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One Tank Trips: 6 things you can do on your next trip to Port Aransas

HOUSTONOne tank of gas can take you from Houston to some pretty amazing places. Our ongoing series "One Tank Trips," helps you discover what to do, where to eat and stay in these places.

Port Aransas, Texas

Distance from Downtown Houston to Port Aransas: 195 miles

For those looking for a beach vacation, pack up your car and journey three hours up to Port Aransas. It is a great spot for kids and families to enjoy a beachside getaway, but also a great romantic spot or party weekend with friends.

While the beach is the number one tourist attraction in the area, there are many outdoor activities including boating, parasailing, dolphin watching and fishing. There are also plenty of cute shops and restaurants in town.

For more about the island and its history, click here.

1. Port Aransas Beach

The most popular attraction in the area is naturally the beach. The 6.3 miles of beach stretching across the Gulf of Mexico allows for the perfect summer getaway from the city. Visitors enjoy swimming, surfing, boogie boarding in the ocean or just relaxing and getting some sun by the shoreline.

The Port Aransas Museum painted by Flint Reed. Courtesy of Port Aransas Museum Facebook.

2. Port Aransas Museum

The Port Aransas Museum was founded with the Port Aransas Preservation and Historical Association and the City of Port Aransas as a historical museum, which showcases and preserves the town's history. The Port Aransas Museum holds over 12,000 photos and documents pertaining to the history of the city in their publicly accessible database. It's open Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

3. Farley Boat Works

Established in 1915 and then later re-established in 2011, Farley Boat Works is both a shop and a living exhibit. Visitors are able to witness boats being built and are taught the process by the shop’s expert teachers. The shop is open Tuesday through Saturday.

Fullton Mansion State Historic Site courtesy of Facebook.

4. Fulton Mansion

This historic mansion is a recorded Texas Historic Landmark along with being listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The house appears as it does in 1877 and allows visitors a look into the beautiful gardens and grand Victorian villa. There is also an education and history center and gift shop.

5. Irie’s Island Food

This authentic beachside restaurant offers an expansive menu complete with tacos, sandwiches, salads and much more. The restaurant is a family owned and operated joint by Martin Frannea and his wife, Nicole. Frannea is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America among experience at numerous restaurants. The restaurant is rated No. 53 on Yelp’s Top 100 Places to Eat in the USA.

Lighthouse Inn at Aransas Bay courtsey of Facebook.

6. Lighthouse Inn at Aransas Bay

This boutique hotel offers over 30 deluxe guestrooms and 42 spacious suites. Each room features either a private balcony or patio with two rocking chairs to enjoy the views. There is a pool and lounge area onsite along with a private fishing pier. The hotel has a restaurant and serves a complimentary buffet breakfast.

Tips & tricks

  • According to Family Vacation Critic, the most fun way to get around Port A is by golf cart. The town is also easily driveable with a parking permit and walkable.
  • According to Alamo City Moms Blog, if you are traveling with a large group or pets, there are plenty of great rental houses available. She recommends finding them on HomeAway or Vrbo.
  • While summer is a great time for a getaway to Port A, it is a little cooler in the fall and spring. In April, is the Texas SandFest. The Texas SandFest is the largest native-sand sand sculpture competition in America and attracts thousands of visitors.