When you think of an ideal beach town, filled with the sights, sounds and flavors of island life, Port Aransas is one city sure to fit the bill.
While you may live nearby or visit on occasion as a weekend getaway, the locals know that there’s more to Port A than just the beaches and the fishing. There are 8 (and probably more) local treasures that are referred to as the 8 Wonders of Port Aransas.
Here’s what I know and where to find them…
The 8 Wonders of Port Aransas
The original list of the 8 Wonders of Port Aransas was compiled by the Port Aransas Museum. The museum is located on East Brundrett Street and invites visitors to stop in Thursday – Saturday afternoons to explore a little history of the island.
They offer local tours of the island, admission is free and they have a great little gift shop with vintage photos of Port A and gifts made by local artists.
- Lydia Ann Lighthouse
Although it has changed hands many times through the years, the lighthouse was first lighted in 1857 and has remained a recognizable landmark in the ship channel for years. The Lighthouse is located in the ship channel.
- The Jetties
The building of the jetties may have taken a few revisions to halt the deterioration of the pass into the ship channel, but once complete in 1910, they’ve stood the test of time and are a popular draw for fishermen and beach-lovers year-round.
- The Tarpon Inn
Built in 1886, badly damaged in a fire and nearly destroyed by two severe hurricanes, The Tarpon Inn continues to offer visitors a welcoming room, delicious meal and a fascinating story of the tarpon scales on the walls. Located at 200 E. Cotter Avenue.
- University of Texas Marine Science Institute
Established in 1941, the UTMSI hosts and trains marine scientists on the coastal, freshwater and salt marsh habitats of the Mustang Island area. It’s also the home of the Animal Rehabilitation Keep (ARK), which rescues and rehabilitates injured wildlife. Located at 750 Channel View Drive.
- Port Aransas Museum
Housed in a 1915 kit house once used by the Coast Guard, the Port Aransas Museum opened in 2008. The museum features Mustang Island history photos, movies and exhibits. Admission is free and donations are accepted. Located at 101 E. Brundrett Street.
- Farley Boat Works
As crafters of the finest tarpon skiffs in the area, Farley Boat Works has a long history in Port Aransas. Farley boat builders have crafted numerous boats since 1915 and offer to teach you how to build your own. Located at 716 W. Avenue C.
- Chapel on the Dunes
Built a surprising 26′ above sea level on the highest point on the island in 1937 by Aline Carter, Chapel on the Dunes is truly a hidden treasure. Difficult to find, the Chapel can be toured and reserved through the Port Aransas Museum. Located at 207 11th Street.
- The Last Farley Boat
A quirky find in Port Aransas is the last Farley boat. As an unfinished hull, the boat was purchased with the intent to finish but was instead flipped and used as a unique roof for a workshop. Located on 9th Street.
To read more about each of these wonders, download your copy of The Eight Wonders of Port Aransas from the Port Aransas Museum.