We started out on our 20 year Anniversary trip with no major plans. We knew we wanted to spend some time at the beach, but we didn’t want to drive too far or leave Texas. So we did what most Texans do who need some beach time...grabbed our sunscreen, travel pillow, and headed south toward Galveston.
We arrived in Galveston around lunch time, so we decided to check out The Spot. The Spot is a cool restaurant with several different eating levels to enjoy. They have a bar level, a bar/appetizer level, a desert level, and a full meal level. We chose the top deck - bar/appetizer level - so we could have a non obstructive view of the gulf while enjoying a light lunch. My husband and I ordered the South of the Border Shrimp Cocktail appetizer to share. It was absolutely delicious. It is modeled after a seafood ceviche served with hot tortilla chips; it didn’t disappoint. We were thoroughly impressed by the food and atmosphere at The Spot!
During lunch, we searched the internet for some sleeping accommodations. After looking over dozens of hotels, we finally decided on the Hampton Inn and Suites. It is located just a block from the beach and right across the street from the local Galveston Walmart. I,of course, had to check out the Walmart to pick up the perfect Galveston T-shirt, iPhone charger, and all the road trip essentials. Sounded like a win win all around! The Hampton Inn and Suites was a nice, reasonably priced hotel with good accommodations. They have a free breakfast, which was great for our pocketbook. It consisted of the normal free breakfast items: waffles, bagels, eggs, sausage, biscuits, oatmeal, and cereal. Nothing too grand, but enough to fill you up for a long day on the road.
We had decided, the night before, that we wanted to drive further south to check out the Rockport and Port Aransas Area. We left Galveston mid-morning and headed south. Of course, a few hours into our road trip my husband was ready to stop for lunch. I looked online for the top restaurants listed on TripAdvisor in the Bay City area, which is the next large town we would be traveling through. The top restaurant in Bay City was The Fat Grass. After checking out their website we decided to pass on it and look a little closer at the number 2 restaurant in Bay City - K-2 Steakhouse. The K-2 reviews were, for the most part, pretty good and several of the posts mentioned a good salad bar. If y’all are anything like me on a vacation, I try and eat as many veggies as I can to balance out all the bad junk food I consume while traveling. The K-2 is located in the downtown area of Bay City and was very easy to find. We arrived around noon and were quickly seated. My husband and I had scanned the online menu before we arrived and already decided we were both going to stick with the soup and salad bar. Well after wading through the tables headed to our seats, we passed by some pretty amazing looking lunch specials that we just couldn’t pass up. After all, what else is there to do on vacation, but to eat?? I decided I would order the lunch special chicken fried steak, baked potato and salad bar. My husband chose the gulf shrimp, rice pilaf and salad bar. Needless to say, we weren’t disappointed. Everything was amazing starting with the service we received, down to the delicious homemade rolls, and sweet tea. Even the price was great at $11.99, which is hard to beat. We were in and out in under an hour and continued our trip down south.
I, of course, pulled up our trusty TripAdvisor and started looking for hotels in Rock Port. Rock Port, Texas was hit hard last year in August of 2017 by a strong hurricane. It is still in the recovery stage, so several of the hotels were under renovations. Once we arrived in Rock Port we were broken-hearted over how much damage the little seaside city had sustained. Several houses were still missing roofs, multiple hotels were closed, and everywhere you looked you could see traces of the devastation that the community had endured by Hurricane Harvey. After witnessing all the damage, we decided to drive a little further south to Port Aransas.
Again, I pulled up TripAdvisor and started checking out the local hotels. I am not sure how many people realize it, but Port Aransas is actually a little island town off the coast of Aransas Pass. We finally settled on a Holiday Inn Express, but decided to wait until we got to town to book it. Sometimes I am a little bit of a hotel snob and like to check out the location, reviews, pictures and exterior before committing to the one night stay. I can’t help it, I was born this way! We got on a ferry and, after a quick trip across the sea, arrived in the quaint seaside island town of Port Aransas.
After driving off the ferry and making the first right onto Avenue G, we both knew right away that we were not going to be disappointed in this little town. Our first clue that this was going to be a fun town was that everyone was riding golf carts on the main roads. How fun is that?! We both made a mental note that as soon as we found our accommodations, we would rent a golf cart to explore the town. I gave my husband the online directions to the Holiday Inn Express we had decided on earlier and made our way down Avenue G. Unbeknownst to us, Port Aransas had also had substantial hurricane damage from Harvey, and several of their hotels and homes were still in disarray. After locating the hotel, we had previously picked out for our stay, we quickly realized we were in trouble. It, along with the majority of hotels in town, were closed due to hurricane damage. Right across the street from the Holiday Inn Express was a cute village of beachy colored townhomes.
The townhomes were a part of a resort called Seashell Village Resort. I immediately fell in love with their exterior and the feel of the village. I asked my husband to go in and ask if they had any vacancies and then what the price range was. Fortunately for us, they had one townhome available and the price was very reasonable. We were just as impressed with the inside as we had been with the outside. Our townhome consisted of a living room, fully stocked kitchen, full bathroom, large king bedroom, and shaded deck overlooking the pool. The windows were decorated with white, wood shutters, which just added to the fun beach theme.
We quickly unloaded the car and my husband starting calling around to all the local golf cart rentals to try and find the best deal. We finally decided on Peyton’s Golf Cart rental. Peyton, the owner, was great to work with and gave us an amazing deal on an awesome golf cart. The cart looked brand new, and luckily, Peyton purchases a yearly registration for all his golf carts to access the beach without having to pay the daily $12 beach access fee. We took off on the cart exploring the island.
Our first destination was to explore the 6 mile long Port Aransas beach that is accessible by golf cart or car. The water was clear and the sand was clean. There are showers, port a potties, and large trash bins up and down the shore which is great for families who are spending a day at the beach.
We spent a few hours driving along the beach before heading back to our townhome to get cleaned up for dinner. We decided to try out Fins, a local seafood restaurant. One of the attractions of this small island town is they don’t have a lot of the big name chain restaurants which allows tourist to really experience the local cuisine. Fins did not disappoint. I ordered the shrimp and fish platter and my husband ordered a big bowl of gumbo. After finishing up dinner, we did a little more exploring of the town and stumbled upon Brun’s. It’s an outdoor bar that had a live band playing. The top sitting area had sections of wooden deck platforms with small gas fireplaces. The bottom was a white sand floor with beach chairs and beach games setup. It was the perfect beach town, fun spot. We picked a spot on one of the upper decks, ordered a couple of cold drinks, and had the best time listening to the local band for the next few hours.
The next day was spent on the beach enjoying the sunshine and beautiful water.
We had plans for that night to head back over to Rock Port and try out the famous Boiling Pot. We have friends from home who frequent the place and post pictures of it on social media, so we have been wanting to try it out for several years. The Boiling Pot did not disappoint. They serve their seafood boiled with a tasty cajun seasoning. We ordered a combination of the dungeness crab legs, shrimp, sausage, potatoes and corn. You can request mild or hot cajun seasoning. We decided to just go with the mild to be safe. After taking our order they placed plastic bibs on us and explained how the process worked. They bring your meal out in a metal bowl and pour it onto the table on top of white paper. You use your hands to eat without utensils or plates. This was a different, but fun eating experience and the meal was delicious. After our meal, we headed back over the ferry and realized our vacation was ending the next day.
We had one last stop we wanted to make and that was our breakfast meal the next morning. We had driven by San Juan Mexican restaurant several times on our fun golf cart trips and it was always packed, so we knew it must be good. We woke up, packed the car, and checked out of our amazing townhome. We headed to San Juan’s, anticipating some awesome breakfast. San Juan’s breakfast was amazing! I ordered the steak and eggs and my husband order the chorizo and eggs. Both were delicious and the service was great. It was the perfect last stop on trip out of town.
We had a great trip celebrating our 20th Anniversary and hope to travel back to the quaint little island town of Port Aransas Texas!