Padre Island National Seashore had more visitors in 2020 than previous years

Many people were looking to get outdoors during the pandemic

Padre Island National Seashore welcomed 617,704 visitors in 2020. (Padre Island National Seashore)

Padre Island National Seashore had more visitors in 2020 than in the previous two years, according to park officials.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, or maybe because of it, the national park near Corpus Christi had 617,704 visitors.

The month of May saw a particularly large increase from previous years with 97,368 visitors in 2020 compared to 54,426 visitors in 2019.

By May, many businesses had been shut down for a couple of months, schools were remote-only and families were looking for things to do outside that would be socially distanced.

“At a time when access to nature became necessary for families to safely recreate, Padre Island National Seashore was able to provide a critical service to the local community and South Texas,” said park superintendent Eric Brunnemann in a press release.

The country’s national parks weren’t unscathed during the pandemic. About 66 of the nation’s 423 parks were fully closed for two months or more.

The Padre Island National Seashore also closed after Hurricane Hanna in July of 2020 and ahead of Tropical Storm Beta in September.

More on KSAT:

About the Author:

Julie Moreno has worked in local television news for more than 20 years. She came to KSAT as a news producer in 2000. After producing thousands of newscasts, she transitioned to the digital team in 2015. She writes on a wide variety of topics from breaking news to trending stories and manages KSAT’s daily digital content strategy.