We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Aransas National Wildlife Refuge

Features Animals
Closed Now: 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Open today: 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Review Highlights

We really enjoyed the area. Got a glimpse of an alligator and saw numerous bird species. Well... read more

Reviewed November 6, 2018
Lake Tahoe (California), California
Mid Day Tour

We enjoyed the drive through this historic refuge. Too early for whooping cranes but we did catch a... read more

Reviewed September 16, 2018
Cheri F
via mobile
Read all 130 reviews
All photos (126)
Full view
Traveler Overview
  • Excellent57%
  • Very good29%
  • Average12%
  • Poor2%
  • Terrible0%
Travelers talk about
“whooping cranes”(45 reviews)
“auto tour”(9 reviews)
“visitor center”(21 reviews)
This 70,000-acre nature and wildlife preserve is home to almost 400 species of birds.
Closed Now
Hours Today: 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
See all hours
Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, Austwell, TX 77950
+1 361-286-3559
Improve This Listing
Reviews (130)
Filter reviews
125 results
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
More languages
Show reviews that mention
All reviews whooping cranes auto tour visitor center national wildlife refuge walking trails viewing platform turkey vultures bird watching very cool place boat trip feral pigs great place to visit javelina rockport egrets loop armadillo
Updating list...
1 - 10 of 125 reviews
Reviewed 1 week ago

My sister, who is a birding person, suggested that I stop at Aransas for the whooping cranes in November. I did not see any in the wildlife refuge. We went to the area with the overlook, but still did not see any. It was suggested...More

Date of experience: November 2018
Thank S8674RWsusanm
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Like it says. This is a very important member of the National Wildlife Refuge system, for the habitat that it provides for endangered whooping cranes among other things. We'd had a fine time with a crane-watching boat tour out of Fulton Beach (q.v.) that gave...More

Date of experience: November 2018
Thank canbelto
Reviewed November 6, 2018

We really enjoyed the area. Got a glimpse of an alligator and saw numerous bird species. Well worth the drive out there. The towers on the auto tour loop provide great views of the marshes and birds.

Date of experience: November 2018
Thank JimmyGos
Reviewed September 16, 2018 via mobile

We enjoyed the drive through this historic refuge. Too early for whooping cranes but we did catch a glimpse of a gator, several hawks, egrets, Blue Heron, a snake and plenty of spiders. It’s worth the drive. Minimum fee to visit. Good hours. Make sure...More

Date of experience: September 2018
Thank Cheri F
Reviewed July 15, 2018

It may be a bit hard to find but its worth having a trip out to Aransas Wildlife Refuge. A very friendly lady ranger gave us all the info and maps. Due to the very heavy rain there were even more mozzies so make sure...More

Date of experience: July 2018
Thank Barry and Nicol... G
Reviewed April 28, 2018

This is a wild environment with much to see and hear. Maybe the most important tip is to BRING BUG REPELLENT. This place is home to what seems like billions of mosquitoes. They swarm on humans and pets, so come prepared. Other than the bugs,...More

Date of experience: April 2018
1  Thank Michael C
Reviewed March 6, 2018 via mobile

More than anything I write reviews so I have the places on my map and I can see where I have been. My memory gets worse everyday. There are already so many reviews there is not much to add. We saw a few birds and...More

Date of experience: March 2018
2  Thank Starviagera
Reviewed February 28, 2018

Went to see Whooping Cranes. Only got to see two juveniles while I was there. Boat tours were not running due to hurricane and not as many visitors as in other years. You can see the devastation brought on by Harvey, but the birds don't...More

Date of experience: January 2018
2  Thank caszsmom
Reviewed January 25, 2018 via mobile

Main facilities are currently closed due to storm damage. However restrooms are available and the trails are cleared and open for the most part. We easily saw two dozen species of birds. Also feral pigs, armadillo, deer, raccoon and gators. We could see the whooping...More

Date of experience: January 2018
1  Thank WJGTJG
Reviewed January 1, 2018

if you are a birder, Aransas National Wildlife Refuge is a must-see. There are so many species of birds here, including the highly endangered Whooping Cranes during the winter. Because of its relatively southern location, the refuge has many species of birds that simply do...More

Date of experience: December 2017
1  Thank Andi55_13
View more reviews
Nearby HotelsSee all nearby hotels
Quality Inn
8 reviews
19.28 miles away
Pelican Bay Resort
93 reviews
19.35 miles away
Sandollar Resort Motel & RV Park
42 reviews
19.45 miles away
Econo Lodge Inn by the Bay
150 reviews
19.73 miles away
Nearby RestaurantsSee all nearby restaurants
Bubba's Cajun Seafood
28 reviews
13.92 miles away
Cheryl's By the Bay
179 reviews
19.87 miles away
The Shrimp Shack
20 reviews
12.44 miles away
Moondog Seaside Eatery
661 reviews
19.80 miles away
Nearby AttractionsSee all nearby attractions
Fulton Mansion State Historic Site
141 reviews
20.03 miles away
Goose Island State Park
477 reviews
14.21 miles away
Tule Creek Hike & Bike Trail
27 reviews
20.93 miles away
Questions & Answers
Ask a question
June 11, 2018|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from WJGTJG | Reviewed this property |
Take the highway north out of Rockport. Gps will work Allow about 45 minutes because it is not a direct shot.
May 24, 2017|
AnswerShow all 5 answers
Response from greenjay1 | Reviewed this property |
Yes. Purchase of pass is available. Roads are paved. Try some of the walking trails as well as the viewing tower. Bring plenty of water. Have fun.
Travel Forum Posts
Rosie H
Perth, Australia
Weekend escape from Houston to Nature! (8 Replies)
Hi there, My boyfriend and I have relocated to Houston for three months for work. We are in our mid 20's and are originally from Australia so we love the outdoors. I will probably post different questions each week looking for guidance from you lovely locals so please be patient with me as we are looking to get the absolute most from this amazing state whilst we can! :) This weekend we are looking to drive to one of the national parks and explore the country and hopefully see some...More
November 07, 2013|
Response fromKingwood1811|
Big Bend is too far of a drive for a week-end but a place to visit at some point. For the first trip Enchanted Rock but be a good one - just over a 3 hour drive and you will find accommodation close by. I have heard that Rockview Cabins are good but never been there.
Los Alamos, New Mexico, United States
Corpus Christi/Rockport: whooping cranes and ... what? (2 Replies)
Surprised there isn't a separate Corpus Christi forum, but there doesn't appear to be, so: We are considering a late November trip to the CC area with the main purpose of getting to Aransas National Wildlife Refuge and trying to see whooping cranes. The planning for this part of the trip is actually semi-in hand, but we are now trying to figure out what combines well with it. This is a part of the state with which I have no experience and I don't know what else in the area is worth doing....More
September 17, 2018|
Response fromGehrig|
Here is the Corpus Christi forum: https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowForum-g60927… Repost and I will do my best to answer your questions. I cannot move your post unfortunately.
Bird watching/whooping crane boat trip (1 Replies)
We will be in Texas in mid-February, and plan to drive from San Antonio to Aransas National Wildlife Refuge. I have looked at the website for a 3 hour boat trip leaving from The Rockport area, which looks good. They have a trip that leaves at 7:30 AM, and another at 1:00 PM. Any advantage of morning vs. afternoon, in terms of seeing birds and other wildlife? Is tide level an issue?
January 10, 2016|
Response fromGehrig|
Tide level is not an issue. I would call the supplier with specific questions. I think in February the afternoon trip might be a bit warmer.