Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Port Aransas, Texas Offers a Reasonably-Priced Beach Vacation during These Economic Times: Grab Your Girls and Go!

Many chicks in Texas (and beyond) enjoy vacationing in Port Aransas, as the island on the southeast part of the state offers a truly economical trip for groups of any size. Historically, Port Aransas (referred to as “Port A” by Texans) has been one of the state’s top beach destinations. Not as far south as South Padre, Port Aransas is approximately 4 hours from Austin/ Central Texas.



The island offers quite a few options for accommodations. An ideal location to park your gaggle of gals for a visit is at Port Royal, situated out of town on Highway 361. Located on the more secluded beach, the walk from condo to beach spot is a quick jaunt over the boardwalk (close enough for a quick bathroom trip while on the beach).

Another option I highly recommend is Beachgate, which is located on the busy public access beach. Beachgate III, the most recently-renovated building on property, is the best bet. You have several options, depending on the size you need. You can reserve just one condo, which is 2 bedroom/2 bath, and can sleep up to 8 people (2 king beds, 2 futons and an air mattress). Also, you can reserve two condos on the same floor, which are adjoining, and you have 4 bedrooms/4 baths. This option is ideal for many ladies traveling together or a reunion. There are 4 floors in Beachgate III (2 condos per floor).

You’ll find a lot of benefits to both locations for a group vacation. You can drive up, park your car, and not get back in until it’s time to leave (a huge plus for those wanting to relax). Both condo properties have fully stocked kitchens and plenty of space to entertain, including spacious dining areas and living rooms.

I recommend bringing all your food and drinks. That way, you have plenty of food, snacks and drinks to take down to the beach with you, as well. If you’re at Port Royal, it will be a 20-minute roundtrip to the grocery store in Port Aransas.

At Port Royal, you’ll find this a perfect spot for off-season, also. We visited in February and, although we could not enjoy the beautiful palm-tree lined pool, we could certainly enjoy the three hot tubs alongside the pool area.

Highlights of Port Royal:

1. Quiet section of the beach and very peaceful during off-season.
2. Beautiful pool area with slides, hot tubs and poolside dining (in the summer).
3. Spacious and modern condo unit that could easily sleep six.
4. DSL plug-in Internet access.

Highlights of Beachgate:

1. Easy access to the beach (no boardwalk or streets to cross).
2. Large renovated condos with full kitchen, dining area, living area and 2 bedrooms with king bed in each. Each bedroom and living room has a flat-screen cable TV.
3. The property offers an array of different sizes and styles of accommodations, from large condos to small suites.
4. For those of us that work while on vacation, there’s high-speed wireless Internet in each condo.

A few important points to consider:

1. At Port Royal, each condo is individually owned. Therefore, you can’t be sure what type of unit you will end up with unless you’ve been there before and can request a certain unit. Some will be more modern and comfortable than others, depending on the furniture, furnishings and kitchen. They have 1, 2 & 3-bedroom condos.
2. If you like a busy beach, you’ll prefer Beachgate. If you like a more peaceful location on the beach, you’ll prefer Port Royal, which is at marker #68.
3. The exterior is less appealing than the interior at both (I’d always rather have a nicer interior than exterior, if I had to choose). But the condo we were given at Port Royal was beautiful and modern. Beachgate III is nicely renovated.
4. Don’t forget plenty of sunscreen, so you do not have to purchase these items onsite.
My top two suggestions on your ChickVacation to Port Aransas are:
Fins Grill & Icehouse is a relaxed restaurant if you enjoy eating right on the water. The grill has laid-back options such as appetizers, seafood and burgers. You can ask for a table outside that puts you right on the back patio, overlooking the bay. From here, you can watch the boats come and go out of the marina.
During your stay, make sure and rent a golf cart dune buggy from Coastal Ed’s in town. Coastal Ed is a great guy and very helpful. Your group will love riding the dune buggy on the beach and around town. Coastal Ed’s has open-air carts (versus others that will be more closed) and is gas-powered vs. battery-powered. You’ll have a great day cruising the beach in your bright yellow ride!

Port Royal Ocean Resort 6317 State Hwy. 361, Port Aransas, TX 78373 800-242-1034 http://www.port-royal.com

Beachgate CondoSuites & Resort 2000 On the Beach Dr., Port Aransas, TX 78373 361-749-5900 http://www.beachgate.com

Fins Grill & Icehouse 420 W. Cotter, Port Aransas, TX 361-749-8646 http://www.finsgrillandicehouse.com

Coastal Ed’s Coastal Cruisers & More 513 N. Alister St., Port Aransas, TX 78373 361-749-7001 http//:www.PortAGolfCar.com