Port Bolivar Lighthouse
The Port Bolivar lighthouse (also called Bolivar Point Lighthouse) can be reached by taking the ferry from Galveston across the mouth of Galveston Bay or by taking Highway 87 from Port Arthur to Port Bolivar. The lighthouse is on the northern side of Highway 87 a mile or so from the ferry landing.
Bolivar Point Lighthouse and the adjacent residences are privately owned and not open to the public. Good views can be had from Highway 87.
You'll have fun on Bolivar's beaches, all 30 miles, with different areas catering to different age groups and lifestyles. The most well known area is called Crystal Beach and is named after its crystal-like sand. Crystal Beach is the busiest and most appealing to the more youthful at heart. You can join in the Crystal Beach party on the sand or watch it all happen from the view of an overlooking beach home.
Rollover Pass, which divides Bolivar Peninsula as well as Gilchrist and carries water between East Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. It is regarded among sportsmen as a very popular fishing location in Texas with some the largest fish in the state.
Rollover Pass was a natural pass that had been closed until 1955, when it was opened by the Texas Game and Fish Commission as part of its efforts to preserve and improve fish and wildlife resources. Several businesses in the community operate to furnish necessities for permanent residents as well as tourists.
The Bolivar Peninsula is part of the Bolivar Loop Birding Trail. Here, on the Gulf, with resounding waves breaking against the shore, an array of shorebirds may be observed and identified.
Birding is probably one of the most cosmopolitan outdoor activities in existence. By all accounts, the ranks of birders are growing. Formerly called “bird watchers,” birders come from all walks of life, from doctors to lawyers, teachers, policemen, corporate executives, truck drivers, merchants, young children, young married and senior citizens. There are as many varieties of birders as there are birds. They range from intense perfectionists who travel the globe at the drop of a hat to see a species never seen, to the casual weekend hobbyist who enjoys watching the neighborhood birds at a backyard feeder or nearby greenbelt.
The North Jetty, at the southwestern end of the peninsula, is one of twin restraining walls built into the Gulf of Mexico to provide a deep water channel to Galveston. The South Jetty extends into the Gulf from Galveston Island. Work on the jetties began as a construction experiment in 1874, and the major portion was completed only after Congress appropriated funds for the work in 1890. Completion of the system in 1898 made Galveston a deep-sea port for world commerce. The jetties now protect shipping to various cities along the Houston Ship Channel, and are used as fishing spots by many sportsmen.
The jetty protects the entrance to the Galveston/Houston Ship Channel. The North Jetty Road, 1.7 miles from the Ferry Landing, is unmarked except for a large sign on the inland side of the highway. The road dead-ends into the North Jetty. The jetty was built of huge granite blocks in the 1890's by the Army Corp of Engineers. Without the jetties, large ships would not be able to travel the channel as the channel would silt over and boats with more than a 12 foot draft would be unable to navigate through the area.
Fort Travis is on the western end of Bolivar Peninsula close to the ferry landing and includes the seawall, broad grassy areas, oleanders, winding roads, well equipped play grounds, picnic tables and bar-b-que grills. The 60-acre park still has battery sites. It also has picnic areas and cabanas rentals. It's part of the Galveston County Beach Park Board.
Galveston Bolivar Ferry
Many people say that the best things in life can be had for free, and this is definitely true most of the time. At least, one of the best things that you can do when visiting the Bolivar Peninsula is to take a ride on the Galveston Bolivar Ferry. It is a joy and a pleasure that can be had absolutely for free.
The Galveston Bolivar Ferry is a 24-hour marine transportation system operated by the Texas Department of Transportation. Both Vehicles and Walk-on passengers are welcome. The ride is 2.7 miles and takes 15-20 minutes to cross over Bolivar Roads at about 12 knots.
9 Hole Regulation Golf Course
Settled on a peninsula jutting into the Gulf of Mexico, the Rancho Carribe Golf Course is one of Texas’ best-kept secrets. About an hour southeast of Houston, this nine-hole facility features a renovated barn for a one-of-a-kind pro shop and holes with spectacular gulf views. Wallis Smith, who owns the course with his wife Julia, literally designed and built the course with P.G.A. Pro Robby Sharpless.
One of the most interesting features of the Bolivar Peninsula is the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, which extends the length of the peninsula on the north side and is used for transportation of freight and small craft.
The Gulf Intracoastal Waterway is the portion of the Intracoastal Waterway located along the Gulf Coast of the United States. It is a navigable inland waterway running approximately 1700 kilometers (1050 mi) from Carrabelle, Florida, to Brownsville, Texas.
The entire GIWW is a 1,300-mile-long, man-made canal that runs along the Gulf of Mexico coastline from Texas’ southern- most tip at Brownsville to St.Marks, Florida. The canal links all of the Gulf Coast ports and enables these ports to access the inland waterway system of the United States.
Fishing and Hunting
Fishing and Hunting have been enjoyable pursuits on the Bolivar Peninsula since man first inhabited the area and are still popular sports, particularly fishing.
Bolivar has fishing available from the Gulf of Mexico, Galveston East Bay and the Intracoastal Waterway. The Bolivar Peninsula has water on every side and also a channel cut through its entire length - the Intracoastal Waterway.
Hunting of doves and waterfowl during the fall in the Bolivar marshes of Galveston East Bay is considered by many the best in the State of Texas.
Don't be surprised to see a golf cart pass by you when you’re walking down any of Bolivar’s beautiful beaches, such as Crystal Beach, as they allow golf carts to drive on the road sides and beaches. BEACH PARKING PERMIT
Galveston County requires that all vehicles and golf carts parked on Bolivar Peninsula beaches display a permit. The permit costs $10.00 and can be purchased at any grocery store.
Golf Carts are the perfect beach toy for Bolivar’s home owners and renters. Almost everyone who lives down here has a cart. Most do not play golf, they just use the cart to drive around to the beach or visit folks at their beach houses.
Life is better when you surf!
The best cross-training for surfing is swimming. As you'll quickly discover, at least 95 percent of your surfing time will be spent paddling rather than riding waves. To make this a bearable experience, you must have a strong upper body. A pool will work, but the optimum option is open-ocean swimming. It will help your conditioning and confidence in all types of ocean conditions.
Relax, have fun, and enjoy your surfing and that of your fellow surfer.
Bolivar Roads is the entry way from the Gulf of Mexico to Galveston Bay, the Houston Ship Channel, Port Bolivar and the Intracoastal Waterway.
Road Tour Entry
The drive to the Bolivar Peninsula by land through High Island is a vacation in itself. The views and landscape are just beautiful.
Take the scenic route from Houston or Dallas by taking Hwy. 61 off I-10 to FM-562 and FM-1985 to Hwy. 124. See Map
The Bolivar Peninsula and Crystal Beach is a family oriented beach community on Gulf Coast of Texas, 45 miles south of Houston. Situated between Galveston Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, it is accessed by ferry from Galveston Island or land through High Island.
Most popular as a resort destination in the summer, the mild gulf climate makes it comfortable all year round.
Fresh seafood abounds, that you can cook at home or enjoy in one of the many restaurants. And you also have the beach, the bays, birding, boating, the golf course and all the other attractions. All this has made the Bolivar Peninsula the most popular vacation home spot in the State of Texas.