Port Mansfield, Texas may be a small, quiet town, but it has a lot to offer vacationing families. Several beaches and amazing fishing spots are situated in proximity to many cozy Port Mansfield vacation rentals. Moreover, Port Mansfield is ideal for taking day trips to other nearby Texas locales like South Padre Island and Corpus Christi. Check out the top 10 kid-friendly things to do in Port Mansfield.

1. Spend a Relaxing Day at Rettilon Beach

Pack a picnic lunch and your family’s beach gear for a fun-filled day at Rettilon Beach. Spread a blanket out in the sand to create a relaxing lounge spot with an up-close view of the kids building sandcastles and burying each other in the sand. Spend time swimming and splashing in the water, and walk down the beach collecting seashells before heading back to your vacation home.

2. Go Pier Fishing at the Laguna Point Recreation Area

Grab your family’s fishing gear and head to the 500-foot fishing pier at the Laguna Point Recreation area — it’s a hot spot for local fishermen. Take a break from fishing to eat a picnic lunch at one of the picnic areas nearby, and let the kiddos run off some energy at the playground before going back to your vacation home for the night. The 40-acre park also has nature trails and boardwalks with interpretive signs that are designed to teach you and your children about the surrounding wetlands.

3. Go Kayaking on Laguna Madre

Stretching from Port Mansfield to South Padre Island, Laguna Madre is the largest remaining seagrass habitat in Texas. Its shallow water allows for easy navigating via kayak, and the shoreline is sparsely populated, giving your family amazing nature scenery to admire along the way. Keep your eyes peeled for coyotes, white-tailed deer, and javelin along the shoreline, and inspect the seagrass beds for red drum and trout. Kayakers often see wading birds, such as egrets, in the shallow waters and turkeys, and great blue herons along the shore.

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4. Take a Dolphin-sighting Cruise

Captain Murphy’s Isla Tours’ Dolphin Watch cruise takes your family around the bay near the U.S. Coast Guard Station, the South Padre Island Jetties, and Boca Chica beach in search of bottlenose dolphins in their natural habitat. Native birds and other local wildlife species are also pointed out to guests during the cruise. If your kids love learning about marine life, consider taking the Eco Tour and Dolphin Watch cruise instead. During the trip, the boat pulls a net along the bottom of the bay to catch. Anything captured is brought onboard for your family to explore up close, and then, it’s returned safely to the water.

5. Charter a Fishing Boat for Bay Fishing

Charter a fishing boat from Port Mansfield Fishing Charters, Rooster Charters, or Captain Murphy’s Isla Tours for your family’s bay fishing trip. Children of all ages have the opportunity to catch red drums, trout, and flounder throughout the bay, so it’s bound to be a fishing trip your family won’t soon forget. Keep in mind, bay fishing trips take approximately three to four hours, so bring something with you to occupy little children who get bored easily.

6. Go Deep Sea Fishing

If you have older children and teens, who won’t mind spending long hours on a boat, consider chartering a deep-sea fishing boat from Captain Murphy’s Isla Tours or Port Mansfield Fishing Charters. Fishing trips into the Gulf of Mexico and back take between six to eight hours, but they give you the chance to catch bigger fish, such as red snapper, kingfish, triggerfish, and small sharks.

7. Visit the Port Mansfield Nature Park

Go hiking in the Port Mansfield Nature Park. The trail covers a mixture of tidal flats and coastal grassland, making it easy for small children to traverse. If you visit in the summer, take your camera with you. You might see a few nesting Wilson’s plovers.

8. Take a Fireworks Cruise

Take your whole family on a fireworks cruise before heading back to your vacation home for bed. Captain Murphy’s Isla Tours offer 2.5-hour fireworks boat tours. Before the fireworks begin, you get the chance to view the sunset from the deck of the boat. During the cruise, a live DJ plays music, and the crew keeps families entertained before and after the fireworks show.

9. Take a Day Trip to Corpus Christi

Corpus Christi is about a two-hour drive north of Port Mansfield, but there are so many family-friendly attractions there, that it’s worth the long drive. Tour the USS Lexington, a highly-decorated WWII aircraft carrier; explore the Selena museum and take pictures next to Selena’s seawall statue; and visit the Texas State Aquarium. Drive over the Corpus Christi Harbor Bridge on your way back to your vacation home. The way it lights up at night creates an amazing sight.

10. Spend the Day in South Padre Island

It takes about 1.5 hours to get to South Padre Island from Port Mansfield, but if your family loves watersports, this day trip is a must. The area is filled with watersport hubs that rent everything from skimboards, surfboards, and boogie boards to water bikes, jet skis, and stand-up paddle boards. If you have older adventure-loving children, consider parasailing or flyboarding. Before heading back to your vacation home, take a self-guided tour of the South Padre Island Birding and Nature Center and check out the Largest Outdoor Sandcastle in the USA.

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