Is anything better than a summer morning at the beach? Step out to the balcony, and have a look at the scenery. See that long sweep of shore. The first beachcombers are already out, way down there in the distance. Take a deep breath of salt air. Listen to the soothing roll of the surf and the boisterous sound of seagulls calling. You can't wait to feel the cool sand under your feet.
If you love the beach, set your course for Corpus Christi and Port Aransas this weekend. There's a sandbox full of fun things to do: Watch the dolphins at the Texas State Aquarium. Shop for cool crafts. Dine on seafood fresh off the boat. When you're ready to relax, the beach is only moments away. Here's a way to plan your stay.
Sand, Shopping, and Seafood On Friday
Get here early, and start the morning with breakfast on the beach. Order tortillas filled with eggs and sausage at The Pier House at Horace Caldwell Pier in Port Aransas; (361) 749-2031. On the fourth Friday of the month, join local expert Sharon Schafer on a free beach walk sponsored by the Port Aransas Parks & Recreation department. The hour-long jaunt starts at 9 a.m on the pier.
If you want to stay on the beach, book a room at family-friendly Port Royal Ocean Resort Condominiums on Mustang Island. Kids love the 500-foot-long pool, one of the biggest in Texas. A three-night stay is required in the summer. Rates for a one bedroom start at $255;1-800-242-1034 or www.port-royal.com. For a less expensive place to hang your beach towel, the Holiday Inn SunSpree Resort on Padre Island is a good bet. Rates begin at $139 on weekends; (361) 949-8041 or 1-888-949-8041.
Spend the afternoon sightseeing in Port Aransas. To hold your shells, pick up a straw beach bag imported from Mexico for $9 at Cita Resort Interiors, and check out the other gifts and furnishings in the 7,000-square-foot store; (361) 749-2711. Join the locals dockside for refreshments and music at The Back Porch bar, a sort of open-air Cheers co-owned by the mayor.