Thousands of tourists are expected to descend on the Coastal Bend for Spring Break in the coming weeks.
City and county leaders want to be sure everyone has a fun and safe Spring Break and have given some tips on how to maximize your vacation.
Here is everything you need to know if you’re heading to the Texas Gulf Coast for Spring Break.
Lifeguards in the Corpus Christi area will use mobile units to patrol Gulf beaches. Visitors should observe and follow the flag warning system to be aware of surf and rip current conditions. The flags are located on all Gulf beach access roads.
Indicates conditions are calm and swim with care.
Indicates calm to moderate conditions to remind swimmers to stay alert. Yellow flag does not assure safe water.
Indicates conditions are determined to be dangerous due to the presence of strong wind, strong current, or large surf. Adult swimmers should stay in water no more than waist deep and non-swimmers and children should be kept along the surf line.
Indicates a potential presence of venomous marine life such as jellyfish, man-o-war, stingrays, or others.
Indicates environmental hazard for air and/or water quality. Bacteria count can be high after extreme rain events, high tides, Red Tide may be present, air/water quality may be poor.
You can find out the latest surf conditions before you head to our gulf beaches by “liking” the City of Corpus Christi Facebook page.
Beach Patrols for underage drinking
The Corpus Christi Police Department (CCPD) will set up an Island command post and have patrol units on the beach for underage drinking and DWI enforcement.
When you arrive on the beach, here are some simple rules you must follow.
- No glass containers are allowed on the beach.
- Alcohol consumption is allowed so long as you are of age.
- The speed limit on the beach is 15 mph and all traffic laws apply including Driving While Intoxicated.
- You must purchase a parking permit to park on the beach.
- No dogs on the beach from Access Rd 3 to Zahn Road on the North side of the Packery Channel.
- No wood pallets can be used to build a fire and fire pits can only be 3x3x3.
Be sure to pack some patience as traffic can be congested as you attempt to make your way to the beach. The Corpus Christi Police Department will have additional officers patrolling the beach along with additional traffic officers patrolling the roadways.
A lane for emergency vehicles will be established on the Gulf beach from Zahn Road to Newport Pass.
CCPD will monitor traffic flow on Aquarius Street and other key intersections along Park Road 22, including Whitecap Boulevard, Commodores Drive, and State Highway. Motorists could see delays and are advised to leave early for their destination.
The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) has reopened the I-37 northbound Labonte Park exit ramp, which eliminates the need for motorists to use a northbound detour to access the park.
The SH 358 (South Padre Island Drive) Ramp Reversal Project will pause lane closures for Spring Break in an effort to reduce traffic congestion during the holiday.
TxDOT has opened all travel lanes on the JFK Causeway Bridge allowing traffic in two lanes in each direction, separated by a traffic control barrier. The four-lane traffic pattern is scheduled to continue until the week of March 21. During the week of March 28, motorists should once again have one travel lane open eastbound and one travel lane open westbound.
The Port Aransas ferry operations will operate at full capacity and are prepared to respond to any surge in late-night traffic.
For the latest information and wait times, visit https://twitter.com/PortA_Ferry.
Lieutenant Stokes with Port Aransas Police Department made it clear that he wants everyone to have a good time, but in order to do so, it will be a group effort to keep the streets safe.
“Don’t let road rage, take control, you know, that’s one of the biggest things that we’re going to run into is just a bunch of traffic in town and on the beach,” Stokes said. “So be patient with each other and let everybody have a good time. Number two is going to be what’s your alcohol consumption, make sure you have a designated driver if you plan to partake in things like that.”
Port Aransas has a huge golf cart population. Stokes wants to remind residents that all traffic laws apply to the golf carts, so they have to be treated just like any other vehicle.
“I know that they’re fun to drive around in and people kind of forget that they’re actually a motor vehicle and the beaches are a city street so all traffic laws apply on the beach as well,” Stokes said. “I think if people follow those rules, just kind of treat the beach just like a regular street and watch out for golf carts, they’ll have a good time.”
The Port Aransas Police Department will be partnering with the Texas Department of Public Safety, and they will be coordinating with the City of Corpus Christi Police Department to have a fluid response to anything that goes on.
Hotel Prices Rising
Along with most things, travel is being impacted by ongoing inflation issues.
“It’s a big supply chain issue,” said Ben Kuhn, the Assistant Manager at BeachGate Condominiums and Hotel in Port Aransas.
From towels to the shampoo and conditioner, Kuhn said the costs behind the scenes are either increasing or becoming hard to find.
“There’s at least been three times where me or my general managers had to go out to Dollar General or IGA and buy 50 or 60 individual shampoos just to get us through a day because our shipment is running late,” said Kuhn.
To combat the increasing supply chain issues, Kuhn said they have had to increase prices for customers. While it may not be in the nightly stay price tag, visitors could see the increase elsewhere, so keep that in mind.
A quick search of Port Aransas hotels on Expedia for the weekend of March 11 shows little vacancies at higher than normal prices.