Boat over to San Jose Island
Named Isla de San Jose by the Spanish in the 1830s, the island is about 20 miles long and 5 miles wide. U.S. Gen. Zachary Taylor's troops planted the first American flag to fly over Texas soil on what was called St. Joseph's Island in 1845. They established a military post named Aransas there.
During the Civil War, the Union army took all of the livestock from the island and wiped out the community of Aransas. No trace of the people who lived there survives today.
Life on Saint Joe
Although privately owned, "Saint Joe," as the locals call it, is open to the public. It is undeveloped — there are no bathrooms, bait stands, or beer — so you have to come prepared.
The folks at Jetty Boat on Fisherman's Wharf in Port Aransas can help you with that. They run the only ferry boat to the island and back. The boat can carry 45 passengers at a time, but they're happy to make multiple trips if needed.
The boat runs year-round from 7 a.m. to noon and then at 2 p.m., 4 p.m., and 6 p.m. You can stay as long as you like — even overnight.
You can rent a cart to haul your fishing gear and umbrellas (there are only a few palm trees on the island — no real shade). No reservations are needed, but if you want more information about availability, call 361-749-5448 or visit the Fisherman's Wharf website.
Fisherman's Wharf is located at 900 N. Tarpon St. in Port Aransas.
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