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.
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.
Port 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.
Things To Do In Mustang Island
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 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.
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.
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
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.