A Travel Guide Through Port Aransas, Texas

Discovering Eutierria in Port Aransas: A Personal Journey Through Beach Town Charm

There is no sunrise anywhere in the world like watching the sun rise over the horizon of an ocean, when your tent, with evidence of the previous night’s tide diplomatically bordered only a couple of feet beyond the entry, opens up to that morning alpenglow and the unmistakable scent of brine in the damp air, the feeling is unparalleled. It’s the only experience collectively shared by everyone as a feeling of Eutierria: at one with nature.

I get up, still groggy but in that ‘good sort of way,’ and sit on my folding chair, the legs of the chair are buried in the sand, the wet shore immediately padding the base with my weight and I dig my feet into the sand feeling the same effect, forgetting, as I always do, that I broke my right foot years ago and the shallow, heavy aged discomfort propels me to pull at least that foot from beneath the sand and refasten my toes only underneath. I sit there because I love watching the alchemizing of the morning sun in crystal clear reflection of the ocean as it quietly rises, and when it’s bright enough and warm enough I zip my tent and walk to the local coffee shop, Coffee Waves for my coffee.

I spent many high school summers with my friends at Port “A,” (Port Aransas, Texas). We would drive the few hours from the Texas Hill Country to the port off of the Gulf of Mexico, and camp right on the beach; digging holes into the sand where we would build our fires and cook our meals so that we could eat our gritty hot dogs and hamburgers and whatever else we’d risk making; there was always sand in everything, the sand was everywhere but none of us cared. We’d hang out for a week or so completely feeling eutierria.

My father kept a Catalina-22 in a marina in Port “A,” for some years, and one or two of those summers, those of us that could fit might stay in the cabin on the boat, or if we wanted a break from the sand for a day or two. My dad learned how to sail on Town Lake in a Sunfish sailboat. In my preteen years, my dad had several boats including another Sunfish, a catamaran, and the Catalina, I grew up sailing, and mostly on the ocean; it inspired a lifelong dream to want to live, for a time, on a boat in the Mediterranean.

I’ve been to Port Aransas countless times, as I got older, I started weighing the pros and cons of staying in a hotel, which isn’t to say that I have still enjoyed camping on the beach, and have even made several solo weekend trips to sit all day on the beach and watch the sun circle the horizon; drinking a margarita as the sunsets and a coffee—on the occasion that I woke early enough to grab a coffee before the sun would rise—and run up and down the beach.

These days, however, I have, more often than not, stayed in a condo along the channel where the ships come into port at Corpus Christi and it’s a very different experience, I’ve enjoyed that quite a bit as well—I don’t necessarily understand why, when traveling, people might prefer to vacation in “style.” I wouldn’t plan on being in a condo or a hotel room much anyway, except to sleep so I’m not sure why I would drop that kind of money to travel lavishly. What I enjoy about staying in the condo is sitting on the porch with a margarita watching these massive ships come through the channel. That’s a fun experience.

Being older, I have learned to appreciate island life more, and explore the town of Port Aransas instead of spending every second on the beach. I would wake up and walk the beach as the sun rises, and then walk through some of the residential streets on my way to the best pancakes that I’ve ever had at a diner called Coach’s Island Grill, it’s a small restaurant with a fun ambiance—let me reiterate when I say they’re the best pancakes that I’ve ever had that isn’t an exaggeration, they’re phenomenal—if I had the means I might have driven the three hours from the Texas Hill Country to Port Aransas just for the pancakes.

And then sit on the rock pier on the north side of the island and fish while watching a few ships coming in, and spend some time in the waves before getting lunch at Moby Dick’s (the restaurant is cluttered with beach paraphernalia on the walls and hanging from the ceiling and staged randomly throughout the restaurant, it’s such a cool spot), and then spend an hour or so at Coffee Waves drinking a Chai and people watching before heading back to the beach and the afternoon waves, dinner at Virginia’s, I’d sit on the patio, the whole place is a patio, facing the marina and then watch the sunset behind the sailboats parked in the marina.

And that’s a day in Port Aransas. At some point, I’ll stop by the Deserted Island Ice Cream shop for some island ice cream. Port Aransas, like the best beach towns, is not a polished place, neither is it dirty, per se, but it’s not Hilton Head. Port Aransas is sandy and rustic, it is how a beach town should be, and they’re not making any promises to tourists unless they’re promising some of the best shrimp you’ve ever had. 

The last time I was in Port Aransas I went by myself; I camped on the beach—it was the summer of 2020. I was there for a week. Port “A,” is truly a diamond in the rough—I’m always on the hunt for those gems of a place, and I was lucky to have grown up within a relatively short drive and have been fortunate to have recognized the island for what it is. I’m not sure when I’ll be there again, although I’m certain I will.

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.