Port Aransas is a small town on the north end of Padre Island, just off the coast from Corpus Christi, TX. Padre Island, the longest barrier island in the world, runs along the Texas gulf coast for about 113 miles, from Brownsville near the border with Mexico to north of Corpus Christi. We stayed at the Pioneer RV Resort which is on the beach about 3 miles south of Port Aransas. From the RV park they have a short boardwalk that takes you out onto the sand. In Texas, the beaches are treated as legal roadways so you can drive out onto the sand. Periodically there are access points where you can get back onto the more traditional roadways.
Going a little further south we visited the Padre Island National Seashore. This park encompasses over 60 miles of undeveloped barrier island shoreline, the longest of its kind in the world. It is also an important nesting beach for the endangered Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle although this time of year is not the time for nesting or for hatching.
Port Aransas is separated from the mainland by a shipping channel that connects to the port of Corpus Christi. In order to get from Port Aransas to the mainland, the Texas Department of Transportation operates a ferry system, transporting vehicles between Port Aransas and Aransas Pass.
In Corpus Christi we visited the USS Lexington, an aircraft carrier that is now operated as a floating museum of naval history. The Lexington, nicknamed “The Blue Ghost”, is a legendary vessel that fought in World War II. The retired carrier has 20 restored vintage Navy aircraft on its flight deck. Within the decks of the carrier are a number of exhibits including footage of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
Next stop: Palacios, TX