Blake Walsh

25 Best Things to Do in Rockport, TX

  • Published 2023/03/24

Rockport, a lovely city in Texas, is home to a wide variety of natural attractions and breathtaking flora and fauna.

It boasts beautiful beaches, purple sunsets, rich culture and history, and a great deal of adventure for you and your travel companions.

Tourists can head to the beach for a day of fun in the sun, spend quality time with nature in local parks and sanctuaries, and educate themselves on Rockport’s history at the city’s fascinating museums.

With everything from exceptional wineries and scenic hiking trails to playgrounds and kid-friendly attractions, Rockport is an ideal place to visit.

Whether you’re planning to travel with your significant other or with the whole family, this charming Texan city is worth adding to your bucket list.

It is an excellent travel destination with loads of attractions for tourists to explore.

Are you interested in planning a memorable Rockport getaway?

These are the best things to do in Rockport, Texas:

Go for a Swim at Rockport Beach

Rockport Beach

Grossinger /

Rockport Beach is not just a traditional beach; besides clear waters and relaxing sand, it also comes with a park and garden.

This beach is the most famous tourist spot in the city and receives a great deal of visitors all around the year.

The beach has a lot of sunbeds for you to relax on, along with a load of shacks for your food and booze needs.

It’s the perfect place to get a tan, take a dip in the sea, make sand castles, or play beach games like Frisbee or volleyball.

You can find hermit crabs all around the beach, too.

Rockport Beach is a nice, safe, and well-maintained place for you to pay a visit.

The water is warm and shallow, making it a very family-friendly tourist attraction.

There are a lot of amenities for you and your travel companions to enjoy, including kid-friendly slides and a barbecue area where visitors can have picnics.

Ideal for both family fun and relaxation, this beach is truly unmissable if you are in Rockport.

Tour the Fascinating Fulton Mansion State Historic Site

Fulton Mansion

Larry D. Moore, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

This famous mansion was built in 1877; today, it continues to stand firm and is open for tourists to explore.

One of the things that make the Fulton Manion State Historic Site such a big tourist spot is its architecture; it is a second empire-style building that was constructed almost two centuries ago.

It is a beautiful historic house, and people who love art, history, and old architectural styles will surely love this place.

You will spot beautiful views of the ocean from this home, and the scenery is really mesmerizing.

It is also a great place to take pictures.

Inside the mansion, the furniture and fixtures are also worth admiring.

You can give yourself a self-guided tour using just a phone app.

It is a great place to educate yourself or your kids about the history of Rockport.

Experience Creativity Like Never Before at Rockport Center for the Arts

Rockport Center for the Arts is a beautiful art museum with a great display of works by artists and the city’s high school students.

The gallery is very interesting, with a very cool display of all the beautiful art pieces and handmade objects made by local artists.

The art center also has a gift shop that sells beautiful jewelry and other amazing items made by local businesses.

The gallery also holds an art festival, which is the most beautiful event in town and is a great way to spend a weekend.

Visit Rockport Center for the Arts to see the beautiful artworks, take aesthetic pictures, and have quality time with yourself.

Go Back in Time at the Texas Maritime Museum

This place is a slice of heaven for those who are into learning the history of different regions or towns.

The Texas Maritime Museum in Rockport is home to a lot of exhibits and is a great place to learn about Texas’ navy history.

From shipbuilding to oil drilling to pirate history and equipment, this museum has got it all.

The museum also has a small and unique outdoor display worth checking out.

There is also an observational deck where visitors can watch all the models and displays from a good distance.

Tourists highly recommend exploring the lighthouse, taxonomy fish, gift shop, mini theater, and outdoor exhibits.

Overall, the museum is very cool, and you must check it out.

Peek into the Sea World at the Texas State Aquarium

The vast Texas State Aquarium is home to a lot of marine life.

You can visit this aquarium and see all kinds of fish, from goldfish and catfish to starfish and sharks.

It boasts over 100 species of fish that are native to the Gulf of Mexico.

This aquarium has pretty much got it all and provides a lot of information about local wildlife and how to preserve them.

It is a perfect spot to visit with your family, as the place has a lot of activities for kids.

Tours are free of charge and very educational, making the aquarium a must-visit place.

Taste Exquisite Wines at Winery on the Bay

This boutique winery is not your average winery.

Winery on the Bay is dog-friendly, so visitors may bring their pets with them.

They offer reasonably priced wine tastings along with a selection of craft beers, so there is something for everyone.

They are heavy on sweeter wines and ports, which are super tasty and are highly recommended.

They also have a great food truck called Mammy Jo’s, and their food is known to be very delicious.

Plan the Most Beautiful Wedding or Proposal at the Pavilions at Rockport Beach

Have you always dreamed of having a beach wedding?

The Pavilions at Rockport Beach offer some of the most romantic and beautiful venues for the perfect destination wedding.

Those interested in renting one of the pavilions may take their pick from four different options: the Band Shell, the Beachfront Pavilion, the Blue Wave Open-Air Pavilion, and the Saltwater Pavilion.

The beach is sandy, and the waters are calm.

Once the sunsets, the sky is filled with hues of pink and purple, and the scenery is absolutely gorgeous.

You can have the wedding of your dreams at one of the serene and calm pavilions.

Not only ideal for weddings, the Pavilions at Rockport Beach are also excellent choices for a romantic wedding proposal.

Go Fishing at the Fulton Fishing Pier

Here’s a fun activity for you to enjoy in Rockport.

The Fulton Fishing Pier is home to a wide variety of fish and is a great spot for you to go fishing.

The river is calm and extremely beautiful; it gets lit up in the evening, making the place look magical.

You can go boating on this pier and catch some fish all day long.

You can also go there for a simple evening walk around the pier.

The food and drinks here are great, so you can have a yummy meal and watch beautiful views sitting along the river.

Watch the Mesmerizing Sunset at Copano Bay

Sunset in Copano bay

Daniel Alvarez Garza /

Copano Bay is a beautiful bay with calm and perfect water to dock your boats.

The place is most famous for its yummy food and garlic bread.

You’ll find plenty of big fish on the beach, making the bay an excellent place to go fishing.

Copano Bay has the most beautiful sunsets and breathtaking scenery.

Don’t forget to pack your cameras, as you’ll definitely want to capture these moments on film.

It is a great place to visit with your significant other or the whole family.

Take Your Bikes to the Tule Creek Hike and Bike Trail

The Tule Creek Hike and Bike Trail is great for bike riding as the main trail is paved.

If you consider yourself an animal lover, you’ll be pleased to find that there’s a great possibility of spotting various wildlife species along this trail.

It is a nice place to sit and have lunch or a picnic.

The scenery here is impressive, and the park is suitable for visitors of all age groups.

You can come here just to stroll around, ride your bike, take your pet for a walk, or even for a simple meditation to soothe your soul.

Set up a Lovely Picnic at Compass Rose Park

If you’re looking for a serene place to escape from the buzz of city life, this is the place to go.

Compass Rose Park is a beautiful pocket park with a fantastic view of Little Bay.

The lighting at this spot is fantastic, making it an ideal place for snapping aesthetic pictures.

You can admire the beautiful scenery, colorful flowers, and amazing tall green trees all around this park.

Compass Rose Park is a suitable venue for having picnics and lunch dates.

Do pay this attraction a visit if you enjoy exploring parks and gardens.

Enjoy Your Choice of Water Sports at Little Bay

Little Bay

Eric Surprenant /

Little Bay is an urban cove with a beach and is the ideal venue for enjoying various water sports that will satisfy any adventure seeker.

It is a beach park where you can indulge in water sports like boating, banana boating, and more, depending on availability.

You can go swimming in the water, look out for crabs, and search for some sea shells.

It is a beautiful cove with breathtaking scenery and a perfect environment for spending the day with family.

Little Bay is definitely a must-visit if you are in Rockport.

Pay a Visit to Connie Hagar Cottage Sanctuary

This beautiful nature preserve is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna.

Connie Hagar Cottage Sanctuary is a beautiful garden with walking paths for you to stroll around and explore the garden.

The plant and flower species are all labeled, so you can learn about all of them.

It is a very small garden where you can see birds and butterflies roaming about the whole park.

Overall, the vibe and scenery of this place are awesome and extremely beautiful.

A visit here will surely provide a dose of happiness to the soul.

Explore the Remains of Key Allegro

Key Allegro

[email protected], CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Key Allegro was a very beautiful and scenic place back in the day.

With a lot of beautiful houses and a small crystal clear lake in the middle, it was undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places in Rockport.

However, a powerful storm that hit Texas took away almost all of it, and what’s left of Key Allegro is still being reconstructed.

You can visit this place to have a look at the leftover buildings and reminisce about the beauty of the old days.

Experience Rockport’s Vibrant Arts Culture at Estelle Stair Gallery

Rockport is a terrific place to visit if you’re into art.

Estelle Stair Gallery is like a crown jewel hidden among many gems and is such an easy choice on anyone’s list of favorite art galleries.

The gallery houses a diversity of paintings, photography, and sculptures that capture the beauty of the sea.

It proudly displays the work of local South Texan artists.

The gallery has been providing exceptional service with only the most beautiful works of art over the years.

If there’s anything more you’d like to learn about the pieces on display, the knowledgeable staff will gladly share information on local history with you at any time during your visit.

Many have also found Estelle Stair Gallery to be a unique, quaint, and perfect venue for a small wedding.

Nowadays, this gallery is still as loved by Rockport locals as it was when it was first opened to the public.

Relive a Childhood Fantasy at Heroes Arcade & Laser Tag

Dan Wallace, who has been in the entertainment industry for over 23 years, locally owns and operates Heroes Arcade & Laser Tag.

Wallace has been a manager and an executive manager at family entertainment centers in Virginia, Maryland, and now Texas.

Heroes Arcade & Laser Tag opened in 2021 to provide locals and visitors with an impressive selection of new game releases and vintage arcade cabinets.

There are always plenty of prizes to take home, thanks to a redemption prize wall where new items arrive weekly.

Heroes Arcade & Laser Tag also features room to engage in highly-skilled tactical laser tag.

Aside from laser tag, they also have a zombie survival game which is essentially an escape room.

It’s a 30-minute challenge where players must find clues and solve puzzles to outrun a zombified virus that has taken over the state.

They also have Hero Zone, a multi-player free-roam virtual reality game.

There’s even an indoor play space especially for kids called Little Heroes.

They also have packages available for parties and group events, as well as fully-staffed private reception areas for company outings, family gatherings, or date nights.

Relax at Rockport Fulton Park

Rockport Fulton Park sits within a 12-acre forest of towering oak trees.

There’s a heated 25-yard lap pool with eight lanes and a diving area.

Besides that, the park also boasts a whale-shaped zero-depth entry into water slides, sprays for kids, and even a sauna.

The city park adjacent to the aquatic park is a safe environment for picnicking, playing, and relaxing.

Here, you can take a stroll to discover wildlife and enjoy the scents of wildflowers along your way.

The City of Rockport manages this facility and funds it together with the Town of Fulton and Aransas County.

Check out Various Items at the Annual Nautical Flea Market

Get your nautical surplus items at the Annual Nautical Flea Market.

Drop by the Navigation Circle at Rockport Harbor for this two-day fair held every first weekend of May.

Hosted by the Rockport Yacht Club, this annual flea market features over 60 vendors.

Find an array of fishing and sailing gear, kayaks, boats, motors, and so much more; likewise, there are plenty of nautical antiques, art, and decorations to choose from.

With a minimal entrance fee, can buy, sell or trade nautical items at the market.

You can also try assorted local food and drinks available at the event.

Head out to the Annual Nautical Flea Market!

Have Fun Outdoor Activities at Goose Island State Park

Sunset at Goose Island State Park

Bayoutlaw75 /

Your family will enjoy plenty of outdoor leisure activities at Goose Island State Park.

The park sits on South Palmetto Street along St. Charles and Aransas bays.

You can fish from the shore or boat at the fishing pier which spans more than a thousand feet long; in case you forgot your gear, you can borrow rods, reels, and tackle boxes there.

Rent a canoe or kayak and go paddling to explore the nearby areas.

A large tree at Goose Island State Park

IrinaK /

Camp by the bay from 44 campsites or 57 sites along the oak woodlands, all provided with water and electricity; if you prefer a more primitive setup, they have walk-in tent areas without electricity.

You can also go birdwatching and spot some wildlife, likewise, visit The Big Tree, which was named the State Champion Coastal Live Oak in 1969.

The park has several programs like birding tours, nature hikes, junior ranger programs, and other activities your family can join.

Don’t forget to grab souvenirs and gift items at the Goose Island State Park store for some memorabilia.

Spend a Relaxing Day at the Memorial Park

Whether you’re looking for a place to relax or enjoy outdoor sports, you can spend a day at the spacious Memorial Park.

The park, located at FM 2165, offers activity centers and nature conservation areas for park visitors.

You’ll enjoy over a hundred acres of park facilities which include a 1.65-mile hiking and biking trail and a quarter-mile Nature Trail with benches and interpretative signs dotted along the path.

You can also enjoy birdwatching or have a relaxing picnic at designated sites.

Get active and play soccer, baseball, or softball on the fields or shoot some hoops at the basketball courts; likewise, you can sweat out at the fitness stations.

Your kids can also enjoy the playscapes and speed on rollerblades at the Skate Park.

If you’re bringing your four-legged family members, there is a dog park behind Memorial Park where you can let your pets run and play.

Enjoy Sumptuous Seafood at Charlotte Plummer’s Seafare Restaurant

One of the best Rockport experiences you can have is trying out some delicious seafood fares.

So you better head out to Charlotte Plummer’s Seafare Restaurant at Fulton Beach Road.

From a single-floor restaurant that opened in 1970 along with several management changes, they have expanded to include an upstairs dining room, deck, bar, and waiting room.

You’ll enjoy the restaurant’s waterfront view aside from the fresh seafood dishes they serve daily.

Take your pick of tasty appetizers like Shrimp Crab & Dip, Capt. Tommy Crab’s Tower, Fried Shrimp Curry, Crab Cake, and much more.

Follow through with delicious soup servings like Shrimp Gumbo, Oyster Stew, and Tortilla Soup.

Must-try salad items on the menu include Boiled Shrimp, Crab Louis, Seafood Cob Salads, and more; get your choice of dressing like Ranch, Bleu Cheese, Creamy Garlic, Greek Vinaigrette, Thousand Island, or Remoulade.

You’ll also enjoy other seafood dishes like PoBoy varieties, specialties like blackened or grilled Daily Fish on the board, and Famous Platters.

Charlotte Plummer’s Seafare Restaurant also serves beef, chicken, and pasta dishes, along with burgers, club sandwiches, and Kid’s Plates; little ones will also love the Brownie dessert made just for kids.

Visit the Historic Zachary Taylor Arboretum Park

Zachary Taylor Arboretum Park located on South Pearl Street offers a relaxing scenic space you can unwind.

The ornamental park features 10 distinct tree varieties namely the Texas Persimmon, Anaqua, Desert Willow, Hackberry, Crape-Myrtle, Live Oak, Southern Magnolia, Sycamore, Lacebark Elm, and White Mulberry.

Learn about them as you read the descriptions of each variety.

You’ll also find a large area with 400 to 600-year-old live oak trees; the place was said to have been the campsite for the American Army Troops led by General Zachary Taylor before the 1846 Mexican-American War.

Enjoy a leisurely hike around the park and walk the paths for some fresh air.

You can also bring lunch and eat at the picnic tables scattered around the Zachary Taylor Arboretum Park.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Visit Rockport’s Neighboring Islands

There are a great variety of beautiful islands to visit in and around Rockport, as the city is full of water bodies.

This being said, you must grab the opportunity to visit as many of them as you can.

There’s Traylor Island, Mud Island, California Hole, Port Bay, Redfish Point, and so many more for you to explore.

These places are really exotic and magical.

The views are extraordinary, and the waters are calm and crystal blue.

The depths are great.

You can go fishing in these spots, go for a simple sunset-watching session, or have a picnic by the bay.

Final Thoughts

Rockport is quite an amazing little city that holds special meaning to many, as it’s a location both tourists and travelers flock to enjoy the beaches, art, and natural attractions.

For a memorable trip marked by tours of historical sites, beautiful art exhibitions at local museums, and rewarding hikes along the most scenic trails, this city is the place to go.

If you haven’t heard of this charming city in Texas, then this list of things to do in Rockport should help make your trip a truly remarkable one.

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