by Felicia Winfree Cravens — When my husband and I decided to take an overnight trip from Houston to South Padre Island and the Brownsville area, we took the slow and scenic route, puttering down the coast until we got to Corpus Christi. One of the delightful places we discovered was the little town of Fulton, just a few miles northeast of Corpus. A coastal town with a close-knit community of a couple thousand people, Fulton is a surprising little treasure on the gulf coast.
The first thing to notice about Fulton when turning down just about any street towards the coast is the abundance of restaurants. And not just seafood restaurants either. Although Fulton is a coastal town with a marina and a good number of fishing piers, it’s easy to find steak, tacos, burgers, Italian food, and Oriental fare as well. Many of the establishments overlook the water or have deck seating, so diners can catch the coastal breezes and enjoy the salt air. Some offer live music or karaoke in the evening.
Fulton and its next-door neighbor Rockport are both well-situated with places to stay. Between the small inns, chain motels, several RV parks, seaside cottages, and resort and vacation rental properties, both towns offer plenty of options to vacationers. Prices can vary widely according to the type of accommodation and the time of year, but the Fulton/Rockport part of the coast is a very affordable overnight destination, even in the middle of the summer tourist season. Fulton is quite walkable, and most of the points of interest are found nestled together on or near the shore. Rockport is a little bigger, but still small enough to navigate easily.
Visitors to the area can find opportunities for boating, fishing, and enjoying cruises, as well as other seaside activities. Fulton even boasts a 1200 foot pay-per-pole pier that’s open 24 hours a day for fishing, and a convention center right on the water for meetings and events. Fulton is particularly proud of the Fulton VFD-sponsored Oysterfest held each year in March, which the mayor reports brings over 30,000 people to Fulton for the festival weekend. The area boasts an aquarium, a maritime museum, and an arts center as well as boutique shops. There are some interesting late-Victorian houses to search for in the area as well, revealing long histories in their own rights, as well as that of the towns.
One of the best things about Fulton is that Corpus Christi is so close at hand, all of the city sights are accessible within just a few minutes’ drive. But consider that it’s just as easy to enjoy the area without paying attention to Corpus at all. For those who prefer to get away from it all to a quieter, more relaxing location, Fulton and Rockport definitely deserve a look as well.
Felicia Winfree Cravens is a native Texan and writer. She’s the founder of the Houston Tea Party, Editor-in-Chief of Free Radical Network, contributing writer at Practical Politicking, and of course she also writes about small town Texas for The Pink Armadillo.