Port Aransas, Texas, is full of aquatic surprises. You don’t need to travel all the way to SeaWorld to meet a pod of friendly, curious, and deniably beautiful Atlantic bottlenose dolphins. Approximately 60 dolphins reside in Port Aransas Bay’s teal water, primarily near the Lydia Ann Channel. Contrary to popular belief, most dolphin tours in Port Aransas run throughout the year. These slippery, giggly pods never swim south, as these waters remain at idyllic temperatures, even in the heart of “winter.”
The Top Dolphin Tours in Port Aransas
When you choose Port A Escapes, you’ll always be steps from the Gulf of Mexico and a short bicycle ride from an aquatic adventure, such as a dolphin-viewing escapade. Most dolphin tours in Port Aransas operate out of Dennis Dryer Municipal Harbor along Cotter Avenue, where vessels enjoy swift access to Lydia Ann Channel, Aransas Pass, and Aransas Bay.
Let’s start this dolphin party with a trip aboard The Scarlet Lady. The Scarlet Lady remains the premier dolphin tour in Port Aransas—no questions asked. She’s a new build—only five years old. But she’s already ushered thousands of eager travelers into the bay in hopes of observing pods of startingly-graceful bottlenose dolphins. The classic, 90-minute Dolphin Adventure Tour costs a mere $33 per passenger. Tours typically launch at 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., as these are the best times to spot these majestic mammals. But The Scarlet Lady also proudly provides sunset tours that are more focused on romance than dolphins.
Dolphin Watch is a reliable backup if The Scarlet Lady is fully booked during your desired time slot. We appreciate this local establishment because their tours don’t “just” focus on dolphins. You’ll also learn about Mustang Island’s history, cruise past Lydia Ann Lighthouse, and experience a live shrimp trawl, which typically nets anything from crabs to stingrays and, you guessed it, shrimp. Unfortunately, Dolphin Watch cannot match The Scarlet Lady’s online booking system. Thus, phone calls are required to make reservations.
Admittedly, Captain Kirk (not James Tiberius, to our knowledge) doesn’t wield a prototypical dolphin tour in Port Aransas. No, Captain Kirk is your Party Captain! The $50, two-hour “booze cruise” is a BYOB dolphin-viewing experience that’s geared toward bachelorette (and bachelor) parties, work retreats, large family gatherings, and just about any other type of celebration. With three tours daily, including a 10 a.m. family tour, you’ll no doubt find a time slot that best fits your group.
Quintessential Mustang Island Rentals
Follow your memorable dolphin-viewing experience with some downtown shopping, a kayaking trip, a deep-sea fishing voyage, or several hours of well-deserved beach relaxation. Start and finish each day of exploration and relaxation inside your well-endowed Port Aransas beachfront condo, such as the Beach Babe or Fantasea Cove. Most luxury homes and gulf-front condos are steps from the beach while also featuring pool access, spacious balconies, fireplaces, renovated kitchens, and distinctive nautical decor. To book a long-awaited escape to seaside South Texas, please check availability online (or call us directly at 361‑749‑2300).