Final Days on the Gulf – Port Aransas, TX

Port Aransas

Along the Texas Coast are barrier islands running parallel to the mainland.  The longest barrier island is Mustang Island, where Port Aransas occupies 8 miles of its 18 mile length.  We spent a month there with Gulf Waters RV Resort as our home base, then three days just up the road at Mustang Island State Park.

“Port A” as it’s known by the locals, is a small beach community of about 3,500 people.  Although the “Winter Texans” swell the population significantly each year, the town remains uncrowded and less frenetic than many we saw in Florida last year.

The big draw at Port Aransas is of course the beautiful Gulf beaches, with easy access to great offshore bay fishing.  Thankfully, birding is right up there in popularity as well, so you know what I was doing during the few nice days we had during there!

Dave Malouf
Dave, the smoked meats expert and a diehard fisherman with his buddy whom he calls Stealafish
Great Blue Heron
“Stealafish” checking Dave’s catch
South Jetty, Port Aransas
Folks came out to enjoy a sunny day and fish at the South Jetty.  Did I mention that fishing is popular here?
Leonabelle Birding Center
Photographers and birders at Leonabelle Birding Center
Charlies Pasture Natural Preserve
A bundled-up walker getting some exercise at Natural Preserve, Charlie’s Pasture

Vehicles and buggies are allowed to drive right on the beach here, so we just had to rent a buggy to join the fun and take a ride into town for lunch.

Scenes on Port Aransas Beach:

Port Aransas Beach
Now that’s what you call camping on the beach!
Campfire at the beach
Campfire at the beach during full moon

In between our medical appointments in Corpus Christi, we visited the USS Lexington, an aircraft carrier which is now a museum on the Bay.  You can probably guess who really enjoyed all of the “self- guided tours” on this giant ship – like a kid in a candy store!

USS Lexington
A huge collection of warplanes and helicopters
USS Lexington
Food stats for the hungry sailors
USS Lexington
Museum of the Bay – USS Lexington

For a more personalized experience aboard “Lady LEX”, check Ingrid’s post – A Trip down memory lane.  Her husband Al, a navy pilot, earned his wings flying on and off the Lady LEX, so their visit was quite sentimental.

Mustang Island State Park
Our last sunset viewed from Mustang Island State Park

Our month-long stay at the beautiful, well-managed Gulf Waters RV Resort partially made up for the constant gloomy cold and windy days.  More so as our site overlooked the pond where many birdies became our free entertainment, giving me lots of photo opportunities from inside our warm coach.

Mustang Island State Park
The goofy couple bidding goodbye to the Texas Coast.  No more salt water for us for a while!




  1. Nice photos as usual Mona Lisa. Looks like another interesting place. I am heading east in a few months and investigating places to stay. I will be traveling east from Arizona to Georgia initially. Take care.

    • Thank you Gary. It seemed you will be taking the same route we did in 2013 from AZ to the east. Be sure to check my post for ideas and here’s a few I can recommend while you are still in AZ.
      If you like caves- Kartchner Caverns is worth to check out; Chiricahua Mountains for out of this world rock formation; Whitewater Draw for the thousands of Sandhill Cranes and other birds, and Tombstone just for starters.

  2. Sorry your weather wasn’t the best but you two didn’t let that keep you from enjoying your time:) Your smiles brightened all the photos:) Love Stealafish checking out the catch!!

  3. Nice header shot capturing the feel of Mustang Island. Had to laugh at that last photo as I can tell you weren’t sad to bid farewell to the Texas Gulf Coast. I’m counting the days myself LOL 🙂

  4. I was stationed in San Antonio after the war in the early 70’s and on my facebook page I have some pictures of that area. Looks totally different now. But what great memories. The funniest was after watching the original Jaws at the movies we went surfing on Padre Island…not the best idea we ever had.

  5. Fabulous photos, Mona. Love Mr Stealafish checking out the catch of the day. What a cheeky GBH. 🙂 That’s quite a shopping list for the USS Lexington. Just imagine how many carts one would need at the supermarket! Looks like you both had a great stay at Port A. 🙂

  6. I do love your trips… and your photos… one thing I envy is the visit to USS Lexington… how I enjoyed Ingrids post and would love to see it myself…

  7. Love Stealafish! Great name. I have always wanted to visit PortA but have watched for several years as people have wintered there and always felt it would be too cold for me so I’d rather do spring or fall. Your pictures from here have been wonderful though. Wish you’d had better weather but it’s been pretty crappy everywhere even south Florida. Fabulous picture of you two at the end. Safe travels.

  8. Wish we would have had better weather while you were here. Stealafish continues to taunt Dave.Glad you’ve found the warmth and sunshine. Hope next time our paths cross we have better weather, we’ll do some smoking and happy hours.

  9. The weather is so different from year to year. We spent January in Rockport several years ago and it was sunny and gorgeous. It’s especially challenging to have rain, cold, and wind when you’re trying to bird. But no matter what, you know how to have a good time! Love the adorable photo of you and Steve on the beach. 🙂

  10. I’d enjoy the buggy ride for sure 🙂 The birding boardwalk looks devine…what a wonderful visit!! Sorry I missed it!!

  11. Texas winters have not been kind the last couple of years but you two seem to find new adventures no matter the climate. Love that last photo of the two of you. Where are you off to next?

  12. Buggy driving on the beach. Nice suggestion for a unique kind of fun. And that’s whoa lots of leisure fishermen in one area.

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