The beach, live music, food, and jaw dropping sculptures in sand by world famous artists, this Port A beach festival is a must see.
Port Aransas, Texas, located on Mustang Island, is about 30 miles from Corpus Christi, Texas. It has one of the best beaches in Texas and has a friendly, small town vibe. After purchasing a permit, you can drive your car or even rent a golf cart, and drive right down to the beach.
Since 1997, world famous sculptors have been coming to compete in Sand Fest. They each have 3 days to complete the monumental structures. It is truly amazing what they create out of sand. The event is event is family and dog friendly. There were even dog watering stations! There are many vendors with shops, food, and drinks.
The road or ferry into the island are super busy on Friday evening, Saturday morning, and leaving on Sunday evening.
Come early on Friday and leave early Sunday or stay until Monday to avoid the crazy traffic the last 10-15 miles!
Favorite...there was an amazing sculpture of Harambe. This was the endangered silver-back gorilla that was shot and killed when a 3 year old child breached its enclosure in a Cincinnati zoo. There was a lot of controversy surrounding this tragic event.
The life-sized Harambe memorialized in sand was a tribute to this tragedy by Paul and Remy Hoggard. "We've done his gravestone with the born and death date because we want to humanize him," Mr. Hoggard said. "People who just look at him like he's just an ape that died at a zoo, but I see him as a brother who was murdered in his jail." They won 3rd place and the People's Choice Award.
Besides the Beach
A great way to get around Port Aransas is to rent a golf cart. If you're staying at a location within a few blocks to the beach, it's great to take the golf cart instead of your car. You can rent one that will hold either 4 or 6 people. The prices fluctuate so it's a good idea to call around for pricing. Another fun idea is to rent a bike. They are a great way to get around town and burn a few calories!
Favorite Place to Eat
My number one favorite place to eat in Port Aransas is Oceans of Seafood. This fish market and restaurant is casual, eclectic, friendly, and DELICIOUS! I love to get the Combo Plate and share it along with some fresh oysters. The combo includes fried shrimp, fried fish, fried oysters, stuffed crab, french fries, and slaw...YUM!
Where to Stay
There are a lot of choices of where to stay in Port Aransas. If you're coming with a large group, it's great to choose a rental, and we prefer Beachcomber Vacation Rentals. You can choose rentals that have a pool, which is nice when coming back from the beach, or even pet friendly places. When we come with just family, we like to stay at the Days Inn Port Aransas.
It's a simple, no-frills hotel with friendly staff and free breakfast. The rooms are small but quiet with comfortable bedding and tile flooring. The breakfast doesn't have a huge selection but you can make the cutest Texas shaped waffles. The hotel is painted a brilliant sea green color and the soaring palm trees give the pool a tropical feel. There is a sizable hot tub as well. While the hotel was a little under $200 a night during Sand Fest, it was still a reasonable choice during this busy time for the island.
Thanks for reading and hope to hear about your visit to Port Aransas. Happy travels!