COASTAL RETREATS

Sylvia and Hector Villarreal

Hector and Sylvia’s home was remodeled in 2010 by Jerry Buckley of Buckwild Builders. The architect was Melton Henry of Houston, and the interior décor and furnishings were designed by Susan Castor of Port Aransas and Corpus Christi. Hector has owned Southern Landscapes in Corpus Christi for 38 years and has designed the outdoor spaces of many iconic Port Aransas homes. Keeping all of the original pine trees on the property and complementing them with angular, low-key plantings fulfilled their landscape vision for the property. They appreciate their island jewel as a peaceful escape from city life.

Kathy and Albert Biedenharn

The Biedenharn’s love affair with Port Aransas was sparked in 1982. Their home was built by local architect Bill Bundy in 1998. Hector Villarreal of Southern Landscapes in Corpus Christi helped create the family’s vision to create the pool, exterior walls and the enclosure. Kathy’s favorite feature of the house is its location and the wrap-around ocean view. The Biedenharns have discovered the charm of Port Aransas because of its convenient location, the company of many good friends, and an endless list of local restaurants to frequent. They treasure their simpler life getaway that Port Aransas has to offer. Most of the art is from the Felder Gallery in Port Aransas.

Tommy Carlisle

Tommy Carlisle’s home was built by local architect Bill Bundy in a Dutch Bahamian style. He favors the attention to detail in the home and its elaborate features like the eves that have intricate and ornate elements, the floors are of antique natural pine, and the seashells below the bar were all collected locally and set into concrete. Susan Castor of Port Aransas and Corpus Christi decorated the interior of the home. As a Corpus Christi local, Carlisle lives and works just 30 minutes from his nautical retreat, and enjoys the convenience of escaping to there as often as possible…within an hour’s notice he can be cruising on his boat, sipping a cocktail, and observing exotic wildlife. Most of the art is from the Felder Gallery in Port Aransas.

Nancy and Edward Steves & Sarah and Sam Steves

The Steves’ home was built in 1969 and was designed by Phil Carrington. Nancy and Edward Steves and Sarah and Sam Steves have shared the home for six years. Phil Carrington utilized decks to expand the interior spaces of the home with a view of the Lydia Ann Ship Channel on one side of the house and slips for family boats on the other side. The peninsular location provides all necessary amenities and the Steves family loves to sit and watch the ships in the channel and view the sunset from the Crow’s Nest overlooking the harbor. Hector Villarreal landscaped the property, creating a sense of seclusion in a palm grove. The most important feature of the home is its ability to accommodate both family units at once, allowing their enjoyment of their ‘island time’ on Port Aransas.

Sarah and Steve Pitt

The vacation home of Houstonians (with strong South Texas ties) Sarah and Steve Pitt was built in 2005, and was designed as a coastal getaway to entertain their family and friends. Local Port Aransas architect Bill Bundy took on the project as the architect and builder. When the property was bought from the original owners, Bonnie Chumbley from San Antonio designed the interior, bringing nautical luxury into the relaxing and expansive vacation home. The outdoor gardens and pool area were designed by Hector Villarreal of Southern Landscapes in Corpus Christi and with a view of the ocean from the living room, the home provides a luxurious spot for R&R.

Cecilia and George Hager

George and Cecilia Hager’s home was built in the late 1920’s and they purchased the compound in 2007, after a long history of previous ownership by the Episcopal Church, the McAllister family from San Antonio, and others. Their vision was to restore the original footprint, honoring the traditional feel of the Old Town area of the island. Using George’s company, Hager Construction, extensive remodels and restorations were made on the house’s various structures. The furniture was gathered throughout years of antiquing trips to Round Top and vintage beach stores and the interiors of the houses were designed by Bonnie Chumbley Interiors in San Antonio. The art is provided by Robby Felder of the Felder Gallery in Port Aransas.

Rick Liberto

The Liberto family from San Antonio and Corpus Christi acquired their beachfront

property in the 1940’s and they built two beach bungalows that the family has been enjoying ever since. Each family member has fallen in love with Port Aransas and its laid back lifestyle because they have found it is one of the few places in the world that offers them relaxation year-round. In 2008, Rick Liberto and his family planned a major remodeling of the original bungalows and they purchased the property across the street to accommodate their needs for a coastal refuge. They call the addition “The Squeeze Inn.”

Christine and Thomas Tyng

Christine and Thomas Tyng’s vacation spot is located atop a sand dune with a view of the ocean, that they have owned 12 years, has stood strong through the worst of the island’s storms. The locals call it “The Pink House” because it has always been painted pink, despite changes in ownership. The home suffered a fire in 2010 and was saved by a local newsie who spotted smoke billowing from the bungalow on his morning paper route. The volunteer fire department saved the home from being completely destroyed and after the fire Christine decided to make changes to the home and redecorated with a fusion of traditional beach shack, pop art, and Mid-Century modern on a clean white palette.

THE BEST OF PORT A

STAY

Cinnamon Shore. A traditional seaside village with beach home and condo vacation rentals available. 5509 Highway 36. Cinnamonshore.com

Port Royal Ocean Resort. A Port Aransas beach resort 210 beach-front condos set on 25 acres with four lagoon pools available for rent. 6317 Highway 361. Portroyal.com

Seashell Village Resort. It has the appearance of a residential neighborhood with large covered porches. Rental cottages available. 502 E. Avenue G. Seashellvillage.com

Tarpon Inn. It is the birthplace of Texas sport fishing since 1886, and each room is unique with its décor with a collection of Texas antiques. 200 E. Cotter Avenue. Thetarponinn.com

Sandcastle. This beach-front resort and conference center offers condos with Gulf or pool views and balconies for rent. 800 Sandcastle Drive. Portaransas-texas.com/sandcastle.php

DINE

Lisabella’s. Casual dining at its finest. 165 Social Circle. Lisabellas.com

Roosevelt’s at the Tarpon Inn. Creative cooking and the perfect setting for a casual meal. 200 (A) E. Cotter. Rooseveltsporta.com

Shells Pasta & Seafood. Pasta and fresh fish. 522 E. Avenue G. Eatatshells.com

Venetian Hot Plate. Authentic Italian cuisine. 232 Beach Street. Venetianhotplate.com

Café Phoenix. A casual Mediterranean restaurant. 229 Beach Street.

SHOP 

Coastal Closet. An exceptional emporium with a masterful mix of fashions for you and your home that is a  design destination. 1700 State Highway 361, Suite E.

Susan Castor Collection. A unique shopping experience with value added design and competitive pricing of quality home furnishings. 106 E. Roberts Avenue.

A  Mano, The Soul of Mexico. With items created and made by artisans from central and southern colonial Mexico. 1726 State Highway 361, Tower Center Suite K.

Cita  Resort  Interiors. Carries resort-style furnishings, gifts and accessories. 129  N. Allister.

Gratitude. Has unique gifts, clothing, jewelry, books, signs, and greeting cards. 316  N. Station Street.

DO

Captain Kelly’s Deep Sea Headquarters. Home of the finest fleet on the Gulf Coast for deep sea fishing,  bay fishing and dolphin watching. 440 W. Cotter Street. Deepseaheadquarters.com

Red Dragon Pirate Cruises. A two hour interactive pirate cruise, perfect for family reunions and group cruises. 440 W. Cotter Street. Reddragonpiratecruises.com

Port Aransas Museum – Visit Port Aransas island history through pictures, exhibits and movies.  Free admission. N. Alister Street. Portaransasmuseum.org

ART 

Felder Gallery. The Felder Gallery features the art of Larry Felder, along with 22 other local, regional and national fine artists who work in a variety of styles and mediums, most of which is coastal-themed art with paintings, sculpture, jewelry, glass, fish prints, antiques and more. 1728 State Highway 361, Suite F. Feldergallery.com

Port Aransas Art Center. A thriving center of the visual arts to Mustang Island, Padre Island the neighboring communities. Artists from the Coastal Bend, Austin, San Antonio and Houston display and sell their work. Port Aransas Art Center Village. Portaransasartcenter.org

Tim Burdick Photography & Gallery. A Utah native, but a Texan at heart, Burdick offers a variety of photographic services from architecture and real estate to weddings and portraits, fine art reproduction and journalistic assignments. 722 Tarpon Street, Suite L1 .Timburdickphotography.com

Mustang Island Art Gallery. The 5000 square foot gallery was designed to display paintings, sculptures, pottery and photography and has26 local artists are currently represented. 2222 Highway 361. Mustangislandgallery.com