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17 Best Things to do in Port Aransas, Texas

Port Aransas is a small town located on Mustang Island off the coast of Texas.

The Texas beach town is known for its lovely beaches, great fishing, and laid-back atmosphere.

Visitors can enjoy stunning views of the Gulf of Mexico from the sandy shores, take Port Aransas beach buggies around the town, or take a charter boat out for a day of deep-sea fishing.

In the evening, there are plenty of beach bars and restaurants to enjoy, making Port Aransas TX the perfect place to relax and escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Also Read: 12 Best Island to Visit on the Texas Gulf Coast

Sand castle at Mustang Island near Port Aransas, Texas
Sand castle at Mustang Island near Port Aransas, Texas

Best Things to do in Port Aransas, Texas

Nestled on the Gulf of Mexico, Port Aransas is one of the most charming small towns in Texas.

With its wide beaches, lush parks, and abundance of seafood restaurants, it’s no wonder that this town is a popular vacation destination.

Visitors can enjoy a leisurely stroll down historic Port Avenue, stop for a swim at one of the many beaches, or take a boat ride out to the nearby barrier islands.

Here are our favorite things to do in Port Aransas, Texas now.

Spend time relaxing on Port Aransas Beaches

If you’re looking for a place to enjoy some time in the sun, there’s no better destination than Port Aransas Beaches – they are some of the best beaches in Texas!

The beaches here are wide and sandy, and the water is clean and clear.

The warm Texas Gulf waters are perfect for swimming, surfing, crabbing, and fishing, and the powdery sand is a perfect place to relax.

The sunsets here are truly breathtaking!

Our favorite Port Aransas beach is the I.B. Magee Beach, which is a public beach located in the waterfront park.

Other popular beaches in Port A include Mustang Beach and Whitecap Beach in Corpus Christi.

Sunrise on the sand dunes at Mustang Island near Port Aransas, Texas
Sunrise on the sand dunes at Mustang Island near Port Aransas, Texas

Admire the views from Roberts Point Park

Roberts Point Park is a beautiful coastal park located in Port Aransas, Texas.

The park offers stunning views of the Gulf of Mexico, and it is also a great place for fishing, swimming, and picnicking.

Visitors can enjoy a variety of activities at the park, including sunbathing on the beach, bird watching, and kayaking.

The park is a great place to spend a day enjoying the outdoors with family and friends.

Spot spoonbills and egrets at Leonabelle Turnbull Birding Center

The Leonabelle Turnbull Birding Center in Port Aransas is one of Texas’s premier birding destinations.

The center’s 200 acres of coastal habitat are home to a variety of migrating birds, including roseate spoonbills, peregrine falcons, and ospreys.

The centerpiece of the center is the observation tower that offers stunning views of the surrounding marshes and waterways.

The center also has a nature trail where visitors can see birds up close, as well as an education center with interactive exhibits about the local bird population.

Royal Tern on the Texas Gulf Coast Birding Trail
Royal Tern on the Texas Gulf Coast Birding Trail

Enjoy hiking at Port Aransas Nature Preserve

The Port Aransas Nature Preserve is a beautiful and unique natural area located by the Corpus Christi Ship Channel on the Texas coast.

The preserve is home to a variety of plant and animal life, including many endangered and threatened species.

Visitors can explore the preserve via a system of hiking trails, boardwalks, and elevated viewing platforms.

They can also spot wildlife such as dolphins, sea turtles, bobcats, alligators, deer, and birds.

The preserve also offers educational programs and ranger-led tours that provide insights into the area’s ecology and history.

Whether you’re looking for a place to hike, bird watch, or simply enjoy natural beauty of the Texas coastline, the Port Aransas Nature Preserve is definitely worth a visit.

Have fun on the Red Dragon Pirate Cruises

Red Dragon Pirate Cruises offers a unique and exciting way to see the sights of Port Aransas TX.

Themed after a pirate ship, the cruise features a variety of fun activities for kids of all ages.

During the cruise, guests can enjoy music and dance, pirate-themed games, and more with the pirate crew of the ship.

The cruise includes snacks and drinks for all guests.

And don’t forget to keep an eye out for dolphins – they love to play in the ship’s wake in Aransas Bay!

Alligator in muddy water at the Port Aransas Nature Preserve in Texas
Alligator in muddy water at the Port Aransas Nature Preserve in Texas

Step back in history at Port Aransas Museum

The Port Aransas Museum is a must-see for anyone interested in the history of this vibrant coastal community.

The museum is managed by the Port Aransas Preservation and Historical Association.

It houses an impressive collection of artifacts and permanent exhibits that tell the story of Port Aransas from its earliest days as a thriving port town.

The museum has a wide variety of artifacts on display, including old photos, documents, and even the Fourth Order Fresnel lens of the Lydia Ann Channel lighthouse.

The museum also conducts tours to see Farley Boat Works where visitors can learn about boat building as well as Port A attractions tour.

Visit the pretty Chapel in the Dunes

The Chapel in the Dunes is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Port Aransas TX.

The small church sits atop a sandy hill overlooking the beach, and its unique architecture and sweeping views make it a popular spot for photos.

Horace Caldwell Fishing pier at Mustang Island in Port Aransas Texas
Horace Caldwell Fishing pier at Mustang Island in Port Aransas Texas

Fish for sharks at Horace Caldwell Pier

Port Aransas is known as the fishing capital of Texas.

The best place to go for shallow water fishing is the Horace Caldwell Pier.

The pier stretches over 1,000 feet into the Gulf of Mexico, providing breathtaking views of the water and surrounding coastline.

From here you can catch trout, redfish, or even sharks!

Visitors can fish from the pier, relax in the sun, or take a leisurely stroll to enjoy the fresh sea breeze.

In addition to its natural beauty, Horace Caldwell Pier is also home to a variety of wildlife, including pelicans, dolphins, and seagulls.

Have a adrenaline rush with Skydive South Texas

Skydive South Texas offers some of the best skydiving in the state, with beautiful views of the Gulf of Mexico and the coastline. 

The facility is located at the Mustang Beach Airport, and the view from the drop zone is simply stunning. 

Historic Lydia Ann Lighthouse at Aransas Pass Texas
Historic Lydia Ann Lighthouse at Aransas Pass Texas

Explore Port A’s kayaking and paddling trails

Port A is one of the best places to enjoy kayaking in Texas.

Paddle through serene bays and coves, keeping an eye out for playful dolphins and other marine life.

Soak up the warm Texas sun as you glide across the glassy surface of the water.

Whether you’re a seasoned kayaker or a beginner, you’re sure to enjoy this unique experience.

Mustang Island Paddling Trail is a beautiful spot for kayakers and canoeists of all skill levels.

The islands and bays that make up the trail are home to a variety of wildlife, including dolphins, pelicans, and even bald eagles.

The Lighthouse Lakes Paddling Trail is located in Redfish Bay near Aransas Pass.

The trail takes paddlers past several different habitats, including salt marshes, tidal flats, seagrass beds, and mangrove forests.

There are several kayak rental companies in Port Aransas that can provide you with everything you need for a fun day on the water.

Fishing in Port Aransas Texas is some of the best in USA
Fishing in Port Aransas Texas is some of the best in USA

Take the kids to see dolphins on dolphin cruises

Dolphin Cruises in Port Aransas are a must-do activity when visiting the area!

Not only will you have the chance to see dolphins up close, but you’ll also get to enjoy the beautiful scenery of the gulf coast.

The cruises depart from the marina multiple times throughout the day, so you can choose a time that works best for you.

Once on board, sit back and relax as you cruise through the waters in search of dolphins.

Be sure to bring your camera, as you’re sure to want to capture this once-in-a-lifetime experience!

Enjoy a round of golf at Palmilla Beach Golf Course

Palmilla Beach Golf Course in Port Aransas, Texas is one of the premier golfing destinations in the state.

The course offers stunning views of the Gulf of Mexico, and the layout is challenging yet fair.

Palmilla Beach is well-known for its excellent greens and is good also for beginners.

See the artwork at Port Aransas Art Center

The Port Aransas Arts Center is located in the Coastal Bend region of Texas and is dedicated to promoting the arts in the community.

It features local as well as international artists and on a visit you can see beautiful paintings of the gulf landscapes, coastal birds and more.

It is a great place to stop for those who like to visit art galleries or collect local art on vacations.

Best Things to do near Port Aransas, Texas

Visitors can also find plenty of fun attractions near Port A including a state park, a national park, and even a private island!

Here are some of our favorite things to do near Port Aransas.

Mustang Island State Park 

Mustang Island State Park is a pristine barrier island located off the coast of Texas.

The island is home to miles of unspoiled beaches, lush maritime forests, and expansive salt marshes.

Mustang Island beach is perfect for building sandcastles or roasting marshmallows under the stars.

Visitors can enjoy a variety of activities such as swimming, fishing, kayaking, and hiking on the island.

Mustang Island is also a popular destination for bird watching, as the island is home to over 300 species of birds.

In addition, the island is home to several endangered species, including the Kemp’s ridley sea turtle and the whooping crane.

Mustang Island State Park is, undoubtedly, one of the best state parks in Texas.

Flowers blooming on the sand dunes at Padre Island National Seashore in Texas
Flowers blooming on the sand dunes at Padre Island National Seashore in Texas

Padre Island National Seashore

Located off the coast of South Texas, Padre Island National Seashore is a barrier island that stretches for over 100 miles.

The island is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including the Kemp’s ridley sea turtle, which is the world’s most endangered species of turtle.

The island is also a popular destination for birding, as it is home to over 350 different species of birds.

In addition to its wildlife, Padre Island National Seashore is also known for its beautiful beaches.

The island’s sandy beaches are perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and fishing.

Padre Island National Seashore is also one of the best places to camp in Texas.

With its diverse ecosystem and abundance of recreational opportunities, Padre Island National Seashore is a truly unique and special place.

Camping on the Texas Gulf Coast at Padre Island National Seashore is an amazing experience
Camping on the Texas Gulf Coast at Padre Island National Seashore is an amazing experience

Aransas National Wildlife Refuge

Aransas National Wildlife Refuge is located on the Gulf of Mexico in Texas near the San Antonio bay.

The preserve is characterized by sandy beaches, dunes, grasslands, and woodlands, which provide habitat for a wide range of wildlife.

Among the most notable residents of the preserve are the whooping cranes, one of the most endangered birds in the world.

The refuge also provides a habitat for many different types of animals including: alligators, snakes, lizards, turtles, wading birds, shorebirds, and waterfowl.

The refuge also offers a variety of recreational activities such as: fishing, wildlife watching, hiking, and photography.

South Padre Island beach looks stunning while skydiving
South Padre Island beach looks stunning while skydiving

San Jose Island

San Jose Island is a beautiful place to visit, with its white sand beaches, crystal clear waters and lush vegetation.

While it is a privately owned island, the beaches are open to public.

Visitors can arrive via a free ferry from nearby Port Aransas. The ferry ride takes about 45 minutes.

Visitors to the island can enjoy activities such as swimming, fishing, shelling, and bird watching.

The island is a popular destination for birdwatchers, as it is home to over 200 species of birds.

One of the best ways to experience the island is to go beach combing. 

Visitors can find a variety of shells, sea glass, and other treasures washed up on the shore.

Jetty boat connecting San Jose Island with Port Aransas
Jetty boat connecting San Jose Island with Port Aransas

Corpus Christi

Corpus Christi is a city in southern Texas that is known for its beautiful sandy bay as well as Gulf beaches and welcoming atmosphere.

Visitors can enjoy plenty of activities such as swimming, sunbathing, fishing, and windsurfing.

Corpus Christi also boasts a variety of shops, restaurants, and entertainment options.

The city is home to the Texas State Aquarium, the USS Lexington Museum on the Bay, and the Selena Auditorium. 

The Texas State Aquarium is a must-see attraction in Corpus Christi for families.

This world-class facility is home to a wide variety of aquatic life, from sharks and stingrays to turtles and seahorses.

Miradores del Mar or sea overlooks on the Corpus Christi seawall
Miradores del Mar or sea overlooks on the Corpus Christi seawall

South Padre Island

South Padre Island is the spring break capital of the Lone Star State.

This is the perfect destination to indulge in a number of fun things to do including dolphin watching, horseback riding, bird watching, mountain biking, and more!

South Padre Island makes a great day trip from Port Aransas.

Best Time to Visit Port Aransas, Texas

The climate in Port Aransas is warm and sunny year-round, but the best time to visit is from mid-September to mid-October.

During this time, the weather is typically mild and the crowds are smaller than they are during the peak summer months.

This makes it the perfect time to enjoy all that Port Aransas has to offer without having to deal with large crowds or sweltering temperatures.

A fishing pier in Port Aransas, Texas with a oil rig in the background
A fishing pier in Port Aransas, Texas with a oil rig in the background

Port Aransas is one of our favorite places to visit in Texas.

It makes the perfect vacation destination in Texas for families as well as couples.

With its beautiful beaches, diverse wildlife, and abundance of recreational activities, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

What is your favorite thing to do in Port Aransas? Let us know in the comments.