Port Aransas Beach

Sandy beach
1000 Lantana Dr, Port Aransas, TX 78373, USA
168 miles from Houston, TX
Cleanliness
Water quality
Crowded
Impressions
Overall
Grades suggested by our reviewer
Water Quality

Beach amenities

  • SunbedsBeach chairs available
  • WCPublic restrooms nearby
  • ShowerPublic showers available
  • ParkingCar parking nearby
  • RV-friendlyRV parking available
  • Pet friendlyBring your little friends!
👉 Download a FREE PDF map

About this beach

Warnings and hazards

Tar Balls - lots of them because of the Gulf oil drilling. Best to wear some beach shoes when walking or swimming. Baby wipes or oil are must-haves. Those will take the tar off so make sure you have paper towels because you don't want to ruin your towels.

Jellyfish!

This has to be one of the best beaches on the Texas coast. The hurricane was devastating but the locals really made an amazing recovery! The beach stretches for 18 miles, it's so huge that it does not feel crowded even during holidays, although it is much nicer on weekdays (Monday to Thursday), when it's almost deserted.

Soft sand, amazing views, this beach was well maintained and clean for the majority of the time we spent there. A few times we arrived before the cleaning team and saw a lot of small litter such as bottle caps and cigarette butts. I am not sure whether the beach is maintained every day or not, but usually, it was very clean, can't complain!

Driving on the beach

It is one of the few beaches in the U.S. where you can still drive your car – yes, you can drive close to the waters and park right there! Although many locals are accustomed to this, not everyone finds it to be a comfortable feature. If you find the idea of having all kinds of vehicles on the beach next to you unpleasant, you can use the patch near the entrance – there is a car park and people don't drive on the beach near it.

To enter with your car you will need a permit. You can stop by any Stripes store and for just $12 you will get a parking pass that will last for a whole year. You will need this pass even if you are going in for one day. Parking close to where you set up your beach chairs is a good option since it's a long walk from any of the parking areas off the access roads. Campers, tents and all types of RVs are parked on the beach.

Other places where you can buy a parking permit include:

  • Port Aransas City Hall
  • Port Aransas Visitor Center/Chamber of Commerce
  • IGA Family Center (local grocery)
  • Other locations around town and on the beach (during peak season)

A nice option some visitors go with is renting a golf cart in town and driving it on the beach. There are a few golf cart rental places and they range from $100 to $170 for a 4 seater for a day of rent. It's totally worth it to take one on the beach and ride for miles along the water.

The beach is filled with wildflowers and there are plenty of seagulls, pelicans, and other birds to watch along the shore. A nice bonus is that if you are renting a golf cart, you don't have to buy a permit and drive right on the beach without it. You can then use the cart to ride all over the town and drop by a pub or a restaurant. More carts and fewer cars on the road on this island!

Free parking

Free beach parking is allowed between Markers 52 to 58 and between the jetties and Horace Caldwell Pier.

Camping on the beach

Camping on the beach is permitted for a few days at a time (3-night limit during any 3-week period), and campfires are also allowed. The recommended place to camp is at "I.B. Magee Beach Park". The huge, 170 acres-big state park is located on the northernmost point of Mustang Island in Port Aransas on the ship channel and is open all year.

There are 75 campsites with water and electric hookups and a dump station. The camper’s bathhouse is available to campers using W/E sites and a freshwater rinse shower located next to the park office. They also have a beach bathhouse with coin-operated showers and a first-aid station.

For safety reasons, your campsite must be positioned 50 feet away from the waters. Additionally, you are also advised to camp within 200 feet from any beach access road.

Finally, camping is not allowed within 25 feet of the driving lane.

Beach rules and amenities

The beach is dog-friendly.

Public toilets (porta potties) and rinse showers are available. There's also a guy who gives lessons on how to build sandcastles. 

Food

Good fishing, good seafood. Lots of good restaurants in the city, however, we found the wait time to be extremely long during peak times.

There are few services on the beach itself: the city does not allow food trucks and there are few places to eat nearby, so bring a picnic basket and enjoy your day.

Getting there

Getting to Port Aransas can be accomplished by taking the free car-ferry or by the Corpus Christi bridge.

The ferry to the island is a short, but quiet ride. You can occasionally spot a dolphin or two.

The lines to get on the ferry are REALLY long during summer months and especially on Fridays, so if you can adjust your trip to come and go on a weekday, you are likely to miss the lines.

Driving Time

  • 4 hours from Houston, TX
  • 4 hours from Austin, TX
  • 3 hours from San Antonio, TX

Places to stay

If you are planning a few days' stay you can rent a beach-facing condo and enjoy the lovely views.

Hotels and rentals

If you're considering staying for one or even a few nights, there are plenty of options available near the beach. Chose your preferred accomodation type and your favourite room provider:

Beaches nearby

Additionally, there's a number of beaches near Port Aransas Beach which you can visit:

Beach reviewed by:
Reyven
Photos from Google Maps
Festival on Port Aransas BeachSeagulls flying over the seaFishing pierEmpty beachKids in waterSand figure on Port Aransas BeachFishing pier on Port Aransas BeachPeople on the beachFishing pier
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Visitor questions:

Question: Is the beach open during the virus
Asked by Larry 2 months ago
Answer: Texas beaches re-opened on May 1st but with certain restrictions. You can visit the beach during day hours but it is prohibited to stay on the beach after 8.00 p.m.

Port Aransas Beach videos

Port Aransas Drone Footage
An amazing drone made video of the beach
A week in Port Aransas
An interesting video of the beach

Weather conditions

Current weather at the beach and 3 day forecast

Best times to visit

Average temperature (°F)
Beach map and directions
The beach is located in Port Aransas, Texas 1000 Lantana Dr, Port Aransas, TX 78373, USA (Open on Google Maps)
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Port Aransas Beach reviews and photos
Reviewed on: April 14, 2020