Rockport, Texas is a picturesque beach town just north of Corpus Christi, with brightly colored storefronts, seafood restaurants, seagulls, and bait houses. But this hideaway has more to offer than most coastal towns. It’s a little sanctuary for, not only marine life, but also Texas artists. It is a family-oriented town with a welcoming beach and unbelievable fishing. After the sun and sand, there are few other attractions worth visiting to help you cool off.
Rockport is home to Arkansas Bay, which is protected by Matagorda Island and San Jose Island. This unique body of water invites many different marine species to stay. While this helps boost fishing success, it is also an opportunity to explore Texas marine life. The Marine Science Education Center encourages young Texans to protect the local estuaries and native sea critters through interactive exhibits and hands-on experiences.
The Bay Education Center houses the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Science on a Sphere, a huge interactive globe intended to display earthly sea and weather patterns and the consequences of those occurrences on global ecosystems. How does a tsunami in Japan affect sea life on the shores of Mexico? How are shark migration patterns changing across the world? How does seismic or volcanic activity change the ocean floor? The globe can answer all these questions and more. It is a unique and intriguing educational experience for children that parents can enjoy as well. Visitors should also venture next door to the Texas Maritime Museum, showcasing shipbuilding tools, maritime navigational equipment, the history of coastal oil drilling, and gripping pirate stories!
One short drive down the main drag of Rockport will show visitors how artsy folks can get down here. High-end furniture shops, metal sculptures, and art galleries populate the roadside. Many artists tend to remake and recycle beach treasures into art, décor, and furniture. Rockport offers many art shows and fairs throughout the Spring and Summer seasons displaying local craftsmanship and the chance to take something irreplaceable home.
Other attractions include the historical Charlotte Plummer’s SeaFare Restaurant, overlooking the harbor, and the beautifully eerie Fulton Mansion completed in 1877. Fishing guide trips are available for visitors lacking a boat or equipment who are itching to take to the sea. This little beach town is one of the Coastal Bend’s most well-hidden treasures.
By– J. Ryan Wheeler