Whether you are a resident of the city or a tourist, there might always be a few places you don’t know. Especially in the case of Port Aransas as it is a fine coastal area with good options for shopping, dining, and fishing with restaurants including Virginia’s On the Bay. The area attracts attention from nature lovers with wildlife as well as species of birds. Being one of the longest barrier islands along Texas, Port Aransas can be the next destination for your tour.
Getting to Port Aransas
The Ferry System at Port Aransas is quite different than the ones you might have seen elsewhere. You can travel along with your car from one point to another. Six ferries run every day and connect the travelers from the mainland to the Mustang land where Port Aransas is located. This is about a ten-minute ride but it gives a calm view of the surroundings.
20 cars can be taken on a ferry in a single round. Although ferries are operational at different hours of the day, sometimes extraordinary rush could cause delays. Keep in mind that during summers, the drivers have to wait longer. However, the ferry system is generally considered a much quicker way of going to Port Aransas. The other way is to go via the highway which takes a longer time.
Guide to Port Aransas
Visit the Port Aransas Beach
Port Aransas Beach has been ranked as the cleanest beach in Texas by the residents and the tourists. This is because very few people visit it and there isn’t any trash going to the water. Visitors are here all over the summer season. If you are a local, you can park your car over here while tourists can also get dropped over here via an Uber.
With a shoreline 18 miles long, one is always having more to explore. On the beach, you can find some seashells as well. Beware! Some of these might be shells of snails. In case you put them in your pocket without checking, they can bite you and that can be painful. The beach is considered safe with a lifeguard present at all times. Visitors loved the fact that the area around the beach does not have any noise or rush from the traffic.
Visit Port Aransas Nature Preserve at Charlie’s Pasture
If you are a bird fan, this is the must-visit place for you. Whether you are with family or alone, this is the perfect spot for viewing some birds and taking snaps. There is a proper trail system over here so you can walk around. However, keep in mind that during Hurricane Harvey, the trail was damaged and repair works are undergoing so there might be a little inconvenience.
There are picnic areas over here as well so if you are coming in a group, it could be a great party in the middle of so many eye-catching birds. Pelicans, Black-Necked Stilt, Wilson’s Plover, and many other birds are over here.
Be a Part of The Texas SandFest
Although the beach does not have a lot of visitors throughout the year but when the Texas Sandfest starts, one can expect mega gatherings at the beach. Every year in April, the Texas Sandfest is held at the Port Aransas where sculptors build different structures from Sand. From detailed statues to well-designed sandcastles, the Texas Sandfest is a true depiction of creativity from the public.
At this event, there are food vendors and live music as well, which you wouldn’t find much if you go at any other times of the year. Participants of the Sandfest do have to pay a certain fee while the visitors have to do it as well. The money gained from the event is then spent on community welfare as well as the improvement of the local school system.
Visit Port Aransas Museum & Farleys Historic Boat Shop
Tourists visiting the Port Aransas Museum would be glad to know about some of the historical artifacts. If you visit it with a volunteer, you will get to know all the interesting facts and stories relating to Port Aransas Museum. The Museum is updated from time to time and even has a collection of pictures that displayed the after-effects of Hurricane Harvey on Port A.
It takes about 45 minutes for a complete tour of the area. Unlike the normal museums that you see, this one isn’t that big but still informative to a great extent. In addition to that, the Farleys Historic Boat Shop is a place where many boats are repaired. Folks out there always have interesting stories for the visitors. We also recommend giving away some donations to the poor workers to help them in paying different types of utility bills.
Visit Port Aransas Fisherman’s Wharf and Other Shops
Summers are the time when everyone visits the beaches but having the appropriate accessories are something that many forget. Fortunately, at Port Aransas, there is a Fisherman’s Wharf which is equivalent to a marina or retail store. You can buy all the necessary items from here such as bait, ice, fuel, apparel, hats, sunglasses, and a lot of other stuff too. There are many souvenir items as well such as keychains and cups which you can buy from this shop. Some small shops are also in the locality.
Catch Some Fish at Horace Caldwell Fishing Pier
One of the great things about Port Aransas is that at few places, there are some piers designed to help the fishermen. These waters have different types of sea creatures present in them including hammerhead shark fish, black drum, sand trout, shrimps, bull reds, and many others too.
Keep in mind that there is a minor fee that needs to be paid to access this pier. Most of the people who visited it have said that they always caught something which made their fishing experience an ideal one. The Horace Caldwell Fishing Pier has all that you need for a tasteful dinner.
Eat at Virginia’s On The Bay Restaurant
For a fine dining experience, we recommend visiting Virginia’s On The Bay Port Aransas. It has a variety of American dishes as well as authentic seafood from the waters below. This place has a bar too so getting your favorite drink on a hot day is not going to be a problem. You can eat at this place at any time, even late at night. It’s truly a great experience at night when you can hear the water from the shore.
From sandwiches to exceptionally made margaritas, Virginia’s On The Bay menu is full of delicious items. If you ever visit Port Aransas, do give this restaurant a try. The views are stunning too because it is located right next to the beach.
Learn more about the top beaches in the US here – Top 12 Beaches in the US.
Go on The Corpus Christi Walking Ghost Tour
Recently, there has been some development at the Port Aransas and more tour operators have started giving mini-tour facilities. Corpus Christi Walking Ghost Tour is among one of those where Certified Tourism Ambassadors take you on a 2-hour journey recounting the great stories of ghosts related to Port Aransas.
In addition to that, this tour also includes a visit to some of the infamous and mysterious locations in the town. Most people who went on this tour said that it was quite an interactive one with information about paranormal investigations that take place in the area even today. For ghost lovers, this would be a great place to learn more about the hauntings and manifestations surrounding Port Aransas.
Take The Thrill on Mustang Island Skydiving
Many of us have thrilling things on our bucket list and skydiving could be one of them. If you are not having any problems with the budget, the skydiving experience is something you must go for. Keep in mind that under 18 are not allowed so if you are traveling with kids, they need to stay back at the waiting area or you can book them a simple airplane ride which is for ages 12 and up.
There is going to be a professional instructor to accompany you when you go on a freefall from the plane. The experience may be a short one but definitely worth it. Once you jump from the plane, there is a freefall of 45 seconds after which the parachute opens that is built for two persons. Over 9000 people have already visited this and fulfilled a lifelong dream!
Port Aransas may not be the best but with development works, we expect it to become better gradually. There are still many things you can do at Port Aransas including visiting the beach, going to the museum, catching some fish, going on ferry rides, enjoying skydiving, fine dining, and so much more. Do make donations and help out the locals. We hope you have a great experience at Port A.