Although separate municipalities, the towns share heritage, business,
and recreational areas. Abundant access to saltwater recreational
opportunities; on peninsula between Copano Bay and Aransas Bay,
sheltered from the Gulf of Mexico by St. Joseph Island.
Rockport was established in 1867 as a shipping point for wool,
hides, bones, and tallow. It became the eat of Aransas County
in 1871; today it is an important commercial fishing area. Tourist,
boaters, and anglers gather to enjoy mile long swimming beach.
Fulton settled in 1866 and was named for James C. Fulton, who
built a feudal castle four miles north of Rockport. Coleman-Fulton
Pasture Co. ranched in the region and promoted efforts toward
a deep-water pass and railroads in order to market their beef;
now a tourist community.
Chamber of Commerce office at 404 Broadway St. in Rockport has
information for local events, accommodations, dining and points
of interest. Self guided historical driving tour available; audiocassette
tape can also be rented to accompany the tour.
ARANSAS NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE
BIRD GARDEN AND WETLANDS POND
COPANO BAY CAUSEWAY STATE PARK
FULTON MANSION STATE HISTORICAL STRUCTURE
GOOSE ISLAND STATE PARK
PAWS AND TAWS RECREATION HALL
ROCKPORT CENTER FOR THE ARTS
TEXAS MARITIME MUSEUM
- ARANSAS NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE
- Famed as a principal wintering ground for near-extinct whooping
crane , refuge is on a broad peninsula about 12 miles across the
bay northeast of ROCKPORT. Administered by U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service as a refuge for protection and management of various species
of wildlife inhabiting this coastal area. Some 300 species of
birds - Canadian geese, pintail and bald-pate ducks, sandhill
cranes, and more have been recorded. Other inhabitants include
the white-tailed deer, javelinas, and raccoon. Sight-seeing, nature
observation hiking, and photography are permitted along designated
public-use roads, trails, and at observation towers; also picnic
areas. Most rewarding time to view wildlife is Nov. through Mar.
when the greatest numbers of species are at the refuge (including
whoopers). Refuge is open daylight hours. Wildlife Interpretive
Center features mounted specimens, slide show on whopping crates,
and literature. Open daily fro 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. At refuge headquarters,
about 35 miles northeast of Rockport via Texas 35 north; F.M.
774 East, and F.M. 2040 south. Call 512-286-3559.
- One of the best ways to view the wildlife, especially whoopers,
is from boats in the intracoastal canal. From early November through
early April, boats from the Rockport Yacht Basin and Sandollar
Marina cruise past tidal flats and salt marshes (where many species
may be seen) into the whooper's habitat. Fares vary.
- BIRD GARDEN AND WETLANDS POND
- Community project to promote understanding of functions and
values of plants as a natural resource worth of protection and
survival, and to promote development of low cost, low maintenance
landscapes that provide food for birds, in particular, hummingbirds.
A great place to picnic. In Texas Department of Transportation's
rest area on east side of Texas 35 N. in Rockport.
- COPANO BAY CAUSEWAY STATE PARK
- Former highway causeway across the bay north of Rockport (replaced
by a modern span); now excellent fishing piers administered by
Texas Parks & Wildlife Dept. Piers extend from north and south
sides (not connected); total length of both over one mile and
a half. Concessions on both sides provide tackle, bait, food;
public boat ramp south side. Near the present Texas 35 causeway.
Modest fee is charged.
- FISHING - Jetty sheltering Rockport
Yacht Basin is popular spot for bay fishing; dawn hours generally
are the most productive. Many hotels and motels on bayfront maintain
private fishing piers for guests. Depending upon season of the
year and proverbial luck, catches may include redfish, sand and
speckled trout, catfish, croaker, sheepshead, flounder, and drum.
Group-boat bay fishing available at yacht basin. Offshore species
may include tarpon, sailfish, marlin, ling, wahoo, king mackerel,
bonito, pompano, red snapper, warsaw, and others. Public fishing
piers are the Fulton Harbor Pier and public piers at north end
south ends of Rockport Beach Park.
- FULTON MANSION STATE HISTORICAL STRUCTURE
- Completed in 1876 after four years of construction at a cost
of $100,000, the ornate four-story house was a showplace of its
time. Included many innovations; central air-conditioning, forced
air heating, hot and cold running water. Restored house and grounds
open Wed thru Sun from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Groups of ten or more
need to call in advance, 512-729-0386. Fulton Beach Road just
south of Fulton. Admission is charged.
- GOOSE ISLAND STATE PARK - 307 acres
on peninsula between Copano and St. Charles Bays. Rest rooms,
showers, picnic sites, open shelters, children's play area, fishing
pier, fish cleaning table, boat ramp. Tent and trailer camping
permitted; unsupervised bay swimming beach. Site of "Big
Tree," an immense live oak certified as the largest in Texas,
estimated 2,000 years old. About 12 miles north of Rockport; Texas
35, Park Road 13. Admission is charged. Call 512-729-2858.
- PAWS AND TAWS RECREATION HALL -
Waterfront facility offering square dances, arts and crafts shows,
and other activities for winter visitors and area residents. On
Fulton Beach Road in Fulton.
- ROCKPORT CENTER FOR THE ARTS
- Restored 19th Century Bruh-O'Connor home redesigned to house
studio classrooms and gallery display areas. Open from Tues -
Sat 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Located at 902 Navigation Circle, at Rockport
Harbor. Call 512-729-5519.
- TEXAS MARITIME MUSEUM - Recounts
the state's maritime development. Alonso de Pineda's discovery
of desolate coastline in 1519; the boom and bust of steamboat
traffic on Texas rivers; Texas's brief experience as a naval power;
and development of Texas commercial fishing industry. Open Tues
thru Sat 10 a.m to 4 p.m. Sun noon to 4 p.m. Closed major holidays.
Admission. Located near the center of Rockport on Texas 35. Call
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