Museums of Port Isabel

The Treasures of the Gulf Museum is open! Due to construction, please use the entrance on Highway 100.

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.

Gabriel Trevino to Exhibit “Defining a Culture” during March & April (Reception 3/5 5-8p)

201403-04_trevino-exhibitDefining a Culture

Mexican-American painter Gabriel Trevino will open a one man show at the Treasures of the Gulf Museum on Saturday, March 1, 2014. Trevino will present a collection of paintings for a show he titled “Defining a Culture”. ” Defining a Culture” consist of his most recent artwork produced by combining pre-Columbian style imagery with a contemporary method approach.

Reception: There will be a reception for Gabriel Trevino on Wednesday, March 5, from 5 to 8 p.m. at Treasures of the Gulf Museum (317 E. Queen Isabella Blvd.). The public is invited to attend and meet the artist. Refreshments will be served.

Artist Bio

  • 1976 – Born in Brownsville Texas
  • 1997 – Fine Arts Program – University of Texas at Brownsville,
  •  Richardson Art Gallery First Solo Exhibit
  • 2006 -”Emerging Artists” : Gabriel Trevino, Mauricio Saenz, Jesus de la Rosa, Luis Valderas – Richardson Art Gallery (University of Texas at Brownsville)
  • 2007 -Invitational  “As Of Now” South Texas Artists – Ben Bailey Art Gallery – Texas A&M University – Kingsville, Texas
  • 2009 – “Tres” – Art Exhibition: Gabriel Trevino, Carlos G. Gomez, Antonio Antinori at Historic Brownsville Museum (Brownsville, Texas).
  • 2012 – “LIBERTY AND HOPE” Solo art exhibit – Rusteberg Art Gallery – University of Texas at Brownsville


NewsTaco – Austin Texas 2011

Beyond Arts Magazine  Aug. 2012

Voices of Mexico  UNAM  no.95

Queen Isabella Market Day! 4/12 at the LIGHTHOUSE

The Museums of Port Isabel and the City of Port Isabel invite you to enjoy a day filled with live entertainment, vendors, food, family fun on the grounds of the Historic Port Isabel Lighthouse! Queen Isabella Market Day is scheduled for Saturday, April 12th from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.ltr-poster(500) There is no admission charge to the event. Vendors offering collectibles, antiques, local art, jewelry and more will be lining the sidewalks around the lighthouse. A tent with tables and chairs near the entertainment will offer the opportunity to sit down and relax while enjoying some tasty tamales, baked goods or other dishes local vendors and restaurants will be offering. Or just roll down the grassy hill of the lighthouse! Relax and let us entertain you during a family fun day in Port Isabel!

The Port Isabel Lighthouse will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and admission just $1.00 during Market Day. And plan to visit the Port Isabel Historical Museum and the Treasures of the Gulf Museum, just a short walk across Highway 100 where admission is also just $1.00 to each site.

If you are interested in a vendor booth, please call the Museums of Port Isabel, Jeannie Marie A. Flores at 956/943-7602 or email For more information, click here:

February’s Telling Our Stories to feature Chief Michael Johnson ~C.C. Beach Patrol 2/27 7p

The Museums of Port Isabel and the Laguna Madre Museum Foundation are proud to present its “Telling Our Stories” Series of 2014 on Thursday, February 27th, at the Treasures of the Gulf Museum, 317 East Railroad Avenue at 7:00 pm. This month’s topic will be on the “Cameron County Beach Patrol”, a presentation by Chief Michael Johnson.

2014-02-14_1223Chief Michael Johnson was born in Brownsville, Texas. Like most Valley families, the majority of their summer revolved around the South Padre Island beaches. Favorite pasttimes were fishing, swimming, and building sandcastles. With the creation of the South Padre Island Fire Department Beach Patrol Division, ocean lifeguarding became Johnson’s passion.  Fortunate enough to be selected as one of the first part time employees hired for the beach patrol, Johnson worked with S.P.I.F.D. for the next three summers and learned much about the ocean.

Later on in his lifeguarding carrier Johnson was able to work the 2011 and 2012 seasons in Galveston Texas, with the Galveston Island Beach Patrol.  Johnson graduated from Texas A&M University in 2012, with a B.S. in Marine Biology and holds a current EMT-Basic and NAUI Dive Master certification.

Presently, Johnson holds the position of chief for the Cameron County Beach Patrol. It is Johnson’s personal mission to facilitate the growth and prosperity of this Lifeguard service for years to come.

The mission of the Cameron County Beach Patrol is to provide a professional lifeguard service to Cameron County Beaches through the direct prevention of and response to aquatic accidents, through public education and training.

Please join us for an entertaining evening with Chief Michael Johnson. All locals and visitors are welcomed to attend this free presentation. Complimentary drinks and hors d’oeuvres will be provided.

‘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.

Sponsored by: The Museums of Port Isabel

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

Partnerships Make ALL The Difference!

17th Annual Taste of the Laguna Madre Wrap Up


PadreRita Grill’s Karen Hagerty prepares a Paella at the 17th Taste of the Laguna Madre Museum Fundraiser!

On Friday, February 7, the Museums of Port Isabel hosted their 17th Annual Taste of the Laguna Madre. Oh, the weather outside was frightful, but more than a half an hour before the doors opened at the Plains Capital Bank, attendees were already streaming in.

This year, the Museums partnered with Plains Capital Bank, Assistant Vice-President Banking Branch Manager Norma Mendoza, for a location. The bank’s facility offered flexibility, ample room and convenient parking. Mendoza and her staff were very helpful and accommodating and plans to utilize the space fell into place.

The Port Isabel South Padre Press and Parade featured material announcing the Plains Capital Bank and Museums of Port Isabel partnership arrangement. Hundreds of emails were sent, advertisements placed, social media plied and invitations mailed.thank-you-ad(1x10)

Local musical legend Leslie Blasing joined the partnership with the offer to perform for the event and the Port Isabel South Padre Press and Parade printed the story.

The approach to this year’s event was meant to feature the Taste of the Laguna Madre through the fishing and shrimping history of our area and the fact that this event has always been an all you can eat affair. The Port Isabel South Padre Press and Parade spread the word.

Plains Capital Bank, Leslie Blasing and the Port Isabel South Padre Press and Parade were just the beginning of the partnerships. Local restaurants led by PadreRita Grill on South Padre Island, pledged to donate seafood and sides to the Taste of the Laguna Madre. Other participating restaurants included: El Papa’s Restaurant, Pirate’s Landing Restaurant, Los Tortugo’s Seafood Market, Rincon Veracruzano, Feldman’s Liquor Store Marcello’s Restaurant, Pelican Station @ Dirty Al’s, Kiki’s Restaurant El Original, Joe’s Oyster Bar & Restaurant, Manuel’s Restaurant and Reyes Seafood.

The Taste of the Laguna Madre traditionally offers a silent auction and this year was no exception, the amount of silent auction items offered by the local business community was, however, exceptional. For three weeks leading up to the event, the Port Isabel South Padre Press and Parade ran stories on the event spurring business community participation. Dozens answered the invitation and donations poured in.

On the evening of the Taste of the Laguna Madre, crowds showed up in record numbers. A combination of access to the information, the cover of the Port Isabel South Padre Parade, a ticket price of $25 which was half the usual amount, the lure of freshly prepared seafood and all you can eat and drink and the foundation laid by the partnership between the Museums of Port Isabel, City of Port Isabel, Plains Capital Bank, Leslie Blasing, Port Isabel South Padre Press and Parade and the business and restaurant community made this Taste of the Laguna Madre one of the most successful.

Funds raised through this event will go to make improvements to the historical Champion building. With the completion of the construction of the Port Isabel Event and CulturalCenter, efforts are underway to ensure that the façade of the Champion building will enhance the aesthetics of the area. Additionally, exhibits will be maintained and updated so that visitors can enjoy the full experience of the colorful and rich history of the Laguna Madre area. All thanks to the partnerships built for the Taste of the Laguna Madre. Plans are already underway to make 18th annual even bigger and better.

All You Can Eat Fish & Shrimp & SO much more! Museum Fundraiser 2/7 7pm

The Museums of Port Isabel announces a special location for their 2014 17th Annual Taste of the Laguna Madre Fundraiser! Scheduled for Friday, February 7th, the fundraiser will be held at the Plains Capital Bank, 115 Queen Isabella Blvd. The Museums of Port Isabel is proud to partner with Plains Capital Bank on this festive occasion.

Tickets on sale at Plains Capital Bank, Port Isabel City Hall, Port Isabel Public Library, Port Isabel Chamber of Commerce, South Padre Island Chamber of Commerce and the Laguna Madre Art Gallery. $25. All you can eat fish & shrimp & more!

The 17th Annual TASTE of the LAGUNA MADRE will feature the best of what the Laguna Madre has to offer! Fresh FISH and fresh wild caught Gulf SHRIMP! Local restaurants will participate with their best fare! There will be a Sweet Shoppe! Silent Auction! Live Music! Door Prizes and a Raffle for a Grand Prize Basket! To participate as a donor or to reserve your tickets, please contact Museum Director, Jeannie Marie Flores at 956/943-7602 or email:

SPONSORS: Port Isabel–San Benito Navigation District ~ Quik Stop ~ City of Port Isabel ~ Plains Capital Bank ~ Museums of Port Isabel ~ Texas International Fishing Tournament ~ H. E. B. ~ L & F Distributors

RESTAURANTS: El Papa’s Restaurant~ Pirate’s Landing Restaurant ~ Los Tortugo’s Seafood Market ~ Rincon Veracruzano ~ Feldman’s Liquor Store ~  Marcello’s Restaurant ~ Pelican Station @ Dirty Al’s ~ Kiki’s Restaurant El Original  ~  Joe’s Oyster Bar & Restaurant ~ PadreRita Ville ~ Manuel’s Restaurant ~ Reyes Seafood


  • “Vida’s Barber Shop & Beauty Salon” – $10 Gift Certificate
  • “Andrea’s Jewelry Designs” – SeaWater Jewelry Set (Necklace, Bracelet & Earrings)
  • “Laguna Madre Art League” – Water Color Pastel Collage
  • Anonymous – Colorful Beaded Belt
  • Anonymous – Light-Up Skull
  • “Sea Ranch Restaurant” – $50 Gift Certificate
  • “O’Reiley’s Auto Parts” – 45 piece Stubby Socket Set
  • “T. Leeman Company” – 11 x 20 Printed Frame “The Great Race”
  • “Parrot Eyes” – 1 -30 Minute Wave Runner Gift Certificate
  • “Déjà vu” – Pelican
  • “Pearl South Padre” – Two (2) Night Stay  Gift Certificate
  • “Ramada Limited” – Two (2) Night Stay Gift Certificate
  • “Tom & Jerry’s” – $25 Gift Certificate
  • “Domino’s Pizza” – $35 Family Meal Deal Gift Certificate
  • “SouthWind Inn” – Two (2) Night Stay Gift Certificate
  • “Anglers Marine Center” – Rod & Reel Combo plus Bucket of Fishing Goodies
  • “Laguna Madre Art League” – Ring Neck Kingfisher Watercolor Painting
  • “The Light House Lighting Center” –  Retro Style Table Fan (Rubbed Oil Bronze Finish)
  • “Coral Reef Lounge” – Polo White Shirt & White Logo Cap
  • “Osprey Fishing Charter & Black Dragon Cruises” – 1 – Buccaneer Gift Certificate, 1 – Thriller Gift Certificate, 1 – Sea-Life Safari
  • Certificate & 1 – Black Dragon Cruise Gift Certificate
  • “Veronica’s Beauty Salon” – $30 Gift Certificate
  • “Betti Land Bragg” – DvD “Under the Street Lamp” & Bottle of Wine  “Rockwood”
  • “Fast & Fair Car Care” – $25 Gift Certificate (Wash & Vacuum)
  • “P. I. Nails” – $40 Gift Certificate (Manicure / Pedicure)
  • “Tesori”  - Sterling Siler Lady Bug Ring & Sterling Silver Earrings
  • “Sea & Sun Hair Salon” – $25 Gift Certificate
  • “Captain Murphy Charter Service” – 1 – Dolphin Watch Gift Certificate, 1- Deep Sea Fishing Gift Certificate & 1 – Bay Fishing Gift Certificate
  • “Anna’s Beauty Salon” – $40 Gift Certificate
  • “Karen Dawn” – Blown Glass Candleholder
  • “Jesse Olvera” – Bennington Pottery
  • “Museums of Port Isabel” –Hand Carved Stone Bead, Blue Encased Glass Jade Wine Pot, Dragon Head Carving, Ivory Resin Snuff Bottle, Antique Carved Head, Fish Silk Stitch Fish & Bronze Kwantin Seal
  • “Hilton Garden Inn” – $25 Gift Certificate
  • “The Inn South Padre” – 2 Gift Certificates of 1 Night Stay
  • “Isla Grande Beach Resort” – Gift Certificate for 2 / Italian Buffet
  • “Marcello’s, Pier 19 or Pirate’s Landing Restaurants” – $25 Gift Certificate
  • “Gloria Bates” – Acrylic on Canvas Painting “ Ridley Turtle”
  • “Causey’s Liquor Store & Circle Drive Inn” – $50 Gift Certificate
  • “Duve Wellness Center & the Natural Living Shoppe” – 3 Gift Certificates of Nutritional Consultation w/Dr. Duve
  • “Isla Marble & Granite Company” – 2 Oval Granite Marble Polished Centerpiece
  • “Dee-Dee’s Boutique” – Earrings, Southern Shine HandBag & 100% Red Acrylic Shana K
  • “South Padre Island Adventures” – Gift Certificate for 2 / One Hour Ride
  • “Victoria’s Kool Kuts” – Shampoo & Hair Gift Certificate
  • ‘Virgina’s Salon & Spa” – Free Hair Cut Gift Certificate & One Hour Massage Gift Certificate
  • “Bridgeview Flowers & Gifts” –  Silk Flower Arrangement
  • “Feldman’s” – Wine Basket
  • “Island Cinema North” – 4 Movie Passes
  • “La Quinta Inn & Suites” – 2 Night Stay Gift Certificate
  • “La Copa Inn” – 2 Night Stay Gift Certificate
  • “Anonymous” – Tournament Dartboard
  • “Anonymous” – Folding Cooler Chair
  • “Carola Art” – 8 Postcards of Sunset View
  • “Salon Samuel’s – Basic Facial Gift Certificate
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