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History of Port Aransas

Aransas Pass Hotel

The city of Port Aransas, Texas on Mustang Island has a rich history filled with pirates, Native Americans, Spanish explorers and buccaneers. The first known inhabitants of Mustang Island were the Karankawa Indians, who played a key role in the early development of the Texas Gulf Coast. Spanish explorers were the next to land in the area in the 1500’s, followed by French explorers in the 1700’s. Mustang Island was originally known as Wild Horse Island because of the wild horses or “mesteños brought to the island by Spaniards in the 1800’s.

Port Aransas became a favorite of pirates in the early 19th century, where Captain Jean LaFitte and his wild band of buccaneers roamed the Texas gulf coast. Mustang Island was one of their favorite spots, and the seas around this area were full of pirates looking for riches and fame. Many of these pirates used Mustang Island as a place to make camp and hide their riches — and rumor has it that pirate treasure is buried somewhere in Port Aransas.

The town of Mustang Island was called Ropesville at the end of the 19th century, but was later changed to Tarpon in 1896 because of the large numbers of fish being caught in the surrounding waters. The export of sea turtles was also a major industry in Port Aransas, Texas at the turn of the century. At that time, the Port Aransas population was around 250 people. The population stayed at such a small number until 1931 when a toll road opened between the town of Aransas Pass and the Ferry Landing of Port Aransas. This toll road, and then a more modern road built in 1960, made it much easier for tourists to get to the area.

Port Aransas, TX has now become one of the most popular Texas beach vacation spots on the Gulf Coast. Tourists come from all over the country to visit this multi-million dollar fishing, beach and resort village, with summertime populations swelling to 60,000 people or more. Port Aransas on Mustang Island is a premiere vacation destination where you and your family can enjoy beach activities of all kinds, fishing, boating, bird watching, kayaking and much more.
Port Aransas, Texas has a rich history that includes pirates, Native Americans, Spanish explorers and buccaneers. Today, this Texas Gulf Coast town has become a favorite Texas beach vacation destination, and Port Aransas beach rentals are quite popular.