Shrimporee is a sprawling shrimp festival that delivers crustaceous creations and zany, shrimp-themed festivities to families seeking fun and flavor. At the HEB Culinary Tent, chefs from across the state hook audiences with seafood-cooking demonstrations. The annual Shrimporee parade is another popular attraction with its gaudy floats and conga lines of flamboyant shrimp, getting underway on Saturday, June 11 at 10 a.m. Throughout the three-day fiesta, Aransas Pass's streets swell with the country crooning of singer Kyle Park and the Tejano serenades of Jay Perez, and an Eagles tribute band resurrects classic songs using magical guitars. Ambitious shrimp munchers take the stage to lay waste to entire crustacean civilizations in the shrimp-eating contest, and men flaunt their gams in the Men's Sexy Legs competition. This Groupon does not cover the cost of food, arts-and-crafts activities, or carnival rides.
The home of "increasingly famous burgers," Wild Horse Saloon & Grill spreads out tasty pub fare in a building that previously served as a church and a community theater. After finding a seat, guests can grab a handful of free peanuts, fling the shells to the floor in slow motion, and check the menu for potential edibles. The Stampede burger's hand-pressed, one-pound patty of Angus beef is smothered in a slew of toppings including bacon, four slices of cheese, peppers, and chili and arrives with a heap of hand-cut french fries ($12.45). Diners can also blow their tongues' minds with a "somewhat famous" chicken sandwich ($7.45) or bite into the eatery's "completely obscure" fish entree, the grilled mahi mahi sandwich ($7.95). Thin-crust pizzas ($5.95–$17.95) can be ordered from a selection of signature styles, customized with an array of fresh ingredients, or quickly stacked into a pizza-cake in the event of an impromptu wedding.
Chefs fuel hungry fisher-folk as they cast lines from picturesque Keepers Pier, serving them a menu of burgers and drinks. Beefy bounties commence with two juicy Jalitos, thinly sliced jalapeño peppers that receive generous coats of breading and dips into the deep frier. Cool down jalapeño-warmed mouths with a soft drink of your choice or by installing miniature fans on your uvula, before biting into a thick Beach burger. After the meal, diners can pick up their fishing pole and hit up some of the U.S. Gulf Coast’s most productive fishing piers. Baited lines can lure texas red fish, scrumptious speckled trout, and whopping black-drum fish, which can grow up to 78 pounds. Big-game sharks prowl the waters, as do feisty cobia fish, whose delicate white meat obtains its color after chilling, late-night readings of Moby Dick.
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.
Dolphin Watch Nature Tours bestows guests with opportunities to gaze at the aquatic splendor of the Gulf of Mexico or to catch the aquatic splendor of the Gulf of Mexico and give it a new home in your stomach. On the dolphin-watching cruise, observe the marine mammals in their natural environment as they feed, play, and plot to start a baseball team. Pelicans, cormorants, and whooping cranes are common sights on the tour, in addition to dolphins. Those who opt for the fishing trip may haul in such maritime delicacies as sand trout, drum, and sheephead, and won't have to worry about buying expensive fishing dynamite, as rod, reel, bait, and tackle are included.
The accommodating staff at Island Surf Shop and Kayaks rents out a large selection of beach buggies, skillfully coupling wayward beachcombers with a coast-exploring vehicle. Hop into your sand-flecked buggie to discover the dune-hugged beaches of Port Aransas, a town on the northern tip of Mustang Island, replete with brightly hued beach houses, trilling seabirds, and coin-operated sandcastle-building machines. Each one-hour rental outfits sandfaring customers in a shaded, four-seater golf cart fitted with oversized beach-ready tires. Rentals are subject to weather conditions, so plan your adventure on a day with a low chance of raindrops or gumdrops hailstorms.