Rockport, TX Area Guide

Rockport is a city in Aransas County, Texas, United States. The population was 8,766 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat.

Rockport is adjacent to the town of Fulton, and many refer to the combined communities as “Rockport-Fulton”; however, Rockport and Fulton are legally separate municipalities.

History

In 1870, Rockport was established as a cattle slaughtering, packing, and shipping port. The city is named for the rock ledge that runs along its shore.

Rockport was incorporated by Special Act of the Legislature of Texas Charter granted to it on May 29, 1871 and is the county seat for Aransas County.

Aransas County is one of the smallest counties in Texas.  It is located on the western side of the Gulf of Mexico, yet is separated from the Gulf by barrier islands, which form the intracoastal canal.

The charming fishing village of Rockport has been a favorite coastal hideaway for wealthy Texans since the 1800s.  It was named for the rock ledge underlying its shore and was founded just after the Civil War as a cattle slaughtering, packing and shipping port.

During the 1880s boat building and fishing began to develop as important industries in Rockport.  Tourism and the resort trade also blossomed, particularly after the railroad came into town in 1886.

The shrimping industry developed between 1925 and 1930 and became a major boon for the city in the 1940s.  The population of Rockport grew steadily over the years.

Vacationers fish, swim, watch birds, relax, visit the wildlife refuges, and enjoy many other area attractions.

Rockport is known for its endless recreational possibilities and mild weather.  Ranked in The 100 Best Small Art Towns of America, and recognized among the top retirements spots in the nation by America’s Best Places to Retire, Rockport is a wonderful place to live and visit alike.

Gulfscapes Magazine’s “2011 Readers Choice Best Gulf Coast Towns” listed Rockport number four in the top ten.  In 2011 Rockport was highlighted as a coastal dream town by Coastal Living magazine.  Better Homes and Gardens in its April 2007 issue listed Rockport-Fulton the number five destination as a “long weekend hospot” for sping migration bird watching, Texas Meeting and Events lists Rockport-Fulton as a great Gult Coast getaway for a business meeting, board meeting, etc.  In 2013, Rockport was featured as one of the “Best Places to Live and Visit,” according to the “Today in America” television show.

Other points of interest such as the Texas Maritime Museum, Bay Education Center, Rockport Center for the Arts, Fulton Mansion, Aquarium at Rockport Harbor, Connie Hagar Wildlife Sancturary and Texas Deparment of Transportation Demonstrations Gardens and Westlands ponds draw tourists and “Winter Texans” alike.

Area attractions

Rockport – is a popular tourist destination for its fishing and ski basin. The city’s beach offers a wide variety of ways to have fun including a playground and beach pavilion. The city hosts several fairs and expositions each year including the Oyster Fest, Seafair, and a Wine Festival. There are also historic sites such as the Fulton Mansion and a heritage district in downtown Rockport that offers a friendly and fun shopping environment. Key Allegro Marina is also a popular attraction, especially during The Rockport Offshore Challenge or The R.O.C.

The community has a Maritime Museum, the Fulton Mansion State Historic Site, art galleries and shops.

Parks and Recreation

The Big Tree – Large windswept live oaks are a dominating feature of the area, and the state’s oldest live oak, “Big Tree”, resides on nearby Lamar Peninsula.