Museums of Port Isabel

The Museums of Port Isabel is a complex consisting of three diverse facilities, the Port Isabel Historic Museum, the Treasures of the Gulf Museum, and the Point Isabel Lighthouse. All three are within walking distance of each other and are open year around to the public.

Constructed in 1852, the Point Isabel Lighthouse was built to protect and guide ships through Brazos Santiago Pass and the barrier islands. In 1952, the Lighthouse was opened as a State Park and remains the only lighthouse on the Texas Gulf coast open to the public. The Lighthouse Keeper’s Cottage which is on the grounds of the Lighthouse, is open to the public and houses the Chamber of Commerce and the Port Isabel Visitors Center. There is no admission charge to the Keepers Cottage. Lighthouse tickets can be purchased at the Keepers Cottage or at the Lighthouse. A combination ticket is available. Last ticket sold at 4:30 p.m. or 1/2 hour before closing.

  • Summer Hours: Daily 9a – 7p
  • Winter Hours: Daily 9a – 5p

Keepers Cottage Hours (year around): Monday – Friday 9a – 5p. Saturday 10a – 4p. 421 E. Queen Isabella Blvd., Port Isabel. 956/943-2262.

Port Isabel Historical Museum is a state-of-the-art facility located in the Champion Building. Built in 1899 as a dry goods store and residence, it now houses two exhibit levels, a theater, gift shop and one of the largest collections of Mexican artifacts from the U.S.-Mexican War. The facade features the famous ‘fish mural’ painted in 1906 by a local fisherman. Last ticket sold at 3:30 p.m.

  • Hours: Tuesday – Saturday 10a – 4p. 317 E. Railroad Ave., Port Isabel. 956/943-7602.

Treasures of the Gulf Museum spotlights three 1554 Spanish shipwrecks. Meeting their fate just 30 miles north of Port isabel, they are brought to life with murals, artifacts and hands-on activities. Also featured is a Children’s Discovery Lab, Ship Theatre and Nautical Gift Shop. Last ticket sold at 3:30 p.m.

Hours: Tuesday – Saturday 10a to 4p. 317 E. Railroad Ave., Port Isabel. 956/943-7602

Individual Site Ticket:

  • to the Port Isabel Lighthouse OR the Treasures of the Gulf Museum
    OR the Port Isabel Historical Museum.

    • Adults: $3.00
    • Senior Citizens*: $2.00
    • Students**: $1.00
    • Children 4 & Under (must be at least 38″ and 4 years old tall to climb the lighthouse): Free
    • Museum Member***: Free

    Combination Site Ticket:
    to the Port Isabel Lighthouse AND the Treasures of the Gulf Museum
    AND the Port Isabel Historical Museum.

    • Adults: $7.00
    • Senior Citizens*: $5.00
    • Students**: $2.00
    • Children 4 & Under (must be at least 38? tall to climb the lighthouse): Free
    • Museum Member***: Free

    Planning a Tour? For rates and information regarding organization and school group tours call Jeannie Marie A. Flores at 956/943-7602 or email: Tour form here> mopi_tour_infoform.

    *Senior Citizens (55 & over); **Students (K – College with ID); ***Museum Member (with Membership Card)

    All ticket sales are final. Tickets can be purchased at any of the Museum facilities or at the Visitors Center in the Keepers Cottage and need not be redeemed in the same visit.

Telling Our Stories! Cristin Howard “SPI Birding & Nature Center” 9/25 7p

CRISTIN HOWARD: “SPI Birding & Nature Center!”

The Museums of Port Isabel and the Laguna Madre Museum Foundation are proud to present its “Telling Our Stories” Series of 2014 on Thursday, September 25th, at the Treasures of the Gulf Museum, 317 East Railroad Avenue at 7pm. This month’s topic will be on the South Padre Island Birding & Nature Center. Come meet Cristin Howard who is the Manager and Marketing Director of the Center. She will review the history of the Birding & Nature Center, describe its present programs and facilities, and talk about the center’s future goals.  Cristin’s presentation will include photos of both common and rare species at can be seen at the birding center.

Please join us as we learn about the “SPI Birding & Nature Center” with Cristin Howard.   All locals and visitors are welcomed to attend this free presentation. Complimentary drinks and hors d’oeuvres will be provided by our sponsor:

Sponsored By:

‘Telling Our Stories” is an educational program aimed to preserving the heritage of the City of Port Isabel and the Laguna Madre area. Our goals are to preserve and educate our local and natural history through presentations and exhibits. The program is co-sponsored by the Museums of Port Isabel and the Laguna Museum Foundation. “Telling Our Stories” is presented on the last Thursday of each month from January through September at the Treasures of the Gulf Museum. Admission is free.

For more information on Telling Our Stories or to help sponsor an event, contact Jeannie Marie A. Flores at (956) 943-7602 or visit or you may also send an email to




Lighthouse Establishment Cinema! Halloween Movie 10/31 “Beetlejuice”!


Last show of the 2014 Season! BEETLEJUICE will be shown on an outdoor screen at Railroad Park across from the Champion Building. Free family fun! FREE popcorn to all movie goers in Halloween costume! Call 956/943-7602 for more information.


Port Isabel Celebrates Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) 11/1 4-11p


Lighthouse Market Day! October 11 9a-4p ~ Vendors & More!


On Saturday, October 11, 2014, the City of Port Isabel and the Port Isabel Museums will be hosting their annual Lighthouse Market Day from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the Lighthouse grounds.

Vendors on the Lighthouse Square will be offering a variety of food, antiques, arts & crafts, art and more. For vendor information, click here.

Special admission prices to museums! The Port Isabel Historical Museum and the Treasures of the Gulf Museum will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will have a special admission price of $1.00 for each site. Come join in the fun, enjoy historic Port Isabel during Lighthouse Market Day.

Vendor Packet: vendor-application. For more information contact Jeannie Flores, Museum Director at 96/943-7602 or email

Rescheduled: Pachanga in the Park! 4th Annual, 10/4 5-11pm ~ Washington Park

2014-09-03_1222From shrimp cockails to flan to gorditas to chalupas to tamales, tortas and tacos, you can join a few thousand friends and neighbors and immerse yourself in the culinary, musical and family culture that is Port Isabel!

4th Annual Pachanga in the Park
Saturday, October 5, 2014

5 p.m. – 11 p.m.
Washington Park (156 W. Madison St.)
Port Isabel, Texas

Now in its fourth year, the Pachanga in the Park was originally conceived by the Mayor and City Commission as a way to celebrate the Port Isabel park system. It does that and more. The idea of a park in that area of Port Isabel is visible as early as 1875 when the area was designated “Public Square” on a map filed with Cameron County. The park has been important to the community for well over a century. Washington Park (156 W. Madison St.) is in the heart of a residential section of Port Isabel and though located some three blocks south of Highway it would seem that Pachanga in the Park is one part location and two parts food and fun.

Food for foodies and if you’re just plain hungry.

Vendor coordinator, Jeannie Flores (Port Isabel Museum Director), is tasked with culling out the duplicate food offerings. Got tamales? What makes them different? What type of banana leaf are they served in? Each food vendor is challenged to serve a distinctive dish. A quick survey reflects that many of the recipes made their way to Port Isabel and the Laguna Madre area generations ago and the most prominent state represented is Durango.

And of course, festival favorites like spiral potatoes and kettle corn and funnel cakes are right at home at the Pachanga in the Park. There will also be rides for the kiddies.

2014-09-03_1224Contests include food vendors competing for the best chalupa and booth decorations and then there are the contests for the attendees including a Mexican costume contest, a grito contest, jalapeno contest and dance contest.

Music for the soul that moves the feet.

Live music will be provided by La Farra, a local Brownsville favorite, steeped in tradition with a sound suitable to serve as both center stage and backdrop for the Pachanga in the Park. Find them on Facebook: And award winning local legend, Mariachi Plata from the P.I.I.S.D. will kick off the live music presentations.


Pachanga means party and Port Isabel’s Pachanga in the Park is all about a culinary and cultural and musical celebration. It is an expression of the heart of Port Isabel and the Laguna Madre area in the tradition of friends, family, food and fun. In true ‘pachanga’ form, booth set up begins late in the afternoon with festivities kicking off at 5 p.m.

Our park is your park!
Our pachanga is your pachanga!
Our home is your home!

For more information:
Facebook event:
Port Isabel on Facebook:
Instagram (@portisabeltexas) & Twitter (@portisabeltexas): #pachangainthepark

For more information:
Event Coordinator: Robert Salinas (PIEDC Administrator) 956/943-0705
Vendor Coordinator: Jeannie Flores (PI Museum Director) 956/943-7602
See vendor list here:

Schedule of Events:
5:30 pm Booth Decorating Contest
6:45 pm Mariachi Plata
7:00 – 11:00 pm Live Music with LA FARRA
7:00 – 7:30 pm Chalupa Contest Pick Up
7:30 – 7:45 pm Boys and Girls Club La Danza De Los Viejitos & El Raton Vaquero
7:45 – 8:15 pm Jalapeno Eating Contest
8:15 – 8:45 pm Mexican Costume Contest
8:45 – 9:15 pm Dance Contest
9:15 pm Grito Contest
Awards to be presented after each contest. Schedule is subject to change.

Sponsored by:

Washington Park (156 W. Madison St., Port Isabel)

Next Page »