Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Aransas Pass, TX

  • Published 2022/12/06

This small city in Aransas, Nueces, and San Patricio Counties, on the Texas Gulf Coast and the heart of the Coastal Bend, is known by the locals as Saltwater Haven.

Port Aransas is also in Aransas Pass, which connects to Mustang Island.

It has managed to stand out among other places on Texas’ mainland for providing recreational opportunities that people of all ages will enjoy.

With a total area of 51.8 square miles, 80 percent of which is water, Aransas Pass offers visitors water-based activities such as hunting, fishing, kayaking, and dolphin watching.

Apart from these, there are still plenty of things to do in this location that will make your trip worthwhile.

Here are some of the best things to do in Aransas Pass, Texas.

Enjoy a Memorable Aviation Experience at the Third Coast Squadron Museum

The Third Coast Squadron Museum preserves collections of artifacts from the thousands of veterans who served during World War II, the Korean and Vietnam Wars, as well as from the present.

It was established to honor the notable individuals who served the country and is open to visitors in Aransas Pass.

The museum’s goal is to provide an immersive experience for all visitors.

With over nine interviews and displays of military aircraft that people can touch and listen to, the Third Coast Squadron Museum also includes oral histories.

Each visitor can watch and listen to veterans’ interviews about their war experiences.

Jean Tanner of the 149th Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps, the first women’s unit to serve in a combat zone, and marine aviator and World War II veteran Kenneth Mahaffey are part of this oral history.

Feel the Thrill of Boating and Fishing at Conn Brown Harbor Point Park

Since Aransas Pass has more water than land, it’s impossible not to have a boating and fishing adventure here.

Conn Brown Harbor Point Park is one of the best places to enjoy activities such as fishing, picnicking, and wildlife viewing.

This park features amenities such as a six-lane boat ramp, fishing pier, fish cleaning tables, picnic shelters, parking, and restrooms.

Conn Brown is well-known for having an abundance of fish, which is why many people come here to catch redfish, sheepshead, black drum, flounder, and speckled trout.

Conn Brown Harbor Point Park has no admission fee and is open to the public anytime.

Sail with Captain Tom at Handsome Sailor Yacht Charters

Handsome Sailor Yacht Charters (HSYC) is a yacht broker in Aransas Pass that will take you island hopping, sailing, snorkeling, and dolphin watching.

This yacht broker had been in business for more than 43 years.

As the oldest and most successful charter and sailing business, they provide water recreation at the lowest possible price.

With the help of Captain Tom, founder, and expert sailor, visitors can now experience six unique charters available at HSYC.

The HYSC offers charters that include two hours of sailing and Offshore Rig Gigs where visitors can go swimming, snorkeling, and deep-sea fishing.

They also offer the Texas Coastal Zone ECO-CHARTER, the Caribbean Sunset Cruise, the Concita Beach Bash, and the HSYC Specialty Charters.

Celebrate special occasions such as birthday parties, family outings, and honeymoons with Captain Tom and the Handsome Sailor Yacht Charters!

Try Kayaking at Coastal Bend Kayak

Kayaking is one of the best things to do in Aransas Pass, and if you’re looking for a spot to try it, this is an excellent place to start.

Since 2002, Coastal Bend Kayak has operated independently as a small business in Texas, renting out canoes and kayaks.

With the help of Hector Rios, the founder of this business and a kayaker for over 25 years, visitors can now try fun paddling activities like kayaking and a tour of Coastal Bend.

At the same time, they can learn about marine life.

This business offers more than ten kayak rentals divided into three packages.

These are the Jackson Staxx in the bronze package, the Perception Pescador in the silver package, and the Hobie Outback in the platinum package.

Coastal Bend Kayak also offers float planning, safety equipment, signaling classes, tours, fishing, and bird and dolphin watching.

Enjoy Your Stay at Redfish Bay RV Park

Try camping if you’re looking for an adventure but don’t want to leave the city!

There are plenty of RV parks available for rent in Aransas Pass.

One of them is the well-built Redfish Bay RV Park, located in Aransas Pass and close to Redfish Bay.

Redfish Bay RV Park is an excellent place for anyone looking to have a good time.

This RV park features 66 premium sites with all the amenities you could need while staying there, including WiFi, fresh water, electricity, and more.

They also have a clubhouse where you can use the refrigerator, microwave, TV, restrooms with showers, laundry room, and even a coffee bar.

Learn about Music and Art at Rialto Theater

Rialto Theater is a historic, non-profit theater in Aransas Pass, founded in 1937.

The building was initially constructed as a movie theater, which served the city until 1991.

Later, it underwent renovations and restorations to improve its visitors’ experience.

The Rialto Theater strives to educate the public through good music, art, and theater while preserving the historical structure of the 1937 building.

Rialto also has a bar where you can try various beers and wines and a gallery filled with artworks in watercolors, oils, and acrylics created by local artists.

Rialto Theater is the best place to go if you want to enjoy live theater, music, and art.

Catch Flounder at Night with Surrender at Sunrise

This fishing charter is one of the best in Aransas Pass, giving you a one-of-a-kind flounder fishing experience.

Surrender At Sunrise will allow you to roam the sea of Aransas Pass, Port Aransas, Rockport, and Corpus Christi while looking for flounders in the middle of the night.

A flounder is a flatfish typically observed at night in the shallow ocean, near banks and reefs.

Captain Dave, a professional with 20 years of gig flounder experience, will lead your hunting journey, assisting you in flounder searching at night until sunrise.

With Surrender At Sunrise, you won’t have to worry about a thing.

They’ll provide the boat, lights, and gig pole for your flounder fishing trip.

You can take your fresh catch home for breakfast, lunch, or dinner!

This trip is suitable for people of all ages, making it ideal for a fun and unique family-friendly activity.

See the Hummingbirds at Newbury Park

Newbury Park is just a small park, but it can provide you with the solitude and peace you need during a quiet afternoon stroll.

Thanks to its hummingbird garden, this city park has become one of the best wildlife habitats in an urban setting.

To accommodate the tens of thousands of hummingbirds that pass through Aransas Pass during their migration, they built a garden specifically for them at Newbury Park.

As a result, this garden was later developed as a spot where visitors could unwind and relax while admiring the tiny birds.

The park is also becoming popular as a lovely spot for picnics and family-friendly activities.

Eat, Drink, and Bowl at CM Lanes

CM Lanes is the perfect place to enjoy a meal, drinks, and bowling with friends in Aransas Pass.

This bowling alley features 16 lanes with Brunswick’s superior technology and equipment.

It should provide you with the best bowling experience in the city.

A pro shop and a full-service bar are in a separate room where you can order beers and other beverages to drink with your family and friends.

They also have a restaurant where guests can order various pizzas, burgers, nachos, fries, and even desserts such as cheesecake, brownies, and cookies.

CM Lanes has always hosted events open to the public and is available for parties, live music, and various other activities.

Try a Fun Gigging Experience at Nocturnal Assault Flounder Gigging

Nocturnal Assault Flounder Gigging is another Aransas Pass fishing charter that will take you flounder gigging at night.

Captain James Parbst established the Nocturnal Assault in 2013 to provide flounder gigging fishing services in Aransas Pass, Port Aransas, Rockport, and Corpus Christi.

With the help of Captain James’ fishing expertise, visitors can assume that they will have the best and most unforgettable gigging trip.

On this trip, Nocturnal Assault Flounder Gigging provides you with everything you need to explore the water around Aransas Pass, including the boat, lights, and catching equipment.

What makes the Nocturnal Assault different from other fishing charters in Aransas Pass is that they have a “No Fish, No Pay” policy, which means that if visitors do not catch any fish, their entire trip is free.

Flounder gigging is open to people of all ages and skill levels, whether you’re a professional or just starting.

Relax Away from Home at Ransom Road RV Park

Staying true to their catchy line, “home away from home,” Ransom Road RV Park will provide you with the comforts of home while on vacation in Aransas Pass.

This RV Park, located along the coast and close to Corpus Christi, is one of the best recreational vehicles for vacation.

Ransom Road RV Park offers its Captain’s Den, which features a pool table, TV, board and card games, live music, and a potluck.

A short distance away are the gulf waters and an aquatic center with diving boards, a heated pool, slides, and a kiddie pool that every visitor can try.

Ransom Road RV Park is ideal if you want to try fun activities, stroll, and relax with your family and friends while away from home.

Eat All You Can at Butter Churn Restaurant

Butter Churn Restaurant is one of the best and most popular restaurants in Aransas Pass.

This family-owned restaurant has served homestyle dishes since 1995 and has two locations, the first in Sinton and the second in Aransas Pass.

The recipes used in this restaurant have been kept and passed down through three generations, ensuring perfection in every dish.

Every day, visitors can try different fresh dishes as this restaurant offers various courses every day of the week, excluding Monday.

Barbeque, steak, pork chops, fried chicken, fried fish, lasagna, spaghetti, and many other options are available on the menu.

Butter Churn Restaurant is an eat-all-you-can buffet-style restaurant open for catering and parties.

Paddle along the Lighthouse Lakes Paddling Trails

In 1999, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department declared this padding trail as the first paddling trail on the Texas coast.

Lighthouse Lakes Paddling Trails range from 1.25 to 6.8 miles, located near North Harbor Island, where the historic Lydia Ann Lighthouse was built.

This location is just 6.4 miles and a nine-minute ride from the Aransas Pass.

The trails are divided into four parts.

These are the 6.8-mile-long Redfish Loop, the 1.25-mile-long Electric Lake Loop, the 6.7-mile-long South Bay Loop, and the five-mile-long Cutters Loop.

Paddlers mostly visit the lakes for fishing and birdwatching using powerboats, but some say it is best to visit during high tide.

Other Things to Do Nearby

While on vacation in Aransas Pass, it’s also a great idea to explore its neighboring cities to try new things.

Here are some other things to do near Aransas Pass.

Swim in the Clear Blue Water of Rockport Beach

Sunny day at Rockport Beach

Andressa Hendler /

Rockport Beach, known as the first Blue Wave Beach in Texas, is one of the best places for a beachside vacation.

You can find it in Rockport, Texas, 15 minutes from Aransas Pass.

Since Rockport strives to protect the environment, this beach is well-maintained, clean, and safe for everyone to enjoy.

Rockport Beach also has a short walking path along Little Bay’s shore and is open for walking and cycling.

Not only is this space used for everyday functions, but you can also rent it for special occasions like weddings.

Silhouette of a pier at Rockport Beach

Jo McGuire /

The pavilions available here are great for hosting events.

Some people like the Beachfront Pavilion, while others prefer the Blue Wave Pavilion.

The Saltwater Pavilion and Little Bay Pavilion are both viable options, with private restrooms, playgrounds, or picnic tables.

The three-acre Little Bay also hosts festivals, annual events, and fishing tournaments everyone can attend.

Sunset over Rockport Beach

Sylvia Fitzpatrick /

Visit the Fulton Mansion State Historic Site

Exterior of Fulton Mansion State Historic Site

Larry D. Moore, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The resort area of Rockport-Fulton is home to a magnificent mansion that will give you a glimpse into the upper-class lifestyle of the 1800s.

This building is in Rockport, 18 minutes from Aransas Pass.

Fulton Mansion State Historic Site was said to be established in 1877 by the Fulton family to symbolize their family’s success at that time.

Before becoming a Texas Historical Commission property, this mansion underwent restorations to become a private residence, trailer park, restaurant, and recreational center.

Due to its stunning architectural designs and elegant interior elements, the mansion was designated a Texas Historical Landmark and a National Register of Historic Places.

It later became a historical museum where people could learn about George Fulton and his contributions to engineering and check out some interactive exhibits.

Final Thoughts

Aransas Pass is a great option if you’re looking for an affordable beach vacation destination with plenty of activities for the whole family.

With its beautiful beaches, nearby nature trails and parks, and a variety of shops and restaurants, there’s something for everyone in this small Texas city.

Whether you’re soaking up the sun or exploring all that Aransas Pass offers, you should have a memorable trip.

On your next visit, try the best things to do in Aransas Pass, Texas!

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