Great Texas Wildlife Trails

Sample Itinerary

Port Aransas/Mustang Island, Texas

Color Your World ~ Island Style
Sunset Tour (late afternoon/early evening)
Fall & Winter* Option

* Central Standard Time

dsc_5428_r1.jpgThis half-day itinerary assumes an early afternoon arrival, allowing guests a break between sites for check-in. The activities provide the chance to experience the colorful past and vibrant natural attributes of Port Aransas/Mustang Island, Texas, including its local history, extraordinary birding, beachcombing & photo opportunities.

Note: upon your arrival, be sure to stop in at the Port Aransas Chamber of Commerce/Tourist and Convention Bureau for more information about Port Aransas and the Coastal Bend area.

Approximate starting time: 1:30 p.m.

Leona Belle Turnbull Birding Center


Time allowed (approx.): 30 minutes
Distance from Chamber of Commerce (approx.): 1 Mile
Details: A boardwalk and observation tower provide fantastic wildlife viewing. Stretching nearly one mile above shallow, brackish water, the boardwalk offers panoramic views of hundreds of resident and migratory birds, waterfowl, and marine creatures, including roseate spoonbills, egrets, herons and more.
Map & Locater Number: City of Port Aransas, #35; Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail (Central Coast) #57


Joan & Scott Holt Paradise Pond


Time allowed (approx.): 30 minutes
Distance from Chamber of Commerce (approx.): 1 Mile
Details: Tree lined boardwalks provide optimum viewing points for warblers, tanagers, ibis and hundreds of other migratory species. Spanning the only fresh water pond in the area, shaded benches, and informational displays offer surroundings unique to the island.
Map & Locater Number: City of Port Aransas #43

Roberts Point Park


Time allowed (approx.): 30 minutes
Distance from Chamber of Commerce (approx.): less than 1 Mile
Details: Sights from the bulkhead, pier and observation tower are many. They include Mustang Island's ferry system, carrying visitors and their vehicles to and from the mainland; the Lydia Ann Lighthouse on Harbor Island; Bottlenose Dolphin, large tankers, military ships, elegant yachts, sailboats, and other private vessels skimming through the busy Corpus Christi Ship Channel. In addition, a Texas Historical Marker is on site stating the significance of the waterways surrounding the island during the Civil War. Year-round enjoyment is found touring the City Marina, and gathering at the public picnic pavilions, BBQ areas, playgrounds, and team sport facilities.
Map & Locater Number: City of Port Aransas #'s 6, 17, 18, 42

The South Jetty & The Beach

Time allowed (approx.): 60 minutes
Distance from the Chamber of Commerce (approx.): 2 Miles
Details: The jetty, constructed in the early 1900's of large granite blocks quarried from Marble Falls, Texas, extends approximately ½ mile from the northern tip of Mustang Island into the Gulf of Mexico, providing stabilization to the entrance of the Corpus Christi Ship Channel. Fishing, birding, dolphin watching, shelling, and relaxing are favorite pastimes along and around the massive stone ledge. The mile-long stretch of beach between the jetty and the Horace Caldwell Pier is reputed as Mustang Island's richest beachcombing area.
Map & Locater Number: Port Aransas City Map # 27, 37; Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail (Central Coast) # 58

Check-in at local accommodations

Time allowed (approx.): 30 minutes

Historic Tarpon Inn

Time allowed (approx.): 30 minutes
Distance from the Chamber of Commerce (approx.): 1 Mile
Details: Celebrating its 120th anniversary in 2006, the Inn was built in 1886 with lumber from Civil War barracks, and was first used to house workers for the South Jetty. In addition to welcoming guests to it's deep shady porches, it has housed many area residents during storms and has served as headquarters for the Red Cross, the Salvation Army & Military units. A Texas Historical Marker stands at the front walkway, boasting its reputable and colorful past; including tarpon scales on display in the front room, signed by famous patrons such as Franklin D. Roosevelt. Located at 200 East Cotter Avenue, the Tarpon Inn has the distinction of being named to the National Register of Historic Places and has held a special place in the hearts of many over the decades.
Map & Locater Number: N/A

Dolphin Watch/Sunset Trips to Lydia Ann Lighthouse

Time allowed (approx.): 90-120 minutes
Distance from the Chamber of Commerce (approx.): less than 1 Mile
Details: Departing from local docks daily, boats troll into the Corpus Christi Ship Channel; through the bays and waterways abundant with Bottlenose Dolphin; cruising around spoil islands housing Brown Pelicans and other birds. Sit back and enjoy the ride, marvel at the graceful dance of the dolphins and the precision flight of the pelicans, as the Captain exposes the areas colorful history, including pirates and buried treasure. Excellent photo opportunities abound--especially as the sun sets behind the Lydia Ann Lighthouse, the only lighthouse on the Texas Gulf Coast manned and operated 24 hours a day. Privately owned, its offshore waters offer public viewing.
Map & Locater Number: N/A (See Chamber listing for participating Docks)


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