portavisitorsguide

Things to do in Port A

These folks came back with nice stringers of fish.

These folks came back with nice stringers of fish.

Fishing/Charter

Deep Sea Headquarters, 416 W. Cotter Ave., (361) 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.Take the Jetty Boat to San Jose Island.The original building was damaged by Hurricane Harvey and has been torn down. A new building is being constructed; business is operating in temporary quarters at the location.

These folks are watching the sunset from the bulkheads near the Nature Preserve at Charlie’s Pasture.

These folks are watching the sunset from the bulkheads near the Nature Preserve at Charlie’s Pasture.

Island Moorings Marina, 3500 Island Moorings Parkway, (361) 749-4100, www.islandmoorings.com. Hurricane Harvey caused extensive damage,but repairs to the marina are nearing completion. The new floating docks are now open as the rebuild of additional marina services continues. Slips are available from 30’ to over 100’ and are for both full-time and transient boats. Private boat ramp is open daily for a fee during open hours. Diesel and non-ethanol fuel is available at fuel docks, daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Phoenix Restaurant is open on site for dinner, Wednesday through Sunday. The new ship store, grounds and pump-out station should be operational later this year. Island Moorings Marina is located across the bay from Corpus Christi in Port Aransas, minutes from deepwater fishing. Open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

A stand up paddle boarder enjoys the surf in winter 2018.

A stand up paddle boarder enjoys the surf in winter 2018.

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.

Woody’s Sports Center, 114 W. Cotter Ave., (361) 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, (361) 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.

A group of folks from the University ofTexas Marine Science Institute brought holiday spirit to Port Aransans by singing Christmas carols while traveling around town on a trailer in December 2018.

A group of folks from the University ofTexas Marine Science Institute brought holiday spirit to Port Aransans by singing Christmas carols while traveling around town on a trailer in December 2018.

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 Beach Access Road 1 to the Fish Pass jetties. Trashcans are available at intervals along the beach. Please use them; don’t litter.

WinterTexans take part in a drawing class, one of the many activities that folks visiting for the winter can take part in.

WinterTexans take part in a drawing class, one of the many activities that folks visiting for the winter can take part in.

By boat, any angler can fish the Gulf or bays. Exercise customary safety precautions and use maps available at many locations. Some kayak/fishing 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. A new 700-foot boardwalk with an observation tower has recently been completed. At the entrance, pollinator gardens and a freshwater drip have been added to attract songbirds near the picnic tables. Field guides and birding books are available at the South Jetty Gift Shop. (See story Page 11.)

A group of Labrador retrievers get to know each other on the beach. Dogs must be walked on a leash per city ordinance.

A group of Labrador retrievers get to know each other on the beach. Dogs must be walked on a leash per city ordinance.

Birding on the Boardwalk, the guided bird tours are back after a hiatus after Hurricane Harvey. Join guides each Wednesday at 9 a.m. at the entrance to the birding center. 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, which includes a permanent freshwater wetland and pond. The boardwalk is fully-restored.The invasive trees at this site have been removed and new native plants and trees continue to be 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. (See story Page 11.)

Beach combing is a popular winter activity.The winter weather is mild enough that a walk along the beach is a pleasant, relaxing activity.

Beach combing is a popular winter activity.The winter weather is mild enough that a walk along the beach is a pleasant, relaxing activity.

The south jetty/ I.B. Magee Beach Jr. 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 11.)

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. It is part of Discover Port Aransas exhibits. (See story Page 48.)

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 41.)

Pickleball is a popular winter activity.

Pickleball is a popular winter activity.

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 re-open.

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. The shaded picnic area near the parking lot at the southern entrance on State Highway 361 is open. Trails are closed at this location. Hurricane Harvey 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.)

The offshore winds make kite flying a popular pastime.

The offshore winds make kite flying a popular pastime.

Guided Nature Walk, Saturdays at 8 a.m. Meet tour guides in the parking lot of the Community Park, 700 Ross Ave., to take a two-hour guided hike through the preserve to see native plants and animals. Free.

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 the 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.)

The gulls are hoping for a handout from these anglers.

The gulls are hoping for a handout from these anglers.

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 between south jetty and the Horace Caldwell Pier. (See story Page 35.)

Texas Surf Camps, (361) 749-6956 www.texassurfcamps.com. 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., (361) 749-5448. Fishing, beachcombing. No amenities. Please don’t litter, bring your trash back with you. $15 for adults and $8 for children under 12. Call or visit website for times.

Chute ‘em Up Parasail, 136 W. Cotter Ave., at Woody’s Sports Center, (361) 749-4600, www.chuteemupparasail.com. Parasailing. Take off and land on the back of the boat and never get wet. Observer rides available. Operates by reservation only, 9 a.m. to dark. Make reservations on the website. Operates through October, or until the weather is too cool.

Mustang Dolphin Watch Nature Tour, 136 W. Cotter Ave., at Woody’s Sports Center, (361)749-6969, neptunescharters.com.

Pirates of the Lydia Ann, (361) 749-6969, at Woody’s Sports Center. www.piratesofthelydiaann.com. 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. Seniors and active military discount. (See ad Page 8.)

Red Dragon Pirate Cruises, (361) 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 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., (361) 749-5597. scarletladydolphincruise.com. Dolphin watch and scenic cruises around the Lydia Ann Channel. Two trips daily. 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 orange windsock 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., (361) 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 W. Ave. G, (361) 749-4190. 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, (361) 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, jet ski rentals, private boat charters for sunset trips and dolphin watching, all ages.

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

Golf

Palmilla Beach Resort and Golf Community, 258 Snapdragon, off State Highway 361, south of Beach Access Road 1A. (361) 749-4653, www.palmillabeachgolfclub.com. Now open with 9-holes of links-style play. Newly added is the “Loop” – a walking-only, three-hole, par-three course, plus a driving range. Open daily. (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.)

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 rescue animals. Also holds free vaccination clinics for Port Aransas pet owners.

Chamber of Commerce and Tourist Bureau, 403 W. Cotter Ave., 749-5919, visitportaransas.com/. 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. (Watch issues of the South Jetty about turtle releases.)

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 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. (See Ad Page 41.)

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 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. Meets the first Thursday of each month at noon in the conference room at Alister Square Inn, 122 S. Alister St.; the third Thursday at 4:30 p.m. for a social hour at locations TBA.

VFW Post 8967, 311 N. Alister St., (361) 749-6534. The post was severely damaged by Hurricane Harvey and torn down. The new building is under construction at the same location. Meetings 10:30 a.m., the third Wednesday of every month at the PAISD Administration building, 100 S. Station St.

Auxiliary to the VFW Post 8967, meetings 11 a.m. third Tuesday of every month at Trinity-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church, 433 Trojan Ave.

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.The YDF is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that supports children’s programs in the Port Aransas ISD, summer camps, scholarships for PAISD graduating seniors. Its mission is to instill community service, volunteerism and provide leadership opportunities for Port Aransas youth.

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. Watch issues of the South Jetty for information about productions and events at the theater. (See story Page 20, Ad Page 55.)

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.)

Fire It! Ceramics, 616 S. Alister St., 749-7967, Paint-ityourself ceramic studio where you can pick a piece, pick a paint and get creative. (See Ad Page 22.)

Port A Glass Studio and Art Gallery, 315 Cut-off Road, (at Tropic Isle RV Resort), 361) 696-5533. 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. 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. Public swimming pool, fitness trail, skate park, lighted Senior League ball field and lighted Little League field, disc golf, play structures, sport court and bird watching area. Pool is open daily except Monday. Park admission is free, pool admission is free for children under age 2, $1 for ages 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.beachstreetfitness.com/. Open Monday through Friday. Strength and conditioning classes, personal training. check website for membership pricing.

Balinese Wellness Spa, 121 Cut-off Road, (361) 749- 0003, www.balinesespaporta.com. Morning yoga classes, Wednesday-Saturday. (See Ad Page 9.)

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 or visit website for information about class times. (See Ad Page 19.)

Yoga on the Beach, (361) 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 23.)

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 13.)

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

Coastal Ed’s, 600 Cut-off Road, Suite 6; (361) 749-7001, www.coastaleds.com.

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

Island Surf Rentals, 124 E. Ave. G, 749-0822.

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

Kaz’s Island Rentals, 521 W.Ave. G, (817) 456-4570.

Life in Paradise, 107 Cutoff Road, (361) 749-7206, www.lifeinparadise.net. (See Ad Page 66.)

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

Peyton’s Beach Carts, 315 Cut-off Road, (361) 800-2183, www.peytonsbeachcarts.com.

Port A Beach Buggies, 307 W. Ave. G/Cut-off Road, (361) 749-2066, www.portabeachbuggies.com. (See Ad Pages 36-37.)

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

Silver Sands Golf Cart Rentals, 307 Sea Isle Drive, (361) 749-CART (2278), silversandsgolfcarts.com/golfcart rentals. (See Ad Page 17.)

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

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

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.

Aerial Tours

Aero-Copters, 130 Piper Blvd. (361) 360-1955, aerocopters com.myshopify.com. Helicopter tours of Port Aransas. Tours range from $25 to $360 a seat. Charter flights available.

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