If you’re looking for a low-key, traditional beach experience, it’s time to head to Texas and explore the Gulf Coast.
Mustang Island and the city of Port Aransas are an 18-mile stretch of beautiful, sandy beaches and coastline, fish-filled waterways, and pristine golf courses. With a reputation for great fishing, shelling, birding, and nature adventures, the destination is perfect for couples and families alike.
In the 1820s, pirate Jean Lafitte and his band of buccaneers roamed this and other neighboring islands. Legend has it that Mustang Island is the home of a Spanish dagger with a silver spike driven through the hilt, marking the spot where Lafitte buried a chest of gold and jewels.
The island served as a regular port for steamships heading to New Orleans for 60 years before the town of Port Aransas was officially named in 1910. The town made a name for itself in the fishing industry, with 600+ species of fish inhabiting the waters off the island.
The island is the picture-perfect vacation destination year-round, with temperatures averaging around 70° – often staying above 60° in the winter months, and reaching 90° in the hot, summer months.
The island plays host to a number of festivals and events year-round.
One of these festivals is the Whooping Crane Festival in February, which invites birders, photographers, and families to opportunity to catch a glimpse of the Whooping Crane – a rare crane and one of the world’s most endangered birds – as they return to their winter habitat.
In April, the island hosts the Texas SandFest – the largest native-Sand Sculpture Competition in the United States. The event is internationally recognized and draws tens of thousands of visitors and the best sculptors from around the world.
The festival raises funds for local charities and supports scholarships for high school students.
The annual BeachtoberFest around Halloween features the Harvest Moon Regatta – the largest point-to-point sailing regatta in US coastal waters, beginning in Galveston, TX, and ending in Port Aransas. Among other activities, the festival also features multiple fishing tournaments, a 5K fun run and the “Port A” Brew N’ Que – a beer and BBQ competition!
There’s plenty to do, even if there’s not a festival going on. The fish-filled waterways make for excellent sport-fishing, dolphin watching, or birding. For the more daring, the island also offers parasailing and kayaking.
The island also features the Palmilla Beach Resort and Golf Club – and Arnold Palmer Signature golf course and the only links-style golf course in Texas!
Stay at the world-class Pioneer RV Beach Resort, ranked at a 9.5 out of 10 by Trailer Life Magazine! The resort is nestled in between sand dunes, with a boardwalk directly to the beach. The resort features everything you need to stay comfortably, with the added amenities of swimming pools, hot tubs, a fish cleaning house, and an on-site birding pond.
If you’re ready to start planning your trip to Mustang Island and Port Aransas, check out the resources below!
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