If you’re heading on a Texas road trip down to South Padre Island, we have got a treat for you on the way. I’m not sure how to do justice to the kitsch explosion that is Bobz World. It’s basically the theory of creationism, as expressed through sculpture (although I doubt that was Bobz’s intention). A caveman scales an erupting volcano, mere feet away from a herd of dinosaurs, while a humungous gorilla looms in the background. A few hundred feet away, the Disney set of The Little Mermaid vomited up its scenery, complete with dolphins.
To enter Bobz World, you have to walk through the mouth of what is either a mock dinosaur or shark skull. A Jaws lookalike dangles overhead as you continue on into the store – and what a store it is.
Shell chandeliers dangle from the ceiling, shell mirrors adorn the walls, individual shells and packages of shells are on sale – are you sensing a theme? At Bobz’s World, you can meet all your ocean needs in one supremely tacky place. From shot glasses to miniature lighthouses, from boogie boards to t-shirts, it can all be found here.
Your progress down the aisles is accompanied by music that switches between calypso and jungle beats. To one side is a snack bar selling thirty-two flavors of the infamous (and yummy) Bluebell ice cream, which has been made in Texas for more than one hundred years. Slices of pizza are also on offer under a pseudo tiki bar (a beach mat unrolled and stuck to a faux roof).
We had Spot in tow and dogs are not welcome in Bobz World, presumably because the sight of the giant gorilla would make them panic pee on the spot. As a result, we settled for exploring the main store. However, if you have the inclination and ten bucks, you can visit the wonder that is Jungle Bobz. A staff member described it to me as a ‘botanical sculpture garden.’ Uhuh.
Then there is Bobz World: tours leave every twenty to thirty minutes on this trek through ancient Egypt, the ocean, and a dinosaur exhibit. You can buy a reduced price combo ticket for both attractions. Try to contain your excitement.
I’m a fan of kitsch and this is roadside Americana on acid. I couldn’t decide which was strongest: my admiration, my horror, or my sarcasm. Oh, wait, my sarcasm won out.
Coming from Port Isabel, it’s just before the main drag of Los Fresnos.
Bobz World is located at 36451 Texas 100, Los Fresnos, TX 78566