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Wildlife Watching Journey to Port A

HomeArea GuideJourneys to Port AransasWildlife Watching Journey to Port A

You came to Port A for Texas warmth, fun, sun, and the sand and water at the beach along the Gulf of Mexico. There are plenty of beach activities, as well as indoor activities to pass the time for a summer journey in Port A. Make some time to learn more and see the wildlife of the area. There are several prime locations, and many are staffed with knowledgeable locals who will teach you everything you need to know about area wildlife. 

Aransas National Wildlife Refuge 

The refuge is best known as the winter home of the last wild flock of endangered whooping cranes. Port A even has a festival to celebrate their arrival in the area every February! Enjoy the quiet, as well as breathtaking scenery, diverse wildlife, and a few recreational opportunities. Take a self-guided driving tour, available 30 minutes before sunrise and 30 minutes after sunset, even on days the visitor center is closed (Monday and Tuesday), or join a tour led by visitor center staff. Purchase a pass and map for the closed-hours auto tour at the kiosk at the main gate – cash only.  

Captain Kirk’s Tiki Cruises 

Don’t miss the 1.5-hour cruise on the 47-foot yacht which offers beautiful Gulf scenery and colors. Bring your camera on the daytime or sunset cruise and keep an eye out for birds, dolphins, and a variety of other marine life. You can also bring your own snacks and beverages (alcoholic and non-alcoholic, no glass please) in a cooler no larger than 3’x2’. 

Leonabelle Turnbull Birding Center 

Wander the 750-foot-long boardwalk that spans over freshwater wetlands, toward a salt marsh where you can look out over the viewing area or offers a spot where you can take a seat on the benches. Come on Wednesday mornings to join an organized walk with experts from the center who will help you find some of the more elusive species. Plan your visit during spring migration time for an opportunity to see even more birds as they visit the center on their way to their final destination. 

Nature Preserve at Charlie’s Pasture 

There are 1,217 acres of upland, tidal flat, marsh, wooded, and estuarine habitats within its borders that house a myriad of local wildlife. It’s also one of the few contiguous tracts of undeveloped land in any coastal plain that has been preserved for ecological, environmental, or historical purposes. You can take a solitary walk along a number of walking trails or join a guided walk with a tour guide who will point out the many species that reside in the preserve, including waterfowl, shorebirds, songbirds, and others. 

Red Dragon Pirate Cruise 

Fun for the whole family, you can set out to sail on the high seas like the pirates of old! Board the boat and cruise the waters of the Lydia Ann Channel while enjoying dolphin and other wildlife watching, while also participating in pirate activities like sword fighting, treasure hunting, cannon fire, and more!  

Bring your camera to capture all the memories and pirate fun, as well as glimpses of marine wildlife. Enjoy soft drinks and snacks, as well as beer, wine, pina coladas, rum, tequila, and whiskey-based drinks for the 21 and older pirates aboard. 

Salt-Lyf Cruises 

Keep your eyes peeled for dolphins and other marine wildlife during the comfortable pontoon ride. Hostess Cassie Andrews works with a USCG licensed captain and provides extra fun like dolphin tattoos for the kids, and interesting wildlife facts throughout the 1.5-hour cruise. Daytime and sunset cruises are available, and you can bring your own food and drink, including alcohol (no glass please). 

Scat Cat 

Enjoy a cruise on the water around Port A’s Fisherman’s Wharf that also takes you in search of local wildlife. The twin-hull 80-foot catamaran known as Scat Cat cruises passengers around the area Memorial Day through Labor Day. Keep your camera ready for sightings of dolphins and other marine wildlife. Pack your own snacks and drinks in a cooler (no glass please), or purchase some at the full on-board concession stand.  

There are two bathrooms, indoor and outdoor seating, as well as a large observation area on the top deck – which is also the best place to view a Port A summer journey sunset. 

Your Home Base for Searching for Wildlife in Port A 

When you stay in a vacation rental in Port A provided by The Dunes, you’ll enjoy easy access to the beach and the crashing waves of the Gulf, as well as plenty of prime wildlife viewing spots for your favorite activity. We’re close to many other area attractions, tours, shopping, dining, and activities the area has to offer as well.  

Choose from one-bedroom units all the way up to three-bedroom units for your larger group. Prepare a delicious home-cooked meal in the fully equipped kitchen, retreat to a private bedroom, or spread out in an open living space for a movie or to relax. Enjoy the view from the private balcony or patio or spend some time near the pool after a fun day of wildlife spotting. 

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