaters that look like central registers that mount high up on the wall. But they have a fan noise, which I have avoided with my electric radiators.

A motel type is out of the question, as I don't have 42" of space beside my living room patio door, and that is where the 240 v. is located.

I would rather have duct-less 'Mini-Splits', which are heat and air, but I don't know if the expense would warrant it. They have to installed by an HVAC man, so I am checking into prices. They use Mini-splits all over the world. They are just gaining popularity here in the US, as so many allergies are caused by ductwork.

It is these decisions which are holding it up.

Happy Tails and Trails, Penny.