Several small islands are scattered throughout the waterscape of the Gulf of Mexico, the Corpus Christi Bay, and the Ship Channels of Corpus Christi and Lydia Ann. Located north of Padre Island, Mustang Island is situated on the longest barrier island in the world. The only established city in this paradise is Port Aransas, part of Nueces County. Port Aransas runs parallel to the mainland, and has a reputation for great birding, shelling, fishing, and other natural adventures.
Exploring the City
The nearest airport to Port Aransas is Corpus Christi International Airport, but it would be ideal to bring a car into the city instead. From the north, guests can gain entry by ferrying across the ship channel for free. Because of this perk waiting for your turn can take as long as 45 minutes during holidays, and less than 30 minutes during ordinary days. From the south, travelers can access the causeway across the ship to Padre Island. Upon arriving in Port Aransas, travelers will agree that the city is very accessible by car. Traffic is only seen during summer weekends on the main street. Even a drive along Mustang Island’s beach is permissible. Visitors can stop by the Port Aransas Chamber of Commerce/ Tourist Bureau for more information. A trolley that runs to the RV parks from the marina runs the length of town. A one-way ride costs as low as 25 cents.
Best Hotel Accommodations
If you think hotel rooms are limited and cabins are too grand, check out The Commons at Seashell’s 7 Townhomes. Each features three fully-furnished bedrooms, full-size kitchens, and 2 ½ baths. All have access to grills, hammocks, picnic tables, cabanas, and pools. The Courtyard Condominiums at 622 Access Road is perfect for families. For as little as $69 per night, guests can use the condominium which features fully-equipped kitchens, wireless internet, parking spaces, and access to an outdoor shower, swimming pool, basketball court, barbeque grills, and picnic tables. Pioneer Beach Resort extends its services by offering complimentary chopped beef sandwiches, hot dogs, beers, and sodas. Live entertainment, horseshoe tournaments, and other activities can be seen by the boardwalk during peak dates. Book your Port Aransas Hotels with Reservations.com.
Things to Do
The natural habitat of cormorants, terns, gulls, herons, egrets, and pelicans will entice just about anyone. Situated near the southern end of Ross Avenue is Leonabelle Turnbull Birding Center. If you have not heard of the bird species mentioned earlier, it’s just about time to get acquainted. Leonabelle also features resident alligators, turtles, and more than a hundred species of birds. Tourists can explore the wildlife by strolling along the lengthy boardwalk.
After a day of touring, try the local cuisine. Beach Street has Crazy Cajun, which offers the usual fare of crawfish, stone crab claws, shrimp, red beans, gumbo, and other Cajun-style seafood. The baby-back ribs are even served the classic way—on butcher paper. Tourists can enjoy a cold drink in the beer garden, or listen to live entertainment during weekends. Don’t expect for plates though, as food is dumped atop the butcher paper table cloth.
When to Visit
Port Aransas, or Port A to locals, is home to the Art Center for the Islands. The venue hosts numerous year round activities and is largely considered a local hub for young artists. In may, the Annual Songwriters Showcase and Art Festival calls for entries from budding songwriters across Texas. First Friday Showings can also be expected during the month. Tourists can also join February’s Annual Whopping Crane Festival, or participate in the granddaddy of all Texan tournaments, the Deep Sea Round Up in July.