11 Things to Do in Port Aransas Texas

Port Aransas is on Mustang Island, the only settlement on this barrier island. This coastal town has beaches, birdwatching, attractions, art, music, and Mustang Island State Park, everything you need for a fantastic beach vacation. Its pleasant year-round climate makes it a popular summer destination for tourists. If you’re planning a trip to Port Aransas, these are the best things to include on your schedule.


Port Aransas and Mustang Island are a birder’s heaven in the middle of the Central Flyway. This coastal town is home to hundreds of bird species, with thousands flocking here each year. Mustang Island is an ideal birding location, with six stations on the Great Texas Birding Trail, allowing ornithologists to appreciate the profusion of birds in the region. So, pack binoculars and visit the Port Aransas Wetlands Park and the Joan and Scott Holt Paradise Pond.

Mustang Island State Park

Plan a visit to Mustang Island State Park, where you will enjoy a sandy beach stretching five miles along the island’s coast. You will find trails for hikers and cyclists and camping, birding, and fishing opportunities. If you want to see the raw side of Port Aransas, here is the spot to do it.

Fishing Tournaments

Port Aransas is known for its endless fishing opportunities and is called the “Fishing Capital of Texas.” Fishing excursions may be taken offshore, in the bays and channels, from the surf, or on a public pier. In addition, there are all kinds of fishing tournaments over the summer, including ones for children, women-only competitions, and billfish to redfish contests.

Sandcastle Lessons

Port A is the ideal location for building a sandcastle on the beach. All you need to get started are a plastic bucket, a shovel, water, and sand. However, if you want to take things a step further, local businesses provide classes to assist you in building your fantasy sandcastle. Furthermore, the Gulf Coast beaches hold Texas Sandfest, the nation’s biggest native-sand sculpting competition, every April. Sculptors from around the globe create unique sand artworks on the beach, and even tourists may compete in amateur competitions.

Port Aransas Nature Preserve

Hiking is an excellent option for visitors looking for something different besides spending time at the beach. You can stroll three miles of designated trails at Port Aransas Nature Preserve. In addition to the trails for hiking at this place, there is a pavilion, cycling routes, and two lookout towers for tourists to enjoy. Port Aransas Nature Preserve is open from sunrise to dusk seven days a week.

Art Galleries and Museums

Discover the thriving art scene of this lovely coastal town by visiting studios, galleries, and the world-famous Port Aransas Art Center. In addition, you can take a guided tour of the historic Chapel on the Dunes and delve into the island’s past at the fascinating Port Aransas Museum. Finally, you can complete your itinerary by seeing boats built by hand at Farley Boat Works is a fascinating look into the region’s nautical history.

Dolphin Tours

Make sure to add to your itinerary a dolphin tour, one of the most fun activities for the entire family. Many excursions in the area will take you to where dolphins swim and play to have an unforgettable experience, especially for kids. In addition to the breathtaking panoramas of Port Aransas and San Jose Island, you’ll also learn interesting facts about the region’s history.

Palmilla Beach Golf

Port Aransas’ courses are not well-known, yet golfers continue to visit the biodiverse surroundings. So, if you are a golf player visiting the area, plan a day at Palmilla Beach Golf in Port Aransas, a gorgeous Arnold Palmer-designed course with a view of the Gulf of Mexico. Consider that no membership is necessary, and there is no dress code.

Glowing Kayak Tours

You may book an expedition on a transparent kayak outfitted with underwater LED lights for a one-of-a-kind kayak excursion. The translucent boat lets you see the several colors of LED light settings. You may choose your favorite color and style, then relax and enjoy the unique aquatic world underneath you. Your tour guide will give you excellent insights and historical knowledge about the region while pointing out locations throughout the 1.5-hour nighttime tour.

Pirate Cruise Adventures

If you plan a vacation to Port Aransas with children or a young spirit, reserving a cruise for a pirate experience on the water is an excellent addition to your itinerary. You will sail along the Lydia Ann Channel to see dolphins, sword battles, treasure hunts, cannon fire, and other fascinating pirate activities. Adult pirates may also enjoy soft drinks, snacks, and alcoholic beverages such as beer, wine, and whiskey on the trip.


Port Aransas is the perfect destination in the Gulf of Mexico for surfing. Regardless of your level of expertise, you will find everything you need to catch some waves here. Everything is readily available, from surfing gear and clothing to group lessons. You can even enroll your kids in a week-long surfing camp.

Port Aransas Ferry

The Port Aransas Ferry is an excellent form to add excitement to your trip. The beautiful views of the Gulf of Mexico and the possibility of seeing dolphins and other marine life are highlights of this boat excursion. The ferry ride also makes reaching Mustang Island and other nearby attractions simple, allowing you to make the most of your time there.