The southern branch of the bayou is undeveloped and allows for interesting kayaking, dinghy rides and fishing. The northern branch has several industrial sites, two restaurants, a public boat ramp, a convenience store, a motel, and is the location of Job Beason Park.
Friends have suggested calling ahead for reservations, but our trip to Job Beason Park took place Memorial Day Weekend 2013, and while the public boat ramp stayed busy, our group of three boats were the only boats that used the docks and spent the night.
For $35 a night, you can tie up to one of Job Beason Park's 18 finger piers along the well-built wooden dock. Power is included, but there is no water available.
The bayou is very calm and protected, a nice change after crossing the usually-rough Trinity Bay. Only an occasional barge or tug slowly passing by will ripple the waters.
The power hook-ups are 50 amp, so if you're using a 30 amp cord, you'll need an adapter. We had no problems with our power hook-up, but our friends had an issue with their breaker and did some surgery on the pole to get it working.
The park comes with your standard swingset and other park toys for the kids as well as a covered pavilion with picnic tables and a grill. There are public restrooms available next door to the picnic pavilion, but the stalls and showers do not have doors, and they do not seem to be cleaned ... ever. In fact, the odd shaped metal urinal in the men's room was stamped with "Texas Correctional Industries." If you ever want to experience prison toilets without going to jail, Job Beason Park is your place.
There's a convenience store and motel just across the road. You pay slip fees at the convenience store, and yes, they take credit cards. The convenience store also has public restrooms that are cleaned.
Just past the convenience store is a fuel dock, which is just a few hundred yards from the pier.
Marker 17, the local watering hole, is a short walk or an even shorter dinghy ride away. They're known for their burgers and shrimp, but we only sampled the beer, which was cheap and cold -- always a good combination.
If you're too cheap to pay the $35 for a dock at Job Beason park, you can tie up at Marker 17 for free, but beware, there's no power and the DJ is likely to be playing music very loud until very late.
All the residents we encountered were incredibly friendly and accommodating. They also LOVE live music, so if you've packed a guitar, be ready to play.
Be wary of loose dogs. There's no leash law in the area, so all the dogs roam free. Two came to visit our boat, and there were several hanging around the convenience store. None that we encountered were aggressive, but we have small dogs that could easily be injured even if a big dog was just playing, so we had to keep an eye on them.
Bring your bug spray and make sure you've got space in your holding tank, but Job Beason Park gets a thumbs up for a great place to visit.
Job Beason Park
W Bayshore Rd.
Oak Island, TX 77514