Matagorda Island Wildlife Management Area
Reaching this 38-mile-long barrier island across the bay from Port O’Connor requires a boat (hire a guide in town if you don’t have your own). Island population: zero (unless you count birds, deer, alligators, and other wildlife). The circa-1852 lighthouse, in the National Registry of Historical Landmarks, is worth the hike, but the main attraction is a beach barely touched by humankind. Bring your own water. Heck, bring everything you think you’ll need. There’s no convenience store, unless you’re ready for a long swim.
Matagorda Island Wildlife Management Area, 979/244-6804; www.tpwd.state.tx.us.
From the June 2008 issue.