Port Aransas is a beautiful coastal Texas destination that offers families an idyllic escape on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico. Wide beaches and calm water provide the perfect setting for fun in the sun, and the natural beauty of Mustang Island entices visitors to explore. To make the most of your family vacation, check out these top family-friendly things to do in Port Aransas.
Take a boat tour
Port Aransas offers plenty of ways to enjoy the Gulf of Mexico. Go fishing on a charter boat, with options for in-shore and deep sea excursions. The whole family will delight in spotting wild dolphins in their natural habitat on a dolphin watching tour. Kids will love the thrilling pirate show aboard the Red Dragon Pirate Cruise, including songs, sword fighting and an epic mock battle.
Take a nature walk
The Port Aransas Nature Preserve is located on the bay side of town, and has boardwalk trails winding through a restored wetland ecosystem teeming with birds and local wildlife. Don’t miss the Leonabelle Turnbull Birding Center on the east side of the preserve, which has an observation tower with stunning panoramic views.
Play at the park
Take the kids to Roberts Point Park for an afternoon of fun. This popular waterfront park has plenty of space for kids to run around, including walking trails and a pirate-themed playground. It is also a great place to spot wild dolphins and turtles or marvel at passing ships from the observation tower.
Enjoy a beach day
A day at the beach is one of those perfect family vacation moments, and the 18 miles of sand along Mustang Island provides the perfect setting. The beach is wide enough to drive your car or golf cart right up to your spot, and the dense sand is great for building sandcastles – you can even hire the Port Aransas Sandcastle Guy to teach your group proper building techniques. Families will enjoy the kid-friendly atmosphere at Port Aransas Beach, with lifeguards and calm water perfect for younger children.
Learn how to surf
Mustang Island has warm water most of the year and the calm, consistent waves of the Gulf of Mexico make it a great place for surfers of all ages to hang ten. Lessons are offered for groups and individuals at Texas Surf Camps and surf rentals can be found at several shops in Port Aransas. Beginners can feel comfortable right away at Horace B. Caldwell Pier, with consistent waves around 3 feet and stationed lifeguards.
Enjoy water sports
The warm waters surrounding Mustang Island are ideal for water sports. Kayaking and paddle boarding are popular at Mustang Island State Park and on the bay side of the island, where you will see local wildlife and birds. The Gulf side of the island is a playground of wind and waves, ideal conditions for parasailing and windsurfing. Port Aransas has several shops where you can rent equipment to get out on the water.
Explore Mustang Island
Mustang Island State Park has loads of activities for the whole family. Comb the beach for seashells, go kayaking through 20 miles of paddling trails, learn how to windsurf or take a hike through the coastal landscape. Further south, the Padre Island National Seashore is a great place to explore the coastal environment. Kids will love the Junior Ranger program and you may be able to attend a turtle hatching event if you visit Port Aransas in the summer.
Ride horses on the beach
Take a horseback ride on the beach with Horses on the Beach. Daytime and sunset rides are available for groups with ages 8 and up. This is a fantastic way to see Mustang Island from a different perspective and the animal lovers in the family will have a blast.
Rainy day activities
When weather is not cooperating, nearby Corpus Christi offers lots of family-friendly activities. The Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History includes fascinating interactive exhibits and the Texas State Aquarium allows kids to experience close encounters with marine wildlife.
Grab a bite to eat
Fresh seafood abounds in Port Aransas, with most restaurants incorporating it into their menus. Local favorites include Tortuga’s Saltwater Grill and Castaway’s, both casual spots with diverse menus focused on the local catch of the day. Waterfront dining at FIN’s Grill and Icehouse pairs burgers and fish tacos with views of the marina. For dessert, check out Winton’s Candies for old school candy and locally-made fudge, or head to Shaved Ice Co. for a frozen treat.
With lovely beaches and a range of family-friendly activities, Port Aransas offers an unforgettable vacation experience for families. This charming coastal town is the ideal destination to create cherished memories with your loved ones. Book your vacation rental at Sandpiper Condominiums for an exceptional beachside family vacation!