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Easy Day Trips to Amazing Places in Rockport, TX
Rockport visitors don’t need to drive far or at all really to enjoy some amazing local attractions. The town is loaded with fun galleries and museums while the local beaches and nature pathways are absolutely stunning. Spend your days exploring the great outdoors, attend the bustling local markets, eat some great food and take advantage of the laid back, friendly local culture.
Best Outdoor Spots to Visit
- Rockport Beach – The local beach is hard to beat for an easy trip without much planning involved. Show up with a picnic and grab a spot by the sand. The beach has bathrooms and restrictions for dogs on leash and glass bottles.
- Aransas Bay by Boat – Aransas Bay is a local treasure and it offers the perfect opportunity for kayaking in remote backwaters. The bay is also accessible by boat and tour operators run fishing and scenic trips in the region. Renting a kayak and exploring is an easy way to see the bay and do some wildlife watching however.
- Aransas Pathway – Numerous trail options are available in the area and the Aransas Pathways has routes setup for hikers and bikers. The Tule route is a nice 1 mile trail that conveniently starts in town and winds through live oaks. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the Grand Tour runs for 40-miles with scenic views over Aransas Bay. It’s worth doing for cyclist and hikers in small chunks.
- Fulton Harbor – If you want a simple walk along the harbor while catching a sunset, this is a great place to check out. Oyster and shrimp boats dock and unload here and are fun to watch while taking in the views.
- Bird Watching Galore – Bird watchers have a ton of options in the region and can stay busy exploring for years on end. The live oak habitat, freshwater ponds and marshes and the ocean bays and estuaries are loaded with birds. The whooping cranes draw visitors from around the country but hundreds of species thrive in the region. The Aransas National Wildlife Refuge alone offers 114,000 acres with plenty of bird habitat in the mix.
- San Jose Island – Beach combing, wildlife watching, great fishing, boating and plenty of additional activity options are easily found here. The island is a local gem that offers easy day trips with boats running shuttles throughout the day.
- Breakfast and Lunch – Get your fill early in the day with a big variety of options. Rosita’s Taco Shop and Taqueria Puerto Vallarta both have great breakfast and lunch options. The donut shop and bakery both stay busy and for good reason and the Daily Grind is a staple for breakfast and coffee.
- Crab Cakes and Seafood – If there’s one thing Rockport does well, it’s seafood. 495 Chesapeake Eats serves a killer crab cake along with burgers and a number of other dishes. Shempey’s Grill, Latitude 2802 and the Old Fulton Seafood Cafe are all great stops for chowder, gumbo and local seafood dishes. The La Playa Mexican Grille even combines Tex Mex with seafood for a unique fusion of flavors. In the event that you just want a damn good burger, head to Steerburger Grill and Grub to get your fill.
- Time for Dessert – After a long day of exploring, filling your sweet tooth is gratifying. Grandma B Sweet Treats and Pink Octopus specialize in delicious ice cream and frozen yogurt.
Museums and Historic Attractions
- Texas Maritime Museum – Learn about the local maritime history and the natural resources found in abundance here. The artifacts and the document and photo library offer extensive collections and view into the past.
- Rockport Center for the Arts – Rockport is bustling with artistic energy and local talent. The Center for the Arts is the hub for gatherings, workshops, classes and gallery displays. Check out their list of fun courses and projects to stay engaged and entertained within the art community.
- Fulton Mansion – George Fulton made a fortune in the cattle business and built the mansion to house his family with rare luxuries for the time like indoor plumbing. The mansion was constructed with incredible detail and the tour is a favorite stop for all ages.
- The Big Tree – This 1,000+ year old tree is a fun landmark to visit. The tree is exceptionally wide and you can try wrapping your arms around it but after that long, the girth is massive and more than 35-feet in circumference. This tree was alive before the United States formed and was standing long before the town of Rockport existed.