Best hotels in Port Aransas
Port Aransas IntroductionMustang Island is one of the most popular vacation spots on the Texas Gulf Coast, and Port Aransas is its social and cultural hub. The island takes its name from the wild horses that once roamed its shores, while the port was a notorious haunt of pirates and buccaneers. The horses have been replaced by sport anglers, and the pirates by surfers, but Port Aransas still offers visitors a walk on the wild side. Visitors flock to its sun-kissed beaches and nature reserves, while the town’s University of Texas Marine Science Institute is a world-renowned center of environmental research.
Hotels in Port AransasFrom budget-friendly condos to laid-back resorts, hotels in Port Aransas are geared up to cater for a wide diversity of tastes and pockets. Thanks to its temperate climate and relaxed vibe, Mustang Island has become a favorite destination for college students on spring break, while its unspoiled natural beauty forms a perfect backdrop for wedding parties or family anniversary celebrations. Many Port Aransas hotels are specially designed to make the most of their spectacular location on the Gulf of Mexico, with imaginative touches such as external glass elevators, panoramic lounges, and landscaped patios that blend in seamlessly with their surroundings.
Where to stayAt just 18 miles long and barely one mile wide, you’re never far from the sea on Mustang Island. Unsurprisingly, hotels in Port Aransas typically have uninterrupted views and easy access to the beach; surfers can stash their gear in a beachfront condo along Port Aransas Beach Rd and wait for the perfect wave while chilling out on their private balcony. Those seeking hotel deals in Port Aransas should check out one of the budget-friendly downtown inns, and families can get back to nature in a camping lodge with picnic tables and barbecue pits just south of the town center.
Things to seeThe fascinating maritime heritage of Port Aransas, ranging from tall tales of buried treasure to inspirational stories of heroic deeds, is a major part of its offbeat appeal. Locals still dream of finding the pirate hoard that’s supposedly marked by a silver dagger, while the historic Lydia Ann Lighthouse, built by the United States Life-Saving Service to rescue shipwrecked mariners, is an iconic landmark of the town. Step back in time at the Tarpon Inn, dating from 1886, which commemorates its guests—among them President Roosevelt—on walls covered in tarpon scales, each marked with the signature of the angler. The scientifically minded can learn more about the groundbreaking work of the Marine Science Institute at the Wetlands Education Center, where visitors can gain a deeper understanding of the unique ecology of the Aransas Pass region. Afterward, try your hand at bird-watching in Mustang Island State Park.
How to get to Port AransasThe Port Aransas Ferry System operates frequent daily services between Port Aransas and the mainland on passenger car ferries, although you’ll hardly need your own vehicle once you arrive on the island as you can get practically everywhere on the cheap and efficient trolley shuttle. The closest international airport is Austin-Bergstrom, while the nearby Corpus Christi Airport welcomes flights from Dallas and Houston. Shuttle services, taxis and car-rental services are available at the terminal. Greyhound buses cover the route between San Antonio and Aransas Pass on the mainland, a journey of around 180 miles via Interstate 37.