Once again Rockport has been named in the Top 10 of the Best Small Coastal Towns in the country by USA TODAY’s readers! Incorporated by the Texas Legislature in 1870, the charming town of Rockport was originally a Gulf Coast fishing village. Boat building, fishing, tourism, the resort trade, and shrimping blossomed after 1886 with the arrival of the railroad.
Nestled on a peninsula between Aransas and Copano bays, Rockport lies in Aransas County and is separated from the Gulf of Mexico by barrier islands that create great fishing, important reef ecosystems, and protected waters. Rockport is also one of the most beautiful small towns in America with endless recreation opportunities. Rockport has always had a stunning coastline and beach, but it is also home to wildlife sanctuaries, is a spring migration birdwatching hot spot, is full of art galleries, hip restaurants, a maritime museum, and the Rockport Kaboom and Pirate
Among the cultural and educational attractions are the:
• Texas maritime Museum
• The Bay Education Center
• The Rockport Center for the Arts
• The Aquarium at Rockport Harbor
• The Connie Hagar Wildlife Sanctuary
• The Wet l and Ponds and Demonstration Gardens by the TXDOT
The Fulton Mansion Historic Site is a gorgeous example of Second Empire architecture and is on the National Register of Historic Places. The beautiful waters of the Gulf accommodate kiteboarding, stand-up paddle boarding, waterskiing, sailing, kayaking, jet skiing, and of course fishing and sport fishing, while Rockport’s public beach also features two pavilions and a saltwater swimming pool.
The mile-long Rockport beach is also one of USA Today’s 10 Best Beaches and has BlueWave certification, which recognizes standards of safety, cleanliness, and bacteria monitoring. But there is also a thriving arts community; Rockport counts over 200 local artists as residents, and since 1970 has hosted the Annual Rockport Arts Festival. Visit the 150-year-old Stella Maris Chapel, the Bent Oaks Rookery Park, Goose Island State Park, watch the shrimp and oyster harvest at Fulton Harbor, or just fish off the piers in North Rockport or Fulton. Both piers are 1200 feet long and lit for night fishing. Watch dolphins or spend some time Volunteering or participating in an ecotourism adventure. You can even go geocaching!
See the tree that General Zachary Taylor camped under at the corner of S. Pearl and East Bay or visit the “Big Tree” Goose Island’s 1000-year-old Live oak.
The Annual Rockport-Fulton Seafair runs from October 8-10; a fun-filled celebration by the sea with 225 gallons of delicious gumbo, live crab races, a town parade, kayak racing, Seafair Market, boat and car shows, and live music.
Blessed with mild subtropical weather and miles of coastline, Rockport is an historic and picturesque seaside town. With ample vacation accommodations and a vast array of activities fit for families and individuals of every age, it’s no wonder Rockport is one of the most idyllic spots in the country.
Can you hear the bay calling?
For details, check out the Chamber of Commerce site at: https://www.rockport-fulton.org/
ROCKPORT AWARDS GALORE
Rockport has been in USA Todays’ Top 5 for Best Small Coastal Town5 Times!
To be nominated for the award the town must have fewer than 25,000 residents, be unpretentious, offer uncrowded, affordable beach and seaside fun.
• The Rockport/Fulton area has also been recognized in the Top Ten Destinations in Texas by Texas Highways Magazine
• Gulfscapes Magazine ranked Rockport in its Top Ten of Reader’s Choice Best Gulf Towns.
• Rockport was also called a “coastal dream town” by Coastal Living Magazine and is considered one of the best places to live and retire in the country.
• Aransas Natural Wildlife Refuge was named 5th Best Wildlife Refuge and #1 for Birding
• Best Small Art Town by The National Art Association
• Budget Travel called it the Coolest Small Town in America