Port Aransas on barrier island of Mustang Island is a bustling port for tourists as well as industries like fishing and other maritime ventures. San Jose Island, also known as Saint Joseph Island, is north of Port Aransas on Mustang Island and has its own storied past for you to explore. The island is only accessed by the Jetty Boat from Fisherman’s Wharf in Port Aransas.
In 1845, Lt. Chandler of the USS Alabama waded ashore on San Jose Island and planted the first American flag to fly over Texas territory in a sand dune on the island. Shortly after, the Third Infantry established a small military town called Aransas. A stagecoach service began, transporting passengers, goods, and mail to the town, and a ferry connected the now-inhabited island to the Texas mainland. During the American Civil War, the Union Army removed livestock from the island. Shortly after, they assaulted the town of Aransas.
Hunting and Fishing History
After the American Civil War came to an end, the town of Aransas ceased to exist. White-tailed deer, feral hogs, and other wildlife were hunted, while anglers cast lines for catches like amberjack, black and red drum, blackfin tuna, flounder, and more. The island is private, and visitors are no longer allowed past the beach, so recreational hunting is no longer allowed.
In the 1930s, Texas oilman Sid W. Richardson bought the island and turned it into his own private island. He built an expansive and lavish hunting lodge and hosted prominent businessmen and politicians, including Senator Lyndon B. Johnson and President Franklin D. Roosevelt, among others.
The island is still a natural island and still privately held. There are no shelters or amenities of any kind, but the beach is open to visitors. You can swim and enjoy other water activities, as well as search for sand dollars, shells, and more.
San Jose Island Fun
When you stay in a vacation rental in Port Aransas provided by The Dunes, you’ll enjoy easy access to the beach and the crashing waves of the Gulf, and you’re not far from San Jose Island and its activities. We’re also close to many other area attractions, shopping, dining, and activities the area has to offer. Choose from one-bedroom units all the way up to three bedrooms to fit your needs. Prepare a delicious home-cooked meal in the fully equipped kitchen. Afterward, 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 community pool. For a premium experience, choose a unit with bonuses like multiple flat screen TVs, stainless steel appliances, and more.