The BoardHouse Surf & Skate’s knowledgeable staff helps wave riders and rail sliders stand out in the extreme-sport crowd with stylish clothing items and accessories. Warm chilled craniums or hide comical cartoon head bumps with a black Neff Love beanie ($17). A pair of sky-blue Billabong board shorts ($44.50) blazes a soggy path through oceanic surroundings, and an Electric Jackson T-shirt ($19) sports a trendy homage to famous lightning bolts. Not content to merely swaddle thrill-seekers' torsos, The BoardHouse also houses a cache of Channel Islands surf boards, VonZipper sunglasses, Freestyle watches, and an adoring gaggle of merfolk from a variety of name-brand labels.
In both its physical and virtual incarnations, Enchantments Scrapbooking & More carries a massive collection of supplies for the crafty memory keeper. An array of albums opens up the creative arena, ranging from the Victorian elegance of the 6"x6" Artisan design with its black and white floral pattern ($12.99), to the impressionistic naturalism of the Susan Winget Botanical 12"x12" album ($19.99). For an expansion of the artistic space, Enchantments stocks row upon row of paper, great for plastering with pictures or folding into elegant headwear.
Port Aransas Beach stretches for six miles along Mustang Island, one of Texas's largest barrier islands. Island Hotel Port Aransas sits just a mile from the beach, and you can sense it in the hotel's decor: palm trees stand sentinel outside, and guest rooms feature bright colors and decorative starfish. It's a quick stroll to get to Port Aransas Beach, where fishing boats bob in the water and colorful boutiques line the boardwalk. You can also use the hotel's outdoor pool if you want to take a swim or make a large batch of Kool-Aid. In the morning, guests are treated to a complimentary breakfast. There are also barbecue pits and a picnic area outside if you want to have an impromptu cookout.
Big Shell Bikes bestows coastal riders with maintained bicycles for self-propelled adventures through the scenic area. Riders can climb atop cruiser-style bikes such as women’s medium Huntington Beach bike or men’s large Electra Cruisers to propel themselves around Port Aransas’ awe-inducing views of sandy shores, rolling waves, and heavily guarded sand castles. Big Shell maintains its fleet of pedal-powered transports with only industry-known cruiser-brand parts, such as Schwinn and Huffy, to ensure smooth, solid rides. Additionally, Grouponers can opt to apply their vouchers toward the rental of a sand bike ($53 a day), an eight-speed steed equipped with thick tires designed to glide through sandy shores without bogging down or accumulating itchy grains between bike crevices.