You came to Port A for Texas warmth, fun, and the sand and water of the beach along the Gulf of Mexico. There are also plenty of fun things to do and see, and several must-see sights you don’t want to miss. Make sure to add some of these to your Port Aransas sightseeing itinerary so you don’t miss out!
Lydia Ann Lighthouse
The Lydia Ann Lighthouse was built in 1857. Also called the Aransas Pass Light Station, the lighthouse is unique in that it is not accessible by road. Take a cruise past it in your own vessel or get a good view of it from nearby Roberts Point Park on a sightseeing cruise.
Chapel on the Dunes
The historic 1930s church was built by the Carter family, which includes former Texas poet laureate Aline Carter. The church no longer holds regular services, but locals and visitors alike can tour the church and grounds during tours organized by the Port Aransas Museum. They do hold special events, like weddings and more!
Aransas Pass, C.S.A.
While much of Port A’s history can be seen in the form of beautiful and historic structures on land, just getting here is a piece of our history. Get a picture at the official Aransas Pass historic marker. The marker details facts of the area, including that the pass is a natural inlet to Aransas Bay separating San Jose and Mustang Islands. It details other historical facts about the area, like its various uses during the Civil War.
Farley’s Historic Boat Shop
Farley Boat Works remains the premier boat builder in Port A! They specialize in tarpon fishing boats. Historically, Port A has been known for its ideal tarpon fishing conditions. The first tarpon fishing boats built by bothers Barney and Fred Farley established Farley and Son Boat Works in 1914, and the first boat was launched off the shores of Port Aransas a year later. The business eventually included Fred’s three sons and expanded to include the manufacture of speed boats, cabin boats, and corporate vessels. The “living exhibit” – the company continues to build boats there – can be visited at 716 W. Avenue C, Tuesday-Saturday. The shop is closed Sunday and Monday.
Mexican War Fort
In 1845, General Zachary Taylor placed artillery on Mustang Island, recorded as Mustang Island Fort at the time. This was to prevent enemy forces from coming through Aransas Pass to attempt to neutralize the San Jose Island supply depot. The fort was utilized yet again throughout the Civil War as war supplies were transported via Aransas Pass.
WWII Coastal Defenses at Aransas Pass
Another picture-worthy historic marker on the island is the one that marks the World War II Coastal Defenses. When the U.S. entered the war in 1941 after the December attack on Pearl Harbor, the war department created the Southern Defense Command (SDC) as part of the war department’s national defense system. The area spanned the southern U.S. coastline from North Carolina to Brownsville, TX – including the Port A area. The Port Aransas base hosted a temporary field artillery battery for the 2nd Infantry Division, featuring 105 MM Howitzers.
Port Aransas Museum
You’ll likely make the museum one of the first stops on your sightseeing tour of the area. You’ll learn what shaped the town into what it has become today through a number of temporary and permanent exhibits. The 1900s “kit house” that hosts the museum is located at 400 N. Alister. It is open for tours that are given by local volunteers Thursday-Saturday, 1-5 p.m. Admission is free, and donations are appreciated.
The Tarpon Inn
The inn was constructed of surplus lumber from Civil War barracks in 1886 and was originally used to house workers creating Mansfield Jetty. After the jetty was complete, the building became a hotel. After a hurricane and tidal wave in 1919 caused the structure to be rebuilt, it has been used as a headquarters for the Red Cross, Salvation Army, and several military units. It has also served as a shelter for area residents during disasters. In 1979, the inn was listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and also became a Texas Historic Landmark. The inn has a restaurant, 24 active guest rooms, and space for special events.
Sightsee Your Way Through Port A
When you stay in a vacation rental in Port A provided by Sandcastle Condos, you’ll enjoy easy access to the beach and the crashing waves of the Gulf. We’re also close to many other area attractions, shopping, dining, activities, and of course Port Aransas sights opportunities the area has to offer. We offer one-bedroom units for a solo or sweetheart sightseeing getaway, up to three bedrooms for your larger group. Prepare a delicious home-cooked meal in the fully equipped kitchen. Afterward, spread out in an open living space for a movie or to relax. Enjoy the view from your unit’s private balcony or patio or spend some time near the pool.
Contact us today!