Is Port Aransas Safe? Crime Rates & Safety Report

Updated On May 17, 2024
Port Aransas, United States
Safety Index:
83
* Based on Research & Crime Data

Port Aransas, Texas, is a coastal gem offering a blend of rich history and natural beauty, earning numerous accolades for being a preferred beach destination in the Lone Star State.

Originally inhabited by Karankawa Indians, its history dates back centuries.

In the 1800s, it became a vital port for the cotton trade and, later, a bustling fishing village.

Today, Port Aransas offers pristine beaches, charming boutiques, and a vibrant culture.

One of its most beloved features is its accessibility, boasting a laid-back atmosphere that welcomes families, adventurers, and relaxation seekers alike.

The town’s commitment to preserving its coastal ecosystem ensures opportunities for birdwatching, dolphin tours, and nature trails.

What sets Port Aransas apart is its unique blend of small-town charm and coastal allure.

Whether strolling along the bustling boardwalk, indulging in fresh seafood at waterfront eateries, or embarking on an exhilarating deep-sea fishing excursion, there’s something for everyone here.

The community’s resilience in the face of adversity, particularly in the aftermath of natural disasters like Hurricane Harvey, further underscores its spirit and appeal.

In Port Aransas, visitors discover not just a beach but a cherished coastal treasure where history, culture, and natural beauty converge to create an unforgettable coastal experience.

Plus, it’s less than an hour from Corpus Christi.

Warnings & Dangers in Port Aransas

Overall Risk

OVERALL RISK: LOW

There's a low risk and a lot of fun to be found on this Texas barrier island. You get to enjoy the best of island life while still being close enough to Corpus Christi.

Transport & Taxis Risk

TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: LOW

Check the route map for the Port Aransas Shuttle. The stops are on Route 94. Taxis and rideshares are available, and rental cars are easy to find. Keep in mind that you can rent golf carts here to drive around. Many visitors like to have their own car here so that they can drive on the beach. All risk levels are low.

Pickpockets Risk

PICKPOCKETS RISK: LOW

In the past five years, just one purse snatching has been reported. That's a low risk, but I suspect that nearly half of all thefts in the "Other" category could include some bags stolen from the beach. Use extra caution, even though the statistics show it's a low risk.

Natural Disasters Risk

NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: MEDIUM

The risk here is medium, thanks to the ongoing challenges of storms, flooding, and winds. Plus, hurricane season runs through summer and fall, meaning evacuations and damaging tropical storms are possible.

Mugging Risk

MUGGING RISK: LOW

Looking back at the past decade, the city hasn't seen more than five robberies in a year. That's a low risk, especially considering how large the crowds are during spring break and in the summer. The risk goes up slightly in Corpus Christi.

Terrorism Risk

TERRORISM RISK: LOW

This is a low risk as the island is pretty barren and gets more remote and in a natural state the farther south you go. However, domestic terrorism and mass shootings can happen anywhere. Use extra caution in large crowds, and don't hesitate to report suspicious activity.

Scams Risk

SCAMS RISK: LOW

Check local law enforcement social media sites for the latest scams. The local Better Business Bureau office and the state Attorney General’s office will have common scam tactics and protection advice. Before booking a rental, review the short-term rental rules on the city's website.

Women Travelers Risk

WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: LOW

Women have the same low risk as anyone else. While South Padre Island is known for being more wild, this is a more family-friendly location. Of course, you still need smart personal safety tactics and water safety education.

Tap Water Risk

TAP WATER RISK: LOW

The U.S. has strict standards for tap water per the Safe Water Drinking Act. Communities are required to provide a Water Quality Report (Consumer Confidence Report) once a year by July 1.

Safest Places to Visit in Port Aransas

The city of Port Aransas’s website is cityofportaranses.org.

The tourism website is portaransas.org.

However, both sites can lead you to the other one.

To find out more about the nightlife, visit Port A Live’s website.

Port Aransas, Texas, features beach mile markers indicating vehicular access points and designated areas.

The markers run from the national seashore boundary to the Port Aransas jetty.

Each green pole has numbers or letters to help you know where you are, and these come in handy when you’re calling for help or getting directions.

Pay attention to those markers, as they’ll be referenced in tourism guides as well.

In addition to the 18 miles of beaches in Port Aransas, you can also take a boat or drive to Mustang Island State Park, San Jose Island, Padre Island National Seashore, and I.B. Magee Beach, right in the heart of Port A.

Beach and water rentals are plentiful here, with everything from golf carts to get around to jeeps for beach rides to glowing kayaks for a late-night paddle.

The sand at the Port Aransas beach is some of the best in the nation for making sandcastles.

Let your creativity go or sign up for a lesson to build the sand design of your dream.

Walking the beach looking for shells and sea glass is also popular.

One of my favorite activities on this beach is horseback riding.

Anglers can enjoy catching a big one and taking it to a local restaurant to be cooked to order.

This is one of the premier fishing spots in Texas, with opportunities around the island or on deep-sea charters.

Rainy day options include the history museum, the Chapel on the Dunes tour, and visiting the Texas State Aquarium in Corpus Christi.

Places to Avoid in Port Aransas

You don’t have to worry about places to avoid in Port Aransas, at least not from a “bad neighborhood” perspective.

As a barrier island, you get a slice of land with beaches and a waterfront on three sides.

There are times you might want to avoid the beach.

If there’s a rip current advisory, use extra caution in the water or avoid it completely.

You can learn online how to swim out of a rip current, but it still requires a calm demeanor and a great deal of strength.

From June through November, you want to keep an eye on the National Hurricane Center to see if a tropical storm or hurricane is headed toward the Texas Gulf Coast.

Don’t wait until mandatory evacuations are underway.

A full hurricane safety guide is available on the city and county’s websites.

If you’re not part of the spring break crowd, you might want to avoid Port Aransas in March.

The larger crowds can drive up prices, create a more rowdy atmosphere, and lead to strict rules, like limiting when alcohol can be consumed on the beach.

For a quieter experience in March, consider heading to the South Padre Island National Seashore.

Since it’s federal land, the lively spring break crowds won’t be there.

Also, before you consider crossing the border at Brownsville into Matamoros, check the U.S. State Department Travel Advisories for that region.

For example, I just looked for today in May 2024, and the warning states, “Do Not Travel Due to Crime and Kidnapping.

Organized crime activity – including gun battles, murder, armed robbery, carjacking, kidnapping, forced disappearances, extortion, and sexual assault – is common.”

Safety Tips for Traveling to Port Aransas

  1. Port Aransas has a local police department. You can call 361-749-6241 if you want to ask specific safety questions. They don’t appear to have a presence on social media, but you can follow the Nueces County Sheriff’s Office on Facebook @NuecesCoSO.
  2. Another great social media resource is the Facebook page for Port Aransas Surf Rescue @portasurfrescue. They provide lifeguard services on specific sections of the beach.
  3. Visit the emergency management section of the city’s website. There, you’ll find the link to sign up for emergency alerts. These notifications provide critical information like severe weather, water safety issues, and public safety threats.
  4. Mosquitoes in this part of Texas can carry the Zika virus. It’s important you protect yourself against the risk of bites by using EPA-approved, eco-friendly bug spray. Learn more on the Fight to Bite section of the city or county’s website.
  5. I used to live on the Gulf of Mexico, and as pretty as the beaches are, you won’t believe the number of species that could hurt or kill you. Port Aransas has sharks in the waters, jellyfish that float in the water or land on the beach, and Portuguese Man-o-Wars. Shuffle your feet in the water to scare off any stingrays. Plus, two types of catfish in the Texas Gulf waters have spines that can impale you and then require surgical removal.
  6. You’ll need a permit to park on the beach between mile markers 0 and 62 in Port Aransas. You won’t pay for that in the parking areas. It must be purchased ahead of time at city hall or local grocery stores. That’s JUST for beach parking. There’s a public lot on Port Street that requires payment on-site through the Honk Mobile program.
  7. This area also has coyotes. While they leave people alone for the most part, don’t leave out food or let small animals run around unleashed. If you spot a coyote, report it to the city immediately. There’s a link on the homepage.
  8. Learn the signs of heat-related illnesses, like heat stroke and heat exhaustion. In summer and early fall, it’s hard to cool off even at the beach; with high temperatures and humidity levels plus the Gulf of Mexico, water can feel more like bathwater than a cool dip.
  9. Another unpleasant aspect of the beach and Gulf water can be dangerous bacteria. The Texas Land General Offices publish a weekly beach water quality update with dozens of checkpoints along the coastline. Any beach that doesn’t meet the standards will be given an advisory notice and then monitored every 24 hours until it’s safe again.
  10. If you notice sea turtle hatching while on the beach, please call the Hatching Hotline at 361-949-7163. You can also use that number to learn about current hatching if you want to watch from a safe and non-intrusive distance. Just don’t wear white clothing or take photos with a flash or light.

So... How Safe Is Port Aransas Really?

Normally, I’d go pretty deep into the weeds on how dangerous or safe a city is using percentages and all kinds of fancy crime math.

Port Aransas isn’t that simple, but in a way, it’s much easier.

The population of the city is less than 3,300.

When you figure out crime rates, the raw crime data is figured to be “per 100,000.”

The crime rate relies heavily on the population of a given city.

The biggest challenge for places like Port Aransas is that the crime rate doesn’t reflect the more than one million people who visit each year.

What I can tell you is that Port Aransas had 16 violent crimes in 2023.

Ten were assaults, five were rapes, and one was a robbery.

A March 2024 homicide was the first one since 2016.

Spring break in March does bring out some rowdy crowds, but not quite as intense as you’ll find in South Padre Island.

(I say that as someone who was part of the South Padre Island rowdy crowd many years ago.)

Theft follows the same lines as violent crime – it looks like it’s three times higher than the national average, but that’s before you add one million visitors a year.

The good news is this – even as tourism has increased in Port Aransas since 2016, the theft rate is down 62%.

About 34% of thefts are related to car break-ins, but that is a risk to lower easily by locking car doors and not leaving personal items in plain view.

Port Aransas is a great beach to visit, but you do have to use strong safety steps as you would in any beach tourist town.

Also, keep an eye on the tropics during hurricane season.

How Does Port Aransas Compare?

CitySafety Index
Port Aransas83
Houston59
Atlanta58
St. Louis58
Los Angeles56
Oakland57
New Orleans57
Sao Paulo (Brazil)45
Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)43
Sofia (Bulgaria)73
Siem Reap (Cambodia)63
Phnom Penh (Cambodia)61
Niagara Falls (Canada)87

Useful Information

Visas

Visas

All international visitors need either a visa defining the purpose of the trip (tourist, work, school, etc.) or a visa waiver. Start the process using the Visa Wizard module on the U.S. State Department website. Also, keep in mind that your passport must be valid for at least six months after our trip, or you’ll need to apply for a new one. If you plan on visiting Mexico while you're here, please review the requirements on the Miconsulmex app. You might need a visa for Mexico and the U.S.

Currency

Currency

Only the U.S. Dollar (USD) is accepted in the United States. International airports usually have a currency exchange desk on site, while regional airports won’t. Your home bank offers the lowest fees. For those using credit cards, check to see if there’s a foreign transaction fee before you start racking up charges.

Weather

Weather

Even the winters of Port Aransas aren't that bad, with highs in the 60s and lows in the 50s. Plan for humidity throughout the year. Bring reef-safe sunscreen and bug spray. Wear comfortable shoes for walking, but bring water shoes for the sharp shells and rocks underwater.

Airports

Airports

Corpus Christi International Airport (CRP) is the closest option, 40 miles from Port Aransas. The next closest option is San Antonio International Airport, about three hours away by car.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance goes into effect as soon as you purchase it. Comprehensive insurance offers the best protection and peace of mind.

Click here to get an offer for travel insurance

Port Aransas Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan 14° C
Feb 16° C
Mar 19° C
Apr 22° C
May 26° C
Jun 29° C
Jul 30° C
Aug 30° C
Sep 28° C
Oct 25° C
Nov 20° C
Dec 16° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
High
°C
171922252831323231282319
Low
°C
101215192326272725221612
High
°F
636672778288909088827366
Low
°F
505459667379818177726154

Texas - Safety by City

CitySafety Index
Abilene67
Amarillo65
Austin65
Carrollton72
Corpus Christi71
Dallas64
Del Rio68
Dell City81
El Paso77
Fort Davis80
Fort Worth77
Fredericksburg85
Garland83
Granbury74
Gruene82
Harlingen75
Houston59
Irving79
Laredo68
Llano83
Lubbock38
Luckenbach77
Marathon78
Marfa80
McAllen74
Nacogdoches78
New Braunfels83
Plano86
Port Aransas83
San Antonio53
Schulenburg83
Sherman73
Smithville84
South Padre Island70
Tyler70
Waco61
Waxahachie83
Weslaco68
Wichita Falls68
Wimberley81

Where to Next?

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