Attractions

Top Choice Nature Reserve in The Coastal Bend

Aransas National Wildlife Refuge

For birdwatchers the nearly 115,000-acre Aransas National Wildlife Refuge is the premier site on the Texas coast – especially to spot whooping cranes, of which only 15 once remained in the wild. Bird numbers peak du…
Top Choice State Park in The Coastal Bend

Brazos Bend State Park

Alligators. Alligators everywhere. You'll surely enjoy the diversity of wetland and forest landscapes, bird-watching, maybe even get some use out of the 37 miles of looping hiking trails, but the lingering impressio…
Historic Site in West Columbia

Varner-Hogg Plantation

This 1824 plantation includes a grand mansion and several other historic outbuildings that can be explored. Amid beautiful pecan and magnolia trees, visitors learn about how various owners made money growing, drilli…
Island in The Coastal Bend

Matagorda Island Wildlife Management Area

Covering 56,688 acres of barrier island and saltwater marshes, the Matagorda Island WMA is an undeveloped playground for wilderness lovers. You'll have to hire a boat to get over, and bring absolutely everything you…
Historic Building in Rockport & Fulton

Fulton Mansion State Historical Park

This imposing 1870s mansion comes as a surprise amid other more modern – and modest – shorefront buildings. It was built by George Fulton, who was clever with the design. On the outside, it looks like an imposing Fr…
Park in Matagorda

Jetty Park

This small county park at the end of the road is a good alternative for groups that aren't in a vehicle that can handle the dunes. There are showers, bathrooms and picnic tables, and you can leave your car parked he…
Arts Center in Rockport & Fulton

Rockport Center for the Arts

It's worth popping into this cheery center, housed partly in a charming 1890s building, to see what's going on with the lively local arts scene. It offers painting classes, is right on the water and largely features…
Park in Matagorda

Matagorda Bay Nature Park

Matagorda Bay Nature Park is a great resource with numerous programs where you can learn about the wetlands and barrier islands. Check for schedules; the guided kayak tours ($40 including kayak rental) are excellent…
Harbor in Rockport & Fulton

Rockport Harbor

Crescent-shaped Rockport Harbor is one of the prettiest on the Gulf Coast. It's lined with all manner of boats (shrimp, fishing charter, tour and pleasure craft) and a series of rustic peel-and-eat shrimp joints and…
State Park in Rockport & Fulton

Goose Island State Park

The main part of Goose Island State Park, where admission is charged, is right on Aransas Bay (there's no swimming, but it's popular for fishing). The namesake marshy island is a mere 140 acres, linked to another 17…