For those who do not know where Kingsville, Texas is, it is about an hour south of Corpus Christi, and about two hours north east of the valley. For those who are unfamiliar with Texas cities and Texas geography, Kingsville is located almost at the bottom of the coastline of Texas, but not quite. The three things this small city of 26,000 people is known for are the King Ranch, Texas A&M Kingsville, and Naval Air Station Kingsville. NAS Kingsville is the reason we ended up here. My husband lived in Corpus Christi for about a year before moving to Kingsville, and I think we both like it better here. It is quieter, less billboards and strip centers.
Some things to know about Kingsville:
It gets hot. Really hot. I grew up in Houston so I know the whole hot and humid deal, and it is similar here. Just add on another ten degrees to the average day. And do not expect it to get below 50 degrees too often in the winter, or stay cold during the day. This can be a good thing or bad thing depending on your preferences.
There are not lots of natural things to do here, like walking, hiking, etc. There are beaches about one hour north to Corpus or two hours south to South Padre Island, and there are a few nature preserves/state parks one to two hours away, but in Kingsville itself there is not much. Majority of our walks are on the side of the road or through neighborhoods we do not live in.
If you are into fishing, people say Baffin Bay is the place to go. We are not into fishing ourselves so I cannot attest to this statement.
There are the best sunrises and sunsets here, with all the open space. I know it’s the same sun that rises and sets everywhere else in the world, but a sunrise over a field of hay bales or cotton is gorgeous. And with no sky scrapers or really anything to obstruct the skyline, it truly is beautiful.
The people are mostly very friendly and warm here. Between working in the hospital, eating at restaurants, and going shopping here, the people I have interacted with have almost all been very friendly. Which ties into my next point.
There are not many things to do here. So the people you surround yourself with will either make or break your Kingsville experience. As I’m sure is the same anywhere, if you are surrounded by people you can have a good time with, you will enjoy the place. Even more so here where there are not a lot of external distractions.
There is a surprisingly large amount of food selections here, if you look for it. Almost a year into living in Kingsville and we are still discovering delicious places to eat.
Driving 15 minutes is considered “far” and “driving all the way across town”. There is no traffic here.
Healthcare is lacking. There are several primary care doctors in the Kingsville area, most of them affiliated with the small rural hospital I worked at. There are a few specialty docs like an OBGYN and eye doctor. However, for most of my healthcare appointments I either drove into Corpus Christi or I waited until I could go home to Houston to see my regular doctors.
Dandy’s: the best burgers and chicken nuggets in Kingsville
Spice Station: our favorite Indian food place. The garlic naan is delicious.
El Dorado: our favorite Mexican restaurant. I like the chipotle chicken.
Mr. Jaime’s: lots of Mexian food for not a lot of money.
Chopstix: one of the few Chinese places in Kingsville. Inexpensive. Very strict covid rules.
Things to do
- Stars and Strikes Bowling Alley: if you have access to the air station, the bowling alley is very affordable and provides lots of entertainment.
- Frisbee Golf: this is also on base, although I’m sure there’s a course elsewhere in Kingsville. We didn’t discover this until a month before moving out, but we played many a round of Frisbee golf.
- Walks: Dick Kleberg Park has a nice little path along the creek. The base also has an almost 2-mile walking trail that is beautiful to walk at sunset. Otherwise, we just walked around Paulson Falls neighborhood and along the side of the road.
- Oak Tree Apartments Pool: this pool is very nice. We lived here. Others came to the pool that were not residents, and most the time they were fine.
- Marshall’s, Hobby Lobby, Goodwill
- Ranch Hand Breakfast at the King Ranch: We went to this massive breakfast pre-covid..I don’t know when it will happen again. But if it does, go. This is probably the town’s biggest event of the year. A cowboy breakfast, King Ranch concessions, and cattle-roping provides for an entertaining morning.
- Sunrises and sunsets: watch them over a field, at the beach, anywhere. There were some of the best sunrises and sunsets in Kingsville.
A lot of living in Kingsville is what you make it. Being 2020 when we lived there, it was a little bit different than normal (as living anywhere in 2020 was). I made great work friends and my husband did as well. We had great times and not so great times, but Kingsville was indeed our home for a year.