- Brazosport Convention & Visitors Council, (888) 477-2505 or (979) 285-2501, www.visitbrazosport.com
San Luis Pass County Park
From Galveston, cross San Luis Pass on the toll bridge and continue southwest on the Bluewater Highway (Brazoria CR 257). Immediately after crossing the bridge, exit west for San Luis Pass County Park. This county park offers another view of San Luis Pass, and the sand flats here are often littered with small flocks of gulls and terns. Northern Gannets often venture into swift waters of San Luis Pass to fish. Scope the nearshore waters in summer and fall for Magnificent Frigatebirds. Please stay clear of the dunes as they represent a fragile ecosystem (and home to many rattlesnakes).
Continue southwest on the Bluewater Highway to Christmas Bay and the Christmas Bay Scenic View (3.2 miles from San Luis Pass across from The Peregrine Resort). Rafts of Redheads often crowd this bay in winter, and Wilson's Plovers and Horned Larks nest in the dunes along the shore. This is a good spot to scope for winter ducks in the Bay and Marbled Godwit flocks on the reefs. It is possible to drive the beach the entire distance between here and Surfside (although a beach pass is required in Surfside), and gulls, terns, and shorebirds congregate in this area (Red Knots are often seen along this beach in migration). The near-shore waters are often jammed with Brown Pelicans diving amongst the schools of menhaden, and rafts of seaducks may drift close enough to the shore to allow a close inspection. In winter, Northern Gannets can sometimes be seen fishing offshore from the beach.
Continue southwest on Bluewater Highway to TX 332 in Surfside. The bay may be accessed by driving to the kayak launch on Drum Bay. In summer, Willets light on the power lines along this stretch of the Bluewater Highway. Falcons (Peregrine, Merlin, and American Kestrel) are commonly seen along the beach in migration and winter. Look for Yellow-headed Blackbird among the blackbird flocks along this road during migration. Bobolinks have also been seen in late spring in fields of spiderwort. White-tailed Kites often perch on the powerlines along the Road during winter and Crested Caracaras can be found in this area.
Surfside Jetty Park
From the intersection of the Bluewater Highway and TX 332 in Surfside, continue southwest across TX 332 on Fort Velasco Dr. to Parkview Rd. Go south on Parkview Rd. to Surfside Jetty Park. The jetty has been expanded, and the walk to the end can now be accomplished with secure footing. Northern Gannets may be seen in winter from the jetty, and scoters and mergansers may drift into these relatively calm waters to feed (the scoters are rare). Inspect the flocks of gulls that feed behind the shrimp boats for jaegers and check the rocks for rare shorebirds. Purple Sandpiper is always possible in winter.