Padre Island National Seashore | CLOSED BEACH / MALAQUITE BEACH

Malaquite Beach at Padre Island National Seashore

Malaquite Beach at Padre Island National Seashore

The aptly named Closed Beach at Padre Island National Seashore is a 4.5-mile-long beach that is closed to vehicular traffic. It is sandwiched between North Beach and South Beach, and it is most easily accessed from the Malaquite Visitor Center. Like the other beaches, it is comprised of hard-packed sand, not soft sand that most people imagine when they think of a beach. Also like the other beaches, there are no lifeguards at any time of the year.

The beach in front of the Visitor Center is called Malaquite Beach. A ramp leads over the dunes and to the beach from the Visitor Center complex.

Ramp to Malaquite Beach from the Malaquite Visitor Center at Padre Island National Seashore

Ramp to Malaquite Beach from the Malaquite Visitor Center at Padre Island National Seashore

If all you want to do is go to the beach, Malaquite Beach is without a doubt your best option at Padre Island National Seashore, and for a number of reasons. First off, accessing the other beaches involves driving a vehicle on the beach, and this means you’ll need to stop at a car wash afterwards to rinse the sand and salt off the vehicle, most importantly from the undercarriage. For this, you’ll have to get on the ground and use a high-pressure hose.

Second, while trash is a huge problem on the beaches at Padre Island National Seashore, Malaquite Beach is kept relatively clean by park volunteers and visitors. I can’t speak for the rest of Closed Beach, as I didn’t venture beyond Malaquite. You can walk .6-mile to the south before hitting the vehicle barrier that marks the border with South Beach and 4 miles north until reaching the border with North Beach. That’s a lot of territory to keep clean, and considering not many people venture much farther than the beach directly in front of the Visitor Center, I seriously doubt most of Closed Beach is policed for trash.

A third reason to choose Malaquite Beach is because there are restrooms, rinse-off showers, and picnic tables at the Malaquite Visitor Center Pavilion, plus there are picnic tables directly on the beach. There are no amenities at the other beaches at Padre Island National Seashore.

Picnic area at the Malaquite Visitor Center, Padre Island National Seashore

Picnic area at the Malaquite Visitor Center, Padre Island National Seashore

Camping is allowed on Closed Beach, but only by those tent camping at Malaquite Campground. Tent campers have a choice to pitch their tents either at the actual campsite or on the beach in front of the campground.

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Last updated on February 28, 2022
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