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port aransas or south padre island?
Old 04-10-2016, 10:03 PM   #1
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port aransas or south padre island?

Anyone have an opinion between Port Aransas or South Padre Island? Port Aransas is a much shorter drive. However, I am concerned that the beach or water may not be as nice. I admit I am a little bit of a beach snob. Anyone been to both?
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Old 04-10-2016, 10:06 PM   #2
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South Padre has a much better beach.
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Old 04-11-2016, 05:16 AM   #3
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We went to SPI a couple years ago. We're going to have a rental house in Port A for a week starting next Sunday. We'll let you know. I suspect SPI will be nicer and has more stuff and more beaches and all, but I didn't want to drive 5+ hours this time, but only about 2.
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Old 04-11-2016, 09:30 AM   #4
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much better beach in SPI, Port Aransas may have better food
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Old 04-11-2016, 09:32 AM   #5
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South Padre has a much better beach.
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Old 04-11-2016, 10:47 AM   #6
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I'm also interested in this question. Is the extra drive time from Houston worth it? Assume you have a baby in the car.
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Old 04-11-2016, 10:53 AM   #7
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Went to Port A a couple times when I lived in San Antonio. I enjoyed the smaller crowds, but the beach is pretty MEH in comparison to PI. Of course, most of the beaches in Texas are well...anyway.
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Old 04-11-2016, 11:05 AM   #8
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We go to Port A most every year - primarily because it's a shorter drive from Austin. A couple of years ago, to do someting different, we went to surfside beach near Freeport - almost due south of Houston. Not as nice as Port A with a number of chemical plants nearby. Haven't been to SPI.
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Old 04-11-2016, 04:41 PM   #9
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We went to SPI a couple years ago. We're going to have a rental house in Port A for a week starting next Sunday. We'll let you know. I suspect SPI will be nicer and has more stuff and more beaches and all, but I didn't want to drive 5+ hours this time, but only about 2.
Thanks, all for your replies so far ... Ziggy, I look forward to your trip report when you return.
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Old 04-11-2016, 04:43 PM   #10
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South Padre is a much more impressive beach and there are many more options for everything, but we prefer Port A which is much more laid back. This early in the season, the water temperatures would favor South Padre, though.
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Old 04-11-2016, 05:31 PM   #11
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Padre is a BEACH destination whereas Port A is mostly a fishing or birding destination. I enjoy both but for an older guy who has had enough pure beach time I prefer Port A due to the many eateries, bird and wildlife excursions and fishing ops.
Enjoy...
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Old 05-07-2016, 10:43 AM   #12
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We went to SPI a couple years ago. We're going to have a rental house in Port A for a week starting next Sunday. We'll let you know. I suspect SPI will be nicer and has more stuff and more beaches and all, but I didn't want to drive 5+ hours this time, but only about 2.
Ziggy, How was your trip? Any opinions on Port A vs SPI?
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Old 05-07-2016, 11:49 AM   #13
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SPI is bigger, better beaches, more to do. Also more expensive, more crowded, an extra 3+ hour drive for most people.

In off season, a lot of the shops and restaurants in Port A are closed Monday through Wednesday or Thursday. Port A is a quieter stay and (as mentioned above) if you like bird watching and/or fishing, it's a great stop. If you want a lot of "stuff to do" otherwise, especially with more human interaction, SPI would be better.

Port A has golf carts all over the place. Rentals of these things are a major industry there.
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Old 05-07-2016, 12:23 PM   #14
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SPI is bigger, better beaches, more to do. Also more expensive, more crowded, an extra 3+ hour drive for most people.

In off season, a lot of the shops and restaurants in Port A are closed Monday through Wednesday or Thursday. Port A is a quieter stay and (as mentioned above) if you like bird watching and/or fishing, it's a great stop. If you want a lot of "stuff to do" otherwise, especially with more human interaction, SPI would be better.

Port A has golf carts all over the place. Rentals of these things are a major industry there.
Thanks, Ziggy. That's all good information. For me it is a 6 hour drive vs a 4.5 hour drive. So trying to figure out if it is worth the extra drive. Thanks again.
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Old 05-07-2016, 04:40 PM   #15
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I have spent many vacations on SPI and Mustang Island (MI). Port Aransas is at the north end of Mustang Island and the south end is Corpus Christi.

We basically prefer Mustang Island, but do not go to Port A. There are no decent restaurants in Port A and really nothing to do. We tend to do a couple of day trips to Corpus Christi from our condo on Mustang Island. Examples: Aircraft carrier, aquarium, mini-golf, horse rental, movies, restaurants, shopping. We cook most of our own meals in the condo. H.E.B. and IGA grocery stores are easy to reach.

While the SPI beach is "better", it is only marginally better. We go to Mustang Island because the beach is not crowded and we can get a condo with pool right on the beach. Sand is superb for sand castle building. It is silty with a hint of oil, so it really sticks together and castles over 6 feet high are easy to build. The beach crew keeps the beach free of debris and washed up seaweed. The water is warm and shallow.

I think the waters at both SPI and MI are similar: pee warm, small stingrays, and jellyfish. Not much in the way of waves. So very relaxing.

If you like to read, sleep, walk, jog, and relax in hot sweaty outdoor weather, then MI will be perfect for you. Tell me what you like to do at the beach and I can comment further.

I'm not sure what a beach snob is. I used to live on the shore and have been to many beaches. I would think a beach snob would only go to a beach in Hawaii, but one cannot build sand castles there.

And whoever said there are restaurants in Port A, well, I would question their sanity. You can buy shrimp right off the boat though.
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Old 05-07-2016, 05:32 PM   #16
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Since we moved to Austin in 2008, every year we went to South Padre or Corpus Christi or both. We will choose SPI if we plan to stay 5 days; short time like Labor Day weekend we will go to CC. SPI is more tourist oriented, and has more activities like para gliding and beach horse riding. And CC we prefer Mustang Island.
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Old 05-07-2016, 05:33 PM   #17
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What-a Burger. All else is artsy fartsy pre tense. Of course if my wife read this - she would throw something at me. But she has booked the same beach condo half way down Mustang for 7 years(end of Feb.) Port A and surrounds for Birding and some small shops. I of course hit the candy place. Drive to Corpus for the fancier restaurants, museums and stuff.

One week. No more. No less.

heh heh heh - Good thread.
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Old 05-07-2016, 05:38 PM   #18
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I'm enjoying this thread. My Rhode Island-born grandfather lit out for Texas as a teenager, and my earliest memories are of him, my Granny, and several cousins shoehorned into my grandparents' beach house in Port Aransas. Our extended family spent a lot of time there.


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Old 05-07-2016, 06:55 PM   #19
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What-a Burger. All else is artsy fartsy pre tense.
That may be the best restaurant in Port A. I kid you not.
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Old 05-07-2016, 06:59 PM   #20
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SPI is more tourist oriented, and has more activities like para gliding and beach horse riding. And CC we prefer Mustang Island.
Mustang Island has beach horse riding and parasailing and golf, etc.

Don't forget that the northern end of Padre Island is a short jump across the south end of Mustang Island right there in Corpus. In fact to get to Mustang Island from Corpus, you should drive to north Padre Island first.


(not my kids (maybe they are yours?), but sand sculpture built by a group I was with)

But SPI is closer to Mexico if you want to pop across the border to Matamoros.

And I would recommend going to Hawaii before I would recommend going to Port A or SPI.
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