Rockport, Texas, is a city with a rich history, delectable cuisines, and a plethora of outdoor attractions. If you’re planning a trip to the Texas Gulf Coast, you’re in luck since Rockport, TX has a tonne of exciting things to do. This article covers all there is to do in Rockport, from exciting outdoor activities like relaxing at Rockport Beach to the best places to get a drink in town. After you’ve finished reading, you’ll know exactly where to go and what to do on your next trip to Rockport. Whether you’re stopping here on a Texas road trip or staying a little longer, you’ll have a great time.
While Texas is home to many wonderful cities, none compare to Rockport, one of the best beach towns in the state. Continue reading to learn more about why this is such a fantastic spot to visit!
Fun Things to Do in Rockport TX
In no particular order, these are the top things to do in Rockport, Texas. Enjoy!
1. Rockport’s Historic Downtown is a wonderful sight
Going to Historic Downtown and wandering about and exploring is probably one of the top things to do in Rockport, TX There’s a lot to see here, from interesting local stores to some of Rockport’s greatest seafood restaurants. Magnolia’s Two, Goin’ Coastal Outfitters, and Coast & Cottage are all fantastic places to visit.
Many of these shops are managed by locals, so browsing them and purchasing something from them while in Rockport is a terrific way to support local companies. It’s advisable to go without much of a plan when visiting this area. Consider spending an afternoon wandering and seeing what kinds of shops and hidden gems you may find. Who knows what you’ll come across if you just roam around!
2. Rockport Beach is a great place to unwind and relax
Rockport Beach in Aransas Bay is a must-see. This is Texas’ first Blue Wave Beach, which means it has been awarded a seal for cleanliness, sustainability, and environmental and human safety! The beach is about a mile long and offers a variety of activities. You may go swimming, relax in the sand, look for hermit crabs, or play beach sports with your friends and family at one of the top Rockport beaches. Rockport Beach also includes cabanas, allowing you to relax and have a nice nap in the sun without being sunburned. This Texas beach has its changing rooms and bathrooms, both of which are well-kept and maintained. Rockport Beach is also a good place to visit if you have a boat or want to take a boat excursion. You can simply get your boat in and out of the sea because there are boat ramps nearby. To top it off, Rockport, only a 2.30-hour drive from San Antonio, is one of the nicest beaches in the area.
3. Aransas National Wildlife Refuge
On this list of fun things to do in Rockport, TX, the Aransas Wildlife Refuge is a must-see. It spans over 100,000 acres along San Antonio Bay and is large enough to spend a whole day exploring. If you don’t arrange your time wisely, you’ll quickly lose track of it. You may spot wildlife, enjoy fishing, or take a trip on one of the refuge’s nature trails. Almost any form of outdoor adventure is feasible here, and if you have the opportunity, you should visit some of the refuge’s major attractions. There are over 400 species of birds that can be found throughout the area if you enjoy birdwatching. Don’t forget to bring your camera because there are so many important features of this refuge that you’ll want to record silently.
4. Visit Rockport and the Surrounding Areas For Birdwatching
Then there’s birdwatching, which is one of the best things to do in Rockport. There are several sites to go birdwatching in Rockport, Texas, including various tours. Birdwatching in the city is best done by joining a tour. Although having a local guide to help you learn about the birds is beneficial, you may simply go on your own. Memorial Park, Rockport Rookery, and the Connie Hagar Cottage Sanctuary are all excellent sites to go birdwatching and look for birds. Butterflies and other insect sightings are common at the sanctuary.
5. Goose Island State Park is a great place to go hiking
Goose Island, which also happens to be one of the top state parks around Houston, is a terrific place to spend a day outside full of adventure and enjoyment. This state park, which spans a few hundred acres, is just a short drive from downtown Rockport. It’s truly one of the nicest day outings in the area. There are numerous things to keep you occupied throughout the park. You can go hiking, boating, fishing, or even looking for different bird species or other wildlife on one of the park’s many pathways. Even though there are a few lakes, it is not recommended that you go swimming. Another excellent option is to stay the night and go camping. Traditional campgrounds exist where you can pitch a tent and have a fantastic time in nature. The majority of the campsites are shaded by oak trees and provide water and bathrooms.
6. Fulton Mansion State Historic Site is a must-see
This old mansion, which first opened its doors in the late 1800s, is one of Rockport’s most historic attractions, and visiting it is one of the nicest things to do in the city. It was constructed in the Second Empire style of architecture and is considered one of the area’s most important architectural structures. The home was previously owned by Colonel George Ware Fulton and Harriet Gillette Smith, who spent a few years getting it completed. This well-to-do family made the majority of their money by transporting cattle across the United States. Visitors are welcome to tour the mansion and learn more about its history today. When you enter inside, it’s as if you’ve stepped back in time. Take some time to admire the magnificent garden, which is one of the house’s most appealing features.
7. Visit Rockport Cultural Arts District
Even if you’re not a big art aficionado, you should go to the Rockport Cultural Arts District. This Rockport neighborhood is dedicated to art and educating people about it. They also promote Rockport tourism in general through art. Throughout the year, the Rockport Cultural Arts District sponsors several public events. The Aransas County Sesquicentennial Celebration, the Rockport Film Festival, and the Rockport Art Festival are just a few of the events they’ve put on. Check their website for upcoming events during your visit to Rockport. There are numerous shops in this area that are worth seeing. Anita Diebel Studio, Coast Modern, and Elisa Baker Art are just a few of the outstanding shops in this area. This region has a plethora of independent art galleries!
8. Take a glance at the Big Tree
Inside, take a look at the big tree. The Big Tree at Goose Island State Park is one of the more unusual sites to explore around Rockport! This massive oak tree has been there for generations, but no one knows for sure how old it is. It’s an oak tree that, in 1969, was named State Champion Coastal Live Oak. People travel from all over the world to see it, so bring your camera and take a snapshot of yourself next to it. Keep an eye out for the beautiful pink roseate spoonbills and whooping cranes. Most people try to visit in the afternoons, so if you want to see it first thing in the morning, come when the state park first opens.
9. At the Rockport Center for the Arts, you can meet natives and marvel at local art
The Rockport Center for the Arts is one of the city’s lesser-known attractions, which makes it all the more worthwhile. The RCA is free to enter and is closed on Mondays. They are committed to bringing art activities to the community through exhibits, theatre performances, seminars, and other means. Make sure to see their sculpture garden while you’re there. It’s brimming with one-of-a-kind statues created by local artisans. It’s up to you to figure out what each sculpture means! They’ve hosted a variety of events and exhibitions over the years. During your visit, it’s worth swinging by the center to see what’s going on. Who knows what kind of event you’ll be able to attend.
10. Go to the Schoenstatt Shrine & Stella Maris Chapel
Schoenstatt Shrine is a Catholic church and shrine in Rockport worth visiting. The shrine was inspired by a sister shrine in Germany and is so-referred to as a daughter shrine. Only a few hundred of these exact ones exist in the world! Another Catholic church worth visiting and entering is Stella Maris Chapel. On the exterior, it appears unassuming, yet that is part of its charm. It isn’t as large or spectacular as some other churches, but it is as quiet and tranquil as a church should be.
11. Eat at The Best Restaurants in Rockport
You’ll want to explore some of Rockport’s top-rated eateries while you’re there. Paradise Key Dockside Bar and Grill, arguably the best spot to eat here, serves delicious meals. One of the best things to eat in Rockport is seafood, which you can get right here! They also serve burgers and sandwiches, which are popular in the United States. Consider heading to Our Family Kitchen for a warm supper in a pleasant, family-friendly environment. This restaurant specializes in American cuisine and has a very laid-back ambiance. Furthermore, everything you order tastes exactly like a home-cooked dinner.
12. Visit the Texas Maritime Museum
The Texas Maritime Museum is one of the top museums in Rockport. It’s all about educating the public about the history of the ocean near Rockport, and it’s a lot of fun for all ages. Throughout the museum, there are several relics, exhibits, and more than inform visitors all about Texas maritime history, from oil drilling to pirates. This is also an excellent spot to come if you want to learn more about the Gulf Coast. Because the museum isn’t large, you’ll probably only spend an hour or so here, making it an excellent activity to include in your Rockport schedule.
Now you know all of the best things to do in Rockport, TX. Honestly, no matter what type of traveler you are, you’re bound to find something fun to do during your visit to Rockport. It’s also located in a location that makes it great for day trips, like Goose Island State Park. Have you been to Rockport, TX? If not, which of these things to do would you add to your Rockport itinerary? Let us know in the comments!