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Crystal Beach, originally known as Patton, stretches about seven miles along Texas 87 on Bolivar Peninsula. Patton was a railroad stop until the trains stopped operation in the early 1940s. At that time, the name was changed to Crystal Beach. Main industries are shrimping, oystering and tourism. Summer visitors swell the population and miles of sandy beaches offer many recreational activities. Birding is exciting during the spring and fall migrations, and many northern species winter here.
Free Texas Department of Transportation ferries operate every 20 minutes between Galveston and Port Bolivar, Texas 87.
The old Bolivar Lighthouse, after 61 years of service, still stands near Texas 87. Although not open to the public, it is a symbol of coastal history.