Surfside Marina Crawfish Fest!

Every April, The Surfside Marina outdoes themselves with their annual Crawfish Boil. It usually happens on the first Saturday of April, and this year it’s April 1st.

It is a big gathering of locals and visitors who get to taste the different scrumptious versions of the mud bugs. Crawfish cooks from all over the area come together and battle it out for the title of best crawfish. Once the dishes are cooked, judges taste a little of each, and then the public gets to judge for themselves. The winner gets bragging rights for the year.

It starts at noon on Sat. April 1st and goes on all afternoon. Tables fill fast, so it’s better to get there sooner than later.
The best part of this festival is that entry is by cash donation. The money raised goes to the Surfside Fire Department.

Everyone come out and support a great cause while having some fun and great food!
Wear some sunscreen! See you there!


Summer On the Island

Things are really start to hop around here. We are getting calls left and right for rental homes for Spring Break, Winter Break, Mother’s Day, reunions, weddings, and Summer. Surfside Beach is such a great place to come that we have so many returning customers every year. They love bringing their families to a nice, big rental home, and have the chance to unwind and spend quality time together.

What sets apart from other coastal towns is the laid-back and quiet lifestyle. There’s still a lot to do, but it’s not the hectic and heavy traffic you’ll see other places. We often joke that we are on “island time” and who doesn’t need that in their lives?

But if you get tired of napping, relaxing, and reading books, then of course there are other things to do. There’s the wonderful surf to play in. You can lay out, swim, boogie board, surf, paddle board, sail, fish or float.
We have places that rent jet skis, kayaks, and paddle boards. You can charter a boat for all-day deep sea fishing or fish off the jetty. You can also go crabbing off our special pier. Or you can just sit on the front deck of the house and beach watch.

Most of us also enjoy long walks on the beach looking for shells or sea glass.
We also have some new restaurants in town that we are loving! Fun places that you can take the whole family.
Whatever you decide to do in Surfside, it will be fun and relaxing.
Remember, there is only one rule in Surfside: Leave only your footprints.
We can’t wait for you to get here.


The Battle of Fort Velasco

There’s a very important part of history in Surfside Beach in which many are unaware. This excerpt is taken directly from FortVelasco.org and explains in great detail the historical significance. The Surfside Historical Commission is working hard to get the Fort rebuilt, and we residents are all thrilled!
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An Explanation of the
Battle of Fort Velasco

It has come to my attention that many of our friends do not know what the Battle of Velasco was about; several, much to my surprise, had never heard of it. So, I have established a brief explanation of the events and their context in Texas history.

In 1828, Mexican General Meir y Teran headed a Border Commission expedition across Texas to verify the northeastern border between Mexico and the United States of the north. He noted a preponderance of wealthy, autocratic anglos and realized that Mexico would soon lose her hold on this very valuable province. As a result, and in part to head off the anticipated separation, Teran made several suggestions to the Mexican Legislature which were later incorporated into the Law of April 6, 1830.
In 1830, the Mexican Legislature enacted the Law of April 6. This law prohibited slavery throughout Mexico (including Texas), established customs houses and garrisons at key entry points to Texas, halted anglo immigration from the United States of the north, terminated unfulfilled empressario contracts, and established tariffs.
Reaction to the Law of April 6, 1830, among anglo settlers in Texas was furious. Some colonists were invigorated in their call for separate statehood for Texas (as opposed to the state of Texas and Coahuilla), while others clamoured for revolution and an independent Texas republic. Most colonists did not realize that Austin’s and McGloin’s colonies were relatively unaffected by the law since their contacts were completed and legal land titles were only a matter of paperwork away. The establishment of customs houses created a great deal of political strife, due mainly to poor choices in customs officers, and made it a bit more difficult to do business in some instances. The establishment of garrisons and building of fortifications caused an uproar, especially when colonists learned garrisons were to include inmates from Mexican prisons (this did materialize and did cause some problems, but only in a very small percentage of the overall garrison force in Texas).
In June of 1832, three illegal aliens — from the United States of the north – were arrested by Col. Juan Bradburn, in charge of the garrison at Anahuac on Galveston Bay. When it finally came to charges, they were accused of illegally being in Mexico and of practicing law in Mexico without benefit of a license. When civil authorities attempted to intervene, Bradburn declared them illegal under the Law of April 6, and held his prisoners for military trial. Revolutionary activists then took over the action and minor skirmishes ensued. A stalemate was reached when Bradburn withdrew into an unfinished brick fortification. Realizing they could not take the Mexican position without artillery, the Texians under William McAlpin Robertson sent to Brazoria for cannon. At about the same time, Samuel Williams, Austin’s secretary in San Filipe, dispatched Texian militia to Anahuac in support of Bradburn (they did not arrive until the situation was resolved). At Brazoria, colonists organized a militia, commandeered a schooner and loaded it with cannon, and headed down the Brazos River to Velasco and Anahuac. Col. Domingo Ugartechea, in command of the garrison at Velasco, refused passage since the colonists intended to attack the Mexican post at Anahuac. The Texians reorganized into companies under John Austin and Henry Smith, fortified the schooner, and made plans to attack Fort Velasco. The plan was for Austin’s company to attack from the north, while Smith circled between the fort and the shoreline and attack from the driftwood piles; the schooner was to drift downriver into cannon range and bombard the fort. About midnight, before everyone was in position, a colonist under Austin had the misfortune of having his gun discharge and became the first casualty of the action. Ugartechea fired 109 of 113 rounds for his main cannon before surrendering due to a lack of ammunition and no hope of reenforcements; the Texians were receiving both supplies and additional men all the while. Ugartechea surrendered with the Honours of War – his men retained their assigned arms and minimal ammunition – and was removed with his garrison across the river to Quintana, where they were to await transport to Matamoros. Hearing the news of the Velasco defeat, Bradburn knows he cannot hold out; he awaits the arrival of Col. Jose de las Piedras from Nacodoches to turn over his command and flee for the Sabine. With Velasco and Anahuac cleared of their garrisons, and Piedras soon recalled to Mexico, Texas was left with virtually no official Mexican presence.
Several months after the battle, when Mexican authorities visited Velasco to inquire into the matter, the colonists declared they had acted in support of Santa Anna, then campaigning in central Mexico against President Bustamente. No one was fooled, but it was enough to satisfy the Mexican government – until the problem of anglo predominance could be dealt with. Many colonists were dismayed at the lack of support from the United States; with that support, they could have pitched their lots for independence.
During the conflict, S.F. Austin was in Mexico City, lobbying for repeal of the more odious provisions of the Law of April 6; covertly, he was wrangling for separate statehood for Texas. Three years later, he would lead another militia into Bexar at the start what would become the revolution of 1836.

Jim Glover
Brazoria Militia

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Save Our Beach Association (SOBA)

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We have a great group of people in Surfside Beach, TX who are a part of restoring the beach and the dunes. And protecting sea life. The group is Save Our Beach Association or SOBA.
SOBA is involved in many things that directly or indirectly impact the erosion of the beach, and the build up of the sand dunes.

Sand dunes are a natural protector of homes, people’s possessions and roads. The more built up they are, the better chance the damage from a storm can be minimal. When a storm surge comes up onto the beach, a good strong dune can slow it down.
So every January, we hold Dune Days. This is when SOBA members and volunteers from all over Texas get together to refurbish the sand dunes. During the Christmas season, SOBA arranges for local cities, including Surfside to donate their real Christmas trees for the project. The trees are staked down to the beach by volunteers, and then linked trunk to trunk in a line. This line will one day form a dune from a collection of sand built up over time.

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We also plant thousands of sea oats. Sea oats is a hearty beach grass that when planted, forms such a strong grip to the dune, and when sand collects, helps to build up the mound.

Another regular SOBA restoration activity is Beach Cleanup. This happens a couple times a year. During the state-wide clean up, we are lucky to get volunteers from all over the Southeast Texas area. Schools, clubs, scouts, and area industries participate. Everyone gets out in their assigned area of the beach and picks up trash, big and small. There are so many things that can hurt sea life, but the biggest are plastic bags and any kind of rope, string, or cording. We canvas the whole stretch of beach to make sure we get it all. Afterwards, SOBA feeds all the volunteers. Many SOBA members not only clean up the beach on their free time, but also pass out trash bags during holidays for visitors.

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Another important job of SOBA is to do Sea Turtle Patrol in the months of April-July. The Kemp Ridley turtle is an endangered species and at SOBA we patrol to find potential nests full of eggs in the dunes. A group of volunteers take turns on a schedule, driving an ATV to scope out the beach. We also educate the beach visitors what to look for when looking for a nest. If a nest is found, we call the Turtle Rescue in Galveston, and they come and take the eggs back to their lab to harvest them. Once the eggs hatch, the Turtle Rescue releases them back onto the beach to swim out into the Gulf.

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There are so many great things that SOBA does throughout the year, and you can check it all out here:
http://sobatx.org/


Love is in The Air

As we all know, February is the month of love. According to History.com Valentine celebrations date back as far as 270 AD and Valentine greetings as long ago as the Middle Ages. Written Valentine cards started around the 1400’s and around the early 1900’s printed cards became the norm. Today, approximately, 150 million cards are exchanged annually! This makes Valentines Day the second most popular card-sending holiday after Christmas!

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There are so many interesting and creative ways that love-birds have shown they care for each other during this holiday. From jewelry, to trinkets, to dinners out, and of course chocolate.
We at Coastal Sisters are all about the love and romance! But what if you tried something different this year?
Break away from the norm and boring!
How about renting a beach front or beach view house in Surfside to tell someone how much you love them?

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We have every kind of house to choose from. Beach front, beach view, on a quiet street, or in the middle of everything. You can even rent a house with a pool!
Whatever your home rentals needs, we have you covered!
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We also have some amazing specials. Book 3 nights in February, and get the 4th for free!! (offer expires 2-28-17)
We will also include candles, champagne and strawberries.
Call now to take advantage of this amazing offer and book your home!
Sharon
713-204-8054


Spring Break in Surfside

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Spring break on our little island is all about family and relaxing. Many people come from far away to enjoy the quiet and laid back atmosphere of Surfside Beach. When you visit us during Spring Break, you won’t find the college crowds you may find in some of our Texas coastal towns. It’s a more unassuming and less busy island.

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Now, that’s not to say we don’t have fun! There is still plenty to do. Besides the sunning, shelling, strolling on the beach or jetty, and swimming that most do, there are businesses on the beach that offer kayaking, jet skiing and paddle boarding. You can charter one of several fishing captains to take you out to deep sea fish, or just a nice cruise for the day.

You can bring your own poles and have fun shore fishing, or even crabbing. At night you can build a camp fire on the beach and have a family cookout.

It’s also a great place for the bird watching enthusiast.

Surfing is a huge past time here and enjoyed by many. It’s a easy place to learn since it’s not a rough surf. You can visit one of the shops to get the best advice.

If you have your own boat, you can easily put it in the water from our several free boat slips. Besides going out to deep waters, we have one of the prettiest bays leading from the Intercoastal waterway.

We have great local restaurants for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and pubs that can serve you a cold one. We have some souvenir shops as well!

If you get enough sun and want to venture out, you can drive 15 minutes North to Lake Jackson where they have more restaurants, downtown shopping, a mall and even a movie theater.

But, the most recommended activity when you come to the island is to spend a relaxing time with family catching up on rest and play.

Can’t wait to see you when you arrive.

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SOBA’s Dunes Day

Beach erosion is inevitable. Every time a strong wind or rain storm comes, parts of our beaches in Texas go out to sea. The good news in Surfside is that we do everything we can to build them back up!
Every year in January, we at SOBA (Save Our Beach Association), hold what is called Dunes Day. A few weeks before this Saturday occurs, residents in Surfside and surrounding areas are encouraged to drop off their live Christmas trees at the front entrance to the beach. Also, some cities in Houston bring us their Christmas trees.
On the big day, volunteers are taught how to place, and stake the Christmas trees down to the sand. The trees are laid at an angle, trunk to trunk and tied to a wooden stake that has been pounded into the beach. These lined-up and staked-down trees, now become a catch-all for washed up and blown up sand. Over time, the tree builds into being a mound of sand, thus creating a dune! These man made dunes become a protector for the homes behind them during a storm or flood.
The other erosion prevention we do on this Dunes Day is planting thousands of sea oats. The sea oats are a grass that anchors down the dunes as it grows, and makes it even stronger against a storm!
Besides Surfside and SOBA volunteers, we get helpers on this day from all over the state. Scout troops, school classes, industries and church groups. We could not do this without all the wonderful help!
If you are interested in participating, Dunes Day is this Saturday January 21st at 8:30am.
We are meeting at Stahlman Park on Bluewater Hwy and hope to see you there! Please call if you have any questions about how to participate, and if you need to stay the weekend.: 713-204-8054

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Surfside Beach and St. Patrick’s Day

Surfside Beach has a long standing and unique tradition that all visitors and residents look forward to each year. It’s our St. Patrick’s Day party and parade! It has been around for many years and it just gets bigger and bigger! The party, which is always 2 weeks before the parade, is held at Stahlman Park. It involves homemade Irish Stew, a little beer and a fabulous costume contest! The costume contest is for kids and adults, and the winners get to ride as honored guests in the parade.

The parade is a sight to see! About 100 residents and businesses dress in their finest green threads, and decorate their golf carts, cars, jeeps, or floats, while riding through the 1.5 hour parade. There are even people on horses! They throw candy and beads to the spectators. There is a contest for the best golf cart, jeep, group and float. Everyone goes ALL out to decorate their vehicle the fanciest they can. People all over the island have BBQ’s and parties. It is fun for all ages!

The island is packed with thousands of people, so they have to close the causeway during the parade. Our advice, book your rental early, get here early and don’t leave!

The party and costume contest is February 25~ 6pm at Stahlman Park and the parade starts at 10 am on March 11 near City Hall.

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Winter in Surfside Beach is my favorite.

 

Don’t get me wrong. I love hot, sunny days in Surfside in the Summer. The smell in the air, the warm Gulf water, the pelicans and seagulls everywhere, and everyone having fun swimming. But I really love Winter days on the beach. Everything seems crisper, a little more laid back, and that is when you can find the BEST SHELLS. Yes, I am a sheller from way back. I can’t sit and relax and read a book every time I go. I have a mission, and that mission is finding shells that I never seen before.

 

I’ve been on the hunt for seashells since I was very little. My mom got me into it. She loved finding the Texas Olive shells and making necklaces out of them. She had all of us kids “working” on that beach finding the biggest and the most we could. It was a contest to see who brought her the most. Those were great memories growing up.

Nowadays, I leave my husband in his chair reading, and I can be gone for hours searching! When my sisters come to visit, he won’t see us all day.

Just like a bird watcher, (which is also amazing to do in Surfside-we have a bird-watching trail)  I have a book in which I can identify each and every shell. So far, there’s only one I can’t find the name to match!

The very best time to find the biggest and best shells is right after a cold front or rain storm. They get washed up like crazy! We love to go out really early to start our search.

So, next time to come to Surfside Beach, and rent a house from Coastal Sisters, ask us the best places to find shells. It’s a secret we’ll only share with you!

Seashell GuideSand DollarGiant Whelk

 


Happy New Year 2017

The New Year always brings about hope and excitement to see what will come in the next 12 months.

For me as a child, the New Year always brought about the anticipation of summer which was around the corner! My dad had to request time off in advance and always planned a 2 week vacation for our family of 8. My favorite memories revolved around our trips to Surfside Beach,TX.

Dad always rented a large house on stilts. We needed a large one! We got 3-4 bedrooms. The 3 girls always shared a room. We didn’t mind and were used to it. Plus, I loved sleeping on the top bunk! My older sister was afraid of heights so she gladly gave it up!

Our days were spent swimming, shelling, fishing, eating seafood and just being outside. I could swim for hours. My brothers taught me to fish, and loved to torture me with the live bait before hooking it. Gross. I could collect shells for miles. I was famous for getting the olive and clam shells that still had a critter in them, and they would stink up the car on the way home. Oops.

We all hated to leave when the two weeks were up, but we had loads of memories and mementos to take home with us.

Going to Surfside Beach those summers so long ago meant relaxing, family time and fun. We could all let our hair down and soak up the sun.

Not much has changed in Surfside Beach. It’s still a haven for families to slow down and have a great time. I frequent the island now as an adult because I just love it so much.