Finding a getaway place to unwind is a piece of cake nowadays, mainly by just looking on the internet. But it is more worth it to discover an island that is full-pack, which means rich in stories, activities, and picturesque like the Port Aransas in Mustang Island. To know more about this treasured place, keep on reading.
Where to Find Port Aransas
Port Aransas is a small city located on the Mustang Island of Nueces County, Texas, and is thirteen miles from Corpus Christi. Long before it was established, about 4,500 years ago, the coasts around Texas were found as submerged sandbars. In the 1800s, Spanish people arrived there and brought with them the Wild Horses. That is why the island’s first name was Wild Horse island, then eventually turned into Mustang, which means “Mestenos,” one of the Wild Horse’s classifications. The first occupants of the island were Karankawas Indians, and it is being believed that the Spanish explorer, Cabeza de Vaca, was the one who first met them.
In the 1833 map, Aransas was initially known as the Sand point, and then it turned into Aranzazu before finally coming up into its current name.
Interestingly, this place is not just all about relaxing features because it has something more to say. Around 1846-48, during the Mexican war, Aransas bay was guarded with a small fort. Then in 1850, there was an official steamship service running in the area. But in dismay brought by the storm in 1875, the Mercer docks have crushed, which ended the steamship service operation. The establishments also collapsed, and only some have survived.
The initial population of the town was playing around 250. By the year 2000, there were already 3,370. In the recent year, 2020, the population has 4,494, and it is the 395th largest city in Texas. Annually, the approximate population increase rate is 2.60% and about 502 occupants per mile.
Fun Activities to Do
With eighteen miles wide, Port Aransas offers enjoyable activities that passengers could spend. Basically, it is not just a historical place, but the only well-built town standing at Mustang Island. Port Aransas today is recognized as a small resort and is famous for being a seaside vacation site with eco-tourism spots and remarkable landmarks. It is indeed a full-package tour when in Port Aransas. To further know this mesmerizing place, here are some of the suggested activities to maximize while staying there.
- Fishing. Port Aransas is actually the “Fishing capital of Texas,” mainly because it has more than 600 species of fish. During summer, there are fishing tournaments for kids and women. For exclusive fishing, passengers can rent charters for four, six, eight, and ten hours. The package includes rods, reels, lures, bait, tackle, and a 36-foot Yellowfin center console vessel featuring three engines. But the allowed ones must have Texas Saltwater Fishing License.
- Visiting Museums. If you are into arts and interested in the culture of Port Aransas, well, this town can offer art communities too. These are Port A Glass Studio and Art Gallery, and Port Aransas Museums, and Farleys Historic Boat Shop. They also have historical places like the oldest Church on Mustang Island, Chapel on the Dunes. Here, tourists can see the fourth-order Fresnel lens and the exhibit of more than 12,000 original photographs and documents of historical events.
- Shopping. For souvenirs and decorations, lots of boutiques have scattered in this place. To complete the travel experience, it is best to have souvenirs like what everyone does when on getaways. There were a lot of boutique choices, but some of the best shops here are Fly it Port A, Islander Souvenirs, Gratitude, Winston’s Candy Company, Island Tackle of Port Aransas, and The Shack.
- Interactives. Surprisingly, they also have an activity that is mainly seen in metros. If it is one of your interests, paintball as a hobby, they have Paintball FiXX near the port. Parasailing is also one of the longest activities there, and in fact, it has been running for more than fifteen years.
- Coffee Shop Hunting. Near the seashores are the best sites to have a mug of coffee. Coffee Waves is a known coffee shop with three franchises in Alameda, Corpus Christi, and Port Aransas. They offer not just a perfect ambiance but also hot and iced lattes, mochas, cortados, macchiatos, cappuccinos, smoothies, and locally made pastries. Inside the shop, there are live shows of local musicians performing every Friday and Sunday evening.
- Site seeings. It is more than thirty years since the Dolphin and Nature tour has been patronized in Port A. A US Coast Guard-certified trimaran will tour the passengers, regularly 100, around the Mustang island. There are also double decks that have built-in touch tanks to see the Marine species closely. For romantic views, passengers can ride cruises during sunsets to watch the horizon. They also held events around the area of Port A, like weddings.
How to Get There
Port Aransas has been reasonably known since the 1910s. Before going there, it’s best to know first your target locations then identify the routes to take. Traveling in this place is easy because it is accessible in either air or land transportation.
Through sea travel, the Port Aransas ferry has two to six ferries every day. It can carry twenty vehicles, and the best thing is, it is completely free 24/7. But in the summer season, passengers must be patient to wait for the ferries because it is the peak season for travelers.
In terms of air transportation, the nearest and advisable is Corpus Christi International Airport.
If you want to travel by land, there are busses, especially those operating by Greyhound USA. The ticket price is around ₱1,100 – ₱1,600, and three hours from San Antonio to Corpus Christi. They also have rental cars and taxis that will drive passengers from the point-to-point destination.
If you’re just around Texas, here are the possible distances that you can consider.
- San Antonio: 3 hours (180 miles)
- Houston: 4 hours (200 miles)
- Austin: 4 hours (200 miles)
- Dallas-Forth Worth: 7 hours (400 miles)
- Waco: 5.5 hours (300 miles)