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We are in our 6th week camping in the Port Aransas, TX neighborhood....and here are some impressions: Great area, great weather (3 showers and one "rainy day") in the past 40 days. Beach vehicle permits (good for a calendar year) are only $6'll find lots of folks who think that is a rip-off. Beaches are great despite the number of morons that deface them. ...Giant holes dug in the sand to build fires and toss in empty beer cans......where do they think the trash goes?.....Dogs and dog crap everywhere (what a concept!).......wonder what those dog owners' homes look like? The weekend crowd appears to be the major offenders. Beach has maint. folk who spend the weekdays cleaning the place up. Some local talk concerns banning vehicles and animals from the beach, and the majority appears to agree. One local supermarket.....IGA....has everything you'll need, and prices are not inflated. SPID Causeway under lane each direction.......very congested.......Free ferry @ Port Aransas seems the better path. .....Check out the establishment @ marker 9 on the beach. Numerous Biffy's and outdoor showers between markers 25 to 6......none between 30 and 64, then numerous ones after 64. Plenty of restaurants to choose from.......check out the flight school @ Sharkey's. Post Office on Alister south of town. No Wal-Mart's or other big stores in this town.......all small establishments. Lots of fishing opportunities. Beer and wine sold at the IGA store. Try the "Fat Tire" brand amber ale. All in all, this has been a great trip...............
Having grown up in Central Texas me and my family have been traveling to "Port A" since I was a child. I remember when it was a small fishing village, out of the way and not so touristy. Even though it has grown it hasn't out grown is small town charm. Weekends and holidays can be a bit over crowded for my taste but for easy access and within 4 hours of home it's number 1. Be sure to make reservations at least one month in advance since the rv parks all seem to fill up quickly.

I have to agree that the trash culprits seem to be those that show up on a whim for a party on the beach. They tend to be younger, college aged crowd although some older folks are guilty too. Just my personal observations.

The beaches at South Padre Island are less crowded but it's at least a 6 to 7 hour haul from home (Austin, TX). Not really conducive for a 3 day weekend.

Across the ferry, in Aransas Pass, you'll find gas is cheaper and a larger grocery store (HEB). The HEB is better stocked and has cheaper prices than IGA.

We'll be returning for our third trip of the year in mid August after the kiddos have gone back to school and the crowds are smaller.
We found ourselves in the Coastal Bend area of Texas for the winter and early spring this year and found it to be a wonderful place. We stayed in a very nice town called Rockport, which was a free ferry ride across the water from Port Aransas, were we drove on the beach and fished every day. We also enjoyed boondocking on the beach there.. which was a real treat and it was FREE for those of us that had the beach parking pass that now costs $7.00 per year. If you camp on the beach past the pier it's free and there are showers, and fresh water and a dump station right there at the Beach/Park office. For those of you that prefer a full hookup site, there is also a park there right by the dunes where you can stay for a very nominal fee per night. We were there with a ton of winter Texans and the trash on the beach and the dog issues mentioned in other posts were no where to be seen. The spring break was a nightmare... for which we chose to stay in Rockport and not venture over to Port A until that was over, but the evidence was still there for a while after the fun was over. The coastal bend area is wonderful place to stay in the Winter. There is a Super Walmart there, many RV parks.. which are very inexpensive compared to other wintering areas... and there is a wonderful city park there in Rockport also, where you can visit with the pelicans and other birds that make their home there. The winter is a especially nice there with warm days and a bit chilly at night.... and there are a lot of wonderful people there also. In the Port A/Rockport area you are very close to Corpus Christi, for major shopping and dining. There is a really unique place in Rockport by the waterfront that is called the Boiling Pot and if you go there... don't miss a visit there. You are also close enough to take day trips down to the Rio Grande Valley area and even to Mexico and return in the same day. If you decide to take a day trip down to South Padre Island, it's well worth the drive... and worth the additional miles to visit Boca Chica Beach... it's a must see if you like undeveloped...natural seashore!!! So,If you want to spend a wonderful time during the Winter with wonderful people... then disregard the Texas motto... (Don't Mess with Texas)... and venture on down and stay a while!!
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