Port Aransas, Texas
Family Fun - Island Style
WELCOME TO PORT Aransas, an island getaway for beach, sun and family fun! Nestled between the dunes of Mustang Island and the Corpus Christi Ship Channel, Port Aransas’ picturesque shoreline is the perfect place to beachcomb, frolic in the waves, bask beneath the sun, and relax in the gentle gulf breezes. Mustang Island’s nature related sites abound, offering optimum opportunities for birding, kayaking, fishing, surfing and swimming.
Reflecting a unique laid-back attitude, the intimate coastal community of Port Aransas brims with eclectic boutiques, shops, art galleries, cafes, and exceptional restaurants and lodging. Escape to Port Aransas to experience family fun ~ Island Style! Affectionately referred to as Port ‘A’, the term “extended family” applies to this island community, as locals eagerly anticipate the return of visitors throughout the year.
Points of Interest
• Great Texas Birding Trail sites
• Joan & Scott Holt Paradise Pond – This freshwater pond is a haven for resident and migratory birds.
• Kayak Trails
• Leonabelle Turnbull Birding Center– Novices to experts can discover new species every Wednesday at 9 am, during “Birding on the Boardwalk,” a free, guided public tour.
• Lydia Ann Lighthouse – Privately owned and operated, the lighthouse has been in existence since the 1800s. It is the only lighthouse on the Texas Gulf Coast with 24-hour caretakers. It is not open to the public, but visitors may view it from the water.
• Mustang Island State Park
• Port Aransas Nature Preserve – This 1,217 acre preserve encompasses over 3 miles of hiking and bicycle trails, a pavilion, boardwalks over wetland flats, covered seating areas, and two overlook towers.
• Port Aransas Wetlands Park – The wetland lies on a natural tidal flat and attracts a number of resident and migratory birds.
• South Jetty – Granite jetties form the pathway to the Gulf of Mexico.
• Spoil islands in the bays and waterways surrounding the island offer fantastic birding and wildlife viewing opportunities.
• St. Jo’s Island – A privately owned island across the Corpus Christi Ship Channel. Vehicles are not allowed on the island’s 21 miles of undisturbed beach, providing excellent opportunities for beachcombing and surf fishing.
• The University of Texas Marine Science Institute Wetlands Education Center – Visitors will discover the value of wetlands at this educational resource, which offers indoor and outdoor interpretive exhibits. The site features an extensive boardwalk system and several observation platforms for viewing resident and migratory birds. Free guided tours are offered each Tuesday and Thursday. The indoor Estuary Explorium provides a unique opportunity to learn about local estuaries through interactive exhibits.
The beaches of Mustang Island cover 18 miles of uninterrupted public shoreline and are open to vehicles. Pets are welcome, but they must remain leashed
at all times. A parking permit for a minimal fee is required.
Numerous restaurants offer hungry diners everything from local seafood, fresh from the docks; to authentic Italian and Mexican fare; fresh soups and
salads; and some of the best burgers and pizza around. Whatever your choice, fabulous coastal cuisine will satisfy every palate.
Known as the “Fishing Capital of Texas,” Port Aransas boasts the best in all areas of the sport. Deep sea fishing is big in the waters of this small coastal town. Offshore excursions ranging from 6 – 56 hours depart from Port Aransas docks. Bay fishing is also outstanding in the waterways surrounding Mustang Island, where limits of redfish, flounder, black drum and trout are commonplace. For those that prefer to keep their feet dry, Port Aransas has four public, lighted fishing piers and the South Jetty for around-the-clock casting.
Numerous unique shops, galleries and boutiques appeal to the casual browser and shopaholic. Island treasures for home décor, fashion statements, and gifts from the heart bring lasting memories of Port Aransas.
Located in the heart of the Central Flyway, Port Aransas and Mustang Island are a birder’s paradise. Hundreds of species of resident birds and thousands of migrants can be found here. With five sites on the Great Texas Birding Trail, Mustang Island is the optimal spot for bird watching.
Palmilla Beach Resort & Golf Club is the only ocean-side golf course along the Gulf of Mexico. This Arnold Palmer Signature course is a challenge for even the most expert golfer, with the steady gulf breeze, strategically arranged fairways, fast and true greens, and native coastal grasses waiting to catch missed shots.
Arts and Heritage
Choose from numerous settings to view works of island art, ranging from casual home studios to galleries and interior decorators. The Port Aransas Art Center is a local hub for artists and is host to numerous year-round events. Local talent will entertain the entire family at the Port Aransas Community
Theatre. Sunset Sounds concerts are held the second Friday of each month, April thru October, and feature area musicians.
The Port Aransas Museum features exhibits that showcase early island living to the present day. The Farley Boat Works showcases the history of boat building in Port Aransas and offers a working boat shop where visitors can watch or participate in building a boat.
Whooping Crane Festival - February 23-26, 2017 (always the last full weekendin Feb.). This annual event fosters awareness of the endangered Whooping
Cranes that winter at the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge. Festival events include world-renowned speakers, guided boat trips, workshops, bus tours,
and a nature-related trade show. www.whoopingcranefestival.org.
Texas SandFest – April 21-23, 2017. Beautiful works of sand art are created during one of the largest sand sculpting events in the United States. Sandcastle lessons are offered. A great family event!www.texassandfest.org.
Deep Sea Roundup – July 6-9, 2017. Celebrating its 82nd year, this event is the oldest saltwater fishing tournament on the Texas Gulf Coast. www.deepsearoundup.com.
Harvest Moon Regatta – October 5-8, 2017. The largest point-to-point sailing regatta in U.S. coastal waters. Sailors travel 150 nautical miles from Galveston Island to Port Aransas during this annual event. www.harvestmoonregatta.com.