Last weekend we took a few days off work and enjoyed a friendcation in Port Aransas, TX. Living in Houston allows us to take quick vacations easily thanks to 100’s of direct flights from multiple airports, the short drive to other cities, and the proximity of beaches. Thursday afternoon we loaded up and made the 4 hour drive from H-Town to Port A. It’s kind of interesting how you get down to the island. There are two ways to enter: you can drive down to Corpus Christi and use a bridge to enter the island or you can take a ferry in Port Aransas to get your car to the island. We went ahead and drove into Corpus Christi so we could go by a grocery store before arriving at our place. Corpus has what may be the most extravagant HEB ever, and we were able to get everything we needed for our long weekend. Leaving the island we took the ferry; an experience I did not enjoy 😛
Where to Stay
There are a few types of places you can stay: traditional hotel/motel, beach house, condo, and even camping on the beach (it’s allowed!). We had a group of 5 and chose to stay in a condo near the beach. The place we stayed had several condos, a central pool, and even a large dog area! We had multiple bedrooms and bathrooms so everyone was comfortable. Our condo had a great balcony so we had a place to play games and hang out in the evening. We picked a place that was on the beach so it was really easy to get to. One thing that was different about this beach compared to places I’d been before: between the sand dunes and the wooden post markers, the beach is a two-lane Texas roadway. This means you can drive your car right up to where you’re setup on the beach, though you are supposed to pay for a parking permit.
Where to Eat
As I mentioned, we went to the grocery store and stocked up on food and snacks before we arrived. Because our condo had a full kitchen, we were able to eat the majority of our meals at the condo or on the beach. We made breakfast in the morning and enjoyed coffee on the balcony while the dogs played then we headed to the beach for the day. At the beach we brought everything to make sandwiches so when someone was hungry, lunch was right there. There were no vendors or businesses on the beach where we were or anywhere nearby from what I could tell. This ensured it was pretty quiet and peaceful, but you have to come prepared. Since we were out all day we also made sure to bring along snacks. We did have dinner out one evening but it was pretty unremarkable. We tried Moby Dicks in Port Aransas. It’s described as having whimsical, nautical decor but I thought it was tacky and the service and food were sub par (inattentive staff and bland overpriced food). Your best bet is to cook on your own (cheaper too and no one has to drive 😉 )
What To Do
Obviously, hang out at the beach! We stocked the coolers with plenty of drinks and food to make lunch so we could spend the whole day down there. We also brought along our beach chairs and a pop up tent. The biggest tip I can give you is to bring one along! Having a shady place to get out of the sun made the day even more enjoyable. We brought books and magazines to read, floaties to play in the water, and corn hole to play on the beach. The one thing we forgot was a frisbee! And there were actually people with surf boards! The beach was pretty empty on Friday, but was still quiet and calm on Saturday when more people were out. I was impressed with the clarity and color of the water (clear+blue!) and the beach was mostly clean. My only complaint was the “tar balls“. They weren’t unsightly – in fact I didn’t even notice them until I’d stepped on one and it stained the bottom of my foot. Despite that, I thoroughly enjoyed the visit. We also went to Bernie’s Beach House which was a lot of fun! Plenty of dancing and some incredible people watching.
This beach was perfect for our group and would be a great place to bring a family and kids as well. The great thing about south Texas is we still have several weeks left of warm weather so there is time to take a quick trip to the beach. Otherwise, add Port Aransas to your “To Visit” list for next summer!