Infamous pirate, Jean Lafitte, knew all about safe harbors and secure hideaways, so Port Aransas was on his map even before it had an official name. Legend goes that he marked buried treasure here with a silver dagger spiked into the sand, which has yet to be discovered. While you're searching, be prepared for wonderful distractions from your quest because Mustang Island is a unique gem on the beautiful Texas Coast.
Fondly known as Port A, this little city sits on a pristine barrier island stretching 18 scenic miles between Aransas and Corpus Christi Bays.
Mustang Island enjoys center stage along the nation's Central Flyway, where you can set your sights for hundreds of native and migrating bird species. Observation towers and boardwalks throughout the estuaries and dunes let you rub shoulders with majestic, endangered Whooping cranes.
Seven of these fascinating indoor oceans house living collections at the Marine Science Institute, and each one replicates a local environment. From rock jetties and oyster reefs to mangrove marshes, explore wonderful worlds and meet the mysterious creatures that call these waters home.
You'll never wear out the beaches at Port A, but an afternoon on the links with the salt breeze at your back is a bracing change of island pace. Conquer one of three public championship courses featuring panoramic views of brilliant blue Gulf waters.
Savor it fried, grilled, sautéed and countless other delicious ways at the annual June Shrimporee. The biggest Texas festival celebrating this little crustacean is more than 60 years old, offering dancing, carnivals and a classic downtown parade.
Angle your way into annual fishing derby fun at the July Deep Sea Roundup. This exciting competition is open to everyone; even the kids wade in with their own Piggy Perch contest.
The holidays take on a special light in Port A's Civic Center every year, with glittering island magic at the Enchanted Holiday Forest. Locals and visitors all drop by to add a personal touch of sparkle and cheer to dozens of Christmas trees. Your invitation to decorate and celebrate is always open.
If you can’t resist views of the sea and enjoy a good pampering, the Port Royal Resort sits right on the beach with lagoon pools, tennis courts, hot tubs and seasonal BBQs. Nearby activities include jet skiing, bay fishing and surfing.
Weather rarely gets in the way of planning your trip to Port A, but mark June through September as a potentially stormy season. How often do the locals worry about the weather? You'll have to ask a native at one of the dozens of fishing tournaments that run all summer long.
Memorial Day through Labor Day is the busiest time of year, but you can slip across the causeway in late October to catch a quieter side of Port Aransas. The locals are always happy to share their friendly little island, and you'll have a better chance of finding that silver dagger.
* Prices reflect the lowest "base rate" found over the next 30 days. Rates are subject to change and may not include taxes and fees, hotel service charges, extra person charges, or incidentals, such as room service. All rates are displayed in USD unless otherwise noted. Converted rates are provided for your convenience. They are based on today's exchange rate, but the hotel will charge you in the local currency.