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Old 08-26-2015, 11:07 PM   #1
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I.B. Magee County Park RV camp, Port Aransas TX

Has anyone been here before? Its very inexpensive, has hookups but not much fancy, however you're right on the beach (across a dune but hey). I'm going Labor day weekend. I noticed on the map there's a "Port Aransas Brewing Co." within walking distance of the park (about a mile I'd guess) and that sounds dangerous LOL....

Just curious. I'm pretty sure I know what to expect, basic camping and a beach...
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Old 08-27-2015, 02:33 PM   #2
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The in-laws go there a lot and like it because they use a small Class C with no toad. So non-vehicular access to the bus and the beach are important to them. Yes, Port A has a trolly, it cost like a quarter to ride.

The park is spartan at best. It is literally RIGHT on the back of the dunes. Good if you want easy, quick access to the beach. Not so good if you want a "nicer" camping experience. It's basically concrete pads on sand. But to be fair, that's mostly what you'll find close to the beach unless you go down the island a bit. I would say if you accurately state your expectations: "basic camping and a beach", you're just about right. I don't personally like the park, but to be honest I've never actually stayed in it, only driven through/by.

We typically stay at Gulf Waters RV Resort (WAY down the beach); it's expensive, but it's very nice and has a boardwalk to the beach and a pool on site.

That is also a VERY busy portion of the beach. In season, it will be quite crowded; out of season, it's not so bad.

Port A Brewing Company is a bit overrated if you ask me. DW and I went there last year (?) looking for a pizza and a pitcher. The pizza was really good, the beer ... not so much. We ordered "their" hefeweizen, and I'm not even sure it was actually beer. Whatever it was, it was NOT a hefe. The restaurant is also a bit awkward IMO, and it was pretty busy last time we were there. There are A LOT of restaurants on the island, and most of them are pretty good.

If you want to park your vehicle on the beach, you'll need to buy a parking pass (depending on where on the beach you are). IIRC it's like $12 and it's good for a year. You can pick one up at just about any gas station/convenience store on the island (mostly "Stripes"). Or a guy on a 4-wheeler will come around and sell you one right on the beach if he/she can find you.

We go to Port A quite often, it's a VERY nice beach, especially if you get out of the crowds down the island a bit. Only drawback is when there's seaweed. I think in the off-season they don't scrape the beach as often, and the seaweed (IIRC) has a "season". With storms in the Gulf, sometimes the tide causes the beach to essentially disappear and in many places, the water comes right up to the dunes. We've mostly seen these in the fall/winter.

You'll have a good time for sure. Be sure to poke around a bit and look at the other RV parks for your next trip.
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Old 08-30-2015, 07:41 AM   #3
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Thanks for the detailed info!
I just talked to a friend who has been there too and said the brewing company was pretty unimpressive. Just being a brewery doesn't mean you're making good beer, but of course I can't resist giving it a shot. The trolley is great info.

My buddy has a RV and pulling a jeep, so he will likely want to try it on the beach, so good info on that too.

We also upgraded from tents, in TX is sooo hot most of the time. Moved down here from mid-atlantic and DW finally told me if I wanted to do camping, we'd have to get a trailer or RV like our friends as its too hot! So we got ours last fall and been fixing up our used one to suit.

Seaweed seems common on the Texas shores, not sure why, but when we go to Gulf Shores AL and FL there is no influx of seaweed. Maybe the fertilizer from the Mississippi comes our way? It got so bad last year you had to climb/walk over piles about 10" high to the water, they'd clear it off regularly but it would pile back up again. I figured they'd want to use it to enhance the dunes, not sure what they did with all that but it is a mess.
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Old 08-31-2015, 09:10 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirkdaddy View Post
Thanks for the detailed info!
I just talked to a friend who has been there too and said the brewing company was pretty unimpressive. Just being a brewery doesn't mean you're making good beer, but of course I can't resist giving it a shot. The trolley is great info.

My buddy has a RV and pulling a jeep, so he will likely want to try it on the beach, so good info on that too.

We also upgraded from tents, in TX is sooo hot most of the time. Moved down here from mid-atlantic and DW finally told me if I wanted to do camping, we'd have to get a trailer or RV like our friends as its too hot! So we got ours last fall and been fixing up our used one to suit.

Seaweed seems common on the Texas shores, not sure why, but when we go to Gulf Shores AL and FL there is no influx of seaweed. Maybe the fertilizer from the Mississippi comes our way? It got so bad last year you had to climb/walk over piles about 10" high to the water, they'd clear it off regularly but it would pile back up again. I figured they'd want to use it to enhance the dunes, not sure what they did with all that but it is a mess.
No problem! I definitely encourage you to try the brewery, but get a sample of the beer before you order a pitcher. LOL!

Your buddy's Jeep won't have much of a challenge on the beach unless you go WAY down to the other end. The beach access is actually quite improved, though still sand. Just about any ol' sedan can get around on a lot of the beach. When you get down past where the pylons are, it's a little more wild, but still just lots of loose sand, nothing too difficult for even the average 4x4. And if you stay down closer to the water, in the wet sand, it's easy driving. Just be sure to rinse everything off after.

Yeah, seaweed is just a fact of life down here. If it stays on the beach for a while, it gets pretty stinky, but the dog likes to poke around; lots to sniff! I don't let it bother me, I'm still on vacation at the beach!

My wife said the same thing about camping. My idea of "camping" is throwing on my pack and heading out to the back-country for a couple days. She tried it a couple times, had a miserable time. Eventually she said she needed A/C and a place she could lock the doors, so here we are! LOL! My son and I will get to do the backpacking thing eventually, DW will hold down the fort for us! And keep the A/C cranked!
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Old 09-04-2015, 08:07 AM   #5
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mcsenerd

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirkdaddy View Post
Thanks for the detailed info!
...
Seaweed seems common on the Texas shores, not sure why, but when we go to Gulf Shores AL and FL there is no influx of seaweed. Maybe the fertilizer from the Mississippi comes our way? ...
I think a large reason is normal tides and outflow from the Mississippi, but while the sand might have been whiter and the far offshore water might have been clearer...when we were in Destin last year during late summer they too had a terrible seaweed flareup. Not too much had washed up yet, but the first 10 yards of water or so was completely filled with seaweed. Made any swimming attempts a pretty yucky experience.
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Old 09-09-2015, 09:35 AM   #6
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After staying there - it was OK.

Pros:

  • Location location location - on beach front, restricted area not as crowded as the public access down the beach which looked like standing room only
  • Low cost
  • Wifi included
  • Dump station included
  • Water was not bad tasting - surprising for beach area
  • Near eats and bars
  • Friendly staff, no hassles
  • They sell ice and small items
  • beach area cleaned
Cons:


  • Wifi was weak on edges of campground almost unusable
  • Inner row spaces small, suitable for tents - tell them you want outer rows or spots good for RV/ TT
  • No sewer at sites, only dump station
  • Dirt roads through camp and at sites, after rain big puddles road and some sites in driveway
  • When wind died down bugs started biting - typical for area
  • The people in the area seem to trash beaches, despite being cleaned I found a lot more small trash than usual, bottle caps, plastic, etc.
  • The Ferry adds like 30 - 45 min to your drive on weekends. Its very short ride but there is a line - but its free.
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