Top things to do

Top Choice Seafood in Port Aransas

Roosevelt's at the Tarpon Inn

The fine dining room at the Tarpon Inn is worth getting spiffed up for. Reserve a table on the verandah and settle back to enjoy a seasonal menu of seafood and steaks, simply and creatively prepared, accompanied by …
Island in Port Aransas

San José Island

A privately owned island just across the ship channel from Port Aransas, known as St Jo to locals. This squat desert island, 2 miles at its widest but 21 miles long, is popular for fishing and beachcombing. There ar…
Bar in Port Aransas

Gaff

Out by the beach, this ramshackle bar (drinks from $3) is perfect for anyone aspiring to arrested development. Weekend fun includes belt-sander races and chicken-poop bingo (come on bird, come on!). There's decent p…
Beach in Port Aransas

IB Magee Beach Park

The main access point to this county-run park is via Beach St (try to remember that). The park has rest rooms, the Horace Caldwell fishing pier and seasonal concession stands. Day use is free, but beach camping is $…
Cajun in Port Aransas

Crazy Cajun

This lively, ramshackle eatery always packs a crowd. There is an á la carte menu, but you should probably just order the Hungry Cajun ($16), a tabletop serving of boiled sausage, shrimp, crab and veggies – all of wh…
Brewery in Port Aransas

The Brewery

Come for the promise of microbrews (we love the Milk Stout, and IPA lovers will be impressed by the house option), stay for the gourmet burgers and pizzas (mains $12 to $22). There's a small deck out front, but good…
Nature Reserve in Port Aransas

Nature Preserve at Charlie's Pasture

Over 1200 acres of nature preserve look out over the bird-filled marshes and salt flats on the east side of town. The 2-mile-return boardwalk stroll leads to several observation decks and a tower on Salt Island, fro…
Bar in Port Aransas

Kody's

Somehow straddling the line between family restaurant and lively jukebox joint, Kody's is fun no matter which time of the day you visit. The food menu, mostly seafood, is actually pretty good (lunch $5 to $10, dinne…
Bar in Port Aransas

Shorty's Place

The town's 'oldest and friendliest' watering hole is filled with real local seadogs and characters both inside and out on the battered porch. It has dartboards and pool tables, and the ceiling is adorned with hundre…
Nature Reserve in Port Aransas

Leonabelle Turnbull Birding Center

A short boardwalk runs through the tall grass to an observation tower with wide-open views over the nature reserve and ship channel. Local guides run a free birding tour Wednesday at 9am.