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Port Aransas is one of the most unique and beautiful places to enjoy a vacation in Texas. Located off the Gulf of Mexico on Mustang Island, Port Aransas (also known as Port A) offers myriad activities and attractions set against the backdrop of 18 miles of sandy beaches. Whether you want to explore the town, check out the local wildlife, or relax by the water, Port A has something for everyone.

Here are 10 of the best things to do in Port Aransas.

  1. Mustang Island State Park
    This 3,954-acre state park is named after the wild mustang ponies that could be found on the island during the 19th century. It is known for its fishing and bird watching opportunities and 20 miles of trails along the beautiful Gulf shoreline.
  2. Hiking and camping
    Port Aransas is home to five nature preserves boasting thousands of species of local wildlife, including hundreds of species of birds. Primitive and electric camping options are available just steps away from the beach.
  3. Fishing charters
    Port Aransas is known as the Fishing Capital of Texas and offers plenty of bay and surf fishing opportunities. The island is particularly known as one of the best places to fish for Redfish, Speckled Trout, and Flounder. Fishing charters are available for a few hours or an entire day.
  4. Watersports
    Try your hand at surfing, boogie boarding, jet skiing, parasailing or windsurfing along the beautiful Gulf Coast. There are dozens of watersports companies to choose from.
  5. Dolphin watching
    There is nothing more exciting than catching a glimpse of a school of dolphins shimmering in the Gulf Coast waters. Dolphin watch tours are a fun wildlife experience the whole family can enjoy.
  6. Pirate cruise
    Travel back in time with a pirate cruise on a replica of a 17th century ship. You’ll be able to sail through waters of Aransas Bay and enjoy the sights and the live entertainment on board. Private boat rentals are also available.
  7. Dining
    Numerous dining options are available in Port Aransas, from quick bites to casual eateries to fine dining restaurants. Visitors can also find everything from pasta and pizza to barbeque and steaks.
  8. Bicycle rentals
    With hourly, daily and weekly rates, bicycle rentals in Port Aransas are a great way to take in the scenery and culture of the town. Tour Port A by bike and explore the unique shops, boutiques and galleries featuring local artwork, decor, clothing and souvenirs.
  9. Art Scene
    Check out the Port Aransas Art Center or visit one of the many artist studios and galleries throughout town. The Port Aransas Museum also features educational information about the island throughout history and up to the present day.
  10. Marine Science Institute
    Founded in 1892, the University of Texas Marine Science Institute is a renowned research facility established to study local marine life. Today it serves as a public education museum and features several aquarium exhibits as well as an Estuary Exploratorium.