Habitat Tour

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Take in the sights at one of the most beautiful natural areas in South Texas.


The Habitat Tour explores the 14-mile Bayside Drive (which is currently closed to private vehicles). Winding and weaving past brushlands, wetlands, and the Laguna Madre, this interpretive tour is a great way to see what is truly a piece of living history and the largest federally protected area in the Lower Rio Grande Valley. Fall and winter sightings may include osprey, redhead ducks, sandhill cranes, reddish egret (we have many white phase), tri-colored heron, shorebirds, snow geese, white tailed deer, nilgai antelope, bobcat, coyote, javelina, western diamondback rattlesnake, Texas tortoise, and American alligator.  

The tour includes several short stops along the way with a short walk up to an observation deck overlooking the lower Laguna Madre. Participants are welcome to take the walk or stay on the tour vehicle.  There is one restroom stop during the tour.

Tour Vehicles

We either use a 50 passenger open-air tram or a small bus that holds 12 passengers.  Both are wheelchair accessible.

Schedule

Tours have ended for the season due to planned construction on the Bayside Drive.  Check this space or call the refuge for updates as we are unsure when tours will resume.


Tours last approximately 3 hours.

Plan to arrive at least 30 minutes before the morning tour and an hour before the afternoon tour to have enough time to park, purchase your tickets and use the restroom.  Allow extra travel time as there is road construction.  Check our "Plan Your Visit" section for up to date directions.

All tours are dependent on the availability of volunteers and no tour is guaranteed to run due to staffing and equipment issues that may arise.

Cost: CASH OR CHECK ONLY $4.00 per adult (ages 16+); $3.00 for 62 and older; FREE for children (15 and under)


Other:

  • Refuge entrance fees ($3 per vehicle) are in addition to the  tour fees. 
  • Come prepared for the great coastal breeze on the open-air tram (ie jackets are recommended).
  • Binoculars are highly recommended, so bring yours along.  The visitor center has a limited number of binoculars to loan.
  • After rains, the mosquitos can be quite numerous and insect repellent is recommended.