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About San José Island

San Jose Island is privately owned. Historically a ranch, today the island is managed principally for wildlife. Access is permitted only on public land, meaning that you must stay on the beach below the vegetation line. But that is exactly where a wealth of birding, shelling, fishing and beach combing can be found.

The chance to immerse yourself in unruffled Texas nature is just a short ferry ride away from Port Aransas, Texas.

This island, set in the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, is home to some of the best birding and saltwater fishing in the south. Boasting 21 miles of undisturbed golden sand, vehicles are prohibited on this particular Texas shoreline. San José Island is a collector's resource for beautiful and unique seashells including lightning whelks, shark eyes, sand dollars, starfish, angel wings, and more.

In an area known as the "Fishing Capital of Texas" some of the best angling can be done from the rocky edges of the North Jetty. Locals and visitors catch the passenger ferry daily from Fisherman's Wharf in Port 'A' on Mustang Island to cast their lines for Speckled Trout, Redfish, Flounder and more.

After a day soaking in the natural beauty of San José Island, ferry back to Port 'A' to shop, dine and stay. With accommodations ranging from cozy cottages, conventional motel rooms, spacious condominiums to private beach homes, you'll want to make Port Aransas your home base when visiting the area. Indulge in fresh coastal cuisine at fine local eateries and eclectic kid-friendly restaurants. Forgot your island attire? Visit one of the local shops to find both unique and coastal clothing as well as knick-knacks and nautical items to give your home a one-of-a-kind island vibe. Port 'A' is always bustling with fun and family-friendly things to do.

Fun Facts


San Jose Island is a short passenger ferry boat ride from Fisherman's Wharf in Port Aransas. Ferry service is limited; be sure to plan ahead. There are two ways to access Port Aransas. From Corpus Christi, the island is linked by the JFK Causeway. The causeway climbs high above the Laguna Madre, making a direct line to SH 361 and Mustang Island. Alternately, take the 'scenic route.' The free ferry system brings visitors to the island across the Corpus Christi Ship Channel via car ferries, which operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can also fly into Corpus Christi International Airport, or land your private plane on Mustang Beach Airport's 3,500 ft. runway.


San Antonio, Brownsville, Austin, and Houston are all less than a four hour drive. Fort Worth/Dallas is about a six and a half hour drive. Blue map of the state of Texas with the cities Dallas, Austin, San Antonio and Houston marked on the map and travel distances to the city of Port Aransas

Things To Do


The warm waters off of San José are home to over 600 species of a fisherman’s favorite Texas-sized catches. Enjoy a lazy day, leisurely fishing from the jetties or go big and board a chartered excursion out of Port Aransas.


Get the bird’s eye view of numerous shorebirds and pelagic species from the shores of this island. Back in Port Aransas, visit the many birding sites boasting boardwalks and observation decks. Catch a glimpse of Roseate Spoonbills, Reddish...


The pristine beaches of this uninhabited island are open to the public but closed to vehicles, which makes for excellent swimming, surfing, beachcombing and shelling. Lightning whelks, shark eyes, sand dollars and many other species of...

Play in Port A

After a day soaking in the natural beauty of San Jose Island, ferry back to Port Aransas to shop, dine, and stay. Rent a golf cart, the unofficial convertible of the island, and explore all that Port A has to offer. Work up a hunger...

Stay and Play in Port Aransas!