The lighthouse was built in 1852 due to the great number of shipwrecks that had occurred off Brazos Island in the Gulf of Mexico. By 1905, the lighthouse was decommissioned due to a downturn in maritime traffic caused by changes to the Rio Grande and the growth of railways. Present day, a reconstructed lighthouse keeper’s cottage sits in the shadow of Port Isabel’s 72-foot lighthouse and serves as a visitor center and museum. In 2022, after 117 years without a light, a 3rd Order Fresnel Lens was fitted in the lantern room. This addition brought the lighthouse back to the glory days it had not seen since 1905. Climb 75 winding stairs, three short ladders, and take in the coastal sights of the South Padre Island beaches at the last Texas lighthouse open to the public.

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Location

421 East Queen Isabella Blvd 
Port Isabel, TX 78578 
956-943-0735 
Contact us
See map

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Hours

Lighthouse Open Daily
9 a.m.–6 p.m. [Off season]
10 a.m.–9 p.m.  

Weather Permitting
Seasonal hours may apply

Visitor Center Open Daily
9 a.m.–5 p.m.

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Tickets

Adults $5 
Seniors $4 
Children* $3
Military $2.50 

*Children must be 5 years old and accompanied by a guardian to tour the lighthouse. A child may not be carried by an adult. 

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Programs

Group Tours 
School Tours  
Special Events 

Visitor standing on balcony at the top of the Port Isabel Lighthouse

Plan Your Visit

Climb to the top of the lighthouse, walk the grounds, and visit other attractions in the area.

Lightkeeper's house at the Port Isabel Lighthouse site

Port Isabel Lighthouse History

The lighthouse has long been a dominant feature at the southern tip of the Texas Gulf Coast. Its stood against the elements for more than a century, and has been a familiar aid to seafarers.

Events at Port Isabel Lighthouse

Port Isabel Lighthouse State Historic Site Summer Camp 2024

Port Isabel Lighthouse Keeper's Summer Camp [8/7]

Experience the life of a modern-day Lighthouse Keeper and travel back in time nearly 500 years for stories of shipwrecks and rescues. Includes a treasure hunt!

Port Isabel Lighthouse State Historic Site Summer Camp 2024

Port Isabel Lighthouse Keeper's Summer Camp [8/8]

Experience the life of a modern-day Lighthouse Keeper and travel back in time nearly 500 years for stories of shipwrecks and rescues. Includes a treasure hunt!

Port Isabel Lighthouse State Historic Site Summer Camp 2024

Port Isabel Lighthouse Keeper's Summer Camp [8/9]

Experience the life of a modern-day Lighthouse Keeper and travel back in time nearly 500 years for stories of shipwrecks and rescues. Includes a treasure hunt!

Port Isabel Lighthouse in the Blog

Picture of a lighthouse

Keeping the Lighthouse

Learn about the history of the Port Isabel Lighthouse and the recent efforts to restore it to its former glory.

Historic Road Trip: South Texas Coastal Bend

The Texas coast stretches 350 miles from South Padre Island to the Louisiana border, extending through a diverse array of towns, each with their own rich history. The southern portion of the coast—roughly 100 miles of shoreline between Rockport and South Padre Island—offers travelers a diverse range of heritage tourism opportunities.