Here are the top things to do in Port Aransas for the whole family.
Port Aransas is known for its beautiful beaches, so it’s no surprise that the first thing on visitor’s lists is to go to the beach!
The Texas Gulf Coast Region is filled with sandy beaches, miles of coastline, popular attractions, and deep-sea fishing. From Galveston to South Padre, you can have miles of fun. Today, I’m talking about the top things to do in Port Aransas, which is located between the two. If you like fishing, dolphin watching, eating, and checking out the beach, you’ll love Port A!
Disclosure: My husband and I were hosted at the hotel, which included all attractions. All opinions are my own.
Top Things To Do In Port Aransas
Located in the Gulf of Mexico and one of the best beach towns on the Gulf Coast, Port Aransas is one of my favorite places to get away, relax, and have fun. There is so much to do, and you can actually drive your vehicle on the beach or rent a golf cart and ride around town like a local, or check out the local adventure opportunities.
Where Is Port Aransas?
Port Aransas is on Mustang Island and is roughly 3-1/2 hours from downtown Houston, about 2-1/2 hours from San Antonio, and north of Corpus Christi which is only a short drive. The Texas Coast offers a beautiful outdoor experience, from dolphin watching to bay fishing. You can experience much of the Island of Port Aransas in two days.
Take A Sunset Dolphin Tour
The boat leaves the shore from Deep Sea Headquarters, and you can purchase cocktails and snacks on the ship. You are not allowed to bring drinks or food on the boat, so make sure you have cash or a credit card. We circled around the bay for a couple of hours while the host shared some history of the bay, and we saw quite a few dolphins. It was a wonderful experience.
Go Bay Fishing Trip
Before you get on the boat, you must purchase a fishing license. You can buy it online or at any local gas station. It only costs $10, and you will need your driver’s license to purchase it. Deep Sea Headquarters also offers deep-sea fishing and longer all-day trips.
Our 3-hour bay fishing trip included a bucket of bait, squid and shrimp, and a fishing pole. Same as above – purchase drinks if you would like; no drinks or snacks are allowed on the boat.
Get A Golf Cart To Tour The Island
We were provided a Golf cart from Kacies Beach Rentals, next door to The Place Hotel. This is a locally owned and family-owned company, and they were great. The carts were very clean and already filled with gas. We took the golf cart to the beach on the first day. My husband had a blast driving it up and down the many miles of beaches. We watched the waves come in and saw birds, shells, and a sand castle created earlier that day.
Eat Fish At Fins
Getting fresh fish while on the coast is always a must. We decided to go to Fins because it’s located right next to Deep Sea Headquarters and across the street from The Place Hotel, where we stayed. If you catch any fish on your fishing trip, they can cook it for you. But if not, they have a large selection of fresh fish, burgers, and other great menu items.
Eat Like A Local At MacDaddy’s
MacDaddy’s was the number one restaurant suggested by the locals. Be sure to head over on your golf cart, then you’ll feel like a local. They have a wide variety of cocktails and local cuisine. I had the fried fish of the day, and my husband had a BBQ plate. He had a local beer, and I had a frozen margarita flight, which was beautiful. Everything was terrific, and I will definitely be back.
Drink Like A Local At The Gaff
If you want to grab a beer and feel like a local, head over to The Gaff, they have live music, belt sander racing, and great pizza. You’ll want to sit outside for the best experience. But don’t expect fancy – it is truly a local hangout.
It’s Ice Cream Time!
After a fun night strolling around the local spots, we headed over to Desserted Island Ice Cream for a yummy dessert. They have a large selection of ice cream and plenty of seating inside, which is great on those hot summer days.
Shop The Local Stores
We had time to explore between excursions, so we headed to several local shops. All the shops are great and filled with a large selection of T-shirts, hats, and beach shoes. You can also pick up some fun souvenirs for your friends and family. These shops are also great places to pick up sunscreen, and beachwear, just in case you forget to bring some.
Stay At The Place Hotel
If you are staying in Port Aransas, you will want to stay at The Place Hotel, an excellent hotel right across the street from the dolphin boat ride, bay fishing, and great restaurants. It’s also located right next door to Kacies Beach Rentals, where we picked up the golf cart. The Place Hotel offers a complimentary continental breakfast, updated accommodations, and a cute common area. The staff was accommodating and welcoming, and be sure to check out their website for summer specials.
Tips From An Expert
My biggest tip when visiting the area is to ask the locals. We would have never known about some of the great places to eat and fun things to do if we hadn’t asked someone that has lived there for a while. Also, do more research to find out exactly what you can do if the entire family is going. Don’t forget to reach out to the hotel you’re staying at – they will know touristy and non-touristy things to do.
I hope you’ve enjoyed these top things to do in Port Aransas –now start planning your visit!
If there’s time in your visit and you want to explore more of the Gulf Coast – check out Best Things To Do On The Gulf Coast.