Port Isabel, Texas

At the beginning, Port Isabel was a cattle ranch owned by Don Raphael Garcia, the first recorded owner of the area, having claimed it in 1821. Then known as El Froton de Santa Isabel, early settlers described the native dwellings as straw huts covered with "raw cattle hides and then recovered with "sacahuiste" grass."

This quaint fishing village's strategic location, once having a 25-foot bluff in the area where the Point Isabel Lighthouse now stands, was a natural lookout for viewing both the Laguna Madre Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. This natural formation was instrumental in the settlement and development of this area and was an important force during the U.S./Mexican War, Civil War, and maritime commerce.

Today, Port Isabel has blossomed once again with many unique shops, restaurants, historic hotels, and museums that make up this historic and colorful area. Spend a day discovering Port Isabel, and take advantage of the many places that are within walking distance of each other. We hope you enjoy your visit to Port Isabel.


Port Isabel is located in Cameron County, Texas, United States.  According to the 2000 Census, the city had a population then of 4,865 people, 1,649 households and 1,225 families.  The median income for a household in the city was $25,323 and the median income for a family was $ 26,077.


Children living in this area are zoned to  Port Isabel Independent School District.  Grades K-2 attend Garriga Elementary, Grades 3-5 attend Derry Elementary, Grades 6-8 attend Port Isabel Junior High, and Grades 9-12 attend Port Isabel High School.  All schools are located in nearby.

Parents opting for private schooling may contact Laguna Madre Christian Academy at (956) 943.4446. Brownsville offers a variety of possibilities as well.

The nearest university study programs can be achieved through University of Texas at Brownsville - nothing so close can take you so far!


Small town - BIG fun!  Climb the Port Isabel lighthouse, take a sunset cruise, sharpen your fishing skills, keep an eye out for dolphins, windsurf the Laguna Madre, visit our museum, buy fresh seafood, eat fresh seafood or shop 'til you drop.

Pick a day, pick the time - Come Stay & Play


Getting Here

Port Isabel is served by U.S. Route 77/U.S. Route 83 (US 77 is a proposed part of NAFTA's future Interstate 69) and by U.S. Route 281.  Once on Hwy 77, exiting on Highway 100 will get you here.  If you're coming in through Brownsville, Hwy 48 will lead you in just the same.  Port Isabel's closest airport is the Brownsville/South Padre Island International Airport.  This airport is used for general aviation and is served by one commercial airline, Continental Airlines.  Valley International Airport is another means by which you can fly down to this historic town.  VIA is serviced by major airlines such as Continental, Southwest & Sun Country.