The city of Rockport sits on the Gulf Coast and is home to a plethora of attractions. Visitors to Rockport can relax on the sandy beach, visit fishing piers, or visit the Texas Maritime Museum to learn about the region’s history. Other attractions include the Rockport Center for the Arts, which features changing local art exhibitions and a sculpture garden. In addition, the city is home to the Fulton Mansion, a restored 19th-century mansion that now serves as an educational center.
Goose Island State Park
If you are planning a trip to the Texas coast, you will want to consider visiting Goose Island State Park. This scenic location is just north of Rockport and is situated on the Gulf of Mexico. It covers 321.4 acres and is surrounded by the Bays of Aransas and St. Charles.
The park is home to a variety of animals. Besides the famous Whooping Crane, you can also see gaggles of geese, whistling ducks, and six species of hummingbirds. Visitors will also want to check out the Big Tree, which is believed to be over a thousand years old.
One of the most amazing things about Goose Island State Park is its unique ecosystem. This park features marshland, shell ridges, and bays that provide habitat for hundreds of species of birds. This area is also home to the endangered whooping crane, which feeds on marsh blue crabs. The vegetation is diverse, with sea-ox-eye daisies, dropseed grass, and glasswort growing throughout the park. You’ll also see several species of live oak trees growing in the park.
This Texas state park offers a variety of activities. It also features a boat launch area, where visitors can launch their watercraft. The park is pet-friendly, but it doesn’t provide Wi-Fi access. You’ll also need a fishing license if you plan on staying past ten p.m.
The park also features the Big Tree, a Quercus virginiana estimated to be nearly two thousand years old and with a circumference of more than thirty-five feet. It has survived fifty hurricanes, periods of drought, severe flooding, and Union Navy bombing during the Civil War. The park has a youth group area, and visitors can participate in educational and recreational activities there.
Compass Rose Park
Compass Rose Park is a beautiful pocket park with a view of Little Bay. It is perfect for the whole family and is a great place to meditate. The park also has several paths that are suitable for walking. It also has a gazebo and a registered labyrinth.
This park is home to many wildlife species, including endangered Whooping Cranes. There are also guided birding tours that you can take to observe the birds. Over 400 species of birds and wildlife live in this protected area. There are several trails you can take to get a full view of the local wildlife. The most popular trail is the Heron Flats trail, which gives you the chance to view alligators, armadillos, and Roseate Spoonbills.
The History Center for Aransas County is another popular place to visit in Rockport. It has many exhibits and an extensive library for reference materials. The center aims to provide education and historical preservation to visitors. It is also home to many children’s play areas. This is a great place to take your family if you are visiting this town.
Another attraction in Rockport is the Rockport Farmers Market, which takes place every Sunday from 9 am to 1 pm. You can find fresh and affordable items at reasonable prices. The market also has a traveling bar and several hand-crafted botcher shops. You can also try out the unique lemonades made by locals. Another great thing about the Rockport Farmers Market is that pets are allowed on leash and are welcome.
Compass Rose Park is an excellent picnic spot, and it’s also a great spot for lunch dates. The city park is also a wonderful place to enjoy nature and wildlife. You can go fishing, banana boating, or play games in the water. It also has an observation tower where you can watch wildlife.
Winery on the Bay
Winery on the Bay is part of the historic Downtown Rockport, Texas area. This onsite brewery produces all of its own beer and wine. It also features an on-site food truck and extended hours on Thursdays. It also has a large covered patio where you can play Giant Jenga.
Winery on the Bay offers several different types of wine and food pairing options. Guests can choose from an extensive list of red and white wines including pomegranate-infused red wine. Other wines include Chianti and Pinot noir. There are also pairing options, including cheese and meats to complement the wines. Guests can also choose from four varieties of beer.
Winery on the Bay is also open to people with pets. You can bring your dog to drink wine or eat in the restaurant. You can purchase growlers or take home some wine. The Winery on the Bay is open Mon-Sun. The winery offers wine tastings, wine-making classes, and pet-friendly activities.
National Estuarine Research Reserve
The Mission-Aransas National Estuarine Research Reserve is a large contiguous complex of marine, terrestrial, and wetland environments. It is located along the Texas Coastal Bend. Jace Tunnell, the reserve’s director, oversees the reserve’s scientific programs.
The reserve’s purpose is to protect and restore estuarine ecosystems and provide opportunities for research, education, and public appreciation. It is administered by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. State-led efforts help manage each of the 26 National Estuarine Research Reserves, which are a unique network of protected, educational, and research sites.
The National Estuarine Research Reserve in Rock port is home to the Rockport Science Center, an interactive museum with educational exhibits on the estuary ecosystem. Children can also enjoy the children’s play areas, as well as the reference library. The reserve also hosts special presentations and workshops to further enhance education and public awareness of the area’s natural history and ecosystem.
The Refuge is home to hundreds of species of birds. You can find egrets and herons nesting in trees. There are also guided birdwatching tours where visitors can learn about different bird species. One of the most popular tours is the whooping crane boat tour.
Mission-Aransas National Estuarine Research Reserve protects 185,708 acres of coastal lands. It serves as a critical location for long-term research, water-quality monitoring, education, and coastal stewardship. The reserve is administered by the University of Texas Marine Science Institute with help from local partners. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration provides funding and technical assistance for the reserve’s operations.
Whether you are a nature lover or a science geek, there are plenty of free things to do in Rockport Texas that can educate you about the local marine life. You can even get to know a little bit about the city’s history and culture.
The Fulton Mansion State Historic Site in Fulton, Texas, is one of the first and most important Second Empire style buildings in Texas. This stately home was built in 1910 by Charles and Margaret Fulton. The mansion was constructed on the Gulf Coast and is one of the most impressive buildings of its kind in the Southwest United States.
Located along the Aransas Bay, this mansion is a good example of mid-19th-century architecture. The Fulton family, who had moved to the area from Pennsylvania, designed the house to withstand the ravages of hurricanes and sand storms. Although the mansion is currently a restaurant, the building has served as a trailer park and a restaurant.
Hurricane Harvey left the town of Rockport, Texas, devastated. It made landfall on Aug. 25 and lingered in the area for hours. Although the mansion was spared from the worst of the flooding, it has suffered major damage. In fact, Harvey destroyed many of the mansion’s structures. Unlike many other buildings, the 143-year-old mansion still stands, thanks to the Shellcrete foundation and stacked wood plank construction.
The Fulton Mansion is one of the most beautiful and well-preserved mansions in the country. Its design is reminiscent of the French Second Empire style and was completed in 1877. The mansion had central heating, gas lighting, and indoor plumbing. It was the only private residence in the town until 1976, when it was acquired by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Since then, it has been a state historic property.
The Fulton mansion was constructed in 1893. Harriet Fulton lived in the home until 1907. She passed away in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1910. In the 1950s, the mansion was used as a hotel. The mansion was eventually bought by the State of Texas and restored to its historic state. The Texas Historical Commission and the Friends of Fulton Mansion help keep the mansion maintained.