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“Winter wonderland”
Review of Port Aransas

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Great Falls, Virginia
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
24 helpful votes
“Winter wonderland”
Reviewed 30 December 2011

I spent the Christmas holidays in Port Aransas, TX and I greatly enjoyed my time there.

Port Aransas is a small town located in Mustang Island, only a few miles away from Corpus Chisti. I suspect it looks a lot different during peak season, but while I was there I was able to enjoy miles and miles of beach without seeing anyone else but a few fishermen here and there. I loved going out in the morning and walking along the shore without running into another soul. I will forever treasure that feeling that the beach belonged to me.

The water itself was cold, which is obvious given it was winter. But it was not cold enough to prevent me from going knee-deep in the water.

The town itself has several picturesque seafood joints and souvenir stores. Again, not a lot of people to be seen anywhere, but the story is probably very different in summer.

Getting to Port Aransas is easy. The Corpus Christi International airport is about a 45-minute drive away and is served by both American Eagle and Continental Express. There are two ways to get to Port Aransas from Corpus Chisti: you can take the ferry or you can take the SPID (South Padre Island Drive).

The ferry connects Port Aransas with Aransas Pass, and from here its a short drive to downtown Corpus Chisti, where you will find several interesting sights such as the Texas State Aquarium and the USS Lexington. The ferry is free and it operates 24/7, however the lines can get long (even in Winter!).

The other way to move between Port Aransas and Corpus Christi is the South Padre Island Drive. This is a freeway that connects Corpus Christi with the southern end of Mustang Island (and the northern end of Padre Island). This is very convenient if you need to go shopping, because most major retailers and supermarkets in Corpus Christi are located along SPID.

I definitely recommend visiting Port Aransas. However, like the Outer Banks of North Carolina, I strongly recommend visiting in Winter instead of summer. You may not be able to swim in the ocean, but you will feel like the beach is yours, and I find that feeling to be priceless.

1 Thank dantebouchot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
League City, Texas
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
7 helpful votes
“Redneck Riviera”
Reviewed 14 June 2011

Couldn't think of a better place for a vacation spot close to home. Caught fish, drug the kids around in the innertube, ate great food, and came back with the customary sunburn. Can't wait to go back.

1 Thank Changzhourbust
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Royse City, Texas
Level 5 Contributor
55 reviews
29 helpful votes
“We love Port Aransas.”
Reviewed 28 May 2011

Port Aransas is a few hours closer to Dallas than South Padre. The beach is great, lots of good restaurants, plenty of acommodations, and family friendly.

From now on, we will stay in P.A. and skip South Padre.

1 Thank ajranch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
2 helpful votes
“Beautiful and slow paced”
Reviewed 14 November 2010

We visited Port Aransas/Mustang Island right when school started. There weren't a ton of people on the beach and it was so nice and relaxing. The beach is beautiful and there are some good restaurants to eat at there. I enjoyed going in the off-season time. My husband liked the town so much, he was trying to plan a way to move there. Maybe someday when we retire. :)

It is very family friendly. We were in the Mustang Island area of the beach, which is about 20 minutes driving time from Port Aransas (south). There was free public parking, bathrooms and showers. When we go to Galveston, if you want bathrooms and showers, you have to pay to park in that area that offers that.

1 Thank Vicki N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
10 helpful votes
“Time Out”
Reviewed 10 November 2010

I went to Port Aransas because I needed a little time out after a demanding visit further north in Texas. The seaside resort was suggested by a friend who knew that I would be going out of season, and that I wanted peace and quiet not partying and clubs!

I loved Port Aransas as soon as I arrived. This small seaside town on Mustang Island is a little community boosted in numbers enormously during their long holiday season, but restful and cheerful when the crowds aren't there. It is small enough that one can walk around the centre, although it is not easy to get to without a car. I had a taxi from Corpus Christi airport and it cost $100 each way. Although it was out of season (I went in November) there were lots of eating places open and although the locals claimed the weather was 'cold' (it was in the 70s during the day) I spent most of the four days I was there on the beach, and had to buy suntan oil!

The beach is, by European standards, very undeveloped. One may park or camp (for a small fee) on the beach, but there are few facilities beyond rest rooms - no ice cream stands and only a couple of places where basic refreshment can be bought. There is also some seriously ugly development behind the dunes in a couple of places. On the other hand there are miles and miles of sandy beaches, turtles and dolphins can be seen in the sea, and it is possible to sit for hours on the jetty watching ships coming and going through the shipping lanes.

I stayed in a motel which called itself a hotel, which was a little run down, but clean and homely. It seemed that most of the accommodation within the little town (misleadingly called a 'city' locally) is motels or cottages. More expensive hotels were outside the town's limits and probably a little isolated from the actual community.

I would recommend Port Aransas, out of season, to any independent traveller who likes to be a little off the beaten track, and who can make his or her own entertainment. It would also be a brilliant place for families who play together.

Thank UkPeaceseeker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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