1966
Port Aransas
Island Sampler: Biology, Bays, Beaches and Buccaneers
Learn the story of Port Aransas and discover unique ecosystems on Mustang Island as you visit historic sites, explore protected coastal habitats and board an aircraft carrier.
Rating (5)
Program No. 1966RJ
Length
6 days
Starts at
1,135
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6 days
5 nights
14 meals
5 B 4 L 5 D
Getting There
See travel details and required documents
DAY
1
Check-in, Registration, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Port Aransas, TX
D
Best Western Port Aransas

Activity note: Hotel check-in 4:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Program Registration. After you have your room assignment, come to the Road Scholar table in the hotel breakfast and meeting room to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing your name-tag, up-to-date schedule that reflects any last-minute changes, other important information, and to learn when and where the Orientation session will take place. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet when you check in. Orientation. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. We will travel in passenger vans all week, which requires the ability to climb in/out of vans. Periods in the schedule labeled “Free Time” and “At Leisure” offer opportunities to make the program more meaningful and memorable while going out to explore on your own, engaging in available activities independently, making new friends among fellow Road Scholars, or simply relaxing. The Group Leader will always be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: At local restaurant, plus coffee, tea, water.

Evening: At leisure. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

DAY
2
Padre Island National Seashore & Mariculture Laboratory
Port Aransas, TX
B,L,D
Best Western Port Aransas

Activity note: Walking on sandy beach and may include being in the water.

Breakfast: In the hotel dining room, we will enjoy a meal with selections of hot and cold items, plus coffee, tea, water.

Morning: We will ride to Padre Island National Seashore, rich in natural and cultural history and, at 70 miles, is the longest stretch of undeveloped barrier island in the world. The seashore includes a coastal prairie and extensive dune system, both havens for hundreds of species of birds and other avian and marine life.

Lunch: At the university campus cafeteria, we will have a meal, including coffee, tea, water.

Afternoon: We will learn how scientists raise fish from an egg in a behind-the-scenes look at the Fisheries & Mariculture Lab with a researcher. We will see these microscopic fish in the first stages of life and learn about the special diets they are fed as part of the larger conservation effort at Padre Island.

Dinner: At local restaurant.

Evening: We will return to the hotel for a film called LaSalle's Voyage of Doom, about the excavation of the 1685 shipwreck of Robert de LaSalle’s ship La Belle in Matagorda Bay. We’ll learn how historians excavated the site to find a wealth of artifacts, including cannons, muskets and leather shoes.

DAY
3
USS Lexington & Corpus Christi Museum Science & History
Port Aransas, TX
B,L,D
Best Western Port Aransas

Activity note: Walking and standing for periods of 3.5 hours total aboard the USS Lexington and at the museum. Ability to climb narrow stairs aboard the ship. Elevator provides limited access to some areas. Wear comfortable shoes.

Breakfast: Hotel meal.

Morning: We will travel to the Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History for a self-directed exploration, where we will find exhibits and displays on the replica Columbus ships, Karankawa Indians, shipwrecks and more.

Lunch: At a local restaurant overlooking Corpus Christi Bay, including coffee, tea, water.

Afternoon: We will explore the aircraft carrier the USS Lexington.

Dinner: At local restaurant.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
4
Trip aboard M/V Mustang
Port Aransas, TX
B,L,D
Best Western Port Aransas

Activity note: Standing for 1.5 hours possible. Seating is available on upper and lower partially covered deck. Wear closed toe shoes and clothing appropriate for boats.

Breakfast: Hotel meal.

Morning: We will travel to the 3.5 acre Wetlands Education Center (WEC) at the University of Texas Marine Science Institute in Port Aransas and go on an interpretive walk along the trails with a nature, then venture to the beach for hands-on beach activities.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: We will enjoy a bay sampling and nature cruise. We’ll see what treasures the trawl reveals as a naturalist describes the fish, crabs, mollusks, shrimp and much more that we find in detail. We’ll also have the opportunity to see dolphins up close and personal and hear about shipwrecks and local history.

Dinner: At local restaurant.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
5
Birding, Science on a Sphere Presentation
Port Aransas, TX
B,D
Best Western Port Aransas

Activity note: Terrain consists of boardwalks, grassland, beach etc.

Breakfast: Hotel meal.

Morning: We will visit some of the most productive and renowned birding sites for year-round birds in and around Port Aransas with a local expert.

Afternoon: The Bay Education Center will provide us with a unique way to learn about the importance of bays and their ecosystems. Plus see the amazing Science On a Sphere?, a spherical display system created by NOAA to illustrate Earth science concepts to people of all ages.

Dinner: At local restaurant.

Evening: We will travel to the University of Texas Marine Science Institute for a public lecture given by a university expert. Our program was planned far in advance when details of this lecture were not available. The information will be posted on our website when available and included in preparatory materials sent following enrollment. Returning to the hotel, prepare for check out and departure following our final event in the morning.

DAY
6
Program Concludes
Port Aransas, TX
B,L

Activity note: Hotel check-out by 11:00 a.m.

Breakfast: Hotel meal.

Morning: At the University of Texas, we’ll learn how to fly a drone and find out how they are used in marine science.

Lunch: The Group Leader will provide box lunches you may eat on site or take away with you. This concludes our program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!