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When visiting the beaches of Port Aransas, you’ll find that the beaches are wide and fairly flat. For this reason, driving on the beach is allowed in the sandy lane-like areas in front of the dunes.

While driving on the beach won’t cost you a thing, parking on the beach will require a beach parking permit, which is a simple sticker to be placed in the corner of your car’s windshield. These annual permits are valid for the year and can be purchased for only $12.00. Having a beach parking permit will allow you to park legally for “free” on the beach between Marker 0-62.

Annual beach parking permits can be purchased at:

  • Port Aransas Beach Parking Permit |
    Port Aransas City Hall
  • Port Aransas Visitor Center/Chamber of Commerce
  • IGA Family Center (local grocery)
  • Stripes convenience store
  • Other locations around town and on the beach (during peak season)

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Where to park for free at the beach

Free beach parking is allowed between the South Jetty and Horace Caldwell Pier, and also between Beach Markers 52-58.

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Where to camp on the beach

RV and tent camping are permitted on the beach in Port Aransas. However, according to the city, there is a 3-night limit during any 3-week period.

One of the best areas to camp in Port Aransas is at I.B. MaGee Beach Park. Located on the northern most point of Mustang Island in Port Aransas near the South Jetty, I.B. Magee Beach Park consists of 167 acres and is open all year (once they make repairs from Hurricane Harvey from August 2017).

There are campsites with water and electric hookups and a dump station. A fresh water rinse shower located next to the park office. They also have a beach bathhouse with coin operated showers and a first-aid station.

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There are just a few guidelines for the placement of your tent or camper at the beach…

Check the tide

To camp on the beach, you must position your campsite away from the water’s edge… 50 feet, to be exact. You want to fall asleep to the sound of the waves, not be in the actual waves themselves.

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Check your location

To ensure your safety, especially at night, you should position your campsite about 200 feet away from any beach access road. Allow yourself plenty of space to be seen at night by any late night traffic or safety patrols.

Camping is not allowed within 25 feet of the obvious driving lane on the beach or in any area that would create an unsafe condition. I’d recommend setting up your campsite inside the bollards to ensure you’re out of the lane of traffic at night.

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Clean up when you leave

Be sure to take your trash with you when you pack up. Keeping the beach clean and free of trash is so important. While small fires no larger than 3 ft. x 3 ft. are permitted on the beach, be sure to extinguish your campfire before leaving your camp site.

RELATED: Live Webcams to Enjoy the View in Port Aransas

Sunrise at the Jetty |

Regardless of where along the coast of Mustang Island that you choose to park, the view is sure to be stellar as you watch the waves roll in. Spend your days enjoying the cool water, playing in the sand, and creating family memories to last a lifetime.

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  1. I have a question about drive our Ranger RTV form our house on the beach. Is there a permit requirement. Our home has beach access. Can you point me in the right direction. Thanks.

  2. I’ve been coming to Port Aransas from San Antonio several times a year for over 50 years. As a teenager I slept on the sand with only a blanket; over time I’ve been fortunate to acquire several RVs, which I’ve used on the beach without restriction.

    Imagine my surprise when last week, in the middle of the night, there was a loud knock on the door of my camper. It was a police officer, who informed me that I could only stay on the beach 3 nights before I had to vacate for 3 weeks.

    I’m trying to imagine who this misguided policy benefits. Certainly not the working man who takes a week off work to bring his family to the beach for vacation, only to be told he has to leave after 3 days. Not the stores, bars, restaurants, outfitters, and charter operators, who rely on folks visiting Port Aransas for their livelihoods. Maybe it’s the owners of the overbuilt RV parks who want to run people off the beach?

    Anyway, after 50 years of pumping thousands of dollars into the local economy, last week was the first time I’ve felt unwelcome in Port Aransas. I strongly believe that you and the City Council should reevaluate your policy of restricting RVs on the beach to 3 consecutive nights.

  3. Filiberto Lopez

    I strongly be leave the man who stay’s 3 day why?? the normal is at least 1 week and then go back to work. i hope they change the 3 day stay and 3 week away!?!? doesn’t make any sense.

  4. Like the gentleman have stated before about the 3 night camping policy,how & why on Gods earth would that play a role???? The typical vacation stay length is a week. How are tourist supposed to work around that. My family and myself travel 7 hours to enjoy these beaches, at a 3 night max,,,this trip is completely pointless. You seriously need to rethink this policy

    1. I was visiting this site planning my vacation. I am certainly not going to make a 1400 mile round trip to spend 3 nights camping on your beach. What a stupid rule! Whoever made this rule is hurting your community. Don’t you all realize that the people that are vacationing in your community are spending money in the restaurants and shops in your community? Make it a 6 night maximum but a 3 night maximum makes no sense whatsoever! I guess I will be looking for somewhere else to spend my vacation!

  5. Are there any hookups on the beach!

  6. i have a $25,000 dollar ATV top speed is 28mph why not allow them mine is street legal there safer than a golf cart does a golf cart have a roll cage i have not seen any i been going there for years your beach rules suck to i have not been there in years it’s getting worse and worse people tell me all the time go somewhere else and we do do something about the ATV law pass it why make them if u can’t use them anywhere

  7. What is current policy on staying on the beach with an RV overnite.

  8. […] you’re planning on driving and parking your vehicle on the beach, you’ll need to buy a Beach Parking Permit (about $12). They’re sold at the Stripes gas station and sometimes at the Access Road beach […]

  9. Linda H Tolliver

    This new 3 night rule is disappointing. It’s a bucket list item for me to camp on a beach. Like the others, I’m not willing to drive 8 hours for 3 nights stay. Is there any way to stay longer? I’m planning a beach boondock trip for next year.


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