2018-03-01 / Things to Do

Things to do in Port A


The skate park at the Port Aransas Community Park draws skaters from around the Coastal Bend. The skate park at the Port Aransas Community Park draws skaters from around the Coastal Bend. Fishing/Charters

Deep Sea Headquarters, 416 W. Cotter Ave., 749-5597. www.deepseaheadquarters.com. Three party boats with concessions are available for group fishing and private offshore fishing trips. Guides available for bay fishing charters. Reserve private charters in advance. Tackle and bait provided. Bring food and drink on private charters. (See ad Page 23.)

Dolphin Dock, 300 W. Cotter Ave., 749-4188, 1-800-EYE-FISH (393-3474.) dolphindocks.com. Bay fishing, state waters and deep sea trips with four to 80-hour trips available. Four boats in fleet. Private charters aboard the Dolphin for one to 15. Bait, ice and tackle provided. Ask about food and drink availability.

Fisherman’s Wharf, 900 N. Tarpon St., 749-5448, 1-800-605-5448, www.fishermanswharfporta.com. Two party boats take anglers fishing for four, six, eight, 12- hour and extended trips. Private charters available for bay, jetties or offshore with bait, ice and tackle provided. Concessions available. Take the Jetty Boat to San Jose Island.


Beachcombing is free and open to the public 24/7. Beachcombing is free and open to the public 24/7. Island Moorings Marina, 3500 Island Moorings Parkway, (361) 749-4100, www.islandmoorings.com. Marina with state-of-the-art concrete floating dock system, private boat ramp, ship store, swimming pool, and new restaurant on site. Located across the bay from Corpus Christi in Port Aransas, only minutes from deep-water fishing. Stock up with fuel, beer, snacks, sodas, bait, tackle, and more at the ship store.”

Port Aransas Boatmen, Inc., city marina. www. paboatmen.org. This is a nonprofit organization of charter boat owners and operators who rent dock space at the city marina. Guides offer offshore and bay fishing, dolphin and nature tours and hunting trips. Just walk the dock, check out the boats and talk to the captains that happen to be on the dock or call them at the telephone numbers posted on their boats.


Beach volleyball is a big draw for spring visitors. It’s BYOE (Bring your own equipment.) Beach volleyball is a big draw for spring visitors. It’s BYOE (Bring your own equipment.) Woody’s Sports Center, 114 W. Cotter Ave., 749-5252. woodys-pa.com. Complete fishing guide service, charters for private fishing trips, either bay or Gulf fishing. Bay fishing aboard the Island Queen II, 749- 6969. Bait, tackle, ice provided. Bring food and drink. (See ad Page 64.)

On your own


Windsurfers can usually count on a stiff Gulf breeze to power their sport. Windsurfers can usually count on a stiff Gulf breeze to power their sport. South/north jetties, marking the entrance to the Aransas Pass and Corpus Christi Ship Channel, these granite jetties provide ample room for anglers to set up for a day of fishing. The south jetty is accessible by car from the beach. Take the Jetty Boat from Fisherman’s Wharf to get to the north jetty where there are no amenities — you’re on your own. Bring your trash back with you and deposit in a trashcan at the jetty boat dock or at Fisherman’s Wharf.

The Ancel Brundrett (Station Street) Pier, Charlie’s Pasture Pier, Horace Caldwell Pier, on the beach at the end of Beach Street and the J.P. Luby Pier, at Roberts Point Park were all damaged by Hurricane Harvey and are closed. No timeline for repairs has been announced.


The Community Park swimming pool is a great place to chill out. The Community Park swimming pool is a great place to chill out. Surf fishing presents itself on all of Mustang Island where it does not interfere with swimmers. Best, least populated areas for fishing without fear of hooking a human are south of from Beach Access Road 1 to the Fish Pass jetties. Trashcans are available at intervals along the beach. Please use them; don’t litter.

By boat, any angler can fish the Gulf or bays. Exercise customary safety precautions and use charts available at many locations. Some fishing and kayak maps are available at the South Jetty Gift Shop, 141 W. Cotter Ave. Keep trash on board and deposit properly when returning to shore.

Bird Watching

Birding Tours, guided bird walk every Saturday at 8 a.m. Meet in the parking lot of the Community Park, 700 Clark Pkwy. Free. (See story Page 25.)


Kayakers find plenty of places to paddle, including around the Horace Caldwell Pier. Kayakers find plenty of places to paddle, including around the Horace Caldwell Pier. Leonabelle Turnbull Birding Center, located at the south end of Ross Avenue. The birding center is one of the stops on the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail. Hurricane Harvey severely damaged the boardwalks and downed trees throughout the birding center. The birding center is open with limited access. A short boardwalk is available.Rebuilding is ongoing, with downed trees being removed and new trees being planted. Brochures listing the birds likely to be seen are available at the Chamber of Commerce and Tourist Bureau. Field guides and birding books are available at the South Jetty Gift Shop. (See story Page 25.)

Joan and Scott Holt Paradise Pond Birding Center, Cut-Off Road, behind San Juan Restaurant. More than 100 species of birds frequent this two-acre habitat. Access has been restored to the birding center since Hurricane Harvey. Brush clearing is ongoing. (See story Page 25.)


Master sandsculptors show off last year’s centerpiece sculpture.The 2018 Texas Sandfest is on the calendar for April 27-29. Master sandsculptors show off last year’s centerpiece sculpture.The 2018 Texas Sandfest is on the calendar for April 27-29. Wetland Park, about onequarter mile south of Avenue G on State Highway 361, across from the U.S. Post Office. It is shallow wetland basin habitat for waterfowl and shorebirds. The park is part of the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail. The site is not open yet, currently repairs from Hurricane Harvey damage are ongoing. The site will re-open as soon as repairs are completed. (See story Page 25.)

The south jetty/ I.B. Magee Beach Park, located on the northern-most part of Mustang Island.The I.B. Magee Beach Park is closed for repairs. Excellent viewing area for observing all variety of sea and shore birds (See story Page 25.)


Shopping abounds in Port Aransas as unique local shops that offer one-of-a-kind items and personal, friendly service. Shopping abounds in Port Aransas as unique local shops that offer one-of-a-kind items and personal, friendly service. Lynn Gavit Marsh Bird Exhibit, Civic Center foyer, 710 W. Ave. A. An exhibit of marsh birds donated in memory of Gavit by his family. Part of Discover Port Aransas exhibits. (See story Page 47.)

Science & Nature

University of Texas Marine Science Institute Marine Science Education Center, is located at 855 E. Cotter Ave., near the beach. The university facilities were damaged by Hurricane Harvey. The Marine Science Education Center is closed and a timeline for repairs to be completed and the facility to reopen is not known. (See story Page 26.)


Watching the various ships that travel through the Corpus Christi Ship Channel and the Aransas Pass by Port Aransas is a favorite form of entertainment for visitors as well as residents. Watching the various ships that travel through the Corpus Christi Ship Channel and the Aransas Pass by Port Aransas is a favorite form of entertainment for visitors as well as residents. Wetlands Education Center (WEC) at the University of Texas Marine Science Institute, 3.5 acres between the Marine Science Education Center and the south jetty. A marsh/sea grass pond with a wildscape of various sea grasses and coastal vegetation. The center was heavily damaged by Hurricane Harvey and no timeline has been given for the repairs to be completed and the facility to reopen.

Port Aransas Nature Preserve at Charlie’s Pasture, located on Port Street. The 1,217-acre preserve lies on land in an area long known as Charlie’s Pasture. The preserve can only be accessed through the Port Aransas Community Park, 700 Clark Parkway. A concrete path leads to the pavilion. Port Street is closed indefinitely due to damage from Hurricane Harvey. The bulkhead along the ship channel was severely damaged and no visitors are allowed in the area. (See story Page 49.)


The south jetty is a hot-spot for anglers who deftly avoid the granite rocks to hook some tasty tablefare. The south jetty is a hot-spot for anglers who deftly avoid the granite rocks to hook some tasty tablefare. Museums

Port Aransas Museum, 101 E. Brundrett St. at Alister St., (361) 749-3800, portaransasmuseum.org. Open Thursday through Saturday, 1 to 5 p.m. Enjoy the collection of historical photographs, videos, artifacts and stories that chronicle the history of our town and its citizens. (See story Page 57 and ad Page 58.) Free tours of the Little Chapel on the Dunes are offered through the museum on the first and third Saturday of each month. Call to reserve a space on the tour. (See story Page 52.)

Farley Boat Works, 716 Ave. C, Frank Coletta, manager, (210) 218-9961, portaransasmuseum.org (click on Farley Boat Works.) Open Tuesday- Saturday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Closed for holidays. The first Farley boat was produced in 1915 especially for Port Aransas tarpon fishing. The Farley Boat Works has been restored and now is a living museum with a functional boat building shop. The boat works celebrated 100 years of wooden boat building in 2015. Join the crew for a Second Saturday party each month. See weekly issues of the South Jetty for information about events and classes at the boat works. (See story Page 53, ad Page 60.)

Surfing

Miles of the Gulf of Mexico await those who want to face the challenge of riding the surf on traditional surfboards or sailboards. Surfboards and boogie boards are available for rent in Port Aransas. A favorite surfing spot for experienced surfers is just south of the Horace Caldwell Pier. (See story Page 39.)

Texas Surf Camps, (361) 749-6956 www.texassurfcamps.com. Summer surf camps and classes, year-round lessons,

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Scenic, sunset, dolphin watch and nature cruises are offered from Fisherman’s Wharf (749-5448), Deep Sea Headquarters (749-5597) and Woody’s Sports Center (749-6969). Call for times, fees and other information.

Jetty Boat, ride to San Jose Island, an uninhabited island accessible only by boat across the Corpus Christi Ship Channel from Port Aransas. Departs from Fisherman’s Wharf, 900 N. Tarpon St., 749- 5448. Fishing, beachcombing. No amenities. Please don’t litter, bring your trash back with you. $12 for adults and $6 for children under 12. Call or visit website for times.

Chute ‘em Up Parasail, 136 W. Cotter Ave., at Woody’s Sports Center, 749-4600, www.chuteemupparasail.com. Parasailing. Take off and land on the back of the boat and never get wet. Observer rides available. Operates daily by reservation only until the water gets too cold, 8 a.m. to dark. (See ad Page 35.)

Mustang Dolphin Watch Nature Tour, 136 W. Cotter Ave., at Woody’s Sports Center, 749-6969, neptunescharters.com.

Pirates of the Lydia Ann, 749-6969, at Woody’s Sports Center. What begins as a dolphin watch tour, ends as a swashbuckling adventure defending the boat against an attempted pirate commandeer. Suitable for all ages. Departs daily, but minimum occupancy required for boat to embark. www.piratesofthelydiaann.com. (See ad Page 8.)

Red Dragon Pirate Cruises, 749-AHOY (2469), 440 W. Cotter Ave., reddragonpiratecruises.com. Pirate ship cruises daily at Deep Sea Headquarters. Interactive two-hour inshore cruises aboard the Red Dragon. Trips daily. Private charters/ entertainment cruises/birthday packages. Call for information and reservations. (See ad Page 23.)

Scarlet Lady Dolphin Adventures, 416 W. Cotter Ave., 749-5597. scarletladydolphincruise.com. Dolphin watch and scenic cruise around the Lydia Ann Channel and Industrial Harbor tour near Ingleside. Two trips daily, seven days a week. Boat holds 50 people. Private charters are available. (See ad Page 23.)

Beach Activities

Board House Surf and Skate Shop, 509 N. Alister St., 749-3100, www.boardhousesurfshop.com. Surfboard rentals. Surfboards and skateboards from traditional to progressive as well as surfing and skating supplies, clothing and more.

Beach Walks, 749-4158. Guided beach walks led by Lisa Ansley to find beach “treasures” the fourth Friday of each month. Meet at the purple flag beside the Horace Caldwell Pier. Wear walking shoes, bring a container for your finds and water to drink. The free walk is sponsored by the City of Port Aransas Parks and Recreation Department. (See story Page 51.)

Fly It Port A! Kite Shop, www.facebook.com/Fly-It-Port- A-Kite-Shop. Hurricane Harvey severely damaged the building and it was torn down. A timeline for the shop to re-open has not been determined. (See ad Page 7.)

Island Motor Bikes, 315 S. Alister St., (361) 655- 5501, islandmotorbikes.com. Motorized bicycles, fat tire bicycles, cruiser bicycles, trikes, kids’ fat tire bikes and freestyle BMX bikes for rent.Also service, repair, parts and sales. (See ad Page 16.)

Port A H2O, 416 Chloes Way, (361) 332-9031, portaransaswatertime.com. Kite boarding, kite surfing, stand up paddle board, surfing, wake surfing rentals and lessons, all ages.

Third Coast Kitesurfing, (361) 563-4640, www.thirdcoastkitesurfing.com. Kite boarding lessons, beginner to advanced.

Sand sculpture lessons, by Build a Better Sand Castle. Call Mark Landrum, (361) 290-0414, www.sandrum.com. One-onone, group lessons, family plan. (See ad Page 7.)

Golf

Palmilla Beach Golf Club on State Highway 361, south of BeachAccess Road 1A.749-4653, www.palmillabeachgolfclub.com. 18 hole, links-style, par 71, Arnold Palmer signature course. Open to the public. (See story Page 50.)

Tennis

Port Aransas Tennis Association welcomes tennis buffs age 18 and older to join them just for fun at 7:30 a.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday and at 7 p.m. Monday and Wednesday at the Port Aransas High School tennis courts on Station Street. Free. See South Jetty for updates. For more information, call (361) 749-4861. (See story Page 47.)

Service Clubs

Animal Friends of Port Aransas (AFPA), animalfriendsofportaransas.org. A nonprofit 501(c) (3) organization dedicated to providing care, humane treatment and re-homing for Port Aransas rescue animals.

Chamber of Commerce and Tourist Bureau, 403 W. Cotter Ave., 749-5919, www.portaransas.org. Open to public. Check weekly issues of the South Jetty for events. (See story Page 8.)

Friends of the ARK friendsoftheark.org. A nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting the Amos Rehabilitation Keep (ARK) in Port Aransas by providing education, volunteers and funding.

Keep Port Aransas Beautiful (KPAB) www.kpab.org. A 501(c)(3) organization that focuses on litter reduction, beautification, environmental education and community improvement.

Parrot Heads of Port Aransas (PHoPA) portaransasparrotheads.com. Meets monthly to socialize and plan activities to help community with environmental and social programs. 749-5141.

Port Aransas Education Foundation (PAEF) paisdfoundation.org. A local non-profit entity established to provide funds in the form of grants for educational materials, events, and training not traditionally funded by school budgets. 749-7126.

Port Aransas Garden Club (PAGC) www.portaransasgardenclub.org. Meets monthly at 10 a.m. at the Community Center. A 501(c) (3) organization founded in 1964 to encourage interest in the beautification of the city. See weekly issues of the South Jetty for information on the scheduled events.

PortAransas Preservation and Historical Association (PAPHA) 749-3800, www.portaransasmuseum.org. A 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to promoting citizen interest and participation in the appreciation and preservation of Port Aransas’ history, environment and ambiance. Check weekly issues of the South Jetty for information about events. (See story Page 57, ad Page 58.)

Port Aransas Police Foundation (PAPF) portapf.org. A 501(c)(3) organization created to support the Port Aransas Police Department by providing support for efforts that enhance police/ community relations, crime prevention, and public safety through grant funding for specialized equipment, training, and cooperative community programs.

Rotary Club, rotaryporta.com. Meeting irregulary at noon on Thursdays, Conference room at Alister Square Inn, 122 S. Alister St. See weekly editions of the South Jetty for information on meeting dates.

VFW Post 8967, 311 N. Alister St., (361) 749-6534. The post was severely damaged by Hurricane Harvey and the rebuilding will not be completed until sometime in the summer. Meetings 10:30 a.m., the third Wednesday of every month at Trinity-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church, 433 Trojan Ave. Auxiliary to the VFW Post 8967, meetings 11 a.m. third Tuesday of every month. at locations to be announced.

Youth Development Foundation of Port Aransas, Meets at noon every Wednesday at Stingrays Taphouse and Grill, 401 Beach St.

Theatre

Port Aransas Community Theatre (PACT) 2327 State Highway 361, (361) 749-6036, portaransascommunitytheatre.com. Hurricane Harvey caused extensive damage to the facility. Productions are forecasted to resume in June 2018.

Art

Port Aransas Art Center, 104 N. Alister St., 749-7334, www.portaransasartcenter.org. Nonprofit art center of Mustang and Padre islands. Gallery with art exhibits, working studio, classroom and gift shop. First Friday artist receptions held monthly. See South Jetty newspaper for current information. (See story Page 51, Ad Page 51.)

Mustang Island Gallery, 2222 State Highway 361, 749- 2200, mustangislandartgallery.com. Original art by nationally and internationally known artists - oil paintings, watercolors and sculptures.

Swim/Fitness

Port Aransas Community Park, 700 Clark Parkway, 749- 2416. Heated public swimming pool, fitness trail, skate park, lighted Senior League ball field and lighted Little League field, sport court and bird watching area. Pool open daily except Monday. Park admission is free, pool admission is free for children under age 2, $1 for 2 to 18, $2 for those age 19 to 59 and $1 for seniors 60 and older. Swim lessons, water exercise, water aquasize and deep-water aerobics classes, $2 each visit. Check issues of the South Jetty for swim times and special events. (See story Page 16.)

Balinese Wellness Spa, 121 Cut-Off Road, 749-0003. Yoga. www.balinesespaporta.com.

Beach Street Fitness, 401 Beach St. (next to Stingrays Taphouse and Grill.) www.facebook.com/beachstfitness. Strength and conditioning classes Monday through Saturday, personal training. Membership is $75 a month, $15 drop in fee.

Fit By Choice, (361) 438-2693, group classes in yoga and strength. Personal training by appointment. www.portafitbychoice.com for schedule.

Karen Decker Fitness at Christensen Center for Health and Wellness, 320 W. Ave. G, (361) 800-1759, www.karendecker.com. Fitness classes for all levels. Weights, exercise equipment. Classes Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 6:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, drop in or call for reservation. (See ad Page 39.)

Yoga on the Beach, 749- 4158, held second Saturday of the month. Free, 8 a.m. next to Horace Caldwell Pier at the end of Beach Street. Sponsored by the City of Port Aransas Parks and Recreation Department. (See story Page 46.)

Tootling Around

Alister Street Carts, 614 N. Alister St., (361) 749-2569, alisterstreetcarts.com. (See ad Page 36.)

Ash Cart Rental, 2700 S. 11 St., (361) 244-1020, www.ashcartrental.com.

Big Shell Bike Shop, (361) 445-7001, www.bigshellbikes.com.

Bron’s Beach Carts, 314 E. Ave. G, (361) 290-7143, bronsbeachcarts.com. (See ad Pages24-25.)

Cars & Carts, 325 E. Ave G, (361) 749-1655, www.carsandcarts.com.

Coastal Ed’s, 1023 State Highway 361, Suite C #129, 749- 7001, www.coastaleds.com.

Island Motor Bikes, 315 S. Alister St., (361) 655-5501, islandmotorbikes.com. (See ad Page 16.)

Jackfish Cart Rentals, 3411 11th St. (361) (361) 459- 2900, portaransasgolfcarts.com. (See ad Page 23.)

Kaz’s Island Rentals, (817) 456-4570, www.facebook.com/ Kazsislandrentals.

Paradise Cart Rentals, 428 S. Alister St., (361) 749-3003, www.paradisecartrental.com.

Port A Beach Buggies, 307 W. Ave. G/Cut Off Road, (361) 749-2066, www.portabeachbuggies.com. (See ad Pages 40-41.)

Sky Diving

Sky Dive South Texas, Hanger #1 Piper Blvd. (361) 945-JUMP (5867), www.skydivesouthtexas.com. Sky dive Mustang Island.Training and tandem dives by reservation.

Aerial Tours

Aero-Copters, 130 Piper Blvd. (361) 360-1955, aerocoptersinc.com. Helicopter tours of Port Aransas. Tours range from $40 to $180 a seat. Charter flights available.

Texan Warbird Adventures, (844) 359-7654. www.texanwarbirdadventures.com. Fly the Coastal Bend in a vintage Warbird. Take a ride in a SNJ-4 “Texan.” Flights take off from Mustang Beach Airport and McCampbell-Porter Airport in Aransas Pass. (See ad Page 15.)

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