We Built the Perfect Port Aransas Vacation Itinerary

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It’s almost Spring Break, and mama needs a getaway! (Okay…I guess I’ll bring the rest of my family, ha!) Seriously though, I feel like we have all been running in different directions and would love to go somewhere as a family to relax and reconnect. When I heard about Port Aransas in Texas, I was immediately sold! “Port A” is known for its small-town island vibe, and it sounds like paradise. We have two kids, ages 2 and 5, so finding a spot that works for all is no easy task—but Port A is it! Between miles of (driveable!) beaches, loads of restaurant options and activities for all, it’s really a no-brainer that this is our dream destination. Need inspo? Here’s what we’ve planned for our four-day getaway to Port A:

Day 1

My crew likes to take it easy when we roll up somewhere new. First thing on our list? EAT FOOD. We chose BlueWater Cowboy for lunch. It has beautiful views of the gulf so that we can soak in our new surroundings, plus enjoy drool-worthy crab cakes and a full kids menu.

Next, we'll hit Bron's Beach Carts & Backyard and grab some famous fruity slushies for the kids to cool off and a frosty beer or two for us, while we listen to live music and play games, like Giant Jenga—and it's so close to the beach!

A beach day is a must in Port A! We hit the beach to snag our spot—but there's actually plenty of room—with 18 of beaches. First things first: We need to travel like a local and rent a beach cart to cruise around in.

On the top of our must-do list is a sandcastle-building lesson with a local celebrity, "Port Aransas Sandcastle Guy."This sounds like a perfect activity for our young kids to try their hands at—and think of the photo ops!

This adventure-filled day will require some carbo-loading, so we made a reservation at Dylan's Coal Oven Pizzeria. I am a pizza connoisseur, and this place is the real deal with the only coal-burning oven in town—who doesn't love pizza?!

Day 2

This morning, we are gonna fuel up with biscuits and gravy at the Island Cafe—they also have plenty of other offerings for our picky eaters.

Next up: Hit the pool! We are heading to Port A's relaxing Community Pool, which has not one but two pools to enjoy. There are places for us to change, lockers for our gear and it's an excellent way to get some water fun in before dinner. Bonus: There's plenty for our two year old to explore, like a splash pad and shallow waters to play in.

My kids are all about a souvenir or two (or three), so we'll spend the rest of the afternoon exploring the local shops, galleries and boutiques. Odds are we'll forget something when packing, but luckily the shops have island-inspired fashions and all of the necessities covered! 

I know we'll be craving seafood after a jam-packed day, so we're heading to Castaways Seafood and Grill for some tasty crustaceans for dinner. They also have a kids menu with chicken fingers, fries and stuff I know my kids will enjoy—winner, winner, seafood dinner!

Plan your family's escape to Port Aransas!

Day 3

First up? Breakfast. We'll swing by The Donut Palace for some sweet doughy treats, savory egg sandwiches and hot coffee for the adults. 

I've heard great things about the Joan and Scott Holt Paradise Pond, an extensive habitat for birds, butterflies and more. Our kids love animals, so this is sure to be a hit and a beautiful, relaxed stroll through nature.

Next up, we will get our hands dirty and paint some pottery as a family! Fire It! Ceramics is the perfect place for a fun activity that we can all take part in and go home with some cool souvenirs.

Okay, I know my kids will love this one… but we are pretty psyched about it, too: Red Dragon Pirate Cruise! There's exciting cannon fire, dolphin watching, sword fighting and treasure hunting, all on this cool pirate ship on the water.

Since it's our last night here, we plan on an extra-special meal at Black Marlin Bar & Grill. I have to try their award-winning shrimp and grits, and they have mouth-watering steaks and, of course, a kids menu with all their faves. 

Day 4

One last beach adventure before we go back to reality. The water in Port A is known for being warm, with soft sand to squish your toes in, and we can't leave without one more dip. 

Before we head out, we'll enjoy a leisurely brunch at an outdoor table at Tortuga's Saltwater Grill, enjoying some French toast topped with caramel and crispy bacon (and probably plan our next trip to Port A!).

The experiences your kids have here will become the stuff of future nostalgia—plan your trip today!

 

—Jamie Aderski

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