Mustang Island Things To Do

Mustang Island is an 18-mile long barrier island on the beautiful Texas coast.  You’ll find miles of wide-open, sandy fun awaiting for you here. It’s easy to fill hours splashing, birding, shelling or sunbathing. There’s plenty of opportunity for surfing when the waves are high and warm water for kayaking or paddle-boarding. Of course the waters are full with sea life like sea urchins, crabs, and barnacles. Catch a variety of fish from the jetties, the surf or wading the shallows.  Birders will enjoy spectacular vantage points to view the hundreds of permanent and visiting species.

Visit our great Texas beaches here.   With more than five miles of coastline, they have plenty of room for fun in the sun. Hang out on the beach, fish in the bay, add birds to your life list, and explore this unspoiled barrier island park. It’s time to head to the coast!

Weather (When to Go)

The best time to visit Mustang Island is from September to February. Unless you are planning to join in on the spring break fun – rowdy partying at all hours of the day – you’ll find this tiny town rather unbearable in March. However, during the other 11 months out of the year, you’ll find a relaxed aura perfect for sun-seekers and families. Plus hotel rates are reasonably low compared to other beach destinations. Just be advised that if you’re planning a summer trip, there’s a slight chance you’ll encounter some unfriendly hurricane weather.

Mustang Island Attractions

Leonabelle Turnbull Birding Center

A raised boardwalk that is wheelchair accessible extends out into the cattails for a close-up encounter with birds, alligators, fish and more. An observation tower offers a panoramic view of the pond and the surrounding flats. A free viewing scope is mounted on the tower and a free ADA-compliant scope is available at another viewing box along the boardwalk.(Viewing scopes are currently being refurbished and will return before the fall.)  Birding on the Boardwalk:  free guided birding tour for anyone, novice to expert. Wednesdays at 9am at the Leonabelle Turnbull Birding Center at end of Ross Ave, with local guide Nan Dietert.  Visit the Leonabelle Turnbull Birding Center for  more informaiton.

Roberts Point Park

Roberts Point Park in Port Aransas, Texas is home to waterfront family fun. Built through volunteer efforts and a Texas Parks and Wildlife Outdoor Recreation grant, this 50-acre park is located on a peninsula of land that juts into the Corpus Christi Ship Channel and forms a safe harbor for the municipal harbor that has 250 boat slips for permanent and transient vessels.  A picnic pavilion offers shaded picnic tables adjacent to shuffleboard courts, horseshoe pits, Bocci court, basketball court, sand volleyball, a soccer field, and playground equipment for the younger crowd.  Fisher folk can enjoy their sport from the granite jetties that mark the harbor, from the lighted fishing pier, or from the bulkhead that surrounds the park. The 1-mile bulkhead also serves as a walking, jogging, and cycling trail with benches and Palapas along the route.  An observation tower overlooks the ship channel and provides an excellent spot for watching the dolphins as they bow-surf in front of the cargo ships and tankers that travel the channel.  Visit Roberts Point Park for more information.

Lighthouse Lakes Park

Lighthouse Lakes Park offers  kayaking, fishing, birding, nature watching. Home to the largest kayaking paddle trail in the State of Texas. Established by Texas Parks & Wildlife it is located six (6) miles south of Aransas Pass along the Aransas Channel on the Redfish Bay Causeway (SH 361).  There are observation decks overlooking Aransas Channel for nature sightseeing, boat watching and picnics.  The area serves as the launching point for kayakers to enter the Lighthouse Lakes Paddling Trails, which take visitors through the back lakes behind the historic, 1857 Lydia Ann Lighthouse. The trails are the first Texas Paddling Trails created with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

Shamrock Cove

One of the most popular location on Corpus Christi Bay, Shamrock cove is tucked in between Shamrock Island and Mustang Island on the east shore of Corpus Christi Bay. The water depth in the cove is 8 to 10 feet with great structure on every side of it. The eastern shore of Shamrock Island and the inlet on the north end of it known as Little Shamrock cove are good for trout, flounder and redfish. The drop offs to the deeper portions of the cove are good for trout and the flats and cuts around the cove are prime for redfish.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Mustang-Beach-300x197.jpgPort Aransas Beach

Port Aransas Beach is located right in front of the area resorts. Warm clear water, open sand, and fresh air are right out your front door. There is some free parking between pier 52 and 58.  Otherwise you will need to purchase a $12 yearly permit.

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Things To Do In Mustang Island

Camping

Stay at one of 48 water and electric campsites or 300 drive-up primitive sites. (The water and electric campsites are 1/3 mile from the beach.) They have water, cold-water rinse showers and portable toilets along two miles of the beach. Full restrooms and showers with hot water are located near the water-electric campground.

Paddle Boarding

Paddle the Mustang Island State Park Paddling Trail.  The Mustang Island State Park Paddling Trail consists of the North Trail (8.5 miles), the Shamrock Loop Trail (5.24 miles) and the Ashum Trail (6.8 miles). All of the trails follow the western shoreline of Mustang Island in Corpus Christi Bay, and pass through some of the best shallow-water fishing areas in Texas. The Ashum Trail follows the shoreline of Corpus Christi Bay over a firm sand bottom and allows for outstanding bird watching as well as sight casting opportunities. The Shamrock Loop Trail skirts the beautiful, protected waters of Shamrock Cove, where it connects with the North Trail, which follows the shoreline to East Flats and then meanders through marsh and spoil islands to the Island Moorings Marina in Port Aransas.

Fishing

Anglers who prefer to fish from land find the four public fishing piers in Port Aransas a convenient spot to cast their lines. The jetty on the south end of the city gives you another option for fishing from shore. Each year, the city hosts the Deep Sea Roundup Tournament. The tournament provides divisions for offshore fishing and fly fishing, as well as the largest tarpon and billfish. Separate awards are presented to junior anglers. To participate in the tournament, you must obtain a Texas state fishing license and any federal permits, if required.

Birding

Get the bird’s eye view from observation decks and lookouts on the island and nearby in Port Aransas. Catch a glimpse of Roseate Spoonbills, Reddish Egrets and Black-Bellied Whistling Ducks, just to name a few. Rub elbows with fellow bird enthusiasts during the Whooping Crane Festival every February.

Eat, Shop & Play

Rent a golf cart, the unofficial convertible of the island, and explore all that Port A has to offer. Work up a hunger perusing local boutiques then sample fresh gulf seafood and other favorites at island eateries. After dinner, enjoy live music and ice-cold beverages at quirky island bars or indulge in a triple scoop of gourmet ice cream before calling it a night.

Best Restaurants Near Mustang Island (Port Aransas)

Irie’s Island Food  Under $10

Irie’s Island Food is a new twist on local fare.  Enjoy fast, friendly service of diverse island dishes from around the world. Irie’s island food is a new concept in beautiful Port Aransas, Texas. They sell everything from tropical inspired, late morning, breakfast to creative tacos, coastal fare, delectable street foods, and more. All of their menu items are hand made with quality ingredients and love.  Telephone:   361-749-2310  Web:  Irie’s Island Bar.

Redfish Willie’s Waterfront Grill  $11 – 30

Welcome to Award Winning Redfish Willie’s Waterfront Grill.  Whether you enjoy the casual laid back lifestyle or an evening of fine dining, Redfish Willie’s is definitely your place to be.  Chef Jeremy Lee has created an array of seafood, pastas, sandwiches, chicken and some downright great Cajun dishes that are enjoyed every day in the casual Redfish Willie’s setting.  On that special occasion they encourage you to make reservations in their Harbor Room where Chef Jeremy serves up specialty items such as rack of lamb, osso bucco, specialty seafoods & steaks every Friday and Saturday evenings.  Telephone:   361-758-9991  Web:  Redfish Willie’s Waterfront Grill.

Beach & Station Street Grill  $11 – 30

Beach and Station Street Grill specializes in serving the highest quality steaks and seafood. They offer live music, beer and wine. Try the seafood platter and blackened shrimp plate, you an’t go wrong. Staff is friendly and welcoming, locals are great. Must go when on the island!  Telephone:   361-749-2303  Web:  Beach & Station Street Grill

Roosevelt’s  $31 – 60

It takes more than exquisite cooking to make a memorable meal. At Roosevelt’s they believe an intimate atmosphere in the right location, personal and attentive service and great company are what separates a delicious dinner from an unforgettable experience.  Telephone:   361-749-1540  Web:  Roosevelt’s.

Black Marlin Bar & Grill  $11 – 30

The Black Marlin features coastal cuisine, live music and the best views of the Gulf in Texas.  Whether you’re relaxing indoors at the clubhouse, dining alfresco on the patio overlooking the grand lawn or enjoying a cocktail on the third story elevated bar, the Black Marlin is in a class all its own.  House favorites include mahi-mahi grilled tacos, pan seared gulf snapper & shrimp as well as the beef tenderloin sliders. Telephone:   361-749-4653  Web:  Black Marlin Bar& Grill.

Best Mustang Island Bars (Port Aransas)

The Sand Bar

Such a fun spot and the bartender is the best. Great drinks and great service. Beautiful view of beach, always has entertainment, live music,  pool and hot tub too.  Telephone:   361-949-8041  Web:  The Sand Bar

The Back Porch

A wonderful waterside watering hole. Friendly bartenders and patrons. The location can’t be beat. It’s outdoors, so the heat is a factor, but there’s lots of big fans and decent breeze, so it’s bearable.  The drinks are cheap (and strong). The atmosphere is perfect.  Telephone:   361-749-2800  Web:  The Back Porch.

Treasure Island Bar

The glow of the lights, the dark colored furniture, comfortable chairs, and the cool breeze that flows through makes this venue the perfect place to be on a late Friday or Saturday night. They always have phenomenal musicians that come through like Taylor Tumlinson who is actually on her way to Nashville! The bartenders and musicians and interactive, fun, and easy going and everyone loves the bartender.  Telephone:   361-416-1020  Web:  Treasure Island Bar

Shorty’s Place

Best of both worlds: touristy with a local vibe. Really unique decor inside. Friendly staff and patrons, plus cheap drinks (bottled beers only, no draft). They frequently have live music out on the patio. A really cool, casual spot to unwind.  Telephone:   361-749-8077  Web:  Shorty’s Place

Wild Horse Saloon & Grill

They offer the Sunday NFL Ticket, College Gameday, baseball and basketball packages. They have live music on Friday nights and offer the best burgers and wings in town. They are the only bar on restaurant row and offer free peanuts to their patrons.  Telephone:   361-749-0105  Web:  Wild Horse Saloon & Grill.

Top Mustang Island Hotels

Best Western Port Aransas


Take time out to relax and enjoy all that Port Aransas has to offer while staying at the Best Western Port Aransas located three blocks from the beautiful Texas beach and within walking distance to several local shops and restaurants. Our hotel in Port Aransas is also close to a variety of recreational activities including fishing, surfing, boating, jet skiing, horseback riding and golf.

Hampton Inn and Suites Port Aransas


This Texas hotel is just 3 miles from Port Aransas Beach on the Gulf of Mexico. A breakfast buffet and fully non-smoking rooms are available to guests.  An outdoor swimming pool and a spa tub are featured on site at Port Aransas Hampton Inn and Suites. Guests can get a workout in the fitness center or read a complimentary newspaper in the lobby. A laundry facility and a business center are also accessible.

Island Hotel Port Aransas


Situated just one mile from the soft sand and warm surf of Port Aransas Beach, Island Hotel Port Aransas—formerly Mariner Inn & Suites—offers affordable, newly updated accommodations and a variety of amenities perfect for family vacations, weekend getaways, and winter months when you just want to soak up some sun. During your stay at the hotel in Port Aransas, lounge by the outdoor pool, have a picnic by the barbecue grills, let the kids play in the game room, or take the short, 1 mile drive to the beach for swimming, sunning and sandcastle building.

Days Inn by Wyndham Port Aransas


Days Inn is one of the closest hotels to the beach. They are a non-smoking place and not pet – friendly. The property is located across Island Moorings and next to Palmilla Beach Resort. You can drive to the beach for only less than half a mile and walking distance for just three blocks away. Days Inn Port Aransas offers free continental breakfast, free parking boat parking and free WiFi.

The Place at Port Aransas


Located in Port Aransas, 1,950 feet from Port Aransas Marina, The Place at Port Aransas features air-conditioned rooms and free private parking.  The rooms are fitted with a flat-screen TV with cable channels. Some accommodations include a sitting area where you can relax. Each room includes a private bathroom fitted with a shower. Extras include free toiletries and a hairdryer.


Booking.com

26 Comments

  1. Ronnie Jordan

    Never heard of Mustang Island. But I guess that’s why we have you. There seems to be a lot to do there. I’m actually in Oklahoma so it isn’t that far for me. You do a very good job as well as giving me a way to plan out a trip and what I’m going to do when I get there. I’m sure that others would agree. Thank you.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Living in Texas, I can tell you that Mustang Island is worth the visit for sure! I am moving to Florida soon and I am looking forward to one more visit here and to South Padre. Texas does have some great beaches 🙂

      Reply
  2. Melanie

    I really like your site because it looks like a really professional travel site. I am a beach goer myself so it’s handy to where I could go in the States. You’ve covered alot of relevant information as well, like weather, accomodation, food places. Great use of pictures too. I am enticed!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      I am glad Melanie. Mustang Island has a lot to do and there are a lot of really great Texas beaches around Mustang Island.

      Reply
  3. Fairweather Green

    Looks like a great all your round temperature there in Mustang. 14 degree as a low in winter is not too cold, with a high of 29 degrees in the summer – not too hot.

    Looks like is lots to do and see here along with some great looking restaurants for tastes of all kinds.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Yes, its really an all around great Texas beach destination. Thanks for visiting!

      Reply
  4. jschicanha

    I have never known important information about important tourist attraction resources like the information which you have shared here. I have even managed to know important information about islands that I have never heard of.

    Thanks for sharing such important information and I will continue making a follow up on all your future editions just keep myself well informed with any further updates.

    Cheers,
    Jose

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      I am glad I could help educate you on the wonderful beach locations of Texas! Thanks for reading about Mustang Island Things to Do JS.

      Reply
  5. Daniella

    Hi Lea,

    What a great article and the place look awesome! I would definitely put this destination on my bucket list.
    What I love about your article is that I have all the information needed to plan the trip efficiently. It’s rare to find all on one page! I don’t need to waste time searching for information anywhere else and I really thank you very much for this!
    I have bookmarked your website so I can use it as a guideline!
    Thank you again!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      I’m so glad my Mustang Island page was helpful to you! I have tried to include everything 🙂 Texas beaches are fantastic, and there are lots of great things to do on Mustang Island and in the area!

      Reply
  6. Felicity

    This is a great article on things to do in Mustang Island. I like the various interesting things to do such as camping and paddle boarding. Based on the information on weather, August seems to be a better time for me because it’s warmer and doesn’t rain too much. There are also helpful information on places to eat and hotels to stay at. This helps open my eyes to the world and make me want to travel to Mustang Island with my family for vacation in the future.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Great, you and your family would enjoy visiting Mustang Island for sure. It’s a great family destination with things to do for everyone…not just the beach lover!

      Reply
  7. Karin

    I enjoyed your website! I loved the pictures! Generally, I like to relax during vacation. Except when I go on my horseback riding tours, well then those are more adventurous 🙂 But before and after the horseback riding tours, I give myself a few days to prepare and recover, and enjoy some sightseeing!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Great Karin! You could relax here for sure. Then there are so many great Texas beaches in the area you can explore as well 🙂

      Reply
  8. lizp

    I’ve never been to Texas. This sounds like a great place to visit. I love camping but my husband’s not a fan, so it’s great that there are so many hotels to choose from.

    Also, the Black Marlin Bar & Grill sounds like it’s a very nice restaurant. I’d love to check it out!

    It’s great that its’ so big and a variety of things to do. Sounds like it could be the perfect little adventure.

    Thank you for the review. I’ll definitely consider it.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Or big adventure 🙂 Texas is big and all the beaches are in close proximity, making it easy to a couple while visiting the Texas Beaches. Thanks for visiting the Mustang Island Things to Do Guide.

      Reply
  9. Andrei

    Wow this place is breathtaking! I hope that next year will be able to get there since I already have this year’s Christmas scheduled. I never tried canoeing but I heard from a lot of friends that is fun. Are there any possibilities for diving? What about nightlife? Are there nightclubs? Thank you for your article, I’ll save it for the next year!!

    Cheers,

    Andrei.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Yes, there is nightlife and yes there is diving close by. You can really do everything on Mustang Island, making it a great Texas beach destination.

      Reply
  10. Angelic

    What a beautiful complete explanation and very inviting to get there. You have thought of everything there is to do and why it’s so beautiful. You also refer to good accommodations! I love to travel and want to go there, it is really tempting. Thanks for all the informative tips!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You are very welcome! I am glad you enjoyed reading my post on Mustang Island. Texas beaches have a lot to offer, and not just laying around at the beach!

      Reply
  11. Cat

    Hi, wow that looks a bit like paradise! To me, it sounds like a perfect place to relax, body and mind, and at the same time, there are hotels and restaurants nearby if you don’t want the camping experience.
    Have you been there on holiday yourself or are the recommendations from other sources? It looks like a lovely place either way.

    All the best, Cat

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      I live in Texas, so yes I have been there 🙂 Out of all the beaches, I think that it is the most “back to Earth” experience. Like you say, you can camp along the beach which is truly amazing, or stay in a hotel. You could do a little bit of both. Mustang Island beaches are beautiful.

      Reply
  12. promise

    Hello Aldane, you do have a clear and constructive insight about beaches in Mustang Island, Texas. As for me I think I’ve lesson through your article on how to go about getting the best vacation trip anytime i find myself in southeast of Texas. From the weather down to places to be, things to do and eat, airports and camping, all these are vital informations to look up to. Thanks for the enlightenment

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      I am glad you enjoyed reading and thanks for visiting Beach Travel Destinations!

      Reply
  13. Aldane

    mustang island seems like a great destination for a nice relaxing getaway. Personally I like to relax when I am on vacation, this seems like the type of place where this is possible. It has a nice beach, a cabin and great places to get something to eat, it seems like a great place to visit overall.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Yes, It’s peaceful on Mustang Island. I think you make it anything you want. Just a great overall Texas Beach location. Thanks for visiting Aldane.

      Reply

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