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Gulf Coast: Hidden Treasures

Surf, shrimp, sand, sun—the Texas coast allows you to get lost in leisurely pursuits.

Nobody has ever dug up the hidden treasure that Jean Lafitte and his pirate pals supposedly buried somewhere on the Texas Gulf Coast. But who needs it? The Gulf has plenty of treasures that don’t require digging.

As movie buccaneer Captain Jack Sparrow would say, “Not all treasure is silver and gold, mate.” And sometimes you may have to take a circuitous route to satisfy your wanderlust or find the particular prize that strikes your fancy. Catch some wind in your sails à la Captain Jack and go for it. Seize the breeze, and discover some of the treasures that coastal Texas harbors.

Port Isabel Lighthouse State Historic Site, 421 E. Queen Isabella Blvd. (Texas 100), 956/943-2262; www.tpwd.state.tx.us.

Halfmoon Reef Lighthouse, 2300 Texas 35, Port Lavaca, 361/552-1234.

Lost Galleon, 202 Queen Isabella Blvd. (Texas 100), Port Isabel, 956/943-4400.

Shrimp n Stuff, 3901 Avenue O, Galveston, 409/763-2805; www.shrimpnstuff.com.

Dolphin Cove Oyster Bar,Isla Blanca Park,South Padre Island, 956/761-2850; www.spisland.com/dolphincove.

Joe Cotten’s Barbecue, 607 S. US 77, Robstown, 361/767-9973.

Tarpon Inn, 200 Cotter Ave., Port Aransas. Rates start at $69 off-season. 361/749-5555; www.thetarponinn.com.

The Yacht Club, 700 Yturria St., Port Isabel. Rates start at $79 weekdays. Call 956/943-1301.

The Surf Motel, South Padre Island. Rates start at $39 off-season. 956/761-2831.

Little Graceland, 741 W. Texas 100, Los Fresnos. Free admission. 956/233-5482.

Sea Turtle Inc., 6617 Padre Blvd., South Padre Island. Suggested dona-tion: $3 adults, $1 children. 956/761-4511; www.seaturtleinc.com.

Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge, east of Rio Hondo, off Texas 106; and north of Laguna Vista and Los Fresnos, off Texas 100; 956/748-3607; www.fws.gov/southwest/refuges/texas/laguna.html.

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