While “Rockport” and “Fulton” are technically two separate towns, together they pack a coastal combo punch unlike anything else in Texas. Both face the beautiful, brackish water of Aransas Bay and make the perfect place to dive into the food, culture, and history of the Texas coast. To download this episode or purchase it on DVD - CLICK HERE.
If you’re in this part of Texas you’re probably looking for some salty fun. While this city faces the bay and not the Gulf of Mexico, Rockport Beach Park makes an awesome place for a dip. It’s especially great for kids as it’s sandy, shallow, and without the pummeling waves of the coast. For fishing, you can’t go wrong dropping a line in the water anywhere in town, but one of the most popular spots is Copano Bay Fishing Pier, which is the old bridge that’s been converted into a half-mile pier spanning the length of Copano Bay.
Wildlife is also a big draw in the area. If you are going coastal in the colder months, you’ll have a chance to travel to Aransas Bay National Wildlife Refuge to see some feathered winter Texans – the endangered whopping cranes. This is the largest bird in North America of which there are only about 300 left in the wild. They come to Texas every winter to munch on blue crabs and train their young. Hop aboard a tour with Rockport Birding and Kayak Adventures and you’ll have the best shot at snapping some priceless pictures.
Another great place to enjoy the outdoors and one seriously HUGE local resident is across the bay at Goose Island State Park. This is the home of “Big Tree” a 1000-year old coastal live oak whose truck is 35 feet around and branches span out an impressive 90-feet wide. It awesome to stand before a living thing that was around 500 years before explorers arrived in the New World. Other attractions of Goose Island State Park include birding, RVing, and enjoying “Stinky Beach,” which is seriously smelly due to dead sea grass that washes ashore.
You know you’ll be craving fresh seafood, and this town has some of the best in Texas. For an AMAZING po-boy, find Alby’s Seafood, a mom-and-pop seafood market with a small carry-out window on the side serving up fried oyster and shrimp po-boys. You can dine on one of their picnic tables or carry it to Fulton Harbor and eat just feet from the water.
For stepped-up, casual seafood, you can’t go wrong with Charlotte Plummer’s, a local institution that’s located in a building that’s been serving fresh seafood for over 100 years. They are famous for their “crab tower” which is a 6-inch tall tower of lump crab meat, pico de gallo, and avocado, topped with a creamy sauce. DELICIOUS! Make sure to check out the blackboard where the owner posts the freshest fish of the day that you can have prepared any number of ways.
The Texas coast has a vibe and history all its own. It’s culture covers everything from the historic homes to the dive bars to the harbor bait stands. You can also find it on Rockport’s Historic Main Street that’s full of shops and restaurants. Grab a coffee from the Daily Grind, read a book at Lori’s Book Nook, enjoy the photos at John Martell Photography, or pick up a kitschy souvenir at Treasure Islander. Because you know you need another coconut pirate head.
As for museums, you’ll find a fantastic aquarium full of local fish and hands-on activities at the Aquarium at Rockport Harbor. Say “howdy” to Marley the Moray Eel who’s a celebrity in these parts.