Robert A. Mercer of Lancaster, England, in 1850 set up home on nearby St. Joseph Island. In 1855 he built a cabin on Mustang Island and moved there. Port Aransas was given its name on April 1st 1911. The rest, as they say, is History.
Port Aransas is located on the Northern tip of Mustang Island on the beautiful Texas Gulf Coast and is the perfect location for your next Vacation. Once a sleepy fishing town , Port Aransas has grown into a vibrant destination for thousands of visitors each year, yet, still manages to retain the charm that made it famous the world over.
Most peoples first memories of the Town are of the Ferry Ride . It carries them across the shipping channel and onto our Island. Then, they can choose from many activities that will keep everyone entertained, young and old alike.
Port Aransas and the surrounding bays and Ocean are becoming one of the worlds prime Fishing destinations. Red fish, Flounder, Trout, and Black Drum are in abundance at the right times of the Year. And, For those that have a passion for the Deep Sea the many charter boats will be only too happy to take you chasing Sharks, Marlin and Huge Tuna. Port Aransas, where the Fishing Report is always good.
Port Aransas is also a stop off point for Thousands of Migratory birds each year. Therefore, the Island has many locations where you can view them in all their natural beauty. The Wetland Park and the Joan and Scott Holt Paradise Pond for example. The Port Aransas Chamber of Commerce has more details about local birdwatching.
The beach is probably the reason most people make the trip to Port Aransas. Luckily, it wont disappoint, with over 18 Miles of sand, and, the warm Gulf of Mexico water giving you plenty of space to find your own favorite place. There are a few Rental places in town, where, you can rent a Golf Cart to cruise up and down the beach. If you haven’t been to Port Aransas before you may be surprised to find that the Beach is a Legal roadway. Importantly, Some parts are not accessible by vehicle to allow a safe place for children to play.
Water Sports are also popular, So, there are places where you can hire Jet Ski’s, Kayaks and Surf Boards. Lessons for Surfing and Kite Boarding can also be found
Hundreds of Dolphins make their home in the waters around Port Aransas, consequently, tours are offered so that you can see them up close. It’s very common to have a dolphin surface a few feet from where you are Swimming or Fishing, but, there is nothing quite like being out on the open water and seeing them swim and play.
Port Aransas has a Calendar of events that has something for everyone. With, Open air Jazz concerts in the park, a spectacular 4th July Fireworks display also in Roberts Point Park. The Harvest Moon Regatta sails into town in October. The Whooping Crane Festival ,and, many other birding events take place over the year. And of course who could forget TEXAS SANDFEST, where, the beach is full of masterful sand sculptures from world famous artists, and, also some pretty good amateur ones too.
All this and much much more. To find out just how much more take a look at the Calendar of Events hosted by the Chamber of Commerce.
Port Aransas has its very own Community Theater (PACT) , which, has a busy schedule of performances to keep your evenings occupied. For the art lovers the Island has several Art Galleries. Here, you can view and purchase examples of fine art from many artists, most, local to the area. The Arts Center For the Island showcases more art and also provides classes at various times. If you are interested in Port Aransas history then check out the History Museum
No trip to Port Aransas would be complete without a tour of the wide and varied shops in town. Whether its a gift for the people back home , or, you just want to treat yourself you are sure to find what you want. From, unique clothing and accessories at Stephanie's Stuff , to, every Port Aransas Souvenir you could think of at one of the many gift stores in town. Take a look at the SHOP page for more ideas.
Experts believe the islands along the Texas coast began life as a submerged sand bars about 4,500 years ago. The island was first called Wild Horse Island, then Mustang because of the wild horses called "Mestenos", brought to the island by the Spaniards in the 1800's. The first known human occupants of the island were the Karankawas Indians.
Spanish explorer Cabeza de Vaca was probably the first European to meet the Karankawas in 1528. Jean La Fitte and his band of buccaneers spent a lot of time on neighboring islands as well as Mustang Island in the 1820's. Legend has it that somewhere on the island is a Spanish dagger with a silver spike driven through the hilt marking the spot where La Fitte buried a chest of gold and jewels.
As the still natural pass attracted more and more commerce and updated charts were needed, there appeared an 1833 map which noted the location of what would become Port Aransas, but was then called Sand Point. The pass was given the name Aranzazu, which later became Aransas.
During the 1846-48 Mexican War, a small fort was built on Mustang Island to guard the entrance to Aransas Bay. It was used until after the Civil War. In the 1850's regular steamship service ran between Mustang Island and New Orleans. The first deep draught steamship went through the Pass in 1859.
Mercer Docks was destroyed during the 1875 Storm, thus ending the service. The town of Mustang Island was called Ropesville by the early 1890's but changed its name to Tarpon by 1899 because of the large numbers of the fish being caught in its waters. The population at that time was about 250.
Citizens began calling their town Port Aransas about 1910. The storm of 1919 virtually wiped out the town except for a few structures. At the turn of the century, the village was doing big business in sea turtle export with some catches weighing up to 500 pounds. They were shipped live, on their backs, to market.
It is estimated that some 600+ species of saltwater fish inhabit the waters off the islands.
For additional Port Aransas Info and an overview of Port Aransas / Mustang Island, visit the newly renovated foyer located in City Hall at 710 W. Avenue A and Cutoff Road and the University of Texas Marine Science Institute Visitor Center located on Cotter Avenue at the beach.
Beachcomber Vacation Rentals offer many quality vacation rental properties in the Port Aransas area, if it's a Condo, House or Villa you are looking for Beachcomber Vacation Rentals can help you find your perfect place to Stay in Port A .
Port Aransas is located on the Northern tip of Mustang Island on the beautiful Texas Gulf Coast. Affectionately known as 'Port A' it is the perfect location for your next Vacation. Once a sleepy fishing town Port Aransas has grown into a vibrant and colorful favorite destination for thousands of visitors each year but still manages to retain the charm and friendliness that made it famous the world over.
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