2017-09-01 / Things to Do

Things to do in Port A

Fall is an ideal time to catch some well-formed waves. Fall is an ideal time to catch some well-formed waves. 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., 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., 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. Full-service marina. Take the Jetty Boat to San Jose Island. (See ad Page 87.)

Sailboats arriving from Galveston during the annual Harvest Moon Regatta are quite a sight. Look for them to arrive this year on Oct. 6. Sailboats arriving from Galveston during the annual Harvest Moon Regatta are quite a sight. Look for them to arrive this year on Oct. 6. Island Moorings Marina, 3500 Island Moorings Parkway, (888) 749-9030. www.islandmoorings.com. Marina with state-of-the-art concrete floating dock system, private boat ramp,ship’s store,swimming pool, bathhouse and laundromat. Located across the bay from Corpus Christi in Port Aransas, only minutes from deep-water fishing. Stock up with fuel, beer, wine, ice, bait, tackle and more at the ship store.

These anglers fired up the grill in anticipation of the catch of the day. These anglers fired up the grill in anticipation of the catch of the day. 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.

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 70.)

On your own

The Gulf of Mexico stays plenty warm for boogie boarders to take to the water in the fall. The Gulf of Mexico stays plenty warm for boogie boarders to take to the water in the fall. 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.

Ancel Brundrett (Station Street) Pier, at the north end of Station Street. Cast out into the Corpus Christi Ship Channel for redfish, trout, mackerel, sheepshead and flounder. Free, restrooms. Please don’t litter.

Kite surfers have plenty work with between the winds and waves of Port Aransas. Kite surfers have plenty work with between the winds and waves of Port Aransas. Charlie’s Pasture Pier, at the end of Port Street on a spot of land locally referred to as “Charlie’s Pasture.” Fish the ship channel for reds, trout, drum, flounder. Free, no amenities. Please take your trash with you; don’t litter.

Horace Caldwell Pier, on the beach at the end of Beach Street. Fee per person and per rod. Catch trout under the lights as well as, redfish, whiting, pompano, blacktip shark, black drum and more. Restroom facilities.

J.P. Luby Pier, at Roberts Point Park. Fish the Corpus Christi Ship Channel for drum, redfish, sheepshead, croaker, flounder and more depending on the season. Free. Restroom facilities. Please don’t liter.

Surfers find that waves in the fall months are excellent. Surfers find that waves in the fall months are excellent. 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

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. 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.)

This family took advantage of a colorful beach umbrellas to take a portrait of their vacation fun. This family took advantage of a colorful beach umbrellas to take a portrait of their vacation fun. Birding on the Boardwalk, guided nature tour every Wednesday at the Leonabelle Turnbull Birding Center, 9 a.m. Call 749-4158 by 8:30 a.m. if weather is questionable. Free. (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. (See story Page 25.)

Wetland Park, about onequarter mile south of Avenue G on State Highway 361, across from the U.S. Post Office. The wheelchair-accessible boardwalk and observation gazebo overlook a large, shallow wetland basin habitat for waterfowl and shorebirds. The park is part of the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail. (See story Page 25.)

This young man caught a big wave on his boogie board. This young man caught a big wave on his boogie board. The south jetty/ I.B. Magee Beach Park, located on the northern-most part of Mustang Island. Excellent viewing area for observing all variety of sea and shore birds (See story Page 25.)

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 9.)

Science& Nature& Nature

Parasailing is one of many fun waterfront activities in Port Aransas, and can be enjoyed pretty much year round since getting in the water isn’t necessary. Parasailing is one of many fun waterfront activities in Port Aransas, and can be enjoyed pretty much year round since getting in the water isn’t necessary. University of Texas Marine Science Institute Marine Science Education Center, is located at 855 E. Cotter Ave., near the beach. Free self-guided tours of exhibits including aquaria with Texas coastal species and habitats, photos and research projects past and present. Also located inside the education center is the kid-friendly Estuary Explorium, which provides visitors with a unique opportunity to learn about the local estuaries. Open Monday- Friday, 8 a.m.–5 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. and Sunday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. The Ocean Emporium Gift Shop also is inside the center. (See story Page 26.)

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. Stroll the boardwalk to observe migratory waterfowl and resident marsh birds. Interior boardwalks with access limited to guided tour groups. Free-guided tours are held on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10 a.m. Private tours for groups of 10 or more available by calling Nicole Pringle at (361) 749-3153 or npringle@austin. utexas.edu. (See story Page 54.)

A steady Gulf breeze will keep this sail aloft, whether fall, winter, spring or summer. A steady Gulf breeze will keep this sail aloft, whether fall, winter, spring or summer. 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. Covered seating sites along the trails provide birders with good viewing areas. A viewing tower overlooks the wetland areas around Salt Island. There are more than two miles of hike and bike trails on a boardwalk leading visitors over algal flats and on granite trails along the uplands. Restrooms are at the entrance. (See story Page 53.)


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 63 and ad Page 64.) 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 58.) Farley Boat Works, 716 Ave. C, Frank Coletta, manager, (210) 218-9961, portaransasmuseum.org click on Farley Boat Works. Open Tuesday- Saturday, 8:30 a.m.-5 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 59, ad Page 66.)


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, group events and parties.

Boating & Tours

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. (See ad Page 87.)

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.

Jet Boat Port A, 136 W. Cotter Ave., at Woody’s Sports Center, 749-6969, www.jetboatporta.com. View dolphins and wildlife on the ultimate boat ride experience. Up to 25 passengers on a turbocharged jet boat.

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.)

Port A Jet Ski Rentals, 136 W. Cotter Ave., at Woody’s Sports Center, 749-5440, www.neptunecharters.com. Open seven days a week, 9 a.m. to dusk, weather permitting. Three-seater Yamaha Jet Skis with 1,100 cc.

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.)

Stray Cat Sailing Adventures, at Island Moorings Marina, (361) 416-0054, www.facebook.com/Stray-Cat-Sailing- Adventures. Private charters. Sunset cruises, dolphin and bird watching, party cruises, pet friendly BYOB.

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.

Fly It Port A! Kite Shop, 405 Cut-Off Road, 749-4190, www.facebook.com/Fly-It-Port- A-Kite-Shop. Kites, windsocks and more of every description. (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.

Island Surf Rentals, 124 E. Ave. G, 749-0822, www.islandsurfrentals.com. Golf carts, scooters, kayaks, surfboards, beach bikes.

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 12.)


Palmilla Beach Golf Club on State Highway 361, south of Beach Access Road 1A.749-4653, www.palmillabeachgolfclub.com. 18 hole, links-style, par 71, Arnold Palmer signature course. Open to the public. (See story Page 56.)


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 49.) Also, many of the condominiums have tennis courts for use by their guests.

Service Clubs

Animal Friends of Port Aransas (AFPA), animalfriendsofportaransas.org. Meets the second Monday of every month, 5:30 p.m., at Holiday Inn Express 727 S. 11th St. 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 11, Ad Page 9.)

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. Meets last Tuesday of every month, August through May, 6 p.m., at the Ellis Memorial Public Library.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.

Port Aransas 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 63, ad Page 64.)

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. Meets at noon on Thursdays, Conference room at Alister Square Inn, 122 S. Alister St. See weekly editions of the South Jetty for reports on programs and upcoming speakers.

VFW Post 8967, 311 N. Alister St., (361) 749-6534. Meetings 11 a.m., the third Wednesday of every month. Auxiliary to the VFW Post 8967, meetings 11 a.m. third Tuesday of every month.

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


Port Aransas Community Theatre (PACT) 2327 State Highway 361, (361) 749-6036, portaransascommunitytheatre.com. A nonprofit group of volunteer actors, producers, directors, stagehands, etc. who present productions year-round. Watch issues of the South Jetty for current information on productions and activities at the PACT. (See story Page 21.)


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 57, Ad Page 57.)

A Mano, 1726 State Highway 361, 749-1828, amano-mexico.com. Folk art and handmade art from colonial Mexico. Talavera ceramics. (See ad Page 21.)

Chilla’s, 2119 State Hwy 361, (361) 749-2653, www.chillasporta.com. Handmade jewelry, metal art, talavera ceramics and more. (See ad Page 2.)

Coffee Waves Art, 1007 State Highway 361, 749-0825, www.coffeewaves.com. Rotating exhibits of various artists and mediums. (See ad Page 79.)

Donna Van Baalen Studio, 303 N. Station St., 749-7012, www.dvanbaalenart.com. Working studio, paintings in oil of all sizes and subjects.

Fire It! Ceramics, 210 N. Alister St., 749-7967, fireitceramics.com. Paint it yourself ceramic studio where you can pick a piece, pick a paint and get creative. (See ad Page 30.)

Island Made Art Studio, 345 N. Alister St., suite F1, (512) 619-5259, www.islandmadeart.com. A working artists’ studio with art in a variety of mediums. Open Wednesday through Saturday, 1 to 5 p.m.

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

Port A Glass Studio and Art Gallery, 600 Cut-Off Road #7, 749-MELT (6358), www.portaglass.com. Working glass studio: Dichroic glass, acrylic glass, jewelry, handmade artwork and adult and children’s classes.

Potters on Cotter 413 E. Cotter Ave. St., 749- 7712, www.facebook.com/PottersOnCotter. Studio and gallery; local photography; handcrafted wheel-thrown stoneware pottery; raku and more. (See ad Page 57.)

ROAM, 403 N. Alister St., (361) 215-0006, www.facebook.com/roamportaransas. A collection of fashion, art, decor, Texas treasures, French delicacies and vintage collectibles. Second location at 116 E.White St.- Roam Home.

Saltwater Gypsies, 345 N. Alister, Suite E2, (936) 443- 6836, www.thesaltwatergypsies.com. Locally made handcrafted jewelry, stationary and more. (See ad Page 46.)


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 76.)

Aerobics (low impact) classes, 113 N. Alister St. Call 749-5319 for updates. Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings, at the Pollock Center, behind Community Presbyterian Church.Times subject to change.

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.

Fitness Classes, High Intensity Interval Training: Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 6:30 a.m. Low Impact: Monday and Wednesday at 5:15 p.m. Tone and Shape with Weights: Tuesday and Thursday at 5:30 p.m. Personal trainer Karen Decker, (361) 800- 1759, leads the classes for all ages and fitness levels. $3 per session, $30 for 15 sessions. At Port Aransas High School, 100 S. Station St. Sponsored by the City of Port Aransas Parks and Recreation Department, 749- 4158.

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 48.)

Tooling Around

Alister Street Carts, 614 N. Alister St., (361) 749-2569, alisterstreetcarts.com. (See ad Page 72.)

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

Big Shell Bike Shop, (361) 445-7001, www.bigshellbikes.com. 237 N. Station St. on Camp Coyoacan property.

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

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

Coastal Ed’s, 513 N. Alister St., (361) 749-7001, www.coastaleds.com. (See ad Pages 44, 45.)

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

Island Surf Rentals, 124 E. Ave G, (361) 749-0822, www.islandsurfrentals.com.

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

Kaz’s Island Rentals, 521 W.Ave. G, (817) 456-4570, www.facebook.com/Kazsislandrentals.

Paradise Cart Rentals, 428 S. Alister St., (361) 749-3003, www.paradisecartrental.com. (See ad Page 36.)

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

Texas Red Golf Carts & More, 311 Sea Isle Dr., (361) 749-5400, www.texasredgolfcarts.com.

The Saltwater Line, 2131 State Highway 361, (361) 749- 0070.

Top Deck Golf Cars, 3423 11th St., (361) 217-0703, www.topdeckgolfcars.com.

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. 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, Corpus Christi International Airport and McCampbell-Porter Airport in Aransas Pass. (See ad Page 50.)

Return to top