A short drive up the coast from Corpus Christi are the communities of Rockport and Fulton.
I had driven through several times over the years, but on this particular day I decided to stop and see what it was that many of my friends found so endearing about this part of Texas.
Sure, being on the Texas Gulf Coast in itself was a plus, but there had to be more. There had to be something else that draws guests by the thousands . . . it didn’t take me long to find out why.
We came into Rockport down a drive of eclectic shops, restaurants and art galleries. The pastel colors, shingle signs, and wall murals were what you might expect from a quirky coastal community.
My favorite wall art was a faded advertisement for The Cool Coast Camp. An almost folk art image of what appeared to be a giant sawfish was painted on a building along with a notation of its 17-foot length, 6 ½ foot width and 2,000 lbs. weight. To the side it read free admission, and at the bottom was brushed, “Hamburgers and Ice Cream”. I love this stuff!
Our next stop was the marina with row after row of gulf worthy vessels, some with masts, others without, but all really cool for a guy who has spend very little time on the water. Nearby were the public beach and the Texas Maritime Museum. A boater told me that the Museum was the site of the annual Rockport Festival of Wine & Food, and was filled with stories about the rich maritime history of Texas. He had me at wine and food.
From there my Texas Travelin’ Gal and I drove over to the neighboring community of Fulton with its resort-style homes and hidden getaways. It was there that we happened upon the incredible Fulton Mansion, completed in 1877.
With an architectural design reminiscent of the Addams Family with a Texas flare, the Fulton Mansion offers a rare glimpse into the posh Victorian world of a prominent South Texas family during the days when central heating, interior gas lighting and flush toilets were a novelty here.
From birding and fishing, to shopping for art treasures, or just relaxing in the salty breeze, I now have a better understanding of why my buddies like this part of the state. The Rockport/Fulton area is now on my list of places to spend more time when traveling along the south Texas coast on Texas 35.
Michael Baxter is the Texas Travelin’ Man
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