"Rest and revitalize," reads the neighborly sign on a bench outside the Rockport Center for the Arts in Rockport, Texas. Nearby, Kent Ullberg's new large bronze sculpture of a whooping crane mating dance pays homage to the rare birds that winter at nearby Aransas National Wildlife Refuge. In summer, vacationing families migrate to Rockport to enjoy the beach and small-town atmosphere, but they don't flock here in droves like they do to the beaches of Mustang Island and Corpus Christi.
Children splash in the water at Rockport Beach Park. It nestles on Aransas Bay, so it doesn't get crashing waves. Last year, the beach won Texas' first Blue Wave award from the Clean Beaches Council of Fredericksburg, Virginia. The designation is based on water quality, habitat conservation, litter control, and other criteria.
At the Texas Maritime Museum near the beach, I climb up to the third-floor observation deck to look out on the silvery water and feel the salt breeze. I can see most of Rockport from here. Art galleries and seashell shops line the quiet main street, and weathered wooden boats rest languidly at the marina where a hand-lettered sign advertises Mom's Bait Shop. It all looks so peaceful and inviting. I'm glad to be able to slow down and enjoy it. "Rest and revitalize." Yes, indeed.
Hit the Beach
- St. Joseph Peninsula State Park:
8899 Cape San Blas Road, Port St. Joe, FL 32456; (850) 227-1327 or www.floridastateparks.org. Admission: $3.25 per vehicle for up to eight people. Cabin rentals are $70 per night during the peak season, March 1-September 30, and require a two-night minimum stay. For cabin and camping reservations, call 1-800-326-3521.
- The Quiet Resorts and the Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce:
P.O. Box 1450, Bethany Beach, DE 19930; 1-800-962-7873 or www.thequietresorts.com.
- Rockport-Fulton Area Chamber of Commerce:
404 Broadway, Rockport, TX 78382; (361) 729-6445, 1-800-242-0071 or www.rockport-fulton.org.
This article is from the June 2002 issue of Southern Living. Because prices, dates, and other specifics are subject to change, please check all information to make sure it's still current before making your travel plans.