PORT MANSFIELD, Texas – When it comes to checking things off The Texas Bucket List, sometimes some towns don’t have a specific things to do but are more the all-encompassing experience. When pulled into Port Mansfield down on the coast, we ran into a city so small with a community so close that just pulling in and saying help opens up a list of its own on The Texas Bucket List.
Just south of the King Ranch, at the exit for Raymondville, you’ll find Texas Road 186.
These Lone Star State Lanes will lead you east towards the gulf coast for 25 miles of secluded south Texas land.
The road dead ends in Port Mansfield, a small town that hasn’t been hit with the major hustle and bustle of other seaside cities on the Gulf Coast and that’s a good thing.
“It’s kind of the end of the road,” Port Mansfield native, Mark Brown, said. “It’s not that easy to get to, but once you’re here you don’t want to leave.”
We took some time to see the sights and meet the people of this quiet community of only a few hundred folks. We started at one of the 4 restaurants they have here, Sweet Gregory P’s Smokehouse. Here we met Laura who moved to Port Mansfield in 2000.
“Here it’s real quite, real slow. You can take your time,” Laura said. “You’re not in a rush to get anywhere. Here it’s real quite, real slow. You can take your time.”
That seems to be the case with the local herd of deer too. Heck any kind of wildlife in this town.
“As long as you have food they’ll come up to you and they’ll eat right out of your hands,” Laura informed us. “They’re like pets. That’s what they are.”
Mark Brown’s Father moved here in 1945 and this is the only place he’s called home.
“Yeah, it keeps you young doing things like this,” Mark told us. “Running around and staying on the water not being as young as I used to be, but we get out as much as we can, you know.”
The reason is simple. Port Manfield has some of the best fishing in the state.
“It’s a way of life here,” Laura said when talking about fishing. “It’s how we grew up. It’s what we do here.”
Romey Garza took us out on the water. Romey’s family has been these parts since Spain ruled the state. It wasn’t long till we were reeling them in, and that’s no fish tale.
After catching a haul in no time at all, it was time to enjoy the spoils of the gulf.
With our fresh fish cleaned, we ended the day at Pelican’s Cove Bar and Grill, where our catch got the royal treatment and we shared it with our new found friends of Port Mansfield.
Being able to share this meal caught just hours before or feed deer from the palm of your hand gives this Texas town a unique flair and a reason to take the road that has only one destination.
“It’s just a beautiful place to relax, and if you love hunting and fishing it’s the perfect place to be,” Laura said.