On Mustang Island in Texas’ Corpus Christi Bay, Port Aransas is a small city with a huge character. Overlooking the Gulf of Mexico and surrounded by state parks and nature reserves, Port Aransas is perfect for anyone who wants to get out and enjoy the area’s natural beauty. Contemporary comforts and conveniences offer a welcome break for those who want to kick back and relax.
With the larger city of Corpus Christi just across the bay, Port Aransas is ideal for a laid-back vacation with the option of big-city energy just around the corner. But don’t go thinking that Port Aransas is just a sleepy fishing town. It has plenty of fun and thrills to offer visitors in its own right. With a huge selection of activities and attractions, from dolphin spotting excursions to seeking out historic sites, you’re sure to find plenty to keep you busy. Here are the best things to do in Port Aransas.
- Port Aransas, Texas
- 20 Things To Do In Port Aransas
- 1- Relax On Port Aransas Beach
- 2- Marvel At The WWII Gun Mounts
- 3- Set Sail With Red Dragon Pirate Cruises
- 4- Explore Port Aransas Nature Preserve
- 5- Spot Some Critters At Leonabelle Turnbull Birding Centre
- 6- Cool Off At Port Aransas Community Pool
- 7- Take In The View From Roberts Point Park
- 8- Walk Along Port Aransas Jetty
- 9- Catch Dinner At Beach Street Pier
- 10- Cast A Line At Port Aransas Fishing Pier
- 11- Shop Local At Paul’s Seafood Market
- 12- Visit The Chapel on the Dunes
- 13- Browse Port Aransas Museum
- 14- Take A Dolphin Spotting Cruise
- 15- Go Parasailing
- 16- Cruise Around Town In A Beach Cart
- 17- Camp Out At I.B. Magee Beach Park
- 18- Look Out For The Aransas Pass Lydia Ann Lighthouse
- 19- Explore Mustang Island State Park
- 20- Visit Port Aransas Art Centre
- 20 Things To Do In Port Aransas
Port Aransas, Texas
20 Things To Do In Port Aransas
1- Relax On Port Aransas Beach
If you want a relaxing beach break, you are in the right place.
At 6 miles (9.6 km) long, there’s plenty of space for everyone to stretch out and lay back on this strip of soft, white sand.
Running the length of Port Aransas, you’re never more than a mile from a beach, no matter where you stay in the town.
There’s plenty of parking space too if you don’t want to lug your beach gear on foot.
Shops along the beach hire out sun loungers and umbrellas so you can have a totally comfortable visit.
There are also plenty of water sports and activities on offer, like parasailing and surfing, if you prefer to keep active.
Park up at RXM3+H9, Port Aransas, TX 78373, United States.
2- Marvel At The WWII Gun Mounts
If you take a walk in the hills right behind Port Aransas Beach, you can find some old World War II gun mounts.
Along with the remains of the structures themselves, there are also information plaques detailing the history of Texas’ coastal defence and why this area in particular was a potential target.
Find them at E W Cotter Ave, Port Aransas, TX 78373, United States.
3- Set Sail With Red Dragon Pirate Cruises
When you’re looking for something different to do, join the local pirate crew and head out on the high seas.
Red Dragon Pirate Cruises offer a fun excursion for guests of all ages making a fantastic family day out.
With cannon fire, sword fights, and a fully stocked bar serving up delicious cocktails and mocktails, you’ll have a whale of a time on board the Red Dragon.
Hop aboard at 440 W Cotter Ave, Port Aransas, TX 78373, United States.
4- Explore Port Aransas Nature Preserve
Immediately west of the city, Port Aransas Nature Preserve covers thousands of acres of wetlands, ponds and pastures.
The diverse habitats are home to an array of wildlife from birds to alligators.
A network of boardwalks provides comfortable walking trails by which to explore the various features of the preserve.
Just half a mile from the town centre, the preserve offers a convenient escape into the wilds, without having to venture too far from the safety and comfort of the city.
Head in at Port St, Port Aransas, TX 78373, USA.
5- Spot Some Critters At Leonabelle Turnbull Birding Centre
in the marshes of Port Aransas, the Leonabelle Turnbull Birding Centre is a must-visit for any bird-watcher or nature lover.
Home to a huge diversity of species, including hummingbirds, pelicans, and egrets, you’ll have tons of fascinating species to look out for.
Boardwalks lead through the marshes to a sheltered viewing platform from which you can get an even better view of the nesting and wading birds.
Along with the birds, make sure to look out for the local neighbourhood alligator affectionately known as Boots.
Go to 1356 Ross Ave, Port Aransas, TX 78373, United States.
6- Cool Off At Port Aransas Community Pool
Texas can get pretty hot, especially in the south, so you may want to cool off with a swim.
If you don’t feel like facing the open waters of Corpus Christi Bay or the Gulf of Mexico, then consider heading to Port Aransas Community Pool instead.
Port Aransas Community Pool has everything you could need, with both lanes and open swimming areas, waterslides and play fountains.
There are also shaded seating areas around the pool for those who don’t feel like taking a dip.
Dive into 700 Clark Pkwy, Port Aransas, TX 78373, United States.
7- Take In The View From Roberts Point Park
Roberts Point Park is the perfect place to take a break and relax.
The comfortable lawn park sits right on the waterfront of Turtle Cove, overlooking the Port Aransas Municipal Boat Harbor.
You can relax on the grass or various benches and watch the boats drift around the marina and bay.
Picnic tables and a play area make it an ideal spot for families.
There’s also a viewing platform from where you can enjoy views of the city and bay.
Go to 301 J C Barr Blvd, Port Aransas, TX 78373, United States.
8- Walk Along Port Aransas Jetty
Port Aransas is a popular fishing destination and one of the best spots in the town to set up your pole is along the Port Aransas Jetty.
The rocky pathway juts out over 1540 ft (500 m) into the waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
It’s ideal for catching saltwater fish that don’t come too close to shore and if you’re not much of an angler, the Jetty still makes for a nice walk.
The rocks along either side of the jetty are a popular habitat with a variety of wading birds.
Head out from 321 N on the Beach, Port Aransas, TX 78373, United States.
9- Catch Dinner At Beach Street Pier
Beach Street Pier, also known as Caldwell Pier, is a less rugged alternative to the Port Aransas Jetty.
The wooden boards that make up the pier are a bit more comfortable to set up on.
It is only about a third as long as the jetty though.
However, it is a fair bit closer to the centre of the town, so it’s more convenient to get to.
Set up at 230 N on the Beach, Port Aransas, TX 78373, United States.
10- Cast A Line At Port Aransas Fishing Pier
Alternatively, you might prefer to fish in more sheltered waters, in which case head to Port Aransas Fishing Pier.
You might catch speckled trout, redfish, black drum or flounder, depending on the season and conditions.
A fair bit smaller than the other piers, it makes up for the lack of space with comfort and convenience.
With toilets, bars, and shops nearby, it’s perfect for a more laid-back session.
Go to 1009 N Station St, Port Aransas, TX 78373, United States.
11- Shop Local At Paul’s Seafood Market
If you don’t enjoy fishing or simply had no luck but still want to sample some of Port Aransas’ super fresh seafood, head over to see what’s for offer at Paul’s Seafood Market.
Offering a daily selection of fresh caught fish, shellfish, and even frogs’ legs, you can stock up on a range of delicacies to cook at home or take to the beach for a barbeque.
Pop into 108 S Alister St, Port Aransas, TX 78373, United States.
12- Visit The Chapel on the Dunes
Standing atop the dunes since the 1930s, the Chapel on the Dunes is the oldest church on Mustang Island.
Tucked behind some private houses the Chapel is a hidden slice of Port Aransas’ history.
Tours of the Chapel are offered twice a month and can be reserved through the Port Aransas Museum.
Head to 203 S 11th St, Port Aransas, TX 78373, United States.
13- Browse Port Aransas Museum
At the heart of town, a historic home has been turned into the Port Aransas Museum.
It displays a range of permanent exhibits of artefacts from the city’s heritage and development, plus frequent special exhibitions on various topics about the local area.
Open Thursday through Saturday, admission is always free, so there is no reason not to pop in.
Find it at 403 N Alister St, Port Aransas, TX 78373, United States.
14- Take A Dolphin Spotting Cruise
Wildlife spotting is one of Port Aransas’ biggest draws, so you’ll find plenty of tour companies to help you see all that is on offer.
You can often spot dolphins darting about the Aransas Pass, but if you want the best chance of seeing them you can head out onto the water with a dolphin spotting cruise.
Various companies offer dolphin spotting cruises from Port Aransas, such as Salt Devil Cruises at 301 J C Barr Blvd, Port Aransas, TX 78373, United States.
15- Go Parasailing
If the adventures of land and sea aren’t enough to thrill you, take to the skies with a parasailing expedition.
Aside from being tons of fun, heading up into the air will grant you some uniquely impressive views of the city and surrounding landscape and gulf.
Again, you’ll have several options to choose from, like Sky’s The Limit Parasailing at 301 J C Barr Blvd #3001, Port Aransas, TX 78373, United States.
16- Cruise Around Town In A Beach Cart
When you get to Port Aransas, it won’t be long before you spot a beach cart cruising around town.
The buggies are a popular feature with both locals and visitors, and there are plenty of rental companies around town for you to get your own from.
Aside from being a convenient and comfortable way to get around town, you can also drive them straight down onto the beach.
If you don’t want to deal with carrying your beach towels and floaties even as far as from the parking lot to the sand, then just hire a beach cart instead.
You can rent one from Port A Beach Buggies right at the centre of town at 307 W Avenue G #4222, Port Aransas, TX 78373, United States.
17- Camp Out At I.B. Magee Beach Park
If you’d prefer not to have to leave the beach at all during your stay in Port Aransas, then that’s an option.
I.B Magee Beach Park lets you camp out right down by the sand.
With showers and electrical outlets, you’ll have everything you need to enjoy your stay in the open air.
Pitch up at 321 N on the Beach, Port Aransas, TX 78373, United States.
18- Look Out For The Aransas Pass Lydia Ann Lighthouse
If you look north from Port Aransas, down the Lydia Ann Channel, you might spot the flashing of the Lydia Ann Lighthouse.
The historic lighthouse was originally erected back in 1857, with various repairs and restorations over the years due to damage from both hurricanes and the civil war.
The Lydia Ann Lighthouse sits out on Harbor Island.
Boat tours and charters can carry visitors along the water to get a closer look at the structure.
Look towards Harbor Island Road, Port Aransas, TX 78373, United States.
19- Explore Mustang Island State Park
If the Port Aransas Nature Preserve doesn’t offer enough space to explore, you can head on down to the Mustang Island State Park to continue the adventure.
Covering almost 4000 acres of beach and wetlands, the park provides a huge area of habitat for wildlife, from wading birds to deer.
It’s also a popular area for camping, with plenty of space to set up your tent right on the sand.
Head down to Port Aransas, TX 78373, USA.
20- Visit Port Aransas Art Centre
right in the centre of town, the Port Aransas Art Centre strives to showcase the works and talents of local artists in Port Aransas and the surrounding area.
With new exhibitions rolled out every month, it’s always worth paying Aransas Art Centre another visit.
Aside from just exhibiting the artwork, many are also for sale, so it’s the perfect place to pick up a unique, local souvenir.
They also run frequent classes where you can make your own masterpiece to take home.
Pop into 104 N Alister St, Port Aransas, TX 78373, United States.
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