Rockport established 1867 as shipping point for wool, hides, bones and tallow. Became seat of Aransas County in 1871; today important commercial fishing area. Tourists, boaters and anglers gather to enjoy mile - long swimming beach.
Fulton settled in 1866 and named for George Ware Fulton, who built a French Second Empire style house in the mid - 1870's north of Rockport. Coleman - Fulton Pasture Co. ranched in area and promoted efforts toward a deep water pass and railroads in order to market their beef; now a tourist community.
Rockport - Fulton lies along the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail which extends from Brownsville to Orange along the Texas coast. The trail is co - sponsored by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Dept. and the Texas Dept. of Transportation.
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 be rented to accompany tour. For additional information call:
(800) 242 - 0071.
Aransas National Wildlife Refuge-
Famed as principal wintering ground for near extinct whooping crane, refuge is on broad peninsula about 12 miles across bay northeast of Rockport. Administered by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as refuge for protection and management of various species of wildlife inhabiting this coastal area. Some 30 species of birds - Canada geese, pintail and baldpate ducks, sandhill cranes, many more have been recorded. Other inhabitants include white - tailed deer, javelinas and raccoon. Sight - seeing, nature observation, hiking and photography permitted along designated public - use roads, trails and at observation towers; also picnic areas. Most rewarding time to visit wildlife is between Nov. through Mar., when greatest numbers of species are at refuge (including whoopers). Refuge is open daylight hours. Wildlife Interpretive Center features mounted specimens, slide show on whooping cranes, literature.
One of the best ways to view wildlife, especially whoopers, is from boats in the
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 whoopers' habitat. Fares vary.
Bird Garden and Wetlands Pond-
Community project to promote understanding of functions and values
of plants as a natural resource worthy of protection and survival, and to promote
development of low - cost, low - maintenance landscapes that provide food for birds, in
particular, hummingbirds. Great place to picnic. In Texas Department of
Transportation's rest areas on the east side of Texas 35 N. in Rockport.
Connie Hagar Cottage Sanctuary-
Trails designed to protect the wildlife habitat lead the nature lover to select spots where they most likely might see resident and Neotropical migrant birds. Self guided tours on property where renowned Texas bird - watcher Connie Hagar lived and learned from her feathered friends. Open sunrise to sunset. At First and Church Sts.
Copano Bay Causeway State
Former highway causeway across 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 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.
Jetty sheltering Rockport Yacht basin is popular spot for bay fishing; dawn hours generally most productive. Many hotels and motels on the bayfront maintain private fishing piers for guests. Depending on the season of the year and proverbial luck, catches may include redfish, sand and speckled trout, croaker, sheepshead, flounder and drum. Group boat day fishing available at yacht basin. Offshore species may include tarpon, sailfish, marlin, ling, wahoo, king mackerel, bonito, pompano, red snapper, warsaw, grouper and others. Public fishing piers are the Fulton Harbor Pier and public piers at north and south end of Rockport Beach Park. Make navigating shallow bay waters a fun experience by chartering a fishing trip.
Choose from an array of some 30 professional fishing guides.
Fulton Mansion State Historical Structure-
Completed in 1876 after four years of construction at 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.
Fulton Mansion remained in private hands until 1976, when the state purchased the 2.3-acre site. The house was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1975 and was restored in 1983. It is maintained as a museum by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Grounds and facilities available for weddings, portraits and reunions. Fulton Beach Rd.
Just South of Fulton. Admission.
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 largest in Texas, estimated 1,000 years old. About 12 miles north of Rockport; Texas 35, Park Rd. 13. Admission.
Paws and Taws Recreation Hall-
Waterfront facility offering square dances, arts and craft shows, and other activities for winter visitors and area residents. On Fulton Beach Rd. in Fulton.
Rockport Center for the Arts-
Restored 19th century Bruhl - O'Connor home redesigned to house studio classrooms and gallery display areas.
Texas Maritime Museum-
Experience the rich maritime heritage of Texas from Spanish exploration to the search for offshore oil and gas. With changing exhibits, interactive displays and educational public programming, visitors experience how Texas has reliedied on the sea. Located across form picturesque Rockport Harbor.
Near center of Rockport on Texas 35.
Visit: Rockport -
Fulton Chamber of Commerce!