Port Aransas also known as the “Fishing Capital of Texas is a beloved beach town located on the northern tip of Mustang Island in Nueces County. With a population of approximately 3,500 residents, the community exudes a friendly and welcoming vibe, making visitors feel right at home from the moment they arrive.
Let’s explore together the best 20 things to do in Port Aransas:
1. Spend a day building sandcastles and flying kites
The wide, sandy beaches of Port Aransas provide an ideal setting for building sandcastles or using the breezy coastal conditions to launch your flying kites. You can unleash your creativity and construct intricate sand structures using buckets, shovels, and various tools.
Families, friends, and individuals of all ages can have fun sculpting sand into castles, towers, and other imaginative designs. It’s a wonderful activity for bonding, unleashing your artistic side, and enjoying the beach atmosphere.
2. Embark on an exciting dolphin-watching tour
Who does not love these animals? In the waters around Port Aransas, you can encounter various dolphin species, including bottlenose dolphins, Atlantic spotted dolphins, and sometimes even the elusive and rare dusky dolphins.
One local business that does regular dolphin-watching tours is Woodys Last Stand; too. book your tour you can check their website for contact details.
3. Port Aransas Museum
Opened in 2008, the Port Aransas Museum preserves the history of the town. Their mission is the preservation of Port Aransas’ history, environment and ambiance.
Located in an old, but restored house from the early 1900s, the museum holds various historical artifacts, documents, records, structures, and other appropriate items that can make you better understand the history of this tiny fishing town.
4. Port Aransas Nature Preserve
The Port Aransas Nature Preserve is located on the northern end of Mustang Island, adjacent to the Port Aransas city limits. It covers an area of approximately 1,200 acres.
The Port Aransas Nature Center serves as the gateway to the preserve and provides educational exhibits and interpretive displays. The center offers information about the local flora, fauna, and ecosystems found within the preserve. It is a great starting point to learn about the area’s natural history and current conservation efforts.
One of the coolest things here is the observation decks that are strategically located to provide optimal viewing opportunities for birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts.
5. Explore the Port Aransas Art Center
Situated in the heart of downtown Port Aransas, this art center features rotating exhibitions that showcase a diverse range of artistic styles, mediums, and themes.
They focus on promoting and supporting local and regional artists, providing them with a platform to exhibit and sell their artwork. It’s an excellent opportunity to discover the talent and creativity of the artistic community in and around Port Aransas.
6. Go Fishing
Since this is a fishing town, there are lots of fishing spots available here. One I recommend is the Horace Caldwell Pier. This is located right near the beach in Port Aransas making the Horace Caldwell Pier a popular fishing spot accessible to both locals and visitors.
The pier provides a platform for casting lines and is known for catches such as redfish, trout, drum, sheepshead, and more. There may be a fee to access the pier.
7. Mustang Island State Park
Spanning across approximately 3,954 acres, this park is located near the town of Port Aransas, Texas. The park features 5 miles of pristine sandy beaches along the Gulf of Mexico.
If you are into camping and outdoors, the park provides both tent camping and RV camping options. There are campsites available with amenities such as water and electric hookups.
Kids love it here as they have plenty of space to run and play.
8. Jet Skiing and Water Sports
The city of Port Aransas is a paradise for sports lovers. The marinas in Port Aransas often have water sports rental companies that offer a range of activities, including jet skiing. These companies may provide rentals, guided tours, or even lessons for beginners.
Often you will see people doing jet ski on the local waters. So, go on and experience the thrill of riding a jet ski!
9. Port Aransas Birding Center
With over 200 acres of diverse coastal habitats, including wetlands, ponds, and marshes, this unique mix of environments makes it an ideal haven for a wide variety of bird species.
Grab a pair of binoculars and embark on a birding expedition with your kids. The birding center offers a chance to spot and learn about various bird species that call the area home.
10. Engage in a family-friendly round of mini-golf at one of the local courses
For golfing there are several options you can choose from, but one I recommend is Newport Dunes Golf Club. This is a professional 18-hole golf course located on Mustang Island in Port Aransas.
This public golf course offers a challenging and scenic golfing experience. It features well-maintained fairways, water hazards, and beautiful views of the surrounding coastal landscape. Golfers of all skill levels can enjoy a round of golf in a relaxed and inviting atmosphere.
11. Enjoy Local Seafood at a waterfront restaurant
While you are in Port Aransas, you should go have some seefood while watching the water at one of the restaurants.I personately recommend is Grumbles Seafood Co. where you can have both delicious food and a great view.
Having dinner here will make it a memorable experience that will last you forever.
12. Grab a bucket and search for seashells and unique beach treasures along the shore
There are several places for beach treasures you can take your kids and let them explore the sand. Port Aransas Beach is the primary public beach where especially during low tide, to find a variety of seashells, sand dollars, and other beach treasures.
Another option would be the Horace Caldwell Pier. The sandy areas near the pier are suitable for seashells and beach treasures. You can explore the shoreline adjacent to the pier and search for unique finds washed ashore.
13. Visit the University of Texas Marine Science Institute
This is a renowned research and educational institution focused on marine science and coastal ecosystems.
The institute’s location on Mustang Island provides direct access to the diverse coastal environments of the Gulf of Mexico. It houses laboratories, classrooms, research facilities, and field stations that support a wide range of marine research and educational activities
14. Go-Kart Racing
Port A Raceway is an outdoor go-kart track located at 307 S. 11th Street in Port Aransas. The facility provides a thrilling racing experience for both kids and adults. The track features twists, turns, and straightaways, offering an exciting and challenging course for go-kart enthusiasts.
Enjoy the thrill of go-kart racing at Port A Raceway and have a fun-filled experience in Port Aransas!
15. Visit the Aransas Pass Aquatic Center
Go to the Aransas Pass Aquatic Center is situated at 400 E. Johnson Avenue in Aransas Pass for some water fitner or just to enjoy the pleasure of swimming.
The center has different areas for oppoortunities such as lap pool for fitness swimming, a recreational pool for water play, and a shallow pool or splash pad for young children. Each pool is typically equipped with safety features and lifeguards to ensure a safe environment.