Port Aransas is a city in Nueces County, Texas. The population was 3,480 at the2010 census. Port Aransas is the only established town on Mustang Island. It is located north of Padre Island and is one of the longest barrier islands along the Texas coast. Corpus Christi Bay, the Gulf of Mexico, the Lydia Ann Ship Channel and the Corpus Christi Ship Channel make up the surrounding waters.
Boat dock at Port Aransas.
|Nickname(s): Port A|
|Motto: Always in Season|
Location of Port Aransas, Texas
|Coordinates: 27°50′N 97°4′W|
Port Aransas has now become a fishing, beach, and resort village, with summer populations sometimes swelling to 60,000 or more, as well as a college spring-break destination. Every year in April Port Aransas hosts an event called Sand Fest. This even brings thousands of people to Port Aransas each year to watch sculptors build elaborate Sand Castles. There are food vendors, shopping, and live music as well. All of the money raised from the event goes to the community and local schools.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 12.1 square miles (31 km2), of which, 8.8 square miles (23 km2) of it is land and 3.3 square miles (8.5 km2) of it (27.01%) is water. Port Aransas is located at (27.827373, -97.072205).
Around 1900, the village was doing big business in sea turtle export. Fishing has always been a staple, especially sport fishing for spotted seatrout and redfish. It is estimated that some 600+ species of saltwater fish inhabit the waters off Port Aransas. The fishing industry is still lively in the city, though local battles exist between RFA (Recreational Fishing Alliance) and CCA (Coastal Conservation Association.) Tourism is the largest section of the economy. The beach at Port Aransas draws thousands of visitors each weekend from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
The Port Aransas economy is increasingly focusing on eco-tourism. Bird-viewing locations have been established by the city and State of Texas agencies. Kayak paddling trails established by the State of Texas also contribute to eco-tourism. Port Aransas has begun the construction of a multi-acre Natural Preservation area that will provide hiking trails and other nature-related tourist activities.
Port Aransas' public schools are operated by the Port Aransas Independent School District. H.G. Olsen Elementary School, Brundrett Middle School, and Port Aransas High School serve the city.