If you’re looking to extend your stay in Corpus Christi, you’ll definitely want to spend a day in one of the surrounding areas. Rockport, Port Aransas, and Kingsville are just a short drive away and provide memorable experiences filled with shopping, history, and fun in the sun. Get your fill of exciting activities and get back to home base all before dinner. That sounds like a win-win!
The gorgeous views in Port Aransas alone make it the perfect day trip location when extending your stay in the Coastal Bend, but that’s not all it has to offer. Load your vehicle onto the 85-foot-long ferry system and enjoy a free, short ride connecting Mustang Island and Port Aransas with the mainland via Aransas Pass while getting your fill of scenic, photo-worthy views of the beach and Gulf. One of the stops you’ll find on your ferry ride is San Jose Island, a privately owned island managed principally for wildlife. Visitors only have access to the public land, but a wealth of birding, shelling, fishing, and beachcombing awaits. It’s totally worth the ride!
Get some shopping in while you stroll the laid-back atmosphere of Port Aransas by browsing the many shops, such as Coastal Closet and Indigo Eclectic, filled with unique home decor, island-inspired fashions, and special gifts.
The attractive selection of outdoor activities makes Port Aransas a delightfully unique destination. Get ready to “Chute ’Em Up” and “Hang ’Em High” while parasailing 500 feet in the air. Some of the best views of Port Aransas are available through a ride with Chute ’Em Up Parasailing. If skydiving is more your style, book a thrilling-yet-safe family fun skydiving event with Skydive South Texas, Port Aransas for an exhilarating experience.
You and your family can also indulge in some unforgettable swashbuckling on the Red Dragon Pirate Cruise, where the pirate crew entertains with sword fighting, music, and dancing, including an interactive show the kids will love! After a long day of fun in the sun, catch a show at Third Coast Theater, a venue that allows you to bring your own beverage and offers a great view of Texas’s top live music singers and songwriters.
Spend the day in Rockport creating lasting memories by exploring the city’s unique shops, galleries, and museums. Wander down the iconic Austin Street, where you’ll find many locally owned shops. You can also enjoy delicious food and drink options along this strip to perk you up for the historic sightseeing Rockport has in store.
For an unforgettable experience, swing by the Fulton Mansion State Historic Site and walk in the shoes of George and Harriet Fulton, an affluent family from the 1800s. Catch a glimpse into how George lived life as an engineer and Harriet enjoyed her flower garden. To complete the experience, head to the back of the house for some interactive exhibits and a museum store.
You’ll want to dive deep into history with some nautical-themed activities by visiting the Texas Maritime Museum. Here, at the state’s official maritime museum, you’ll learn Texas history from exploration and settlement to boat building and shipbuilding, sports and commercial fishing, and the search for offshore oil and gas.
Stop by the Rockport Cultural Arts District to view the nationally recognized art scene, where visitors can embrace the city’s culture by exploring different forms of art through eclectic galleries located throughout The Art Loop. This corridor is home to many art galleries including Rockport Center for the Arts, Wind Way Gallery, The Gallery at Latitude 28º 02’, and a handful of other unique art hubs.
Enjoy a relaxing ambiance brought to you by the gulf breeze and calming waters at Goose Island State Park. While you’re there, you can participate in outdoor activities like fishing, birding, and hiking, but be sure to also check out The Big Tree, which stands at a statuesque 44 feet tall and makes an iconic backdrop for memorable family photos.
Sitting on 825,000 acres of land, King Ranch is one of the largest ranches in the world today. A quick day trip to Kingsville creates an opportunity to enjoy the many tours available at the ranch, ranging across a variety of interests.
Book a Daily Ranch Tour to get information on the history and the modern-day workings of the ranch, including historic buildings and sightings of cattle and horses. Book a Nature Tour to enjoy a guided excursion of wildlife and birdwatching, or if you’re looking for a more comprehensive tour of the ranch, the staff will design a Special Interest Tour tailored to your specific delights.
Make sure to pay a visit to the King Ranch Museum and experience the history of the mythic past of the ranch, its horses, and Captain King. You’ll also want to swing by the Saddle Shop and see where Captain King brought craftsmen to create top-notch saddles once he decided other saddles were not up to par. If you’re into hunting, the King Ranch Hunting Trip is a premier destination for activity in the United States. You’ll want to partake in this experience to discover the remarkable wildlife found within the ranch’s boundaries.
You’re sure to work up an appetite while you’re there. Grab a bite to eat at Harrel Drug Co., a friendly soda fountain shop where the locals swear by the burgers, shakes, fries, and ice cream. It’s also the perfect spot to grab souvenirs on the way out!
Adding an extra day or two to your lodging reservations in Corpus allows you even more opportunities to explore what the Coastal Bend area has to offer. So, what are you waiting for? Hop in the car and head out for a day filled with exciting activities, before being back in the comfort of your hotel by sundown.