portavisitorsguide

Things to do in Port A

Fishing is probably No. 1 on any visitor’s Top 10 list of things to do in Port Aransas.

Fishing is probably No. 1 on any visitor’s Top 10 list of things to do in Port Aransas.

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 24.)

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., (361) 749-5448, 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. Fullservice marina. Take the Jetty Boat to San Jose Island.

Winter Texans seldom lack for something to entertain them.Various card games are always a go-to source of fun.

Winter Texans seldom lack for something to entertain them.Various card games are always a go-to source of fun.

Island Moorings Marina, 3500 Island Moorings Parkway, (361) 749- 4100, www.islandmoorings.com. Hurricane Harvey caused extensive damage, and repairs are underway to facilities. Private boat ramp is available during open hours. Located next to the Mustang Beach Airport and across the bay from Corpus Christi, only minutes from deepwater fishing. Dredging for the marina basin and Piper Channel has been completed. Fuel station and pump-out station should be running by the end of 2018. Construction of new floating dock system continues, with plans for opening by early 2019. Ship store with restrooms should be completed by spring 2019. Open daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Port Aransas Boatmen, Inc., city marina. www.paboatmen.org. This is a non-profit 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.

Mahjong is a popular past-time year round, but especiallly in winter.

Mahjong is a popular past-time year round, but especiallly in winter.

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 47.)

On your own

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.

Tours of the Chapel on the Dunes are offered by the Port Aransas Preservation and Historical Association twice a month.

Tours of the Chapel on the Dunes are offered by the Port Aransas Preservation and Historical Association twice a month.

The Ancel Brundrett (Station Street) Pier, Charlie’s Pasture Pier on Port 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.

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.

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.

A crisp, sunny winter day is perfect for a fire on the beach.

A crisp, sunny winter day is perfect for a fire on the beach.

By boat, any angler can fish the Gulf or bays. Exercise customary safety precautions and use charts available at many locations. Some 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.

Birdwatching

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 downed trees throughout the birding center and severely damaged the boardwalks, which have not been repaired and are not accessible. The birding center is open with limited access. The debris from Harvey and the damaged boardwalk have been removed. Field guides and birding books are available at the South Jetty Gift Shop. (See story Page 11.)

The art is the highlight of First Fridays at the Port Aransas Art Center when the month-long exhibits open, but the impromptu entertainment on the side can be a lot of fun, too.

The art is the highlight of First Fridays at the Port Aransas Art Center when the month-long exhibits open, but the impromptu entertainment on the side can be a lot of fun, too.

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 11.)

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. The boardwalk is fully-restored. The invasive trees at this site have been removed and new native plants and trees have been planted. (See story Page 11.)

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.

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 40.)

Fido is always welcome on strolls on the beach, or anywhere else in town, as long as he’s on a leash.

Fido is always welcome on strolls on the beach, or anywhere else in town, as long as he’s on a leash.

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 48.)

ScieSncceie&nNcaetur&e 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 41.)

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.

The beach is just one big workout room -- with better views.

The beach is just one big workout room — with better views.

Port Aransas Nature Preserve at Charlie’s Pasture, located on Port Street. The 1,200-acre preserve lies on land in an area long known as Charlie’s Pasture. Most of the nature preserve is off-limits due to the damage caused by Hurricane Harvey.The hurricane destroyed the boardwalks in the preserve. People may walk the trails that lead from the Port Aransas Community Park to the preserve’s pavilion. They may not go any further because the rest of the preserve is closed. Port Street is open, however damage from Hurricane Harvey along the bulkheads has not been repaired. Those who drive, walk or fish along Port Street and the bulkheads along the ship channel are warned to proceed at their own risk. (See story Page 28.)

With backs to the water, this group enjoys a winter sunset on the beach with their four-legged friends.

With backs to the water, this group enjoys a winter sunset on the beach with their four-legged friends.

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 51 and ad Page 53.)

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 32.)

Farley Boat Works, 716 Ave. C, portaransasmuseum.org click on Farley Boat Works. Open Tuesday – Saturday, 8:30 a.m.-noon, 1-5 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. See weekly issues of the South Jetty for information about events and classes at the boat works. (See story Page 47, ad Page 69.)

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 35.)

Texas Surf Camps, (361) 749- 6956 www.texassurfcamps.com. Surf camps and classes, yearround 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.

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 Saturday and Sunday by reservation only until the water gets too cold, 9 a.m. to dark.

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),440W.Cotter Ave., reddragonpiratecruises.com. Pirate ship cruises daily at Deep Sea Headquarters. Interactive two-hour inshore cruises aboard the Red Dragon. Trips seven days a week. Private charters/entertainment cruises/ birthday packages. Call for information and reservations. (See ad Page 24.)

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 24.)

Beach Activities

Beach Walks, free guided walks the fourth Friday of each month at 9 a.m. meet at the green flag next to the Horace Caldwell Pier. Port Aransas resident Lisa Ansley leads the informative walks along the shoreline looking for beach finds. (See story Page 43.)

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, 600 Cut-off Road, Suite 8, 749-4190, www.facebook.com/Fly-It-Port- A-Kite-Shop. Kites, windsocks, beach games and more. (See ad Page 8.)

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.

Sand sculpture lessons, by Build a Better Sand Castle. Call Mark Landrum, (361) 290-0414, www.sandrum.com. One-onone, group lessons, family plans. (See ad Page 4.)

Golf

Palmilla Beach Golf Club on State Highway 361, south of BeachAccess Road 1A.749-4653, www.palmillabeachgolfclub. com. Closed for repairs due to damage by Hurricane Harvey. Re-opening TBA. (See story Page 34.)

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) 813- 2707. (See story Page 33.) Also, many of the condominiums have tennis courts for use by their guests.

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. Check weekly issues of the South Jetty for events. (See story Page 8, 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. A 501(c)(3) organization that focuses on litter reduction, beautification, environmental education and community improvement.

Parrot Heads of Port Aransas (PHoPA) www.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 the second Tuesday of each month 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 51, ad Page 53.) 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 irregularly 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 a later date. Meetings 10:30 a.m., the third Wednesday of every month at Trinity-by-the- Sea Episcopal Church, 433Trojan 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 the second Thursday of each month at 7 a.m. at the Island Cafe, 301 S.Alister St.

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 45, ad Page 45.)

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 60.)

Fire It! Ceramics,616 S.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 22.)

Mustang Island Gallery, 2222 State Highway 361, 749-2200, mustangislandartgallery.com. Original art by nationally and internationally known artists – oil paintings, watercolors and sculptures. Open Thursday- Monday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Port A Glass Studio and Art Gallery, 600 Cut-Off Road, Suite 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. Open Wednesday- Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.; closed Monday and Tuesday.

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 is heated and 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. Lap swim, open swim, swim lessons, water exercise, water aquasize and deep-water aerobics classes. See the Island Agenda on Page 2A in weekly issues of the South Jetty for swim times and special events. (See story Page 16.)

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.

Balinese Wellness Spa, 121 Cut-off Road, (361) 749- 0003, www.balinesespaporta.com. Morning and evening yoga classes.

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 and exercise equipment for a full body workout. Call for information about class times.

Yoga on the Beach, 749-4158, held second Saturday of the month. Free, 8:30 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 51.)

Tootling Around

Alister Street Carts, 614 N. Alister St., (361) 749-2569, alisterstreetcarts.com. (See ad Page 43.)

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 Page 9.)

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

Coastal Ed’s, 600 Cut-off Road, Suite 6; 749-7001, www.coastaleds.com.

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

Jackfish Cart Rentals, 3411 11th St. (361) (361) 459-2900, portaransasgolfcarts.com. (See ad Page 24.)

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 ads Pages 37, 40.)

Sly Customs, 215 E. Ave. G., (833) RIDESLY (743-3759), slycustoms.com. (See ad Page 23.)

Silver Sands Golf Cart Rentals, 307 Sea Isle Drive, (361) 749-CART (2278), silversandsgolfcarts.com/golfcart rentals.

Top Deck Golf Carts, 3423 11th Street, (361) 217-0703, www.topdeckgolfcarts.com.

Theater

Port Aransas Community Theatre (PACT) 2327 State Highway 361, (361) 749-6036, portaransascommunitytheatre.com. A 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization of volunteer actors, producers, directors, stagehands, etc. who present productions year-round. The theater has been restored from the damage from Hurricane Harvey and reopened in September. Watch

issues of the South Jetty for information about productions and events at the theater. (See story Page 20, Ad Page 11.)

Aerial Tours

Aero-Copters, 130 Piper Blvd. (361) 360-1955, aero-copterscom. myshopify.com. Helicopter tours of Port Aransas 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, Corpus Christi International Airport and McCampbell-Porter Airport in Aransas Pass.

Sky Diving

Sky Dive South Texas, 139 Piper Blvd. (361) 945-JUMP (5867), skydivesouthtexas.com. Sky dive Mustang Island.Training and tandem dives by reservation.

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