Explore Parks & Nature Sightseeing Travel Tips

8 Ways to Tour Port Aransas from Home or Anywhere

Sunrise at the Jetty | www.portaransastex.com

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There’s truly no replacement for exploring the beauty of Port Aransas in real life, in real-time, but it’s possible to get a glimpse of this little slice of heaven from wherever you call home. Through the many videos and photo tours listed below, you can take a virtual tour of Port Aransas and get a feel for what you may want to add to your sightseeing itinerary, or learn something new and interesting about Mustang Island.

While we’re all spending time at home, I encourage you to explore the beauty of Port Aransas through these webcams, videos and photos. There’s no shortage of YouTube videos to watch and articles to read about the Gulf Coast, so by the time you dive into each article, webcam, or video, you could have quite an extensive explorer’s itinerary for Port Aransas.

So get out (or online) and explore!

Get lost in the view

One of the most popular requests I receive is for photos or videos of the beach. “What does the beach look like today?” “What is the weather like at the beach today?” “Are the beaches crowded today?” Everyone who’s been to Port Aransas knows that peaceful feeling of staring at the endless repetition of waves crashing against the shore. Hours feel like minutes and time passes much too quickly.

Savor that peaceful feeling by checking out the local webcams for the beach, ship channel and fishing docks for a visual tour of Port Aransas. Watch the waves, savor the sunrise, and enjoy the boats unloading their daily haul.

Regardless of where you call home, with a few clicks you can enjoy the serenity of the Gulf Coast at any time. Best daydreaming ever.

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Explore nature from afar

Port Aransas Nature Preserve | www.portaransastex.com
photo via Port Aransas Nature Preserve

The Port Aransas Nature Preserve consists of four natural areas ideal for viewing local wildlife and nature: Leonabelle Turnbull Birding Center, Joan and Scott Holt Paradise Pond, Charlie’s Pasture, and Wetlands Park (see the map below for locations).

Visit the Port Aransas Nature Preserve online to explore photos of the beautiful birds (and alligators) that call these coastal wetlands home, as well as watch videos of yoga at the Nature Preserve each week. Each viewing area has a trail or boardwalk around the Nature Preserve to explore and observe local birds, aquatic life and of course, amazing sunsets.

Looking for a challenge? The City’s Parks & Recreation Department promotes an annual City Nature Challenge each April where visiting explorers can help document and identify the many animals and plants they find come across in the coastal bend area. Simply download the iNaturalist app to share your local nature observations and get feedback from scientists and experts.

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Subscribe and escape

The local Port Aransas Parks & Recreation Department now has a YouTube channel that features a variety of nature videos and fun activities for kids to watch online. You’ll find simple kids’ games, yoga on the beach, beach combing, container gardening and more.

Two of my favorite YouTube channels (and TV Shows) to watch are The Daytripper and The Texas Bucket List. Both have featured local Port Aransas hotspots in videos on their channels. How many do you recognize?

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Pick a park to explore

The Texas Parks & Wildlife Department has numerous videos and articles to discover more local treasures along the Gulf Coast, including Mustang Island State Park maps and kayaking paddling trail guides.

Makes you want to put that video on repeat, right? Beyond the beach, the TPWD has a great YouTube channel that features some of the many natural park areas around Port Aransas, including the Port Aransas Nature Preserve.

Monitor surf conditions

There’s no need to guess what the surf conditions are like in Port Aransas when you can see it in real-time. Surfline has buoys in multiple spots across Nueces county including Horace Caldwell Pier, St. Joe’s Island, Fish Pass, and J.P. Luby Surf Park, and many others. It’s a great way to to take a surf tour of Port Aransas.

Surfline monitors water temperatures, tide level predictions, surf height and winds all along the Gulf coastline of Mustang Island, Padre Island and beyond.

Nearby surfing spots are also tracked on Surfline, like Corpus Christi’s North Padre Island Seawall (which also has a beach webcam) and Bob Hall Pier on North Padre Island.

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Discover San Jose Island

To some, it’s a mystery. To others, it’s an escape. The privately-owned San Jose Island, also known as St. Joseph Island or simply St. Joe’s, is accessible only via chartered ferry boat from Port Aransas. You can learn more about the undeveloped barrier island and it’s beautiful 21-mile stretch of beach from the comfort of wherever you are.

There’s truly nothing there, but beach. So when you take that ferry over to explore for the day, be sure you don’t miss the last ferry boat back to town at 6:00pm, or you’ll be camping under the stars on a deserted island.

Texas Highways magazine wrote a great article recently about St. Joe’s Island here.

Learn about the little chapel

Chapel on the Dunes in Port Aransas | www.portaransastex.com

The Chapel on the Dunes is a picturesque hidden gem in Port Aransas that offers unparalleled views of the sunrise, sunset and surrounding sand dunes. Learn five things you may not know about the beautiful Chapel On The Dunes from the comfort of your own home, including its location and how to tour it in person on your next visit.

Study some island history

Port Aransas Museum | www.portaransastex.com
photo via The Port Aransas Museum

The Port Aransas Museum features exhibits about the history of tarpon sport fishing, the history of Port Aransas through old postcards, the story of the jetties, and how hurricanes have reshaped island life. Explore their YouTube channel videos and Facebook page to study the history of Port Aransas from wherever you are.

Want to read more about the history of Port Aransas and Mustang Island? Grab these three books: Port Aransas (Images of America), Surfing Corpus Christi and Port Aransas and Lighthouses of Texas.

So tell me your thoughts… When you’re not in Port Aransas, how do you like to stay in touch with the beach? I hope these videos, webcams, photos and articles will give you a great tour of Port Aransas, with plenty to explore and discover about the amazing beauty of Mustang Island and Port Aransas.

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