In the 1800s, the low-lying Texas coast made charting a seagoing course extremely difficult, and a number of captains requested that something be done. The Port Isabel Lighthouse was constructed in 1852. The old Texas lighthouses declined in importance over the years. Newer towers with more powerful fixtures were built at the turn of the century, and the Depression years meant that less money was available for keeping the lighthouses lit. The emergence of railroads provided a direct link between Corpus Christi and the interior of Mexico, and this meant less commercial shipping. As a result, the Port Isabel light was extinguished in 1905.
The lighthouse fell into neglect until the Texas State Parks Board provided funds for restoration in 1947. Dedicated as a state park in 1952, the historic landmark has become a popular tourist attraction.
Open: Summer hours are 10am to 6pm Sunday through Thursday and 11am-8pm Friday and Saturday. Winter Hours are 9am-5pm 7-days a week (last tour tickets sold 1 hour prior to closing). Admission Adults $3, Seniors (55 and over) $2, Students $1 (5 years old to college).