Rockport has plenty of things to enjoy indoors but consider saving those things for a rainy day. It’s the great outdoors that draw many visitors to Rockport. The opportunities to have fun in the sun and on the water are among the best on the Texas coast, making the clean beaches and rich waters around Rockport a major draw for locals and tourists.
Fishing in shore and offshore
It’s hard to go wrong fishing here. You have year-round opportunities and a variety of fun species. Anglers travel from around the country to chase redfish on the flats with gear and fly tackle. Fly fishing the grass flights is especially popular as you can sightfish to world class redfish.
Aransas Bay is right off the beach but you can explore several other very productive bays while launching a boat from Rockport. In addition to local redfish, you will find good numbers of speckled trout. Tarpon and jack crevalle make the occasional appearance as well.
While a boat is always fun and mobility can help when searching for fish, casting a line right off the shore is still productive as well. Set up a chair and sling your bait out to try for all of the popular species.
Kayak the Bays
Rent a kayak or bring your own. The calm bays are perfect for exploring with a paddle. The shallow, complex networks of backwaters are also very welcome to paddlers who can navigate waters where boats are too large to reach.
You can launch at any of the boat ramps or take advantage of the extensive public beach access and simply launch right off a good looking shoreline. The Highway 188 bridge is a common launching point. The St. Charles Bay Bridge also places on some great water.
Birders are enthralled with the diversity and abundance of species in the area. The combination of live oak habitat that attracts songbirds and coastal wetlands that draw whooping cranes and numerous other migratory species make it a birders paradise. Bring your best binoculars and cruise between bays, trails and salt or freshwater to work through the long checklist of local and migratory birds.
Visiting the Linda S. Castro Nature Sanctuary to sample and learn about the habitat and species available before you go explore the greater region. The bird species list alone has over 200 logged species. The plant inventory has a similar number of species logged. You can walk the sanctuary, discover a small scale version of the ecosystems you will encounter in the region and gain a much better understanding about where to look for birds and plant species. At 4.5 acres, you can easily spend a few hours exploring and learning while navigating the displays in the sanctuary. Shade and benches are also available to rest and cool down on hot summer days.
Biking and Cycling
The Aransas Pathways trail system is made for all levels of cyclists. You can push through 40 plus miles of tough terrain or keep the rides under 20 miles. There are trails ranging from casual to advanced and they all offer varied terrain and views of the water.
The Aransas County Grand Tour Route is the real prize at 40 miles of trail that runs through the entire Live Oak Peninsula and the charming town of Fulton along with the Rockport Beach. Start with the shorter trails to get a feel for the area and work your way up to the full tour.
Hit the Walking Trails
Many of the cycling routes double as excellent walking paths. The forty mile grand tour route is too far for a walk but you can hit the 1.6 mile memorial park trail. The paved route forms a loop around a beautiful lake filled with live oaks.
The 1.08 Tule Creek trail also winds through live oak habitat. It begins at the Walmart but quickly drops out of the developed area and into a beautiful, paved trail. It is convenient being centrally located and makes for the perfect short walk without driving outside of town.
If you want a full day hike or run, the Rockport Beach Route is 13.5 miles, making it about a half marathon of trail. Show up in good physical condition for this one. It runs through town, along the Rockport Harbor and beach and ultimately connects to the Tule Creek trail. You can also bike this one if a 13.5 mile hike feels a little too long.
Picnic on the Beach
One of the best ways to enjoy the outdoors in Rockport is free and simple. Head to the immaculate, public beach and enjoy the sandy waterfront. Rockport Beach offers shaded picnic sites, public restrooms and a clean and inviting atmosphere. The beach is a staple in the community and you can simply show up and enjoy the space. Barbecue some food, take a swim and walk the shoreline.
Keep in mind however that dogs are not allowed on the beach and glass bottles are also banned. Otherwise, enjoying the public space is easy. Just park and play.
Golfing – Rockport Country Club
Multiple courses will keep you on your toes while golfing around Rockport. The Live Oak Country Club, Live Oak Country Club and Palmilla Beach Country Club all have great courses. Additionally, you can find tennis courts, swimming and other activities in and around the clubs.
The golf course environments often collide with some of Rockport’s most attractive natural environments. You might find yourself golfing alongside local wildlife while navigating fairways that pass by scenic ponds and water features. Enjoy the deer, songbirds that inhabit live oaks and fish as they cruise around the ponds. Show up during winter and you can watch the whooping cranes wintering around the courses.
After a long day on the course, you can unwind with a cold drink and dinner at one of the club restaurants. The environments are designed to combine the best of the outdoors with a relaxing and enjoying experience.