Are you looking for a beach destination with essential seaside charm, miles of waterfront access, and tons of kid-friendly activities for this summer? If you are close to the Texas Gulf Coast and are trying to decide between visiting Port Aransas or Corpus Christi, we have the inside scoop on what both of these locations have to offer. Whichever one you choose, Corpus Christi is only 45 minutes from Port Aransas, so you can book your beach rentals in one place and still take a day trip to another location. So pack your bags, and unravel endless opportunities for family fun by planning a vacation that you won’t forget!
Choosing Between Corpus Christi and Port Aransas
They are on the same shoreline, but there are a few things you should consider before deciding on your vacation spot.
Driving is Permitted on the Beach in Texas
When you’re on vacation with your family, their safety is a priority. There is a separation barrier between the actual shoreline and the cars in Port Aransas beaches, making it an excellent choice for a family beach vacay. Parents can relax without fearing their family being put in any unexpected danger caused by vehicles on the beach. In contrast, there is no such barrier on the shores of Corpus Christi, which means you’ll need to be constantly checking on your children/family to ensure that they’re staying away from moving vehicles. You can’t afford to leave them unattended, so you’ll need to be much more alert.
Another advantage of Port Aransas beaches is that you can drive right up to the shore and park your car wherever you’d like. There’s no stressing about carrying all of your beach supplies to your designated spot when you can drive right onto the shoreline. To avoid any hassles, don’t forget to get yourself a parking permit and maintain a consistent speed of 15 mph at all times!
Mustang Island Beaches
Mustang Island is an 18 miles long barrier island located along the Texas Gulf Coast, extending from Corpus Christi to Port Aransas. Padre Island is to the south, whereas Corpus Christi Bay is on the north and west. Port Aransas is located at the northern end of the island, so you can easily drive up from Mustang Island to Padre Island and explore the blue seas and mystic sand.
Named after the white sands on the gorgeous shore, this is the closest beach to the highway in Corpus Christi. The beach is flat, spacious, and has other access roads in the vicinity. It is an excellent location for families or small groups who are looking for a quiet beach getaway. The mile-long Padre Island Seawall, running from Whitecap Beach to South Packery Beach, is located near the local hotels and resorts. In addition, this beach offers a sand-free path for jogging, walking, or biking, along the coast.
The Michael J. Ellis Beach sits midway along the Padre Island Seawall, providing dressing rooms, free parking, and showers to make your family beach day stress-free and convenient. This beach is well-kept, with packed sand and lifeguards positioned along the shoreline, making it a great location for a family vacation.
The South Packery Channel Beach acts as the dividing line between Padre Islands and Mustang. This is the perfect sandy sanctuary for families who want afternoon picnics and to build giant sandcastles! South Packery Channel Beach is one of the top fishing spots in the region, providing ideal conditions for jetty fishing, kiteboarding, surfing, and windsurfing. All in all, a place where the whole family can have some fun!
Mustang Island State Park
If you are staying farther in town and are fond of adventures and outdoor activities, Mustang Island State Park may be an excellent option for you. It is a five-mile sandy beach stretch along Mustang Island’s coastline, which gives visitors the experience of a state park without the need to travel a long way from the amenities in Port Aransas. You may even be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the sea turtles laying their eggs on the sandy shores if you visit from April to July!
This state park by the sea allows you to explore the best of both worlds as you can bike along the trail searching for wildlife or jump in a kayak for some shallow water fishing. It is home to over 400 species, which makes this park a great option if you want to explore the wilderness in Port Aransas.
The Mustang Island Condos are located in Padre Island, which is only a two-minute walk from Mustang Island Beach. This plush beachfront property has a balcony with a sea view, free private parking, complimentary WiFi, and many other amenities to make your stay as enjoyable as possible.
Port Aransas Beach
This downtown beach is among the busiest tourist spots in Texas, which is only 10 miles away from the Mayan Princess Beach Resort. It is a small city that is incredibly popular due to its gorgeous beaches. Port Aransas can make the perfect location for a family vacation as people can enjoy the 6.3 miles of white sandy beaches. In Port Aransas, you can fish, surf, boat, sunbathe or sail in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico; the options are endless!
Parking Rules on the Beach in Port Aransas and Corpus Christi
Don’t forget to get a parking permit if you want to drive up to the Corpus Christi beaches with your family. Here are details of the beach parking permit you need to know when driving along the Texas shoreline-
- A parking pass from the City of Port Aransas is mandatory for parking on the beach from 0 to 62-mile marker.
- You can use the free parking section if it is vacant between mile markers 52 and 58.
- The Mustang Island State Park admission fee is inclusive of parking.
- From mile marker 62 to Padre Island National Seashore, you need to obtain a parking pass from the City of Corpus Christi.
Things to Do in Port Aransas and Corpus Christi with Your Family
It goes without saying that a majority of time will be spent hanging out on the gorgeous beaches that these two areas have to offer. Since you can drive your car right up to the shore, you can bring all of your gear and beach necessities right to your designated spot on the beach. Additionally, if you decide to go ahead and rent a Beachfront House in Port Aransas, you will have the option to spend time playing card games and watching movies inside if the weather is too unpleasant to be on the beach.
There are several vacation beach rentals and hotels you can stay in while holidaying in Port Aransas or Corpus Christi. But, out of all the lodging options, the Mayan Princess Beach Resort is by far the most convenient option if you want exclusive access to the beach! The Mayan Princess is deeply influenced by Mayan architecture and offers luxurious condos with stunning amenities for your family. If you plan to travel in a big group, we can provide you with a more spacious condo to accommodate the number of people you have staying.
When you’ve decided on the vacation destination that best fits your needs, don’t hesitate to book! Our rentals fill up fast, so it’s imperative that you get in contact with us as soon as possible to reserve your rental at the Mayan Princess. We have the prices, amenities, and activities needed to ensure that you have an unforgettable vacation!