Tucked in between Copano Bay and Aransas Bay, Rockport offers families a laid-back coastal vacation with plenty of outdoor fun. This beach community sits in the southern part of Texas, and situated just a few minutes north of Corpus Christi. Plenty of Rockport vacation rentals feature stunning coastal views, and many properties also boast boat slips, so you can bring your own watercraft or rent one for your stay. Here’s a quick peek at the top nine things to do in Rockport with your kids.

1. Spend a Day on the Beach

Leave your vacation rental early to spend a day at Rockport Beach — but don’t forget your sunscreen and a cooler. As the first mile-long Blue Wave Beach in Texas, this beach is famous, and it’s a popular destination for locals and visitors. Your family has everything it needs at this beach, including picnic cabanas, restroom facilities, and a boat ramp. Relax on your beach towel or catch up on your summer reading while the kids play in the gentle surf.

2. Take a Scenic Bike Ride

Rent bikes from a local outfitter to keep at your vacation home. Then, spend a day out riding along the Aransas Pathways. This dedicated pathway for bikers and walkers extends from Rockport to Fulton, with many spots to stop and relax. Be on the lookout for unique wildlife and bird species that live along the trail, and bring your binoculars to get an up-close look at the bird’s nests. Stop at one of the several ponds to look for turtles or enjoy a picnic lunch.

3. Texas State Aquarium

Pack the kids in the car, and take the short drive to Corpus Christi to visit the Texas State Aquarium. It emphasizes conservation and rehabilitation of sea animals, so it’s both educational and fun. Start your visit with the exhibit dedicated to the animal life and ecosystem of the Sian Ka‘an Biosphere Reserve in Mexico‘s Eastern Yucatan Peninsula. Next, check out the large ocean predator, the shark, as they swim around you. Watch one of Texas’s favorite native mammals at play at Otter Cove, and end your visit by watching a show at the IMAX theater.

4. Learn About Local History

Visit the Fulton Mansion State Historic Site to learn about Rockport’s local history. In 1877, this mansion was considered modern thanks to its new technology, which included indoor plumbing and gas lighting. The home once belonged to George Fulton, a gifted engineer. Tour the home to get a glimpse at its fine detailing and ornate woodwork, and enjoy the fresh air in the outdoor gardens. Before leaving the grounds, stop by the Education and History Center to check out interactive exhibits that teach your kids what life was like in the late 1800s.

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5. Dive into Maritime History

Discover Texas’s rich maritime history at the Texas Maritime Museum. Located across from the Rockport Harbor, this small museum explores the history of Texas and the seas from the beginning of Spanish exploration in the area. Learn more about hunting for oil and gas off the shores of Texas. This informative little museum teaches your children to understand that the water symbolizes more than just a day at the beach.

6. Spend a Day Fishing off a Pier

Gather together your fishing gear and pack a cooler for a day of fishing on the Fulton Fishing Pier. Let your kids walk along the long pier while you bait the hooks. Then, settle in to wait for the first catch of the day. Use your cooler to bring home your prize catches, and enjoy a fresh fish dinner when you get back to your vacation home.

7. Enjoy a Wildlife Hunt

Put on sturdy shoes, and take the family to the Aransas Wildlife National Refuge. Start your day with a stop at the visitor’s center for information about the refuge and the trails available. Take in the amazing scenery as you hike along the trails, or tour the park in your car if you don’t feel like hiking. Keep an eye open while you explore. Lucky visitors often spot whooping crane.

8. Take a Water Tour

Grab your camera, and head out onto the water with Whooping Crane and Dolphin Boat Tours. This company offers a shallow-bottom boat that navigates the smaller waterways. letting guests gander at the whooping cranes in their natural habitat. Then, it makes its way out into the Gulf of Mexico to search for dolphins hoping over the waves.

9. Take Your Photo at the Big Blue Crab

Check out Rockport’s local icon, the Big Blue Crab. It’s a great place to snap a couple of photos. From the 1950s to the 1970s, the town celebrated its huge blue crab on stilts; however, time wore it down, and it toppled. In 2012, the town recreated the crab in fiberglass instead of paper-mache. It now measures an astounding 27 feet, from the front claw to the back end, and 27 feet from the tip of one leg to the next.

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