San Jose Island
If you’re seriously into beachcombing—we’re talking shell collections, mounted driftwood, maybe even a metal detector—then San Jose Island is your paradise. This privately owned property across the bay from Port Aransas is the definition of pristine—it’s almost as untouched as it was when Karankawa Indians occupied the place nearly a thousand years ago. In the 1830s, locals found the remains of a pirate camp on the island, and rumor has it pirate Jean Lafitte’s Spanish dagger with a silver spike is still somewhere guarding his booty of silver and gold.
These days, “Saint Joe” is safe for visitors, who can access it via a short boat ride to partake of its premier swimming, fishing, sunbathing, and treasure hunting on this beautiful unspoiled property. To arrange transport, drop by Port A’s Fisherman’s Wharf (900 N. Tarpon St., 361/749-5760, $10 adults, $5 children 2–10).
© Andy Rhodes from Moon Texas, 6th Edition