A Return to Port Aransas: One Year After Hurricane Harvey
My husband and I celebrate our ninth wedding anniversary this month and every year, for our anniversary, we take a trip. We've stayed local and enjoyed the likes of the wonderful Frio River and downtown Fredericksburg a couple of times, but what we really love is to sneak away and spend some time on the beach. So, a couple of weekends ago, we left the kiddos at home with their Nonna and Papa and made the short drive down to Port Aransas.
The last time we were in Port Aransas was the week of Hurricane Harvey. We spent five days there with the whole family (grandparents included) for our anniversary trip/family vacation.
Amid all the fun, we were pretty unplugged. We watched very little television and had absolutely no idea Hurricane Harvey was even a thing. It wasn't until we were on our way home, that I spotted news of it while scrolling on my phone. Three days later, he made landfall.
I'm willing to bet that if you're reading this, you're probably very familiar with the devastation this storm brought upon our treasured state, so I won't go into that here. What I would like to point out is that, while not restored fully to her former glory just yet, Port A is absolutely ready and waiting for you and your family to enjoy. And judging by the never-ending line of cars, golf carts, campers, and beach tents, I'd say plenty of people have already figured that out!
The streets are clean and in great shape. Power lines and electricity are in place. Water is running and drinkable. Shops are open and full of adorable finds. The beaches are just as beautiful as they've always been. Grocery stores, gas stations, restaurants, ice cream parlors, coffee shops, breweries, and more are all open and serving the needs of the locals and tourists alike.
The first evening of our mini-getaway, we took the opportunity to visit a few local shops, one of which was Bojon's:
Then we enjoyed a wonderful dinner at Moby Dicks's, where our bartender kept us fully stocked with everything we ordered PLUS the leftovers from the bottom of the blender each time she poured a mixed drink(!). The people, atmosphere, and gift shop here are truly unique and not to be missed.
The next day we made our way to the beach and, OF COURSE, rented an umbrella and chairs from Bron's Beach Rentals. Usually, with the kids, we set up a beach tent...but with just the two of us, we chose to leave that at home and go the easy route. So glad we did! We sat for HOURS, peacefully uninterrupted. We read books, took naps, ventured into the water on occasion, and beach-combed at sunset. It was a perfect day!
For dinner that evening, we opted to soak up the view of the marina as we dined on the deck at Trout Street Bar & Grill. The cocktails and food were fantastic and the service was even better. This will be a place we come back to next time we're in town.
Finally, on our way home the next morning, we stopped for breakfast at the beloved Island Cafe. This is one of few places in Port A where you can find a true, full breakfast. Because of that, we had to wait maybe thirty minutes for our table but it was totally worth it. Again, the food and service there were superb!
We just spent two nights in Port A this go-round so we mostly enjoyed the beach, the food, and not being woken up at the break of dawn by one of our three kiddos. But next time we go, we'll stay a few days more. Is it what it was pre-Hurricane Harvey? No, not quite yet. There's still a lot of rebuilding going on and you'll still see piles of debris, missing letters from signs, condos that aren't re-opened yet, etc. But so long as you make your lodging reservations EARLY there's plenty to keep your family entertained, happy, and with full bellies for your next family vacation.
A few tips to make your vacation planning a bit easier:
1) Keep an eye on THIS LINK to find lodging that's been re-opened for guests.
2) Or take a look at THIS FACEBOOK GROUP to find last-minute accommodations.
3) And check out THIS EVENT CALENDAR to see what's happening during your stay.
Will your family be returning to Port Aransas anytime soon? What are your favorite places to visit on the island? Favorite family traditions at the beach? Feel free to share in the comments!
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