Lighthouse Beach: A great place to soak up some sun

Mary Hipolito sits under a staw umbrella at Lighthouse Beach in Port Lavaca while she watches her grandchildren swim in the water on Wednesday, June 29, 2011. KASSANDRA LAU/KLAU@VICAD.COM
  • County population: 21,381

    County seat: Port Lavaca

    Major city or cities: Port Lavaca, Port O'Connor, Point Comfort, Seadrift

    History of the county's name: The county, established in 1846, was named for John Calhoun, a famed politician and the seventh vice ...

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  • County population: 21,381

    County seat: Port Lavaca

    Major city or cities: Port Lavaca, Port O'Connor, Point Comfort, Seadrift

    History of the county's name: The county, established in 1846, was named for John Calhoun, a famed politician and the seventh vice president of the United States.

    Square miles: 1,032 square miles.

    Main highways: U.S. Highway 87, state Highway 35, state Highway 185.

    County biggest employer: Alcoa, a chemical production company.

    Source: 2010 Census and the Calhoun County Economic Development Corporation.

PORT LAVACA - Mary Hipolito leaned back in her beach chair, grinning, as her grandchildren splashed in the water at Lighthouse Beach.

Hipolito, a native of Houston, has worked all over the world on U.S. naval ships, but when she came home for vacation, she knew she wanted to take her grandchildren to see a real Texas beach. After seeing Lighthouse Beach on her last swing through the state, she decided to bring them here to play in the water, pitching a tent right on the beach.

Lighthouse Beach is a place where people may camp or bring trailers down to hang around the coast. Palm trees gently sway in the breeze, the sandy beach gleams and the water glitters when the sun shines down.

Those who want to fish are mere feet from the pier, while never being more than a minute from town.

"I'd driven by it so often and always wanted to stop," Hipolito said. "It's not part of the spring-break crowd. It's a nice sandy beach, and it's not Corpus Christi or South Padre Island. It's quiet."

Port Lavaca resident Veronica Keller has come to the beach since the city opened it. She loves it here, and gets a season pass every year so she can bring her children.

"The beach is made of sand instead of shells, and it feels safe down here. With some of these beaches, the water can get rough and it can be dangerous, but here it feels safe," Keller said.

Hipolito's grandchildren, Taylor Bennett, 9, and Zachary Bennett, 7, scampered out of the water, shrieking.

"We found a hermit crab," Zachary cried.

"We found four, actually, but then I got scared and we lost them," Taylor said, correcting her little brother.

They love the beach, the two agree.

"It's fun," Zachary said.

Taylor nodded in agreement.

"It's really fun. There are hermit crabs," she said.

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