Rockport is a small community but the town is certainly not without things to do and places to visit. The events schedule is jam packed and numerous indoor and outdoor attractions draw visitors to the area.
Staying busy while having fun is about as easy in Rockport as anywhere in the country. The rich history, museums and large variety of activities to enjoy in the outdoor spaces make it a great place to stay active and entertained. Here are just a few of the many places worth paying a visit while staying in the area.
Texas Maritime Museum
The Texas Maritime Museum is one of those rare places that will simultaneously entertain just about any age group. The Texas coast has an incredible history that often revolves around the geographical location, ecosystem and natural resources.
Early Spanish explorers were attracted to the rich coastal ecosystem and remains an important fishery that exists alongside oil and gas production. The museum is an easy stop being appropriately situated directly across from the harbor.
You could spend more than a few days browsing their document and photo library. The historic displays and artifacts are also captivating and the collection is extensive and always growing. Longtime residents can break the museum into multiple trips with something new to learn on each visit.
Need to get outside and stretch your legs? The Aransas Pathways is a great way to explore on foot or bike. Numerous routes are laid out for bikers, joggers and hikers alike. Each route offers a different perspective and view of the coast and community.
The Grand Tour Route is perfect for serious cyclists wanting a long and challenging ride. At roughly 40-miles the path runs around the Live Oak Peninsula, covering a large number of the scenic views and historic stopping points in the area.
The Live Oak Peninsula route itself is also a good one for cyclists. At 25 miles, it offers a short distance on more intermediate friendly terrain. Although shorter, it remains a challenging ride that will not disappoint.
Look to the one-mile long Tule Creek Trail for a more casual bike or hike experience that begins and ends in town. The Memorial Park trail is another great walk at 1.5 miles of paved trail that runs around a lake.
If you’re looking to stay closer to the beach, the Rockport Beach Route is a good 13-14 miles of walking or biking. The Aransas Pathways offers quite a few different options for hikers and bikers. The diversity of multiple routes over varying terrain and scenery make Rockport a great place to hit the trails
The Fulton Mansion
The Fulton Mansion is a staple in the community and it serves as a visual landmark that is hard to miss. The high roof and incredible detail in the exterior and interior makes it standout on the Arkansas Bay.
The historic mansion has self-guided and audio tours available to take you back in time. George Futon found wealth in the cattle industry and the family lived in the mansion with rare indoor plumbing and luxuries that were uncommon in the late 1800’s. See how the family lived and learn about the construction required to erect such a unique and architecturally stunning structure.
The Big Tree
Seriously, it’s one very big tree. At 35 feet around and over 1,000 years old, The Big Tree is a fun stopping point. You can’t miss the signs off Park Road 13. Give the tree a hug and see how far your arms wrap around. The tree was standing in that exact spot long before the formation of the United States and the founding of the town.
Between all of the tours, hikes and history lessons, you will likely want a relaxing break. Hit Rockport beach and kick up your feet. The beach has a mile of cabanas for picnics and shade. Restrooms are available and you can fish off the pier, play a game of volleyball, do some wildlife watching or just sit back and relax.
The beach is very kid friendly with a full playground. Do keep in mind that glass containers are prohibited as are dogs. Rockport prides itself on having such a clean beachfront that is accessible and fun for everyone.
Linda S. Castro Nature Sanctuary
The Linda S. Castro Nature Sanctuary is a peaceful place to walk through several acres of different habitats. Each represents a distinct and important ecosystem found in the Rockport area. The live oak motte is critical for migrating songbirds while the ephemeral pond requires little rain to sustain the wetland while acting as a natural rearing ground for amphibians.
Walk the property, sit on benches in the shade and learn about the local plants and animals. The nature sanctuary is as beautiful four acre property to visit and enjoy.
Center for the Arts
The Rockport Center for the Arts is not just about displays. While they offer regular exhibitions with a variety of local and national artists, the center is a community gathering place with workshops, festivals and regular events.
Ongoing classes and workshops open the door to learning and participating in the arts. Specialty events like Art Educator Days are also common and serve the greater region. Art Educator days specifically brings art teachers together in a forum where learning, sharing and making new contacts is fun and easy.
Another great opportunity is the Free Family Saturdays. Bring the kids along and get them involved in art. Kids can create their own art with hands on instruction from volunteers and donations provided by the community. The gathering is a wonderful learning experience for kids and it doesn’t cost a dime.
If the exhibits, workshops and classes and community events aren’t enough, head to the Rockport center for the arts during the film or art festivals. The festival setting is vibrant and loaded with create participants, sharing their best works. Check the art center schedule to find a workshop, festival or event during your visit. They have something going most weeks out of the year.