Things to Do in Port Aransas and Mustang Island: a Travel Guide to Top Tourist Attractions and Must-See Sites

If you’re looking for a fun and relaxing beach town to visit, check out Port Aransas, Texas. This charming coastal community is located on Mustang Island and offers plenty of activities and attractions. Here are our picks for the best things to do in Port Aransas.

things to do in port aransas

Port Aransas Beach

Port Aransas Beach is a must-see for anyone visiting the area. The wide, sandy beach is perfect for sunbathing, swimming, fishing, and picnicking. There are also a number of restaurants and bars located right on the beach, so you can enjoy a meal or drink while taking in the stunning views of the Gulf of Mexico. It is also a great place to go fishing, as the Fishing Pier located in the heart of it is the perfect spot to do it.

Mustang Island State Park

Mustang Island State Park is a beautiful barrier island located just off the coast of Port Aransas, Texas. The island is home to miles of sandy beaches, lush dunes, and clear turquoise waters. Visitors can enjoy plenty of activities such as swimming, sunbathing, fishing, picnicking, and camping. Mustang Island State Park is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the incredible views of the Gulf of Mexico. There are also several golf courses in the area if you’re looking to hit the links.

Port Aransas Museum

The Port Aransas Museum is a great place to learn about the history of this coastal town. The museum features exhibits on the early days of settlement, the development of the port, and the maritime heritage of the region. Visitors can see how Port Aransas has changed over time, from a sleepy fishing village to a bustling beach resort. You can also learn about the area’s natural history, including the plants and animals that make this region so unique. If you’re interested in the arts, you’ll find plenty to explore at the museum, too. The museum houses a collection of artwork by local artists, as well as a gallery of photographs depicting the area’s natural beauty. The museum is a great thing to do in Port Aransas on an afternoon, and admission is free.

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The Leonabelle Turnbull Birding Center 

The Leonabelle Turnbull Birding Center is a nature lover’s paradise. This unique center is home to more than 200 different species of birds, making it one of the most popular birding destinations in the United States. The center offers a variety of activities for visitors to enjoy, including guided bird walks, educational programs, and a chance to view the birds up close in their natural habitat. The center also features a gift shop and a café, making it a thoroughly enjoyable thing to do in Port Aransas if you’re seeking to spend a day enjoying the beauty of nature. Admissions are free for all ages. Parking is $3 per car.

The Chapel on the Dunes

The Chapel on the Dunes was built in 1937 and was originally intended as a summer retreat for Methodist ministers and their families, so that they had a place where they could worship in the beauty of nature. By the 1950s, the chapel had quickly become a popular wedding destination for couples from all over the world. Located right on the beach, it has stunning views of the ocean and makes a beautiful and unique place to get married. The chapel offers tours of the building and grounds, allowing tourists to admire the Art Deco-style construction of brick and stucco, and the breathtaking barrel vaulted ceiling. Tours are available year-round, and reservations are required.

Dolphin Watch Nature Tour

A visit to Port Aransas wouldn’t be complete without some dolphin spotting. Dolphin Watch Nature Tour is a great way to see the dolphins in their natural habitat and learn about their behavior. The tour of the harbor and bay lasts about 2 hours, and you’ll have the opportunity to see these incredible creatures up close and personal, with expert guides pointing out the different types of dolphins you may see. You may even get the chance to feed them! The tour is an exciting thing to do in Port Aransas and an amazing photo opportunity! Admissions are $30 per person, $15 for children under 12. Departure times: 8:30am, 10:00am, 1:00pm, and 3:00pm from the docks at the Port Aransas Marina.

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Red Dragon Pirate Cruise

Red Dragon Pirate Cruise is a great way to see the sights and sounds of the city. The cruise takes you through the harbor and gives you a chance to see the different buildings and landmarks. You also get to see the different animals that live in the area. It is a great way to learn about the history of the city and the people who live there. The tickets are $15 for adults and $8 for children, and can be purchased online or at the Port Aransas Visitor Center. The boat departures from the Port Aransas Marina at 3:00 pm.

Port Aransas Nature Preserve

Another great spot to check out is the Port Aransas Nature Preserve, which is located on the Gulf of Mexico, just off the coast of Port Aransas. The area is a haven for wildlife, with many different kinds of animals making their home there. The preserve is a fantastic place to go birdwatching, as there are over 200 different species of birds that have been spotted in the area, including several rare and endangered species, such as the whooping crane. The preserve is also home to some of the rarest plants in the world, including the only known population of the endangered Texas Thisbe Orchid. The preserve is open to the public for tours and educational programs.

Admissions to the preserve help to fund its continued operations and maintenance.

Corpus Christi

If you’ve run out of things to do in Port Aransas and are looking for a fun day trip nearby, Corpus Christi is the perfect destination. Nicknamed “Sparkling City by the Sea” by tourist literature, Corpus Christi is a popular tourist destination because of its beautiful beaches, warm weather, and lively nightlife. The city’s Museum of Science and History is one of the most popular museums in the state. Other popular attractions include the Texas State Aquarium and the USS Lexington Museum on the Bay. Corpus Christi is separated from Port Aransas by only a short ferry ride down the Aransas Bay.

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More Things to Do in Port Aransas

Those are not all things to do in Port Aransas. Here are some attractions that are also worth checking out:

  • Palmilla Beach Golf Club,
  • San Jose Island,
  • IB Magee Beach Park,
  • Lydia Ann Lighthouse,
  • Roberts Point Park.

We hope you enjoy your stay in this Texan city. Safe travels!

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