Visitor’s Guide to the Beaches of Port Aransas


Its a fact that Texas is big and it has a lot of beaches to visit.  Port Aransas in Texas is all about beachy fun. Located within Mustang Island, Port Aransas has soft Texan sand and warm gulf waters. It is the only established town in Mustang Island, located in the north of Padre Island and 180 miles southeast of San Antonio.

This beach city offers eighteen miles of uninterrupted public shoreline. It is open all year round for legal residents and visitors for a beach vacation. It offers multiple recreational activities like sport fishing, parasailing, birding, and kayaking.

You might also want to consider packing up for Port A for ferry rides, sandcastles, or just a day full of beach fun and moonlight strolls as well. You will also find exclusive festivals and events all year round. Some popular ones are BachtoberFest, the Whooping Crane Festival, and Texas SandFest.

However, if you are visiting for the first time, navigating through on your own can be difficult. Here is a complete guide on the beach towns in Port Aransas.

Beaches In Port Aransas: Some Stretches of Sand

Visit the following beaching towns in and around Port Aransas to discover it!

IB Magee Beach & Horace Caldwell Pier

IB Magee Beach stretches along with the small town of Port Aransas. It is on the other side of rolling dunes. It has a place for renting golf carts and cruising. It takes just five minutes from Port Aransas to reach this beach. Down from the jetty is the Horace Caldwell Pier. With a 1200-foot area, Horace Caldwell Pier is your place to treat yourself to the warm gulf waters and taste the traditional favorites of this place. Read the following highlights and pieces of information that are necessary to know before you pack up:

  • There is free parking available during the daylight hours.
  • If you plan to stay for the night, make sure you have the visitor permit as per the official information via Nueces County Coastal Parks Information.
  • Free pets are not allowed: hence, make sure your pets are on a leash.
  • There is a minimal entrance fee for people and rods. It costs from $2 per person to $1. Children under the age of 4 and senior citizens above the age of 65 are free to enter.
  • This beach town is famous for RV hookups and public camping. There are shower facilities available as well.

Padre Island National Seashore

Padre Island is the longest stretch of an undeveloped barrier island in the World. It is a paradise for lovers of nature. It is a scenic national park that separates Laguna Madre (a hypersaline lagoon) from the Gulf of Mexico.

Padre Island covers 70 miles of prairies, dunes, coastline, and tidal flats. It offers a dip into the rich history of Spanish shipwrecks and wildlife. Visitors love this beaching place near Port Aransas because of the natural beauty one can witness here. There are also multiple recreational activities for visitors. If you would love to see a coastline in this raw state, do check this National Seashore.

The following are some highlights for this place:

  • You can observe the hatchlings of Kemp’s ridley sea turtle here. This beach is a safe nesting ground for them.
  • Padre Island hosts more than 380 bird species, making it a place for bird seeing.
  • It has Spanish shipwrecks from 1554s for history enthusiasts.
  • You can go Waterfowl hunting at Laguna Madre, Boat Camping, Fishing, Canoeing and Kayaking, Beachcombing, Beach Driving, Windsurfing, and Swimming.
  • Laguna Madre is one of the saltiest natural water bodies here.
  • There are charges applicable for entry and parking.
  • For stays, you need to book hotels or rooms nearby.

Mustang Island State Park

Mustang Island State Park has plenty of room for beachy fun. It is five miles long and stretches along the coastline of Mustang Island. Its location gives visitors a beaching experience without leaving the amenities of Corpus Christi and Port Aransas.

There are several recreational activities to do in Mustang Island State Park. The best part is that you can visit more places nearby because of its location. For instance, Texas State Aquarium, the USS Lexington, Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, and more!

The following are some highlights and things to do if you ever visit this beaching park around Port Aransas:

  • Join the Mustang Island Paddle Park Trail. You will follow a three-segment trail following the western shoreline of Corpus Christi Bay. The trip lasts 20 miles through some of the best shallow waters of Texas. Many people enjoy fishing here with a close-up view of coastal birds.
  • There are 50 drive-up primitive sites and 48 water and electric campsites for a beach camp.
  • There is a rangers program for people to join like-minded groups for a good experience here.
  • Some activities you can do here include mountain biking, kayaking, bird-watching, fishing, swimming, water surfing, and geocaching.
  • The Mustang Island State Park offers a pet-friendly park for visitors with one.
  • There are costs associated with entrance and other services. However, the fees are minimal and worth the beach vacation.

Mustang Island

If you like calm beaches, this community is the one for you in Port Aransas. With 17 miles of beautiful and undisturbed Texan coastline, Mustang Island offers one good vacation all year round. Although there are not many fancy things to do, it is a serene beach with a cool ocean breeze and hotels nearby. You may stay overnight with family and friends. Take your BBQ essentials and get them right by the waters. Play games and swim around while watching the sunset over the waters here. You can even camp here and try traditional favorites. The following are some highlights and things to do in Mustang Island:

  • You can plan for primitive camping here.
  • Do not miss out on enjoying the cold ocean breeze while swimming in the waters and watching beautiful sunsets.
  • There are no entrance fees. However, you will need a beach permit for access.
  • You may fish here.
  • Access the beaching town via 1, 1A, 2, and 3 roads. You may require a legal 4×4 vehicle to pass through the sandy area.
  • There are multiple restaurants, food stalls, and hotels nearby for visitors.

Padre Balli Park & Bob Hall Pier

Padre Balli Park is on the North end of Padre Island, with 400 acres. Accessible all year round to visitors and residents, Padre Balli Park is a fun place for fun in the sand and sun. You can hop in the Gulf for swimming, grab your board for water surfing, camp at the beach park sites, and even go for deep fishing in the Bob Hall pier. The best part? Mikel Mays here offers traditional favorites for food lovers out there. They serve savory seafood with drinks.

The following are some highlights and must-have experiences if you visit Padre Balli Park & Bob Hall Pier:

  • There are zero fees associated with the beach entrance. However, you will have to pay a standard of $2 per head for Bob Hall Pier.
  • If you plan on parking on the beach, you will need a parking permit. There are paved parking lots.
  • The place has limited picnic tables with shades. They have a first-come, first-serve policy for all visitors and residents. However, it is still spacious enough for many.
  • There is a pet-friendly restaurant called Mikel Mays.
  • Open-air pavilions are available for a perfect beach experience.
  • You can camp, water surf, swim, fish, and enjoy seafood here.

San Jose Island

San Jose Island and its beach are private properties. It is just a short ferry ride away from Port Aransas. This beaching island is home to the best saltwater in the south with birding. It is set in warm waters, boasting 21 miles of undisturbed and untouched golden sand. There are no vehicles permitted. It is one great place for beach vacation if you fancy seashells, marine life, birds, and sun.

People travel from port Aransas in Mustang through short ferry rides here every day for fishing. Indulge with the beaching community here to experience a great beach picnic. The following are some things you should know:

  • Get on board a passenger ferry boat at Fisherman Wharf. As Ferry service is limited, you should plan.
  • Make sure you take your food, water, and other provisions as the place has no stores.
  • People visit this beaching Island for ferry rides, fishing, birding, and shelling. Most leave for a stay in Port Aransas.

The Takeaway

With the following nearby beaching places and Port Aransas itself, you can go on a beach trip with your loved ones. Stretch out on the sand, play some tunes for that special someone, and just relax.   Make sure you know the guidelines for entry and parking sites. You can get your beach parking permit at either the City Hall, Family Center IGA, or The Islander. The accommodations at of nearby Port Aransas range from cozy cottages to private beach homes and conventional hotel rooms. If you plan to stay for longer or own a place here, do not forget to decorate with a beach theme to double the fun!

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