Are you looking for an exciting sightseeing adventure with family and friends? Port Aransas, Texas has eight unique historical wonders to explore! Port A, located on the north end of Mustang Island, stretches about 14 miles. Tropic Island Resort is centrally located to all the fun and offers various amenities for everyone such as vacation home rentals, RV resorts, biking, and golf carts to help you explore the area. If you are hoping to cross landmarks off your bucket list during your visit, we have compiled a list of the Wonders of Port Aransas and their historical significance to help you plan your next trip.
What exactly are the 8 Wonders of Port Aransas, TX?
In the early 2000s, a group of historians known as the Port Aransas Preservation and Historical Association dedicated a list of Port Aransas’ rare gems to serve the surrounding community known as the “8 Wonders of Port Aransas.” Many of these landmarks are easily accessed by golf cart, which you can rent right here at Tropic Island Resort. The beauty and views of these unique destinations are unmatched.
Lydia Ann Lighthouse
The Lydia Ann Lighthouse, formally known as the Aransas Pass Light Station, is the first of the eight wonders to see. This lighthouse is on Harbor Island and is only accessible by boat. Since this landmark is privately owned, a kayak or boat tour is necessary to capture its historical beauty in a photograph. There is an excellent sunset dolphin cruise we recommend booking through The Scarlet Lady Dolphin Adventure, offering visitors an up-close view of the lighthouse and the stunning wildlife.
North and South Jetties
The North and South Jetties mark the Corpus Christi Ship Channel. These jetties were designed to block the southward movement of the pass and separate Mustang Island from Saint Joseph’s Island. Taking five attempts over 50 years, these jetties were completed in 1919 and have served as a fishing hotspot for locals and tourists for over 100 years.
The Tarpon Inn
Built back in 1886 from Civil War barracks, the Tarpon Inn is the oldest structure on Mustang Island. This hotel gives its guests a Key West architectural style that is uniquely designed and decorated with private bathrooms. The lobby is artistically covered in Tarpon fish scales, including Tarpon caught by President Franklin D. Roosevelt himself.
The University of Texas Marine Science Institute
The University of Texas Marine Science Institute was established in 1941 to further grow marine science studies in the surrounding area. The Amos Rehabilitation Keep and the mission of Aransas National Estuarine Research Reserve are included in the University. Founded by Dr. Lund in 1941, this institute became the first marine laboratory on the Gulf Coast. The institute serves as a participant in many studies focusing on critical ecosystems for the future of humanity and the earth.
The Port Aransas Museum
The history of Port Aransas exhibit at the Port Aransas Museum offers excellent background on the history of Port A. Restored from the early 1900s, a local residence became a museum for the surrounding community after it was purchased by the Port Aransas Preservation and Historical Association (PAPHA). The museum contains different artifacts and stories about the surrounding area and the history within it.
Farley Boat Works
Founded by two brothers, Barney and Fred Farley, Farley Boat Works was originally created to make a reliable income in Port Aransas through boat tours. Fred Farley was the woodworker and Barney became the fishing guide. Established in 1914 and passed on through many generations of the Farley family, Farley Boat Works has become a staple resource available to tourists who enjoy fishing.
Chapel in the Dunes
The Chapel in the Dunes is the oldest functional consecrated church on Mustang Island. With breathtaking views, it overlooks the Gulf of Mexico in Port Aransas. Built by Aline Carter in 1930, it is said that her spiritual presence and passion are still felt within the chapel walls. Today, the chapel is used for weddings, memorials, vow renewals, and celebrations.
The Last Farley Boat
The last Farley Boat is in a house on ninth street in Isla Varas RV Park. The boat was purchased by a shrimper named James Mayfield who intended to use it as a charter boat but decided instead to use it as a rooftop for his workshop. It is still in excellent condition and standing strong. Surviving ever-changing weather conditions and storms, the last Farely Boat serves as the final attraction of the eight wonders created by the Port Aransas Preservation and Historical Association.