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Rockport and the Texas Maritime Museum

Rockport is located on the Live Oak Peninsula which divides the western shore of Aransas Bay, an arm of the Gulf of Mexico and the eastern shore of Copano Bay.

A Tourist Destination with access to various forms of marine recreation and attractions such as boating, bay, offshore, wade, beach, and pier fishing, duck hunting, waterskiing, swimming, birdwatching, and seafood.

Hoopes smith houseThe Rockport Art Festival is a major event with art exhibitions, auctions, and vendors congregating in the city around the Fourth of July holiday. A more recent addition to the city’s list of popular annual attractions is the Rockport Film Festival which has screened and judged entries since 2007.

The city is also home to an aquarium and multiple historic sites such as the city’s heritage district as well as numerous art galleries, restaurants, and shops.

The History of the Texas Maritime Museum goes back to the late 1970’s at the Rockport annual Sea Fair Festival where maritime enthusiasts would bring out their personal collections of motors, fishing equipment and mounted fish for the public’s view.

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Maritime Museums in Historic Towns

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In 1987 the Texas Legislature named the Texas Maritime Museum the official Maritime Museum

The Museum’s purpose is to recount Texas maritime history through artifacts, documents, and other materials of unique or historical value; collections and exhibits are based on four central themes:

Technology of offshore petroleum production and transportation

Development of Texas seaports, maritime communities and commerce along the Gulf of Mexico

Exploration and Settlement history of the Texas Gulf Coast beginning with the Spanish and French

The Texas seafood and fishing industry

Texas Maritime MuseumThe La Salle Odyssey is a seven-member coalition of museums from Corpus Christi to Bay City which tell the story of the ill-fated French expedition of René-Robert Cavalier de La Salle in search of the Mississippi River in 1685-86.

Maritime Commerce explores the different shipyards and area boat builders and how maritime communities developed further inland, and goods were transported from Gulf of Mexico ports along the rivers.  Local boat builders the Farley Brothers, Rockport Yacht and Supply Company, and Jacob Schultz crafted vessels specifically for the coastal waters, offshore fishing and shrimping.

Educational Programs educate visitors about maritime history in Texas. The Education Department is dedicated to achieving this mission by engaging guests of all ages through our tours, lectures, movie nights, camps and tailored educational programs.

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