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Looking for South Texas style island fun with beaches, boating, hiking, fishing, surfing, seashells, and bird watching? Hop the 24-hour Port Aransas Ferry from Aransas Pass on the mainland and make the 10-minute crossing of Corpus Christi Channel to Mustang Island. Drive your car on Port A’s beaches on your way to a money-saving vacation rental home, apartment or condo. Party with the college spring break crowd, or choose a quieter time for a more mellow island life style.
Start your birding adventure in Aransas Pass, even before boarding the ferry to Mustang Island. Newbury Park Hummingbird Garden, a winter migration sanctuary, is the place to watch for rufous, ruby-throated, black-chinned, buff-bellied, and Anna’s hummingbirds. Outside your Port Aransas beachfront home or other money-saving vacation rental, the Mustang Island Loop beckons your birding binoculars. Start with Mustang Island State Park for sand dune, tidal flat, grassland, seabird, and shorebird species. Nearby Padre Island National Seashore has logged almost 400 bird species migrating on the Central Flyway between North and South America.
Take the family and kids seashell collecting on adjacent San Jose Island. Then cast your line and fish the surf, piers and jetties for speckled trout, redfish, sheepshead, pompano, black drum, and kingfish. Offshore fishing boats offer a sporting chance of landing sailfish, marlin, red snapper, tarpon, ling, barracuda, Spanish mackerel, and tunas. With luck, catch an amberjack, yellowfin or blackfin tuna for a local restaurant to cook to order. Or cook it yourself and save money in your vacation rental kitchen. Plan your summer vacation rental around a specialized weekend fishing tournament. Kids can enter the Piggy Perch contest.
Launch your own boat at an island marina, or rent a boat to explore the Gulf of Mexico and Corpus Christi Bay. Or kayak the bays and channels. Kids will be fascinated by the island pirate legends and Civil War navy lore. Supposedly, pirate boats came ashore here to bury their treasures in the sand. During the Civil War, U.S. Navy ships battled Port Aransas ships supplying cotton, seafood, salt and beef to the Confederate Army and burned down the town, piers and wharves. Today, all seems peaceful. The U.S. Coast Guard station keeps the marinas and boating safe during your vacation rental stay.