National Parks / Natural World

Mustang Island State Park Port Aransas

Where is it at?

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Mustang Island State Park
17047 State Hwy 361
Port Aransas
TX
78373
Tel: 361-749-5246

Directions

To get to the park, just head SE from Corpus Christi on Hwy 358 to Padre Island. Cross the JFK Causeway, then after one mile turn onto Hwy 361. 5 miles north and you're at the park headquarters!

Where are we going today?

A beach? In Texas? Yep! Texas has incredible beaches, and Mustang Island State Park lets you spend the day enjoying one of them!

There are over 5 miles of coastline for kids to explore. Spend some time fishing in the bay, or just play and relax on the pristine beaches! Maybe try your hand at bird spotting - after all, the area is teeming with wildlife!

Mustang Island State Park is a beautiful unspoiled barrier island park, and perfect for families!

When on the beach, the water is perfect for swimming, surfing or even kayaking! Dry off as you try your hand at building a super big sand castle!

Fancy a picnic lunch? You should! Because the area is a great place to pack your own lunch and enjoy a family picnic. Active kids can enjoy a fun hike through nature, or those more adventurous kids can mountain bike!

Want a challenge? Try paddling the Mustang Island State Park Paddling Trail! There are three segments of the trail that follow the stunning western shoreline. AND there are 20 miles (yes - 20 miles!) of trail that pass through incredible shallow-water fishing spots (some of the best in Texas!) This is also a great area to check out close-ups of coastal birds. 

Kids - make sure you check out their ranger program! They have programs on stargazing, fishing, birding, just to name a few!

Mustang Island State Park is great for those sunny days out where kids just want to get out and explore and enjoy nature. Great for parents too!

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How much does it cost?

  • Adults$5 over 13
  • Free Under: 12
LAST UPDATED 2014

When can we go?

Gates open 7am - 10pm

I'm Hungry!

Bring your own picnic lunch! The park do also sell drinks, and snacks too.

Any Top Tips?

There's a campsite there too if you fancy making a longer trip out of it!.

Can I get one of those?

Lucky for you the park not only sell supplies (and loan all the fishing gear you need), but they also sell gifts! .

What people are saying?

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    At this time of year, the seaweed buildup is a little heavy. Being a state park, the seaweed is not proactively cleaned up. If you're looking for a perfectly clean and manicured beach, you'd likely be better off going further south or waiting until the tail end of summer when the seaweed isn't so bad. It's honestly not that bad though. In my opinion, people do not do enough research or even bother to call the park to check the conditions before they come. I called twice prior to my trip and the woman I spoke to on the phone was very polite...Read More

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    we got there at night and got stuck in the sand becuse it was too soft. one of the rangers helped us out and we parked on the side where we could see the van and still enjoy tent camping on the beach. the next morning i took the kids to the rest room( had to drive there) ask another family to please move a lil so i can get out without getting stuck. they happily moved. came back and the asst manger Tom Hogan told me to move my van, i tried to explan and he didn't want to hear it, he said the other family didn't have to move and i needed to mover...Read More

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    Our famly loves this location! With a rich history, pure nature, and camping availability, we enjoy getting away to this spot.

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    Good News - The park offers 50amp service which is a good thing and something that allot of state parks don't offer. The distance to the beach is a little over 1/4 mile (from the middle of the park and even closer if your near the office). Wi-fi is available which is a good thing as most state parks do not even offer that but the signal at best is weak. We are in site#26 and our I-pad drops the signal often. The campers two sites closer said their tablet was having problems connecting also. Our netbook with an antenna booster had better luck but...Read More

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    Absolutely disgusting beach. Not able to get Into water due to 10 ft of seaweed covered in flies. Once we reached the water it was another 200+ feet of seaweed. No fire pits on site and you share a spot with other RVs. We could hear everything our neighbor's did and said. Do not recommend.

Submit a review

by Patrick Potter

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At this time of year, the seaweed buildup is a little heavy. Being a state park, the seaweed is not proactively cleaned up. If you're looking for a perfectly clean and manicured beach, you'd likely be better off going further south or waiting until the tail end of summer when the seaweed isn't so bad. It's honestly not that bad though. In my opinion, people do not do enough research or even bother to call the park to check the conditions before they come. I called twice prior to my trip and the woman I spoke to on the phone was very polite and thorough in her explanation of the conditions.

We camped in the primitive camping area which was pretty nice. I would suggest waiting until later in the evening, after all the "day-trippers" are gone, to select your campsite. We were able to get a very nice area that was large enough to stake the tent, put up the canopy, and have plenty of room for a fire and chairs.

The TPWD staff and park police were great. I had read previous reviews about overly intrusive park police which I did not find to be the case on my trip. The TPWD staff stopped by before sundown on our 2nd night to check to make sure everything was going ok with our trip and joked around with me about the Spurs flag I had flying. The next morning, they even offered to take my trash bag as I was packing up.

Do your research, check the conditions, and plan accordingly and you'll have a great time at this park.

by Keynisha Calderon

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we got there at night and got stuck in the sand becuse it was too soft. one of the rangers helped us out and we parked on the side where we could see the van and still enjoy tent camping on the beach. the next morning i took the kids to the rest room( had to drive there) ask another family to please move a lil so i can get out without getting stuck. they happily moved. came back and the asst manger Tom Hogan told me to move my van, i tried to explan and he didn't want to hear it, he said the other family didn't have to move and i needed to mover my van. he was really rude. after a fuss he said "my people don't belong here" i was shocked! i cussed at him for being raciest in front of my kids( im Black and husband is Mexican). then he said we had an hour to pack up and leave the park. i have the whole thing on video. i ask for my money back. after i posted the video on Facebook, Damon Reeves, Park Superintendent of the park backed him as if i was in the wrong for defending my family, no he did call me he Facebook me. if this is how my taxes are spent then i want a refund!!! i have called Austin and now waiting. im sad that stuff like this still happens! we was there for a get a way and to help my Husband who is a wounded vet with his leg. i never thought we would come to such disrespect. on top of it the manger Tom Hagen told my husband good luck for being married to a Black wife!! im at aw! and just to proved a point i will go back a have to vidoe ready for more so the world can see how they really act!!!

by Randy Lachermeier

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Good News - The park offers 50amp service which is a good thing and something that allot of state parks don't offer. The distance to the beach is a little over 1/4 mile (from the middle of the park and even closer if your near the office). Wi-fi is available which is a good thing as most state parks do not even offer that but the signal at best is weak. We are in site#26 and our I-pad drops the signal often. The campers two sites closer said their tablet was having problems connecting also. Our netbook with an antenna booster had better luck but still slow. If you have internet connection with your phone you will be happy to know the signal for AT&T and Verizon both work well. If your into running, the highway has nice wide shoulders but I would caution that it is a popular practice for slower vehicles to pull over onto the shoulder to let faster ones pass them by so be careful and as always run against traffic. The better alternative would be to run on the beach which I thoroughly enjoyed with the exception of the wind. The beach has a nice area for the family that is closed to vehicles which makes it safer. Each site has nice sturdy picnic tables with canopies. The sites are all back in and the lay out makes it easy to get into and setup. The sites are also very level. There are 3 shower stalls for both the men and the woman with plenty of hot water. The shower stalls are on the first floor and the restrooms are on the second floor. The people in the front office were friendly and helpful.

Bad News - My biggest complaint which is really no fault of the park is the heavy winds. The wind were strong enough to cause us to pull one of our slides in so that the canopy would not tear. Weak wi-fi issues. Showers and restrooms being on two different levels is a little bit of an inconvenience. Showers especially could use some updating. This might include having sinks in the shower area. Bathrooms are not heated and the temps did get down in the 30's several nights. You are at least 5 miles from any town which may or may not be a problem for some. There is no site sewer hook-ups (again, I don't think many state parks would have them) but there is a dump station near the entrance to the park

Conclusion - All in all it is a very nice park and I would definitely stay he again

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