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From the beach to the sand dunes, the marina to the ship channel, there is certainly no shortage of beautiful views in Port Aransas. One of our family’s favorite spots to take in the view is the Keeler Observation Tower. On a clear day, you’ll get an amazing 360-degree view of Port Aransas’ Roberts Point Park, the City Marina, the harbor jetties, the waterfront restaurants, the Ferry landing, and the ship channel.
If you’re looking for a panoramic view of the area, the Keeler Observation Tower is a prime spot for soaking up the sights. It’s a feast for the eyes, any time of day!
What to bring
I’ve brought my family to the Keeler Observation Tower many times through the years. From the time my children were toddlers to now teenagers, we all still enjoy climbing the steps to the top and taking a few moments to breathe in the stunning views from every side.
To savor those moments of “wow, what a view”, here’s what I recommend you bring.
- A really good camera with a great zoom. While I love my iPhone XI for snapping quick pictures, there’s so much to see from this spot that only a DSLR camera can capture. Plus, zooming in with your iPhone always distorts the best details. So don’t forget your “good camera”!
- Compact but powerful travel binoculars. Bring these great binoculars to ensure you don’t miss the action in the ship channel. There’s always something to see, like dolphins jumping or names of ships from afar. You could spend an hour or more just panning around the marina for interesting boats and maybe catch a glimpse of the pirate ship.
- Superior sunglasses that fit well. Those clear, sunny days are fantastic for the view, but hard on your eyes. Protect your eyes with well-fitting sunglasses with UV protection. The coastal breezes can be strong in this area, so hold on to your hats & sunglasses!
A little history
The Keeler Observation Tower is named in honor of Tom and Cora Belle Keeler for their support in the development of Roberts Point Park. The tower was dedicated to the Keelers on September 7, 1991.
After sustaining significant structural damage from Hurricane Harvey in August 2017, the tower was recently refurbished in 2020 with structural repairs and new wooden stairs and railings.
Other updates being made to Roberts Point Park in 2020 include: repairing the park’s storm-damaged bulkhead along the water, the Fred Rhodes Pavilion and the smaller pavilion beside the playground.
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The best time to visit
To take in the view that Keeler Observation Tower offers, it’s always a good time of day to visit for a great view of Port Aransas. Clear, sunny days are best for viewing the boats as they leave and return to the harbor, as well as watching the ships in the distance as they travel the ship channel.
In the mornings, you’ll see people setting up their fishing spots along the bulkhead. In the evenings, you can watch the many boats return into the harbor for the day.
The tower is also a phenomenal place to watch the sunrise over the Gulf in the morning. This spot will give you a prime view of the sunset over the Corpus Christi Bay in the evenings. You’ll also be able to spot playful dolphins, hungry sea turtles and curious pelicans (like this guy last May). With so much to see in the park, your family will have plenty of places to explore.
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Where it’s located
The Keeler Observation Tower is located in Roberts Point Park at 301 JC Barr Boulevard. This location truly offers a great view of Port Aransas’ hub of activity. The park is positioned between the Ferry landing and the City Marina. Just look for the sign at the intersection of Cut Off Road and Cotter Avenue, at the entrance to the harbor.
So grab your family and venture out to the Keeler Observation Tower for relaxing afternoon of exploration. Your whole family will enjoy watching the ships pass with dolphins jumping the waves, as well as looking for sea turtles and hermit crabs along the jetty rocks. The Keeler Observation Tower gives you a prime seat to enjoy the sight of it all.
Just don’t forget your binoculars!