24 Best & Fun Things To Do In Port Aransas, TX

Nestled on Mustang Island off the Gulf Coast of Texas, Port Aransas, or “Port A” as locals fondly call it, is a delightful fusion of a tranquil seaside retreat and a bustling hub of unique outdoor activities. Known for its pristine sandy beaches, rich cultural history, diverse wildlife, and a plethora of water sports, Port Aransas offers a compelling destination for travelers who seek both relaxation and adventure.

But this charming town isn’t just about beach life; it also boasts remarkable culinary experiences, diverse shopping venues, and various cultural attractions that reflect the town’s rich heritage. Moreover, Port Aransas’s warm, sunny climate makes it an attractive year-round destination.

Whether you’re a seasoned traveler looking for a new thrill or a first-time visitor wanting to explore the hidden treasures of Texas’s coastal towns, this detailed guide will help you plan your trip. Discover 24 exciting things to do in Port Aransas that will offer you more than just a typical beach getaway.


24 Best & Fun Things To Do In Port Aransas, TX in 2024


1. Port Aransas Nature Preserve

Things To Do In Port Aransas, TX

Just visiting Port Aransas? Begin your adventure by diving into the region’s rich biodiversity. This sprawling 1,200-acre Nature Preserve at Charlie’s Pasture is an oasis of tranquillity. The preserve was created to conserve the native plants, birds, and wildlife of Mustang Island.

The preserve’s extensive boardwalks, hiking, and biking trails provide ample opportunities for bird-watching and wildlife spotting.

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

2. Mustang Island State Park

Things To Do In Port Aransas, TX

One of the best things to do in Aransas, TX, is to explore the Mustang Island State Park, a protected area spanning over 5 miles. This park is a beehive of fun outdoor activities.

This untouched beauty offers a range of activities, from camping under the starlit sky to kayaking along the Mustang Island Paddling Trail. Stroll along the sandy beach, let the waves kiss your feet, and enjoy the glorious sunrise or sunset. For nature enthusiasts, the park is also an excellent spot for bird-watching.

Address:10194 TX-361, Port Aransas, TX 78373

3. Port Aransas Museum

Things To Do In Port Aransas, TX

To learn more about Port Aransas, head to the Port Aransas Museum to learn about the historic city.

From the early tales of Karankawa tribes to the thrilling stories of Spanish shipwrecks and the town’s transformation into a tourist hotspot, the museum houses fascinating exhibits. Docents offer guided tours providing richer insight into Port Aransas’s vibrant past

As part of the things to do in Aransas, visit the museum, and explore artifacts, photographs, and documents that are housed here.

Address: 403 N Alister St, Port Aransas, TX 78373

4. University of Texas Marine Science Institute

Things To Do In Port Aransas, TX

Founded in 1941, the University of Texas Marine Science Institute is one of the oldest and most prestigious marine research facilities in the country.

This leading marine science institute offers free tours, an excellent opportunity for adults and kids alike to learn about the diverse marine life, ecosystems, and cutting-edge research in marine biology.

Tourist attractions on the marine institute’s campus include the Mission-Aransas National Estuarine Research Reserve, which is among the major estuaries in Texas, the third largest estuarine reserve in the U.S., and the only one in the western Gulf of Mexico.

Don’t miss their ‘touch tank’, which lets you get up close with different marine species.

Address: 750 Channel View Dr, Port Aransas, TX 78373

5. Experience Parasailing

Things To Do In Port Aransas, TX

Looking for fun things to do in Port Aransas? Then try parasailing over the sparkling waters of the Gulf Coast. This fun outdoor activity involves gliding in the air in a parachute while being propelled by a speedboat.

Local operators ensure your safety while providing this unforgettable adventure.

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The flight time is between 7 to 10 minutes, about 250 to 300 feet in the air, and the trip out to the sea lasts around an hour and a half; flyers should be at least 7 years old.

Get a bird’s-eye view of the stunning Port Aransas coastline and famous sites like Aransas Bay and the Pass Lighthouse, shipwreck sites, and St Joseph’s Island.

Address: Port Aransas, TX, United States

6. Texas SandFest

Things To Do In Port Aransas, TX

One of the best things to do in Port Aransas in Spring is to participate in Texas SandFest, which is the largest beach sand sculpture competition in the USA.

This 3-day annual event attracts visitors from far and near who can watch the sculptor or team of sculptors create their work of art which often takes months to plan.

You can even participate in amateur competitions and workshops, turning your beach vacation into a creative retreat. If you’re planning on going to Texas SandFest, ideally, book your accommodation ahead of time.

Address: Port Aransas, TX 78373

7. Roberts Point Park

Things To Do In Port Aransas, TX

One of the fun family things to do in Port Aransas, TX, is to explore Roberts Point Park. Overlooking the ship channel, this 50-acre waterfront park is an ideal place for a family getaway.

The park has shaded picnic tables, shuffleboard courts, horseshoe pits, a basketball court, sand volleyball, a soccer field, a playground for kids and plenty of spots to watch large cargo ships cruise by.

There are also fishing opportunities along the seawall, the marina jetty and from a lighted fishing pier. You can watch dolphins, and large ships pass through the channel on the observation tower at the park.

The park also hosts the annual Songwriters’ Showcase and other live music events.

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

8. Deep-Sea Fishing

Things To Do In Port Aransas, TX

Looking for fun things to do in Aransas today? The experience deep-sea fishing in Port Aransas. Known as the “Fishing Capital of Texas”, Port Aransas offers challenges and a string of rewards for everyone

Whether you’re inexperienced or more experienced, the Port Aransas waters respond with some of the best fish species around.

Experience deep-sea fishing with one of the many charters available, and you might catch a trophy-sized blue marlin or yellowfin tuna.

Address: Port Aransas, TX, United States

9. Kite Surfing

Things To Do In Port Aransas, TX

One of the fun things to do in Port Aransas is to go kite surfing on the coast of Port Aransas. This fun outdoor activity involves using wind power with a large power kite to pull a rider across a water, land, or snow surface.

Local operators ensure your safety while providing this unforgettable adventure. With the steady wind conditions and vast stretches of beach, Port Aransas is an ideal spot for this thrilling water sport.

Address: Port Aransas, TX, United States

10. Farley Boat Works

Things To Do In Port Aransas, TX

Farley Boat Works is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to preserving this type of craftsmanship in Port Aransas, TX. Here you can explore the town’s maritime heritage.

Participate in a boat-building class or just admire the craftsmanship of these sturdy vessels that once powered the local economy.

Address: 716 W Avenue C, Port Aransas, TX 78373

11. Palmilla Beach Resort & Golf Community

Things To Do In Port Aransas, TX

One of the fun things to do in Port Aransas this weekend is to go shopping and play golf at Palmilla Beach Resort and Golf Community.

Located on the Gulf Coast with pristine greens and gorgeous Gulf of Mexico views, this resort offers various stores selling beachwear, accessories, home decor, and more. After shopping, enjoy a meal at one of their onsite dining options.

Address: 132 Palmilla Beach Dr, Port Aransas, TX 78373

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12. Port Aransas Community Theatre

Things To Do In Port Aransas, TX

If you’re looking for fun things to do in Port Aransas at night, then catch a live performance at Port Aransas Community Theatre (PACT).

The community theatre was created over 25 years ago and has been going strong in this community ever since.

Offering up live performances of all kinds, the theatre hosts musicians and theatrical performances throughout the year. There are usually one or two productions a month, and tickets and dates are available on their website. 

The community theatre is a great way to engage with the local arts community and unwind in the evening.

Address: 2327 TX-361, Port Aransas, TX 78373

13. Whooping Crane Festival

Things To Do In Port Aransas, TX

If you’re visiting Port Aransas in February, then you don’t want to miss the Whooping Crane Festival. This annual festival has been celebrated each year since 1996.

The festival celebrates the annual return of the endangered whooping cranes to their winter habitat in the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge. The festival includes guided boat tours, birding trips, and educational workshops.

The Texas Coastal Bend is the only place where you can see the world’s last naturally occurring population of Whooping Cranes.

Address: Port Aransas, TX

14. Shorty’s Place

Things To Do In Port Aransas, TX

Established in 1946, Shorty’s Place is the oldest and friendliest bar in Port Aransas, Texas. The bar is a great place to experience the local nightlife.

As part of the fun things to do in Port Aransas, visit this bar to enjoy live music performances and meet locals and fellow travellers while savouring a refreshing drink.

Address: 101 Beach St, Port Aransas, TX 78373

15. Beachcombing

Things To Do In Port Aransas, TX

One of the popular things to do in Port Aransas for both kids and adults is beachcombing. The Island is one of the most popular beach towns in Texas. With over 18 miles of golden beaches, there is n shortage of space for outdoor activities.

Walk along the beautiful beaches, taking your time to find pretty seashells and sand dollars. You can even find shart teeth or other treasures washed up on the beach.

Address: Port Aransas, TX

16. Joan & Scott Holt Paradise Pond

Things To Do In Port Aransas, TX

The Joan and Scott Holt Paradise Pond is a 2-acre secluded nature preserve in the heart of Port Aransas that is perfect for a serene picnic.

Located behind Shark Reef Resort, Paradise Pond is designed to stop on the spring migratory route for smaller warblers and other songbirds. On your visit, relax under the shade of the trees, observe the many bird species that visit the pond, and breathe in the tranquil environment.

Address: Port Aransas, TX 78373

17. San José Island

Things To Do In Port Aransas, TX

One of the best things to do in Port Aransas is to take a short boat drive to visit San José Island. Known passionately as Saint Jo, this private uninhabited island is managed principally for wildlife.

Saint Jo offers pristine beaches that are usually full of sea shells, all surrounded by the blue waters of the Gulf. The island is also home to some of the best birding and saltwater fishing in the south. Enjoy the pristine beaches, fish, picnic, or beach comb on this isolated stretch of coastline.

18. Wetland Park

One of the fun things to do in Port Aransas, TX, is to explore Wetland Park. Built by the Texas Department of Transportation, the park offers bird watching, nature photography, and a boardwalk that meanders through the beautiful wetlands.

It has a raised, wheelchair-accessible boardwalk that leads to a gazebo overlooking the tidal flat and marsh habitats, home to many wading and shorebirds. The park is a wonderful place to enjoy the local flora and fauna.

Address: 1112 TX-361, Port Aransas, TX 78373

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19. Visit Corpus Christi

Things To Do In Port Aransas, TX

One of the fun things to do near Port Aransas, TX, is to take a 10 minutes ferry ride to Corpus Christi. The ferry runs 24/7 and can take cars if you want to drive your car with you.

There are a number of fun things to do in Corpus Christi, one of the most popular being the Texas State Aquarium. Major attractions at the aquarium include Dolphin Bay, Otter Creek, and Stingray Lagoon, all sure to please kids of all ages.

20. Amos Rehabilitation Keep

Things To Do In Port Aransas, TX

Looking for fun things to do in Port Aransas? Then visit the Amos Rehabilitation Keep (ARK). Located in the Marine Science Institute, the ARK rescues, house, and rehabilitate injured or stranded marine animals like sea turtles and birds.

Although the ARK is not open to the public, you can make reservations for a guided tour, which includes viewing endangered species of sea turtles and birds.

On average, the tour is 45 minutes long and is limited to 15 people, with all participants above the age of three paying a fee of $7.

Address: 750 Channel View Dr, Port Aransas, TX 78373

21. Texan Warbird Adventures

Things To Do In Port Aransas, TX

If you’re looking for adventure in Port Aransas, then fly with the Texan Warbird Adventures. This family-owned and operated aviation center is best known for its vintage naval aircraft, whose make dates back to World War II.

On your visit, you can relish the experience of flying in these historic aircraft around the Fortworth area in Port Aransas, Texas, either taking off from Decatur, Denton, or Fairview Airports. The Texan Warbird Adventures offers; Warbird flights, Aerial Photography, and flyovers.

Address: 3141 FM3512, Aransas Pass, TX 78336

22. Third Coast Theater

Things To Do In Port Aransas, TX

Located inside Seashell Village Resort, the Third Coast Theater is a 150-seat theater and home to the city’s live music scene. The theater draws locals and visitors for live premier performances by some of Texas’ greatest music singers and songwriters.

For couples looking to spend a romantic evening together in Port Aransas, then catch a live music performance at this theater.

Address: 502 E Avenue G, Port Aransas, TX 78373

23. Red Dragon Pirate Cruise

Things To Do In Port Aransas, TX

One of the unique things to do in Port Aransas is to sail on an authentic pirate ship right in Port Aransas, thanks to Red Dragon Pirate Cruise.

Located on 440 West Cotter Avenue, the pirate cruise was designed to look like ships of the past down to the last detail but is equipped ‘for the high seas’ with the latest technology and amenities. Hop on the ship alongside the private crew for a pre-cruise show at the start of the tour.

Address: 440 W Cotter Ave, Port Aransas, TX 78373

24. Port Aransas Art Centre

Things To Do In Port Aransas, TX

Your visit to Port Aransas would be incomplete without exploring the Poar Aransas Art Centre. This is one of the places in the town where you can purchase some of the finest artwork done by the locals.

The art centre aims to encourage and support local artistry and also offers art classes for all ages and exclusive events. As an art enthusiast, you can use their studio to meet fellow artists and aficionados.

Address: 104 N Alister St, Port Aransas, TX 78373

Thoughts on Things To Do in Port Aransas, TX

From adrenaline-fueled water sports to serene beach yoga, exploring local art galleries, to witnessing endangered whooping cranes, there’s truly something for everyone in Port Aransas, Texas.

No matter how many times you visit, this charming coastal town will always have new surprises to offer. Enjoy your stay!

 

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