Island-Inspired Cottages near Gulf of Mexico Beaches
In the early 1800s, pirates descended on Port Aransas on Texas’s Gulf Coast in search of loot and riches. According to local legend, some of these treasures are still buried at the shore, alongside Spanish silver daggers. “Port A,” as the locals call it, has since developed into a popular resort town, thanks to its wide, sandy beaches and sportfishing. The condos at Pirates Bay, a development named after the town’s former life, gives guests access to both.
You can choose from four properties, which are situated near beaches, bars, and restaurants. Both Buccaneer Retreat and Main Sail Cottage have three bedrooms with two bunk beds, three bathrooms, and full kitchens, and are close to plenty of surfing, swimming, snorkeling, and jet-skiing opportunities. The Ahoy Matey Island Retreat cottages are decorated with limited-edition artwork and Tiffany lamps, and the Admirals Quarter Cottages have zero-entry pools.
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 of Texas. The area gets frequent sunshine and is lined with sparsely populated public beaches. It’s become popular with college students on spring break, who 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 to explore at the Port Aransas Nature Preserve, which features 3 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.