Rockport-Fulton Texas... Smart Destination for Winter Texans
ROCKPORT, Texas, Oct 24, 2008 -- "This is our fifth year to make Rockport our home for six months," says Sharon Firmstone of Hawley, Pennsylvania. "When we return north, we compare notes with our friends and find we have the best deal of all, we spend in one month what they do in a week in Florida. You can't beat the cost of living, and I doubt you'll find a friendlier place."
Sharon and her husband John come for the quality of life, "it's a captivating small town, much like Hawley, but it's close to big city amenities. Houston and Corpus Christi are just a short drive. We also find the quality of health care is better and more affordable, so we have all of our medical check-ups while down there. I teach aerobics and my husband plays golf daily. The Lagoons RV Park is one of the best we have ever experienced. The people in Texas just go out of their way to help visitors; I've never known anything like it."
In early November, when the winter chill begins to frost over the Midwest and Northeastern region of the United States, the migration to the Texas Coastal Bend begins. More than 10,000 people known as Winter Texans find refuge in Rockport-Fulton, Texas.
For the past six years, Herb and Lorraine Weier migrate from their home in Fort Wayne, Indiana to the Rockport-Fulton area and stay from January through March. "We discovered the area by accident," says Herb Weier, a retired electrical engineer for Magnavox. "We were attending a wedding in Houston and heard so much talk about the bay area, we decided to fly into Corpus Christi, rent a car and drive along the coast line. We were so impressed by our welcome at the Rockport-Fulton Area Chamber of Commerce; we decided to make it our winter home."
The Weiers spend their time riding bikes, volunteering time at the Odyssey after-school care program, attending lectures at the Texas Maritime Museum and the Art Center. "Back home, we're docents at the art museum, so we love to attend the lectures in Rockport and learn about the history of the area at the Maritime Museum. The Art Center not only offers lectures but musical performances too! We have fun every year at the Whooping Crane Festival and we love to learn about water issues of the world at the UT Marine Science Institute in Port Aransas nearby," adds Lorraine, retired early and adult education teacher. Last year, the Weiers toured the surrounding communities documenting courthouses. "We love Victorian architecture, and always find Texans friendly and ready to tell a story.
Pat and Bruce Houghton of Thornbury, Ontario, Canada call Rockport home for eight months of the year. "We love the social life," says Pat. "I play the piano and we attend weekly jam sessions at a local gathering spot. The shopping is incredible, great bargains and lots of unique art. Rockport is a friendly welcoming community with lots to see and do."
Rockport-Fulton boasts a wide array of activities including championship golf, bird watching, and waterfowl hunts, unique dining, and shopping. Art is a growing passion of the area with the highest concentration of artists in the state.
Birding is another major draw for the community, the nearby 70,000-acre Aransas National Wildlife Refuge is the winter home to a colony of endangered whooping cranes, beautiful birds (gawky to some) that share the limelight with nearly 500 other species of birds and other critters like coyotes, javelina, and even a few alligators.
Some Winter Texans opt for a more placid life, riding bikes, reading books, or just sitting in rocking chairs on the porch as they enjoy the view.