Late Friday night, Aug. 25, 2017, Hurricane Harvey churned through the Gulf of Mexico. It intensified from a tropical storm into a dangerous Category 4 hurricane before its whirling eye crashed into Port Aransas. With winds gusting up to 160 mph, the storm spewed tornadoes that ripped apart homes and buildings . Port A was slammed, and Harvey left destruction and devastation on every street corner.
A year later and thankfully there are real signs of a renaissance.
We recently visited during a cold and bleak Veterans Day weekend. Port A has grit and true character and we felt a sense of homecoming as much of what we recalled remained or had been rebuilt. Restaurants and businesses were open and it was clear that Port A is well on the road to recovery and hopefully set for a fabulous summer season.
Here are some reasons why Port A should be on your list of places to visit any season.
Go for The Beach................
There are 6.5 miles of beautiful beaches to explore . Here at Port A you can also drive on the beach but a $12 permit is required for parking. I love the beaches here especially in the off season as I have often been blessed to have miles of stretches of beach all to myself to walk and discover. The jetty is also a fun place to walk and watch the fishermen at work.
Spend a Morning Dolphin and Bird Watching
There are few places I would rather be than watching dolphin jump, play and simply glide through the water- it really is exhilarating to me. Port A offers some seriously great places to “dolphin watch”. For a guaranteed viewing head to the deep channel by the ferry port. Here you can watch the dolphin as they eat and play or watch them as they leap ahead of the boats and barges going through the channel. As I remain a true amateur when it comes to photography I have yet to capture this on film but take my word for it young and old will be delighted to watch the dolphin in this area.
Everyone Should Visit Just for The Shark
Photo opportunities abound in Port A!
Sadly the Seahorses and octopus have gone (I include a pictures here from a previous visit) . The old fishermen and the lighthouse remain intact as does the ridiculously large shark. The shark is waiting for you to step in and get that picture you have always wanted.
The PLace Hotel
Even as Port A continues to rebuild there are plenty of options when it comes to places to stay. We chose a new hotel directly opposite the Ferry terminal. I chose this place as the rate was unbeatable and it looked brand new. This is a small boutique hotel. We stayed two nights and were not disappointed. The service here was excellent – the staff was helpful and very friendly. The room was huge and nicely decorated although we did find there was not enough light in the room. Breakfast was a basic continental breakfast. All in all, for the money this was a great deal.
Where to Eat...............
Port A has some great options for food. Sadly, one we have loved is no longer a favorite. We were excited to spend and evening at one of our favorite restaurants, The Venetian Hot Plate. In the past the food has been amazing. One this past visit the food was bland and mediocre at best which made for a disappointing experience which was most certainly overpriced. As we were in Port A for a wedding our dining out was limited but we did visit an old favorite the Island Café. This place has been totally remodeled but it has retained its great service and excellent food. We ate here twice and have no doubt we will be back again and again as they have really maintained their standards.
Port A has a plethora of eating establishments and bars. Some are better that others but what is great is the choices, In the past we have visited and loved The Crazy Cajun, Irie’s Tacos and Snoopy’ s . Recently we enjoyed some great cocktails at Virginia’s at the Bay.
Visit Port A and make it a tradition......
Whether you are spending time at the nature preserves in Port A or visiting a local tattoo artist Port A has everything you need to make for a memorable trip. Trust me pack your bags and head that way no matter the season you’ll have a great time making memories .
Exploring our world one trip at a time.....................................