Rockport is a small community of fishers and artisans who did their best to restore the city after it was severely damaged by Hurricane Harvey in 2017. Their efforts have achieved impressive results; although you can still see the consequences of the disaster, Rockport Beach has been voted one of the top 10 beaches in Texas. You’re welcome to bring your kids here; the beach is calm and provides opportunities for safe swimming. There’s a good fishing pier and all the necessary beach facilities, and since the beach is located near the Rockport dining and shopping district, there are plenty of lunch options within walking distance. The beach also offers a few food outlets on site.
Rockport Beach is a long, sandy beach with beautiful views and a family atmosphere. In comparison to other Texas beaches, it’s rather small but cozy — a very family-friendly place with plenty of parents with children, as well as singles and couples. Since the local fauna is very diverse, this place is popular with fishermen and birdwatchers (who are always the quietest visitors). The beach is well-maintained and kept very clean. The sand isn’t powdery, but it does have pebbles and shells mixed in, so your kids can have some fun shelling.
The water at Rockport Beach is very shallow, with the deepest points in the vicinity of the shore up to about 2 to 2.5 feet. Apart from the Gulf, there is also a small saltwater inlet on the bay side. It isn't very deep, so it’s a great spot for children and those who can’t swim well (to get to the deeper part, you’d need to walk hundreds of feet away from the beach). Moreover, due to the shallowness, the water is always warm and has little to no waves.
Services and amenities
There is a small playground area for the kids to enjoy, a number of shaded picnic areas with tables, an outdoor sprinkler for rinsing off the sand, and public restrooms and showers. Overall, the facilities are nice but could be upgraded; in fact, they seem somewhat sketchy and outdated.
In addition to the above-mentioned amenities, the beach offers free umbrellas (shaded cabanas, rather — see the pics) on a first come, first serve basis. If you want one, make sure to arrive early — by around 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. on weekends, and by around 10 a.m. on weekdays.
The parking lot is parallel to the beach area. If you want to drive and park further down the beach, you’ll have to pay for an in-and-out pass, which costs $5 for one day or $20 for one year (per vehicle). If you’d like to save some money, there’s ample free parking just outside the gate. It’s better to park further from the gate if you want to have more room for yourself.
If you’re a dog owner and want to spend time together with your pet on this beach, you should know that they allow dogs in a dedicated space only (at the far right side of the beach). Dogs are allowed to play and swim there, and you don't have to pay any fees for bringing your pet. If you're willing to have the whole beach to yourself (and your pet), however, consider visiting one of many other dog-friendly beaches of Texas.
Hotels and rentals
If you're considering staying for one or even a few nights, there are plenty of options available near the beach. Chose your preferred accomodation type and your favourite room provider:
Additionally, there's a number of beaches near Rockport Beach which you can visit: