- Port Aransas Chamber of Commerce/Tourist Bureau 403 W. Cotter. +1 361 749-5919 or +1-800-45-COAST. Stop by and peruse the visitor's info.
You can drive on the beach on Mustang Island. The sand is mostly packed but sometimes the winds builds loose drifts and it is easy to get stuck. If you do get stuck, don't panic. Stand outside your car looking dumbfounded by the situation and usually a few burly, macho, half-drunk guys will show up in a few minutes to help push you out. Be sure to shake their hands, thank them and offer them a beer if you've got it.
To park on the beach requires a beach parking permit available at the Chamber of Commerce and most stores around town. The police patrol the beach looking for problems and for cars without parking permits.
The closest major airport is Corpus Christi International Airport.
Port Aransas is accessible from the north by ferry across the ship channel. As of May 2008, the ferries are free but there is talk of adding a toll. Between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day the wait for the ferry can be up to 2 hours from Friday evening through Sunday evening to get on or off the island. During the week during the summer months the wait can still be 45 minutes to an hour during the day. After Labor Day, the waits are usually less than 30 minutes.
There is a causeway across the ship channel from Corpus Christi to Padre Island that makes getting to Port Aransas easier from the south, especially during the summer. The causeway is part of Park Road 22. The major highway to get there is IH-37 from San Antonio. US Hwy 77, which runs from the Mexico border to Waco (where it joins IH-35) intersects IH-37 just west of Corpus Christi.
Port Aransas is very accessible by car, although the main street through town can get very congested on summer weekends. Businesses provide ample free parking for customers and it is possible to park and walk to most shops and restaurants although the heat in the summer can be uncomfortable if you are not used to it.
Port Aransas provides a trolley [dead link] that runs the length of town from the marina to the outlying RV parks for just 25 cents.
- University of Texas Marine Science Institute Visitor Center, Cotter Street, ☏ . M-F 8PM-5PM.
- Leonabelle Turnbull Birding Center. Located at the south end of Ross Avenue behind the Trolley Stop. Includes a long boardwalk extending out over shallow brackish water. The birding is fantastic and includes pelicans, egrets, herons, gulls, terns, cormorants, and many more. Turtles abound. And occasionally you can spot the resident alligator.
- Whooping Crane Festival. Normally held in February, this festival brings together guest speakers and includes events meant to celebrate the endangered bird that is found locally.
- Deep Sea Roundup, toll-free: . "The Granddaddy of all Texas Tournaments."
- Dairy Queen, 325 W. Cotter, ☏ . Burgers, tacos, shakes, and ice cream. A Texas favorite.
- Crazy Cajun, 303 Beach St, ☏ . Cajun style seafood, gumbo, red beans and rice, dirty rice, shrimp, stone crab claws, crawfish and baby-back ribs served on butcher paper family style. Live entertainment on weekends. Enjoy a drink outside in the beer garden before dinner. Unusual place to eat as the food is dumped on the butcher paper tablecloth. Over the years, the prices have gone up and the portions have gotten smaller.
- The Commons at Seashell Townhomes (Commons), 2120 South 11th St (on 11th Street between Anchor Drive & Island Retreat), ☏ , toll-free: , ✉ email@example.com. Check-in: 4PM, check-out: 11AM. Fully furnished 3-bedroom, 2½-bath townhouses a short walk from the beach. Each townhome has a fully stocked full-size kitchen with dishwasher, stove, oven, full-size fridge, and microwave. Near the front door is the common area with pool, cabanas, picnic tables, grills, and hammocks. Free Wi-Fi is available and most units are pet-friendly. Summer/peak season: $320/night; fall/spring mid season: $255/night, winter: $229/night.
- The Courtyard Condominiums (Courtyard Condos), 622 Access Road 1A (on Access Road 1A between the beach and highway 361), toll-free: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 4PM, check-out: 11AM. Fully furnished apartments within walking distance of the beach. The "courtyard" includes a swimming pool, picnic tables, and barbeque grills. Outside the courtyard are a basketball court, a fish-cleaning house, outdoor showers, and lots of parking for cars and/or boats. Each apartment has a full-size kitchen with full-size appliances (stove/oven, microwave, dishwasher, refrigerator) and are fully stocked with dishes, cookware, and utensils. Wireless internet is included in the price but it can be sporadic. The office is open daily - in other words, it's not open 24/7. Keep that in mind if you think you will be checking in later in the evening. It's a great place for families (except the family pet) especially since you can prepare your own meals right in the unit. Efficiency (2 people): $69 to $130/night; one bedroom (4 people): $89 to $160/night; combo unit (6 people): $138 to $270/night.
- Days Inn Port Aransas, 3595 State Hwy 361, ☏ .
- Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites--Port Aransas, 727 S 11th St, ☏ . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. $89-259.
- On The Beach RV Park, 907 Access Rd 1A (the center of town is 1½ miles away, there is a trolley every 40 minutes for 25 cents), ☏ . Beautiful recreational vehicle park a minute away from the water's edge. All 58 sites are full hook-up, and there is a tent area available as well. Activities in the park occur every week. Coin laundry machines, Wi-Fi internet, and bathrooms are available.
- Pioneer Beach Resort, 120 Gulfwind Dr, ☏ , toll-free: . Fun RV park with 361 full hook-up sites including cable TV and free wireless Internet. The roads and sites are all concrete and level. There are also a half dozen or so rental cottages. Amenities include a convenience store, recreation hall with coin operated pool tables and video games, 2 swimming pools, hot tub, coin laundry and a boardwalk to the beach. On peak holidays weekends, the park organizes horseshoe tournaments and other activities, a free dance with live music, door prizes, complimentary sodas and beer and hot dogs or chopped beef sandwiches. A great family place.
- Travelodge Port Aransas, 300 West Ave G, ☏ .
- Mustang Island Vacation Rentals, 104 Mustang Blvd. Port Aransas, TX 78373, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Mustang Island Vacation Rentals is a property management company in Port Aransas that offers mid-range and luxury accommodations for families.
- [formerly dead link] Port Royal Ocean Resort and Conference Center, 6317 St. Hwy 361, ☏ , toll-free: . One of the nicest and most expensive condominiums on Mustang Island, located about eight miles from the towns center. It has the largest pool in Texas, actually several pools interconnected by waterfalls. There is also a water slide to the pool. Other amenities include hot tubs, tennis courts, volleyball courts, and a boardwalk to the beach. Two and three bedroom condos are available. Restaurant on-site.
Port Aransas is a tourist town and fairly safe from violent crime. The police and sheriff patrol constantly, especially on the beach. One of the main problems is public intoxication, mainly on the beach.
|Routes through Port Aransas|
|Jct S N ← Ingleside ←||N S||→ Mustang Island S.P. → Corpus Christi|