Located on Mustang Island south of Corpus Christi, Texas is Port Aransas. There are miles of broad, roomy, sandy beaches that are perfect for sunbathing, swimming and wading, and it is one of the few Texas beaches on which one can go horseback riding in the surf.
Anglers are welcome to Port Aransas. Guests can fish off the public piers, the beaches, bulkheads, or take a chartered fishing-boat out for a cruise.
Boating is big at Port Aransas (it is a Port, after all). All manner of recreational boating is done in it waters, from sailboats to speedboats and more.
Port Aransas is home to one of the best bird-watching sites in the United States, the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail. This huge and unique birding trail stretches along over 500 miles of Texas beached, providing visitors with a chance to see some of the local and migrating birds that nest in the Texas wetlands
beach town in Texas
Port Aransas is a beach town in Texas on the Gulf of Mexico. And just to make sure you’re pronouncing it correctly, “Aransas” rhymes with Kansas, not Arkansas. The locals refer to it as “Port A”. The closest city is Corpus Christi, about an hour’s drive away. Port Aransas is on the northern tip of an island called “Mustang Island”, so named after the mustang horses which used to inhabit the place.
Getting to the beach itself is very easy. There are several access roads that take you right to the sand. Regular vehicles can drive on the beach, although driving conditions vary. If it’s rained recently, the sand is probably packed down pretty good, making beach driving fairly easy. If it’s been a driving summer, the sand is loose, and driving on the beach can be tenuous.
It’s a great place for fishing, boating, shrimping, body surfing, building sandcastles, beachcombing, swimming, sunning, relaxing, exploring, golfing, bird watching, star gazing, walking, running and driving.
About Port Aransas, Texas
I have been visiting Port Aransas since 1984 when I moved to Texas. It’s about a 4-hour drive from my house in central Texas. My husband and I like being on the beach and have never done the fishing thing that so many other Port Aransas visitors like to do. We drive onto the beach, set up our chairs and canopy, put on suntan lotion, test the waters, look for shells and sand dollars, watch people in the water and on the sand, watch the birds, play in the waves, have a drink, read a newspaper, do a puzzle book, take a nap…!
In this lens, I’ll highlight the good parts of Port Aransas and what to expect if you decide to go. But I’m not going to paint the rosy picture that the business owners might portray, because no beach or beach town is flaw-free. We’ve been to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world and yet they have their issues too. The trick is for the beach town or village to have enough good things to outweigh the negative. We think Port Aransas does that, otherwise, we would not return as often as we do.
I just returned from our first beach visit of the season and can report that Port Aransas is still a great beach to go to. Schools in Texas are out or almost out and the beach area is starting to fill up. The best news I can report is that there is very little seaweed compared to last year. Last year, we had to dig a path through the seaweed just to get to the water, and once at the water’s edge, you were still surrounded by seaweed. It’s much nicer this year, though there’s still those small pieces of seaweed floating around in the water.
We did see more jellyfish left on the shore by the waves. Only a few of the “blue bags” – the term I have given to the Portuguese Man of War. Not much trash or tar on the beach. Driving conditions were good, specifically between Access Road 1A and mile marker 40. We have a car and were not even concerned about getting stuck in the sand.
It was very windy this weekend, the water was choppy and murky. I’m not sure what the water temperature was but it’s warm enough for swimming. Another great weekend at the beach!
Aransas National Wildlife Refuge
It’s a short drive from Port Aransas but the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge is well worth it. You can get up close and personal with whooping cranes and alligators. The time we went there with our dog, they told us to leave the dog in the car because it will look like dinner to the alligators!
You know you’re in for an adventure when their website offers this advice: Alligators and poisonous snakes are present; always watch your step. Dress appropriately. Bring a hat, water, snack, sunscreen, insect repellent, bird book, flower book, binoculars, camera, etc.