Website: Pioneer Beach Resort
Date(s) of Stay: December 5, 2016 arrival, December 16, 2016 departure
Located on the 18 mile long barrier island of Mustang Island a few miles south of Port Aransas (aka Port A), this resort is nestled amidst the sand dunes along the Gulf of Mexico. A boardwalk located at one end of the resort, leads down to a very nice beach. It has 361 sites, both pull thrus and back ins and six cabins also available for rent. Sites pads are cement with a cement patio and picnic table. Note that some of the pull thru sites are only bordered by gravel, not grass.
Daily, weekly and monthly rates for both their RV sites and cabins are posted on their website. They charge separately for electricity ($.13 per kwh during our stay) even if you are only staying for a week.
Overall Impression – 3/5
After checking in, we were escorted to our site (#310) by a staff member in a golf cart. Very well maintained, clean park. The roads are a bit on the narrow side so big rigs need to plan some of the turns carefully. Sites also are a little closer than we like with no privacy but I guess for an RV park near the ocean that is to be expected. Our site was close to the boardwalk so it was convenient to walk to the beach each day. Our 45′ rig fit on the site, but we had to park the car crosswise to fit it on the pad. We do not believe there are any sites larger than the one we had.
Note: If you are looking for something a bit more upscale in this area you might want to consider Gulf Waters RV Resort just a mile or so south. We took a ride thru and the sites are much larger, have good privacy and are more elegantly landscaped. This resort also offers a boardwalk to the beach. Rates of course are higher.
We had a problem when we first arrived, the 50 amp outlet wouldn’t work (bad breaker). Called the office and within 5 minutes someone was there to fix it. Super fast and friendly service.
Strong sense of community here, lots of regular snowbirds populate the park. Each Friday, Saturday and Sunday, they offer breakfast and lunch at the rec hall. For breakfast (7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.) there are 9 menu choices including eggs (can be special ordered), french toast and pancakes ranging in price from $2.00 to $5.85 including coffee. To go orders are $.25 extra. Lunch (11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.) includes burgers, chicken or fish sandwiches, hot dogs, grilled cheese, chef salad, and chili. Lunch prices range from $4.80 to $7.90. Very convenient.
The one complaint we had was with their mail system. With most resorts and campgrounds, you can pick up your USPS mail at any time of the day as long as the office is open. Here the mail room is in the rec hall and is only staffed from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. every day except Sundays. So if your mail is delivered after 10:00 a.m. you can’t get it until the next day. If you are staying here long term, you are given a key to access the mailboxes but we weren’t given one for our short term stay. Not sure if that is their policy or if it was an oversight. However, note that UPS & FedEx are delivered to the registration office which has normal hours – much more convenient!
Size – 3/5
Sites are concrete pads and are adequate in size although for our 45′ tag axle rig the length was a little tight so we had to park the van horizontally in front of our rig. More room between sites would have been nice also.
Privacy – 2/5
Amenities – 4/5
Swimming pool, hot tub, private beach boardwalk, on site trash pick up, on-site convenience store, breakfast and lunch served on site (Fri/Sat/Sun only), three bath houses and laundry (open 24 hours a day), fish cleaning house, propane, wifi, cable, game room and rec hall, dog run, birding pond, and lots of activities.
Convenience – 3/5
Grocery stores (H.E.B Plus), Walmart, restaurants and other retail in Corpus Christi are a minimum 15 mile drive via the John F. Kennedy Memorial Causway (12 miles south of resort). More restaurants across the shipping channel in Aransas Pass (about 10 miles) but that requires a short ferry run (free) with an average wait time of 15 minutes (actual wait can be zero to 45 minutes). Some nearby restaurants (5 minutes) in Port Aransas tend to be pricey due to the resortish beach locale, but there are some fast food joints like Whataburger as well. Nearby attractions include several nature preserves, the Port Aransas Birding Center, Mustang State Park, Padre Island National Seashore. Very convenient to the trolley shuttle which stops at the resort (only costs 25¢). The free ferry which connects Mustang Island and Port Aransas with the mainland via Aransas Pass is less than 5 miles away.
Physical Surroundings – 4/5
Very nice surroundings. Our site was fairly close to the beach, the birding area and the dunes so it was easy to forget that we were in the middle of a fairly busy tourist area. Green grass between sites and palm trees extended the tropical feel.
Peace & Quiet – 3/5
Some muted traffic noise from the busy main road at our site #310 which is closer to the beach. For sites closest to the road however the rating might be more like a 1 or 2.
Utilities – 4/5
- Satellite – There should be no issues throughout the park, we locked on all three DISH network sats without a problem.
- WiFi – Surprisingly very good!
- Cellular signal – EXcellent. Cell tower at corner of park gave us the strongest signal possible on both Verizon and T-Mobile
- Over-the-Air (OTA) TV – We pulled in 15 OTA channels. NBC, ABC & PBS should be no issue, CBS may be marginal and FOX is unlikely.
Power – Good, solid 120+ volts on both legs of 50A, although when we arrived the 50A outlet did not work and the breaker had to be replaced. The power boxes look a bit old, but the campground electrician told me they were slowly upgrading them.
- Water Pressure/Quality – Good at 42 PSI, no turbidity or off odors, moderately hard.
What We Liked
– Very close to the beach
– Very clean, well maintained park
– Friendly, very helpful staff
What We Didn’t Like
– USPS mail delivery can be difficult for short term stays.
– Separate meter charge for electricity even for weekly stays.
– Slightly cramped sites.