Located in Aransas County, Rockport is a popular tourist destination because of its access to marine recreation (such as boating and fishing). It’s also a popular spot for people who enjoy the following activities:
- Duck hunting
The city hosts several fairs and expositions on an annual basis (including Oyster Fest, Seafair, and a Wine Festival). The Rockport Art Festival has been held every single year since 1970. But, aside from all its various attractions, Rockport is close to several state and national parks in Texas (all of which are close to Bayfront Kontiki). Here are five popular national and state parks in Texas that you can visit during your stay.
#1: Padre Island National Seashore
Padre Island National Seashore separates the Gulf of Mexico from the Laguna Madre, which is one of the few hypersaline lagoons in the world. This national park protects 66 miles of coastline, dunes, prairies, and wind tidal flats — all of which are teeming with life. It’s a safe nesting ground for the Kemp’s ridley sea turtle and a haven for over 380 bird species. It also has a rich history, which includes the Spanish shipwrecks of 1554. Solitude, warm nights, sea breezes, and dark skies are some of the things that make camping at the seashore an unforgettable experience. You can get more information about park entrance fees and passes once you arrive.
#2: Mustang Island State Park
With more than five miles of coastline, Mustang Island State Park will give you more than enough time for “fun in the sun.” You can hang out on the beach, fish in the bay, add birds to your life list, and explore every part of this undisturbed barrier island park. At Mustang Island, you can decide what you want to do. You can participate in all kinds of activities at the beach (such as swim, surf, or build a sand castle). You can also camp, have a picnic, fish, kayak, or do some birdwatching (especially during spring and fall migrations).
Here are some other things you can do at this state park:
- Camping — You can stay on of the park’s 48 water and electric campsites or one of the 50 drive-up primitive sites. There are a number of portable toilets along two miles of the beach. There are even full restrooms and showers with hot water, which are located near the water-electric campground.
- Paddling — The three segments of the park’s paddling trail follow the western shoreline, and this 20-mile stretch passes through some of the best shallow-water fishing areas in Texas. You can even enjoy close-up views of coastal birds.
Be sure to speak with park staff about entrance fees and other amenities that the park provides.
#3: Goose Island State Park
Goose Island has a lot of places for camping, fishing, and birdwatching along the St. Charles and Aransas Bays (both of which are located North of Corpus Christi). You can also go hiking, geocaching, or boating. If you want to watch and take photos of wildlife (especially birds), this is one of the many state parks in Texas that will give you plenty of opportunity. But, swimming isn’t recommended here because the shoreline has concrete bulkheads, oyster shells, mud flats, and marsh grass.
#4: Aransas National Wildlife Refuge
Aransas National Wildlife Refuge is known for being the winter home of the last wild flock of endangered whooping cranes. Visitors can also enjoy amazing scenery, a plethora of wildlife, and a variety of recreational opportunities. Once you get to the main gate, there will be a wooden kiosk to your right just past the first road. Make sure you stop there to pay your fee or register your pass, and don’t forget to pick up a map. To get to the auto tour, turn right at the new road past the kiosk, follow it around the visitor center, and turn right onto the auto tour road. This route is open every day from a half an hour before sunrise until a half an hour after sunset.
#5: Lake Corpus Christi State Park
This placid lake is one of the remaining stands of South Texas brush country and is a great place for swimming, boating, and fishing. Families have been enjoying Lake Corpus Christi State Park for more than 80 years, because it’s a place where you can enjoy all kinds of water sports (all while taking in the variety of wildlife and relaxed atmosphere). On the water, you can swim (though there are no lifeguards), paddle, fish, boat, and water ski. On the shore, you can camp, hike, bike, geocache, go birdwatching, or observe nature. You can even rent one of their pavilions for your next gathering.
If you’re looking for some of the best condos in Rockport, TX, be sure to reach out to Bayfront Kontiki.