Port Aransas is a beacon of natural beauty and sun, and in addition to a wide array of fun activities, the island also offers a variety of events year round. There is truly something for every visitor to enjoy. Spanning across all seasons, these signature events provide a roadmap for travelers to plan a memorable getaway to this charming island. This guide covers the top annual events visitors can keep in mind when planning their visit to Port Aransas.
Foodies descend on Port Aransas in January each year for Restaurant Week, a celebration of the thriving local food scene. Over the course of a week, prix-fixe menus are offered at local restaurants at different price points, with options for breakfast, brunch and dinner. Coastal cuisine reigns supreme in Port Aransas, but visitors will be delighted to find a diversity of dining options growing every year. Check out the participating restaurants and menus for the upcoming restaurant week here.
February brings the Whooping Crane Festival to Port Aransas, as these magnificent birds return to their winter home on Mustang Island. The four-day festival celebrates the return of the whooping cranes to their wintering habitat with birding tours, seminars, workshops and trade shows. Attendees can deepen their understanding of whooping crane behavior, migration patterns and conservation efforts. Nature lovers and birdwatchers will have the opportunity to witness these birds in their natural habitat and connect with people dedicated to protecting the natural heritage of the Texas coast.
In April, Texas Sandfest is a big draw, bringing hundreds of visitors to see professional sand sculptures made from the dense Mustang Island sand. This prestigious festival is the largest sand sculpture festival in the U.S. and takes place over the course of a weekend, with live music, food vendors and a pop-up market. Attendees can watch master sculptors at work building larger-than-life pieces of art, or try their hand at sculpting a beach masterpiece. Sandfest is truly a fun time to be in Port Aransas!
June brings the annual Deep Sea Roundup to Port Aransas. This iconic fishing tournament is held over four days every June, and attracts anglers of all skill levels to the rich waters off Mustang Island. Experts and novices alike come together to try their luck in various fishing categories, including offshore and inshore divisions, with subcategories such as billfish, shark, kingfish, and redfish. While this is a competitive event, the emphasis is on creating a fun and inclusive experience for all participants, and there is an atmosphere of excitement as spectators gather at the end of each day to witness impressive catches. The Port Aransas Deep Sea Roundup concludes with an awards ceremony where participants are recognized for their achievements in each category, and proceeds from the event often contribute to marine conservation efforts.
Summer is sea turtle nesting season on Mustang Island, which means there are many opportunities for visitors to observe or assist in releasing baby sea turtles into the Gulf of Mexico. From June through August, the National Park Service welcomes visitors to Malaquite Beach on the south end of the island to participate in sea turtle releases, held every weekend and on certain weekdays. These special events offer a unique and meaningful way for visitors to connect with the island’s natural beauty.
The Fourth of July is a blowout celebration on Mustang Island, with the whole town of Port Aransas participating in the festivities. Local restaurants offer special menus and many bars feature live music. Fireworks are set off at dusk from Roberts Point Park, with many attendees venturing out on the water for an impressive view. Nearby Corpus Christi also hosts the Mayor’s Big Bang Celebration, including a food truck festival and fireworks along the bayfront.
The Billfish Pachanga is a fast-paced Port Aransas sport fishing tourney that takes place every year in July, with mixer events and live music adding to the excitement.
The Texas Women’s Angler Tournament is a women-only event with the mission to raise funds for local women’s shelters, and is growing quickly in popularity. Held against the picturesque backdrop of Port Aransas, this tournament attracts women from all over who compete in various categories, making it an exciting competition while fostering a sense of community and empowerment among female anglers.
The Wooden Boat Festival wraps up the month of October with a celebration of the historic wooden boat building industry on Mustang Island, with a focus on the Farley boats unique to Port Aransas.
The holiday season is full of joy and cheer on Mustang Island, with festivities kicking into high gear in December. Visitors can enjoy the holiday light displays throughout the town of Port Aransas, and vote on their favorite decorated Farley boat. While there may be no snow on Mustang Island in December, there are unique holiday traditions, including lighted boats and golf cart parades, as well as a Sand Santa sculpture at the community center throughout the month. New Year’s Eve closes out the holiday season with a big fireworks display at Roberts Point Park and special events at local establishments to ring in the new year.
Port Aransas invites visitors to immerse themselves in the unique charm of this coastal paradise. With a diverse schedule of annual events, Port Aransas has something to offer everyone throughout the year. Ensure an unforgettable visit centered around your favorite event, and book your Port Aransas vacation rental today!