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20 Essential Things to Do in Port Aransas TX You Must Try

When considering a vacation that throws fancier into sea activities, pick a voyage to Port Aransas.

From the shade of the buildings to the tone of the ocean, Port Aransas favors the color teal. 

The Gulf of Mexico serves as the area’s main attraction, offering a wide variety of fresh seafood.

These aren’t only its special offerings; unique cultural and historical experiences and recreational opportunities, including golfing at Texas’ only real links course, to mention a few. 

However, this is just the outset of what Port Aransas has to offer.

Whether you are up in the morning searching for sand dollars or enjoying a walk on the beachfront under a full moon, you’ll do so with unmatchable delight.

Besides, it is Texas’s fishing hub and home to various animals, including dolphins, sea turtles, and migrating birds.

Things To Do In Port Aransas, Texas

1. Texas SandFest

Things To Do In Port Aransas

Bold Puppy / Flickr

Although you may not be receptive that there are events like sandcastle construction competitions.

On your journey to Port Aransas, you can fulfill your childhood fantasy if joining one of them was your goal.

The Texas Sand Fest has evolved from a tiny neighborhood sand-sculpting contest that was first held in 1997. 

Every year, hundreds of tourists and sand sculptors from across the world go to the event to see the competition or just to soak up the atmosphere. 

Tourists are welcome to participate in the festivities, construct sandcastles, and attempt to win the competition.

Besides, you will be utterly amazed by the novice and master categories of sand creations. 

Children may go to Lesson Mountain to learn how to build their unique sand castles. 

Every April, the event spans three days and offers many entertaining activities to participants. 

There are live music venues, food sellers, and beer and wine tents. 

Don’t miss the luck of taking part in the festivities if you’re in town at the renowned Texas SandFest, which is held every spring.

Address: Texas SandFest, Port Aransas, TX 78373, United States.

2. Chute ‘Em Up Parasailing

Things to do in Port Aransas

Chute ‘Em Up Parasailing

One of the finest ways to experience Port Aransas’ sights is via parasailing.

To that course, the greatest parasailing excursions are provided by a number of organizations in the area.

Although a few are quite famous, the Chute ‘Em Up Parasailing is trendy.

Besides, for more than 15 years, Chute ‘Em Up Parasailing has been providing high-quality Texas Coast flying activities for the whole family. 

The Lydia Ann Channel is where the voyage primarily begins.

Some of the greatest sights in the city may be seen as you cruise along the Gulf of Mexico.

Examples include the historic turtle cove, Aransas Point Lighthouse, and the remains of the USS Worthington.

Did you realize dolphins might also be seen up there?

When parasailing, the sky, and water appear to be as clear as ever.

It truly is an amazing encounter.

Riders are able to go to heights of up to 300 feet above sea level on all flights, which are piloted by the company’s skilled boat captains. 

Although journeys are not advisable for tourists with back or neck issues, modern safety measures make excursions excellent for beginning parasailers. 

For high-definition flying records, tourists can hire GoPro cameras through add-on packages.

It’s literally a fun way to spend time in the city.

Come along with your camera, or you can rent one.

Address: 154 West Cotter Avenue Parasail Dock, Port Aransas, TX 78373, United States.

3. Palmilla Beach Golf Club

Things to do in Port Aransas

The Palmilla Beach Golf Club / Wikimedia Commons

Palmilla Beach Golf in Port Aransas offers golfers a game of golf along with additional amenities, including a restaurant.

Today, the greatest alternative for golfers searching for venues is to visit a well-maintained golf course like this one.

Among its attractions are electric golf boards, a driving range, and a top-notch restaurant with a large selection of delectable cuisine.

Play a fantastic round of golf at Palmilla Beach Golf in a group or by yourself.

You may spend your time at this location playing putt-putt, exploring the area by car, and doing other enjoyable activities.

After a lanky day of touring, the hotel’s award-winning restaurant is a perfect spot to unwind and refresh.

Address: 132 Palmilla Beach Dr., Port Aransas, TX 78373, United States.

4. Coffee Waves

Things to do in Port Aransas

Ice creams at Coffee Waves

Coffee is a need on an adventure-filled holiday, especially in this beachy city.

Truthfully, you can avoid the foreign coffee chains when you are in Port Aransas and go for a local one.

There are only three Coffee Waves locations in Texas, but thankfully one of them is in Port Aransas.

Come by and have the barista make you something caffeinated.

Coffee Wave offers the greatest coffee, whether it’s a latte, a macchiato, or simply a simple boiled cup of coffee.

Gourmet coffee concoctions, such as hot and iced lattes, cortados, cappuccinos, mochas, and macchiatos, are created from among the nicest coffees in the world. 

Along with freshly made paninis and smoothies, local pastries made using local ingredients are also available. 

To keep you entertained, they provide a number of inside activities, such as live music performances.

The restaurant offers live music performances by regional musicians on Friday and Sunday evenings, in addition to serving its own gelato in more than 90 different rotating flavors. 

This beach-themed cafe, a famous community meeting place, also has artwork created by regional artists.

Indeed, Coffee Waves provides visitors with the best coffee shop experience in Port Aransas, complete with beach views and moods.

Address: 1007 TX-361, Port Aransas, TX 78373, United States

5. Aransas Pass Lydia Ann Lighthouse

Things to do in Port Aransas

Wand’rin Star / Port Aransas Lighthouse

You can’t afford to miss out on beholding one of the most remarkable lighthouses in Port Aransas.

The Aransas Pass was one of a series of lighthouses constructed in the 19th century to give navigating assistance along the 400-mile Texas coastline on the Gulf of Mexico. 

It was finished in 1858. 

You’ll find this lighthouse near Aransas Pass, a chasm between the barrier islands that guard Corpus Christi’s harbor. 

While touring, you’ll observe that the top portion of the tower and a portion of the stairway were destroyed.

This occurred when the Confederate Army used explosives during the Civil War to try and destroy the lighthouse.

Although this historically significant building is now privately held, you may observe it from a distance or sign up for a kayak excursion that passes by.

Basically, it doesn’t offer visitors much access, but you should see it.

It’s as stunning as you’d define stunning.

Address: Aransas Pass Lighthouse, Port Aransas, TX 78373, United States.

6. Dolphin Watch Nature Tour

Things to do in Port Aransas

Carmelo Aquilina / Flickr

You’d be at a loss if you visited Port Aransas and didn’t create time to see the dolphins.

Do you desire a close encounter with several amiable dolphins?

Since dolphins prefer to stay close to the beach, Port Aransas is a great place to observe them frequently.

They may even leap and peck at you if you try to engage them in conversation.

You’ll almost certainly see more of these dolphins if you include a cruise in your travel plans.

You can see as much as you desire with Dolphin Watch Nature Tours.

Dolphin Watch Nature Tours has been in business in the Port Aransas area for more than 30 years.

They provide wildlife viewing excursions on the Mustang, a trimaran with approval by the United States Coast Guard that can accommodate up to 100 guests. 

Riders get access to two spacious decks, including an upper deck with a captain’s level and a covered lower deck with a built-in fuel tank for up-close encounters with aquatic life. 

While at it, you can choose to embark on educational nature excursions, creating opportunities to learn about ocean ecology and coastal history.

Apart from that, you could also opt for sunset cruises providing panoramic views of the offshore horizon. 

There are also several private charters for weddings, family gatherings, and even business excursions.

All will appeal to you since watching dolphins can be both amiable and engaging.

Even if you’re traveling with children, the little ones will undoubtedly be thrilled to witness these aquatic animals up close.

Make a go for it if you adore it even a little.

Address: 136 W Cotter Ave, Port Aransas, TX 78373, United States

7. Leonabelle Turnbull Birding Center

Things to do in Port Aransas

Noel Zinn / Flickr

Bird watching can also be a great way to spend time in Port Aransas.

Amongst a handful of parks and regions where you can go watch birds, there are a few informative centers.

One such is the Leonabelle Turnbull Birding Center.

In the central flyway, Port Aransas and Mustang Island are strategically placed to draw tens of thousands of migratory birds of various types. 

The Leonabelle Turnbull Birding Center is a great place to see birds since many species have concluded that the island makes an excellent permanent home. 

This birding facility has marshes and wetlands that may be reached by a 700-meter walkway and a covered viewing tower. 

From the end of the path to the southern edge of the center, there is a trail that runs along the beach. 

As you progress, retain an eye out for “boots,” the neighborhood big alligator, as well as ducks, pelicans, waders, and songbirds. 

Apart from just watching birds, you can come for bird photography.

Sit by its chilly leaves and read a book.

Or, simply take the time out to cool off after a burdensome day.

Address: Leonabelle Turnbull Birding Center, 1356 Ross Ave, Port Aransas, TX 78373, United States.

8. Mustang Island State Park

Things To Do In Port Aransas

Challis Grisham / Mustang Island State Park

Mustang Island State Park is called after the heritage of the mustangs who roamed Port Aransas in the nineteenth century.

It is a 3,954-acre state park on Mustang Island, offering a range of outdoor leisure activities, such as swimming, surfing, and hiking.

Not just that, there is even mountain biking and an enticing view of more than 5 miles of immaculate coastline. 

There are some of the most attractive beaches in the park, and you may engage in a variety of leisure pursuits there.

Kayakers here may explore the more than 20 miles of paths that make up the Mustang Island State Park Paddling Trail.

This trail is along Corpus Christi Bay’s shoreline, which includes some of the greatest shallow-water fishing spots in the state. 

The island, which is lodging to more than 400 distinct bird species, is also a popular spot for birdwatching. 

Bird enthusiasts and photographers will find it relatively engaging to explore.

Along with more than 300 rustic drive-up sites, there are 48 fully furnished campsites accessible for tourist use.

Would you want to surf at Port Aransas?

Then, the perfect area to surf is Mustang Island State Park.

Address: 17047 State Highway 361, Port Aransas, TX 78373, United States.

Want to explore more Texas cities? See our list of things to do in KilleenTyler, Denton, and Temple!

9. Texan Warbird Adventures

Things To Do In Port Aransas

The Texas Warship

While exploring Port Aransas, you should create the time to go see the famous Texan Warbird.

Tourists may fly the Port Aransas Coastal Bend in a vintage North American T-6 Texan Warbird.

This Warbird is a renowned combat trainer made popular by the US Navy during World War II. 

One of over 600 vintage warbirds still in use worldwide is the Warbird, which was decommissioned from military service in the 1980s. 

You can explore this explosive option through Texan Warbird Adventures

Here, you’ll find Trey Hayden, a fourth-generation licensed pilot and flying instructor.

He is in charge of all flights which leave from Mustang Beach Airport or McCampbell-Porter Airport. 

Stay by to take a tour of the facility or briskly see its interiors.

In addition to many of the attractions in neighboring Corpus Christi, such as the Texas State Aquarium and the USS Lexington, half-hour flights highlight the city’s Intracoastal Waterway.

It doesn’t cost so much to see this world’s treasure.

Moreover, it’s a few of its kind in the city, so you should look forward to it.

Address: Ingleside, TX 78362, United States

10. Go Fishing

Things To Do In Port Aransas

Picasa / Flickr

With good cause, Port Aransas is referred to as the “Fishing Capital of Texas.” 

Both the available species and the methods for catching them are diverse. 

Anglers may benefit from off jetties, from piers, fishing offshore, in the bays, in the surf, and along canals, thanks to Port Aransas’ exceptional location.

Additionally, you can travel to Port Aransas all year long for fishing competitions open to all ages and skill phases, from youth tournaments to expert billfish events.

If you want, you may venture offshore for red snapper and sports fish like tuna.

Or, you can fish closer to the beach for sheepshead, redfish, drum, and trout. 

In Port Aransas, fishing is much more than just catching fish. 

As you are surrounded by pelicans, raptors, dolphins, and sea turtles, every excursion is an opportunity to learn about nature.

One of the greatest ways to enjoy fishing in Port Aransas is to have your catch filleted and take it to a restaurant that offers hook and cooks service, such as FINS Grill. 

Here, the fish may be turned into a complete meal by being fried, broiled, or blackened.

Afterward, you can eat to your delight or take your catch home.

11. Roberts Point Park

Roberts Point Park

The Roberts Point Park / Wikimedia Commons

One of the charming places you should visit while on vacation in Port Aransas is Roberts Point Park.

Although it’s not precisely in the center of the city, the setting is rather lovely.

Besides, the famous Corpus Christi Ship Channel is not far from the peninsular park.

The Corpus Christi Ship Channel, a regular harbor for more than 250 boats, lies close to Port Aransas and contains a 50-acre peninsula park called Roberts Point Park. 

This park has a dedicated event pavilion that commonly conducts neighborhood fishing competitions and weigh-ins and can be hired for social gatherings. 

Indeed, it offers several enjoyable activities, and joining the locals in a fishing tournament is one of the thoughtful things to do here.

Another appealing area in this park is the Patsy Jones Amphitheater.

Every second Friday between April and October, the Patsy Jones Amphitheater holds the Sunset Sounds music series.

Not just that, they even hold performances from local festivals and talent shows. 

Popular fishing areas include granite jetties and a lit pier in the port.

However, if these are not your thing and you prefer strolling, there’s a 1-mile bulkhead serving as a walking, running, and cycling trail. 

Take a peaceful walk down the trail.

There is also a children’s playground, observation tower, and basketball, soccer, and volleyball fields.

You may also visit the Xeriscape garden, which is informative, and take delight in exploring it.

Address: 301 J C Barr Blvd, Port Aransas, TX 78373, United States

12. Port Aransas Museum

Port Aransas Museum

The Port Aransas Museum / Wikimedia Commons

Looking to discover more about the area’s history?

Don’t worry; Port Aransas Museum will inform you of everything.

Its structure was built in the early 1900s.

It was donated to the Port Aransas Preservation and Historical Association.

This museum was a kit home from the early 20th century that was one of the most threatened buildings in the state.

Not until it was presented to the Port Aransas Preservation and Historical Association in 2007. 

The relocated and refurbished home is now a public museum with ongoing displays of the history and culture of the neighborhood. 

There, you’ll find several exhibits highlighting the city’s history and culture.

Amongst all, there are a few top-notch artifacts, and if you want to see something incredibly interesting, there’s one.

A Lydia Ann Lighthouse Fresnel lens is among the museum’s relics.

Yes, the Lydia Ann Lighthouse’s original fourth-order Fresnel lens and a collection of more than 12,000 historic municipal photos and records are among its major exhibits. 

Moreover, it isn’t just the relics you get to see in the museum that makes it really attractive.

The museum also conducts guided tours of a number of adjacent historical sites.

Visitors will be able to visit the Little Chapel on the Dunes, which was built in the 1930s for Aline Carter, the Texas Poet Laureate. 

Spending a day there is a great way to learn everything there is to know about the location.

Address: N Alister St, Port Aransas, TX 78373, United States.

13. Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail

Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail

Wildvet / Shutterstock

One of the most popular amusements in Port Aransas is birdwatching, and one of the best spots for it is the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail.

There are six sections of this well-known route in Port Aransas.

This is the spot for you if you have an interest in birds and their activities.

Mostly, this region is filled with boardwalks and observation towers, making it the ideal place to go bird-watching.

In the fall or spring period are the finest times to see more than 400 different species of birds.

Given that Port Aransas is a stop along the well-known Central Flyway migration path, the optimum time to come is during the migration season.

During this juncture, birds of all types and shades flock to the area.

Come birdwatching and spend a moment bonding with the birds that call this spot home.

Address: 403 W. Cotter Ave. Port Aransas, Texas 78373, United States.

14. Red Dragon Pirate Cruises

Red Dragon Pirate Cruises

Rosemary Wynn / Red Dragon Pirate Cruises

Probably, you never knew you could experience life aboard a pirate ship anywhere.

That’s why Port Aransas, although little, is a unique adventure area.

Some of the greatest experiences are waiting for you in Port Aransas.

You can experience what it was like in the past by boarding a pirate ship.

Go on a pirate cruise for the ultimate experience.

Trips on a vintage pirate ship are offered by Red Dragon Pirate Cruises.

Aboard a model pirate ship measuring 70 feet long and equipped with ten digitally generated cannons, Red Dragon Pirate Cruises offers thrilling interactive entertainment. 

Although the ship is built to seem like a pirate ship from the 17th century, it has modern comforts, including a full-service concession bar and bathrooms. 

They accurately recreated the ship by taking every minute detail from a real pirate ship.

Even the ship’s flags and weapons are visible.

The ship is equipped with contemporary facilities, including a dining area, staterooms, restaurants, and even a dance deck.

Aransas Bay cruises take passengers across the waterways while providing live entertainment, including recreations of naval battles, sword fighting, and dancing. 

All ages are welcome on standard cruises, and visitors 21 and older can frequently take part in adult gaming and beverage cruises. 

Private boat rentals are also available for birthday parties, school excursions, and weddings. 

You can’t afford to let this skip your list.

Address: 440 W Cotter Ave, Port Aransas, TX 78373, United States.

15. Go Deep-Sea Fishing 

Deep-Sea Fishing 

Catalina Garcia / Deep-Sea Fishing

The stunning seas of Port Aransas are perfect for a variety of water sports.

At the waterfront, located just in front of Cotter Street, is the ideal location to go fishing.

You can get your hands on a variety of fish right here, including tarpon and tuna.

Deep-sea fishing is an even more daring activity you may take part in here.

Never attempted it?

This is the ideal location to do so.

However, be sure to explore the untamed ocean, plan a deep-sea fishing excursion with a tour company, and you could discover a new interest.

16. Skydive South Texas

Skydive South Texas

The Skydive South Texas

Amongst all the beachy options you could consider around Port Aransas, go skydiving.

Skydiving is only one of the many adventure sports available in Port Aransas.

The only tropical skydiving excursion available in Texas is Skydive South Texas, which departs from Hangar 1 at Mustang Beach Airport. 

Have you ever experienced a skydive?

If not, this is the ideal starting point for that.

You’ll have a specialist right there with you, and they’ll take all the essential safety steps, so don’t worry.

Professional skydiving instructors provide beginner and advanced skydiving adventures for one who is 18 years of age and above. 

However, Skydiver safety is prioritized, and all reserve parachutes are examined and recertified by qualified technicians every six months. 

Beach parachute landings and distant skydives over adjacent San Jose Island are also offered as packages, and all excursions include round-trip boat transportation. 

Even better, you may reserve a package that includes a beach landing as a big parachute flows over you.

You can consider this option a much more fun way to explore the joy of skydiving.

For more fun, all skydiving packages may be upgraded with professional still photos and films of excursions for an extra cost. 

Moreover, you can consider birthday celebrations, wedding receptions, and team-building exercises with private skydiving outings.

A reservation to suit your wants and desires.

Address: 139 Piper Blvd, Port Aransas, TX 78373, United States.

Looking forward to touring more of texas cities? See our list of things to do in Corpus Christi, Amarillo, Abilene, and New Braunfels!

17. Whooping Crane Boat Tours

Whooping Crane Boat Tours

Whooping Crane Boat Tours / Wikimedia Commons

Visitors to the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, a 114,657-acre natural reserve situated on the western side of San Antonio Bay, can join one of the whooping crane boat tours

The Wharf Cat, which has the highest viewing deck of any vessel operating in the area and can accommodate 84 tour participants, runs tours between November and April. 

All excursions, led by Texas Master Naturalist and ornithologist Ray Little, include chances to see the magnificent whooping cranes, a local endangered species. 

Shallow water trips offer intimate encounters with cranes for both novice and experienced birdwatchers. 

Similarly, the trip lasts 45 to 90 minutes, and food and drinks are available in a concession area.

If you want a little more private experience, opt for a private tour.

Private tours may be rented out for groups of 10 or more with advance reservations.

Regardless, they are fun to do, and you’ll spend your time appreciating Port Aransas’s beauty.

Address: 215 N Fulton Beach Rd, Fulton, TX 78358, United States.

18. The University of Texas Marine Science Institute

The University of Texas Marine Science Institute

Turtle from The University of Texas Marine Science Institute

In order to study the region’s distinctive marine flora and fauna, the University of Texas Marine Science Institute was established.

It is now the oldest and most renowned marine research center on the Texas Coast. 

Established in 1941, the facility’s permanent marine laboratory had two structures that are still present on the grounds of the institute.

The Marine Science Education Center at UTMSI, which features seven tank displays highlighting the marine life of several Texas coastal environments, now serves as the institute’s public educational museum. 

Firstly, The Wetlands Educational Center provides chances for waterfowl and marsh birding.

Meanwhile, the Estuary Exploratorium educates visitors about the ecosystem of nearby estuaries. 

If you greatly like marine creatures, you should plan to go.

Numerous public outreach initiatives are offered, such as led tours, educational field excursions, and lecture series.

Take on one of these tours and get your fill of knowledge.

Address: 750 Channel View Dr, Port Aransas, TX 78373, United States.

19. Irie’s Island Food

Irie's Island Food

The Irie’s Island Food

There’s absolutely no way you’d visit Port Aransas and not try its food.

If that is the case, head down to Irie’s Island Food for some delicacies.

Irie’s Island Food, which bears the name of the owner’s daughter, started in 2013 and has been gratifying palates ever since with its unique approach to casual island-style eating.

Here, you’ll find several tasty items on the menu, including tacos, sharing bowls and baskets, and appetizers. 

These seafood and fish meals are produced using products that are just harvested in the Gulf.

There are at least 13 different sauces from which to pick to personalize your meal. 

You can select any that suits your taste buds.

Additionally, there are several recipes that are acceptable for vegetarians and vegans.

You’ll even find gluten-free alternatives.

Address: Irie’s Island Food, 200 W. Avenue G, Port Aransas, TX 78373, United States

20. Badfish Sportfishing

Badfish Sportfishing

The Badfish Sportfishing

Badfish Sportfishing conducts deep-sea fishing adventures aboard a cutting-edge sports boat.

If you’re looking for entertaining activities in Port Aransas and want to go fishing on a lovely boat, this outfitter is perfect.

For the fishing trip, a U.S. Coast Guard-licensed captain and a cutting-edge vessel are given.

It features a salon, a bedroom, and a bathroom with a basin and a shower.

Each fishing trip lasts between 8 and 36 hours.

This nearby charter offers deep-sea fishing trips that you and your pals will never forget.

Casting your cord out into the water and seeing how far you can get it can teach you how to catch a variety of species.

Besides, there is a bar as well, where you may relax and enjoy the stunning views of the ocean.

Address: 900 Tarpon St., Port Aransas, TX 78373, United States

Final Remarks

Port Aransas, albeit less well-known, is nevertheless a good travel destination.

Choose this seaside city as your next vacation spot to take advantage of the beautiful sands, clean waters, and family-friendly attractions.

Create memories and take photos.

Safe Travels.