For families with young children, beach-lovers who prefer gentle waves to big breakers, or anyone who just craves low-key coastal therapy, Rockport Beach could become your seaside nirvana.
Relax under a thatched-roof palapa and wade into shimmering bay waters so shallow they barely reach your waist, even when you’ve ventured several yards from shore.
This mile-long stretch of sand sits on a peninsula that divides Aransas Bay from Little Bay. It’s next to Rockport Harbor and a five-minute drive from downtown Rockport’s eateries, shops, and galleries.
Rockport Beach Park has its own lot and doesn’t allow motor vehicles on the beach. After you’ve parked and unloaded the family ride, be sure to take a few selfies with the giant crab you’ll see when you enter. This fiberglass crustacean replaces one damaged by Hurricane Harvey in 2017.
The palapas lining the shore give this beach a tropical vibe and visitors a respite from the South Texas sun. Come early to claim one: They’re first come, first served as are the covered picnic tables and barbecue pits on the grassy area behind the beach. You’ll also find nearby restrooms and showers. 
Diversions here abound, including playscapes, a volleyball court, birding opportunities, a bayside walking trail, a saltwater pool, and a fishing pier. It’s OK to bring beverages, just no glass containers. A short walk from the beach are the Texas Maritime Museum and the Bay Education Center
If you’re planning a group trip or a special function, Rockport Beach has two open-air and two indoor pavilions available. The park can accommodate most functions, including beach weddings.
Rockport Beach is the Texas coast’s first Blue Wave beach, a certification created by the Clean Beaches Coalition. To qualify, beaches must be kept clean and free of litter, managed responsibly, and meet water quality standards. (Rockport Beach tests for bacteria counts twice a week and posts the results.) Other entities give it high marks, too. US News named it one of Texas’ top five beaches, and TripAdvisor gave it a Travelers’ Choice award as one of the best beaches in the United States. One suspects that Rockport Beach’s 40,000 annual visitors echo those sentiments.