Watersports, birding, and fishing are the most popular activities. Certain parts of this area lend themselves to different kinds of watersports. Birding is good throughout; it just depends on what species you're looking for. Here is a rundown of activities and where best to do them.

Fishing/Boating -- For deep-sea fishing, you're better off going to Port Aransas, which is on Mustang Island facing the open water. You'll save fuel costs that way. For bay fishing, you can find guides and charter boats in Corpus, Rockport, or Port Aransas. Shoreline fishing is popular in these parts, with numerous piers, jetties, and beaches, depending on your tastes. In Corpus a charter boat usually costs from $300 to $400 for a full-day trip for one or two people. For a good fishing guide, contact the visitor center. For party boats and general boat trips, contact Captain Clark's Flagship (tel. 361/884-8306; www.captclarksflagship.com), in downtown Corpus where People's Street meets the bay. Regular cruises are seasonal.

Sailing -- Corpus has a wonderful large bay for sailing, and every Wednesday afternoon there's a friendly sailboat race in the bay by downtown. Corpus has a reputation for having lots of good sailing weather. For rentals, lessons, or cruises contact the Yachting Center -- Corpus Christi (tel. 361/881-8503; www.yachtingcc.com). It's located in the downtown marina at 200 S. Shoreline.


Sea Kayaking -- This is becoming wildly popular in the area, and is being combined with fishing or nature photography. Most of the interesting sites are near Rockport.

Windsurfing -- Corpus's reputation for good breezes also draws a lot of windsurfers. Annual windsurfing regattas are held here. An ideal place to windsurf or take lessons is at Bird Basin in the Padre Island National Seashore.

Whooping Crane Tours -- The world-famous whooping cranes inhabit the Aransas National Wildlife Preserve from mid-November to mid-April. The best place to buy a ticket on a tour boat is Rockport, which lies closest to the preserve. You can also rent kayaks there and paddle around the shore of the preserve, but under no circumstances are you allowed to set foot on land. For more info, see the Rockport section.


Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.