Things to Do in Rockport-Fulton, TEXAS
Aransas National Wildlife Refuge
Voted the No. 1 birding spot and No. 5 National Wildlife Refuge in the nation for USA Today Readers’ Choice, this site is the place to go for watching the more than 400 species of birds, especially the gorgeous whooping cranes in the winter. Other wildlife can be found here as well, such as turtles, blue crab and butterflies, all in addition to the beautiful scenery. www.fws.gov/refuge/Aransas
A favorite with visitors and locals alike are the Aransas Pathways sites. These sites include outdoor activities, from kayaking to hiking, biking, birding and more along with historical markers and a not-to-be-missed History Center. Be sure to stop by the Pathways Center for more information or visit aransaspathways.com
The Big Tree and Goose Island State Park
Come out and see one of the largest live oak trees in the state, as well as the country that was the State Champion Coastal Live Oak for nearly 40 years. A true test of the strength of this big live oak is its survival of Hurricane Harvey. This natural beauty is located to the north in Aransas County at Goose Island State Park. Also at the park is 321.4 acres surrounded by both St. Charles and Aransas Bays. Things to do at the park include hiking, fishing, camping and geocaching. tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/goose-island/the-big-tree
Those who love the great outdoors will find plenty of places to get out and bike no matter their skill level. Tule Creek Hike and Bike Trail, Memorial Park and Goose Island Big Tree Route are just a few. aransaspathways.com/category/hike-bike
With 10 birding sites on the Great Texas Birding Trail, this area is perfect for spotting flocks. Hundreds of birds can be seen in just one day, such as mottled duck, snowy egret, sandhill crane and little blue heron. Favorite birding places include the Connie Hagar Cottage Sanctuary, Ivy Lane, Linda S. Castro Nature Sanctuary and Rattlesnake Point Road. aransaspathways.com/category/birding
Boat Cruises: Whooping crane, dolphin and sunset
Bring a camera and look for whooping cranes as they nest November through March on this popular sightseeing tour, which is fun for both the young and young-at-heart. In the summer, dolphin and sunset cruises are also available, while other types of wildlife, such as alligators and pelicans, can be seen throughout the year. The summer months are a great time to view the beautiful sunset over the bay or watch dolphins as they plunge in and out of the bay.
There are plenty of places to get in the water in the Rockport-Fulton area. Public boat ramps and piers include Cove Harbor, Fulton Harbor and Rockport Harbor, while Port Bay Road, Swan Lake, Copano Bay Fishing Pier and Cavasso Creek are just a few of the places perfect for kayaking. www.rockport-fulton.org/Boating; aransaspathways.com/category/kayaking
The Rockport, Fulton and Lamar cemeteries display the history of the area and feature several graves from some of the area’s earliest settlers. Gravestones of Confederate soldiers from the Civil War can be seen, as well as notable people from Aransas County. findagrave.com
Community Aquatic and Skate Park
Open year-round, this park features a 25-yard pool and diving area, a splash pad, pool with slides and sprays for kids. There is a 6,000-square-foot modular skate park as well.
From beginners to experts, anglers of all skill levels and ages will enjoy the abundance of opportunities to cast a line and reel in the big one. A few of the local favorites include the Fulton Pier, Rockport Beach Park Piers and Boat Ramp and South Jetty Pier, as well as Copano Causeway launch.
Built in the 1870s, this house was remarkable for its time. It had conveniences such as gas lighting, central heating and indoor plumbing. The mansion sustained major Hurricane Harvey damage; it is scheduled to re-open within the next year. The Fulton Mansion education center is open with regular hours. www.visitfultonmansion.org
Fulton Schoolhouse Museum
Visit this one-room schoolhouse and step back in time to years gone by. Maintained by the Daughters of the Republic, this museum features a replica of the Fulton Mansion, as well as souvenirs. Tours are free. www.fultontexas.org/museum
Golfing/golf cart rentals
Looking for some time on the green? Tee off at premier golf clubs for a fun and challenging round. Want to rent a cart to just cruise around? It is a favorite pastime for our visitors. Stop by the Visitors Center for a full list of courses and golf cart rental companies. www.rockport-fulton.org/Golf-Courses
Life on the coast wouldn’t be complete without harbors and the picturesque views they bring. The Rockport, Fulton and Cove harbors are perfect for setting sail, enjoying the fresh air or just soaking up the warm Texas sunshine. We have unique opportunities to catch both the sunrise and sunset as Rockport-Fulton is located on a peninsula with Aransas Bay to the east and Copano Bay on the west. www.acnd.org/facilities/harbors-rates
History Center for Aransas County
Discover the local history with captivating exhibits that include artifacts of importance to Aransas County. Events
take place throughout the year, including the Rockport-
Fulton Tour of Historic Homes each December.
Rockport-Fulton and Aransas County have a rich history that’s commemorated in these plaques that dot the landscape. There are more than 50 markers in this small county. Trying to locate all of them makes a fun and free educational outing for the entire family. www.aransascountytx.gov
Each September, the community comes together to commemorate the fall migration of the Ruby-throated hummingbird as it makes its way through the area to Central and South America. www.rockporthummingbird.com
There are plenty of parks in Rockport-Fulton with opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors. With more than 100 acres, Memorial Park has recreational trails, athletic fields and more. Other area parks include the Rockport Beach Park and Fulton Harbor Park. www.cityofrockport.com/116/Area-Parks
Named the No. 1 Beach in Texas by USA Today Readers’ Choice 10 Best, Rockport Beach is also a Blue Wave beach, one of only four in Texas to receive this designation from the Clean Beaches Council. The beach features breathtaking views, nesting grounds for birds, a saltwater pool, children’s playground, cabanas, grills and a ski basin for watersports. www.rockportbeach-texas.com
Rockport Center for the Arts
Located in the heart of downtown Rockport at 106 S. Austin St., the Center boasts work from local to international artists. Seminars, workshops and classes are just some of the events hosted year-round. RCA also hosts major events such as the Rockport Art Festival where more than 120 artists display their pieces for sale on the festival grounds at Rockport Harbor on July 4 weekend and the Tour of Homes throughout the area in April. www.rockportartcenter.com
Rockport Cultural Arts District
The Texas Commission on the Arts designated the Downtown Heritage District of Rockport as a Cultural Arts District in 2016. Rockport Cultural Arts District offers a walkable downtown, shopping area filled with one-of-a kind pieces of art and other merchandise, historic sites, performing arts venues, restaurants, attractions, art studios and sculptures from local and international artists, surrounded by a coastal setting. www.rockportculturalartsdistrict.com
Rockport Little Theatre
The Rockport Little recently found a new home at the La Palma Event Center. The theater provides a vehicle for education, and development of the performing arts and promotes community participation in all of its productions. The theater productions are offered at least once a year for one month, on weekends with a Sunday matinee.
Schoenstatt Shrine and Stella Maris Chapel
Serenity and peace of mind can be found at these two sacred sites. The Schoenstatt Shrine is a replica of the original one of the same name in Germany. Originally on the same property, the Stella Maris Chapel now sits next to the old Lamar Cemetery and is considered the oldest remaining building in the diocese. www.aransaspathways.com/stella-maris-chapel; www.schoenstatt-texas.org
Texas Maritime Museum
Discover Texas rich maritime history at the official maritime museum of Texas. Explore boatbuilding vs. shipbuilding
and sports vs. commercial fishing. Learn about the search for offshore oil and gas Visit the LaSalle exhibit to learn about his failed Texas Colonial attempt. Find out how big oil companies and nature co-exist. See a Texas scow sloop-the workhorse of the early Texas fishing industry along with other fascinating artifacts and exhibits. Attend a lecture in the museum Education Center. Treat yourself to one of the best views in town from the observation deck.