Texas Travel

City Spotlight: Port Aransas

By Kristy Alpert 8.7.17

Locals know it best as Port A, but anglers flock to the vibrant, coastal city of Port Aransas for its reputation as the “Fishing Capital of Texas,” and 18 miles of uninterrupted public beaches draws visitors looking to soak in some sun on the sand off the Gulf of Mexico.

“The weather and abundance of amazing water sports and beach fun attract so many families from Texas and [across] the USA,” says Jeffrey Hentz, president and CEO of the Port Aransas/Mustang Island Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau. “Our learn-how-to-fish programs are so popular with families, and our world-class fishing season is in high gear during this month.”

Get the Most Out of Port A 

Go inland. “There is an immense variety of things to do off the beach,” Hentz advises, “including outstanding nature trails, an impressive collection of art galleries, the Port Aransas Art Center, and the historical Port Aransas Museum and Farley Boat Works.”

Head offshore. Bounce off the beach and into the water on a chartered sailboat tour of Mustang Island or a guided fishing trip with a pro who knows the waters well. More adventurous water lovers can catch waves with surfboard rentals or kiteboarding lessons.

Catch a festival. “Port A and Mustang Island [are] becoming known as the Festival Capital of Texas, as the destination is home to many popular festivals and special events, including Texas SandFest and the Whooping Crane Festival,” Hentz says. “This October, Port A will celebrate Beachtoberfest, a monthlong celebration of several events and festivals. Our Harvest Moon Fest‎ and boat building celebration with Farley boatmakers will be great for families.”

Cook your catch. Port A has some of the best seafood restaurants in the state; and although ordering à la carte will likely land you with a fresh choice, many of the top restaurants in town offer a “You Hook ‘Em, We Cook ‘Em” option. Simply bring your recent catch to one of these restaurants to enjoy the fruits of your labor:

Brush Up on Your History

When Spanish settlers arrived on the island in the 1800s through what they called the Aránzuzu Pass, they brought with them teams of wild horses known as “mesteños.” For nearly a century, the island was referred to as Wild Horse Island, until a local entrepreneur, Elihu Harrison Ropes, renamed it Ropesville in the 1890s; less than a decade later it was renamed again as Tarpon, for the abundance of fish caught in the waters surrounding the town. It wasn’t until 1910 that citizens went back to their roots and renamed the city Port Aransas, a variation on the pass’ original Spanish name.

If you’re thinking about a trip to Port A, make sure to check out the exclusive car rental and hotel offers for Texas Farm Bureau members.

Coverage and discounts are subject to qualifications and policy terms and may vary by situation. © 2017 Texas Farm Bureau Insurance