Front page news photo in a small town off the Gulf of Mexico in Texas features a group of seven people, some donning hard hats and one wielding a shovel. With bright smiles and wind-blown hair from the salty sea air behind them, they’re gathering to declare the groundbreaking of a new recreation and entertainment pavilion that will overlook the Tres Palacios Bay.
In a small town, news of a new amphitheater is of widespread importance. A community gathering for a common cause, to improve the entertainment options in a beachside town known best for fishing, shrimping and that slow, Southern way of life, is what wakes people up each morning.
Palacios, Texas is one of America’s last, true, small fishing villages and aims to maintain that charm, even with new developments like the pavilion or residential communities like Waypoint Landing and now Beachside opening up its gates to peace-seeking landowners.
At Beachside, just like at Waypoint Landing, residents are able to purchase the homesites that offer waterfront views and/or access for far below developer cost. They can also build their stilted beachside retreat whenever they choose, there isn’t a requirement to build by a certain time or certain builder. It’s an easy-going way of owning a piece of land that fits with the community’s laid-back style.
“It’s a small town, I was born and raised here and I love it,” said Glen Barnett, owner of Made in Texas, a unique shop that reinvents reclaimed items into handmade Texas-style art. “We have the waterfront and most of all, peace and quiet.”
Barnett said his hometown hasn’t always been a retreat for the outdoor sportsman, during World War II, actors and socialites relished the seascape for a weekend. They stayed at the historic Luther Hotel, which by some accounts, may be haunted. It offers tours and a history lesson into the war heroes and silver screen stars that walked through their doors.
Outside the hotel’s doors is the shimmering blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico where the community has built daytime campgrounds sprinkled all along the coast. These cabanas offer picnic tables, a small grill and protection from the elements as well as a stand for fishing rods.
“I’ve lived other places, but there isn’t a place like this,” Burnett said. “It’s home.”
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