A winding wooden boardwalk crisscrosses sand dunes along the coast of Mustang Island in Texas, leading to the beach on the Gulf of Mexico. The boardwalk network is also the easiest way to navigate through the Port Aransas Escapes Beachhead Condominiums, which were originally built as a community retreat in 1972. The private condos are just a quick walk away from the beach, and you can follow the boardwalk up to the condo complex’s large freshwater pool as well. The spacious two-bedroom condos come with fully equipped kitchens, giving them the feel of family vacation homes. You can turn little ones loose on the courtyard playground, or wander over to the expansive main building deck to lounge in the year-round Texas warmth.
Alternatively, stay in one of the four-bedroom houses if you want more space. Each has a unique layout and design. Two blocks from the beach, Blue Heaven contrasts stained concrete floors with ceilings made out of light pinewood. The three-story Tides Out II includes an open deck where guests can sun tan and watch the waves roll in. When it comes to views, the Eagle’s Nest has some of the best available, featuring a covered tower overlooking the ocean and bay. Many homes have access to at least one neighborhood pool, and most are also just a short walk to the beach.
Port Aransas, Texas: Sunny Beach Town with Excellent Fishing
Port Aransas is located at the northern end of Mustang Island, a narrow landmass that stretches for 18 miles off the Gulf Coast in Texas. The area gets frequent sunshine and is lined with sparsely populated public beaches, and it’s become popular with spring-breaking college students. They frequent the beachside clubs and bars, or rent kayaks and surfboards to paddle through the waves.
Fishing is a major pastime here; more than 20 fishing tournaments are based in Port Aransas, and you can catch tuna, kingfish, and marlin out on the water as dolphins jump nearby. When you return to land, bring your catch to one of the island eateries and they’ll often grill it for you on the spot.
There are 1,200 acres of tidal flats and undeveloped shore land to explore at the Port Aransas Nature Preserve, which features three miles of hiking and biking trails and boardwalks. Head up to one of the lookout towers and you can often spot rare and endangered birds such as the Piping Plover, a stout shorebird with an appetite for crustaceans.