Located on the Texas Coast, Rockport sits between the Copano and Aransas bays with a string of islands between it and the Gulf of Mexico. Rockport boasts wetlands, estuaries, rivers, and lakes, making it the perfect place to get back to nature. Just out the door from your Rockport, Texas vacation rental, you can hike and explore the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge and Matagorda Island Wildlife Management Area, or boat along the San Antonio Bay, Aransas Bay, and Espiritu Santo Bay. Here are a list of the best vacation rental locations to stay while at Rockport.

1. Harbor Oaks, Rockport, Texas

Arsansas Bay
Source: Wiki/Benggriff

If you want the wind at your back and the sea spray – or Aransas Bay spray – in your face, opt for Harbor Oaks. This neighborhood lies on a thin strip of land between Little Bay and Aransas Bay, designed with canals so that nearly every home has a dock, perfect for mooring your boat. Drive or boat over to Rockport beach park for a little fun in the sun or a family sand castle competition, or tie up a little further south at the downtown harbor and catch a show at the Rockport Center for the Arts.

2. South Rockport, Texas

 Rockport

South Rockport offers water and inland rental homes, depending on your needs. If you’re not big into boating, stick by the downtown area where you have many choices for delicious Tex-Mex restaurants, such as Los Comales and Rosita’s Taqueria Cafe, or go all-American at the Apple Dumpling Deli. While there, don’t forget to explore the fish at the Aquarium at Rockport Harbor, a great learning experience for the little ones.

3. Fulton Beach, Texas

Fulton Beach
Source: Wikimedia/Andy

Fulton Beach, just north of Harbor Oaks, features plenty of waterside vacation rentals. Fulton Beach Park lies at the heart of the neighborhood with a beach where your kids can safely explore. Later, visit the nearby restaurants for some nourishment after a long day of fun like the Moondog Seaside Eatery that offers scenic water views. Other restaurants include the Boiling Pot, Charlotte Plummer, Hu Dat, and Captain Benny’s Seafood. Visit historic buildings, such as the Fulton Mansion and Education History Center, built in the 1870s, or the Fulton Schoolhouse Museum for a fun, educational experience.

4. Copano Village, Texas

Copano Bay

Copano Village lies on the Copano Bay side of the Live Oak peninsula. This area is a little more spread out, a little more private, giving you a place to move at a slower rate. Spend days lounging on your rental’s private beach or fishing off your dock. Enjoy seeing nature with the family by visiting Howard Murph Memorial Park, which is a great birding site, and be sure to keep your eyes peeled for the white-faced ibis, tricolored heron, and osprey.

5. North Rockport, Texas

Sunset at Rockport
Source: Flickr/Vincent Lock

North Rockport lies Just south of Copano Village and west of Harbor Oaks and Fulton Beach. The community not only abuts Copano Bay, but it also sits next to Salt Lake. Opt for a vacation rental on the lake or bay for direct water access. The area includes a kayak launch site at Rattlesnake Point Road – which doubles as a great birding area – so that you can take your family out for an adventure on the Mission-Aransas National Estuarine Research Reserve. Take a day trip to Fennessey Ranch, a 4,000-acre habitat, that offers, even more, birding tours.

6. Peninsula Oaks, Rockport, Texas

Sunset
Source: Flickr/Stuart Seeger

Peninsula Oaks is happily situated between Harbor Oaks and South Rockport with a slice of beach for a few well-positioned rental homes. Even if you don’t stay on the water, the inland homes offer close access to the bay, along with close access to a number of eateries. Bordering one side of the neighborhood lies Memorial Park, 100 acres of nature where you can take the family on a hike or bike ride. It includes a wetland, perfect for birding, a pond, and park facilities. Spend an entire day exploring the area, then have a picnic by the pond. An off-leash area for dogs is provided, which means that you can bring your four-legged family member with you.

7. Bahia Bay, Rockport, Texas

Bahia Bay
Source: Flickr/Robert Nunnally

Bahia Bay lies down the coast a few minutes from Rockport, making it a peaceful community to join for a few days or weeks. Tucked away in Estes Cove, you can boat to Talley Island and Traylor Island and explore the hundreds of little coves and inlets tucked away amid the lush growth. Go on an adventure, and follow the coast through Redfish Bay to Aransas Pass. Upon arrival, dock at Hampton’s Landing Marina and tie up for a day, while exploring the local color from the Aransas Pass Aquatic Center to Mickey’s Bar and Grill.

8. Lamar, Texas

Lamar
Source: Wikimedia/Larry D. Moore

Lamar is located across the Copano Bay causeway. Conveniently connected to Rockport via I-35, you can stay in a vacation rental here while still spending time in Rockport, Fulton, and Copano Village. Better yet, Lamar is only minutes away from the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge where you can spy out whooping cranes, a recovering species, or view the Kemp’s ridley sea turtles, which can grow up to two feet in diameter. Take a scenic drive through the park on the auto tour loop or hike the trails. Visit and stroll through Jones Lake, a short walkway perfect for small children, or walk the heron flats trail, an area that includes oak forests and tidal flats.