When you think about Texas, you probably picture a Western movie landscape of sagebrush and tumbleweeds. However, much of South Texas borders the Gulf of Mexico. Far from a desert, the Gulf Coast boasts vacation vistas of unbounded blue water against white sand beaches. Stretching for 367 miles, the Texas coast has attractions equal to any on the Gulf.
Situated 50 miles south of Houston, the island city of Galveston is one of the most historic locations in Texas. A booming port and resort since the 1800s, downtown Galveston is renowned for its Victorian architecture. Old mansions have been made into hotels or museums, while renovated storefronts house artists’ studios, unique eateries and boutique businesses. Meanwhile, the Galveston waterfront hosts a permanent carnival, along with other family entertainments. A guided tour of Galveston via charter bus Galveston Island TX is a great way to get acquainted with the city, its sites and its history.
Besides Galveston Island, Texas’s Gulf Coast is lined with similar barrier islands, which protect the mainland from the worst effects of hurricanes. By far the largest of these is Padre Island, measuring 113 miles from north to south and covering parts of five counties. Despite its prime location, much of the island remains undeveloped as Padre Island National Seashore, where visitors can view a variety of migratory birds and native sea turtles in a natural environment of sand dunes and salt flats. In contrast, South Padre Island is a magnet for snowbirds and Spring Breakers.
Just north of Padre Island, Corpus Christi is advertised as the “Sparkling City by the Sea.” Downtown Corpus Christi features a mix of modern and historic buildings, including several notable museums, as well as a monument to murdered musical icon Selena. Nearby North Beach is home to the Texas State Aquarium and the USS Lexington, a World War II aircraft carrier turned museum.
With a semitropical climate and so much to do, the Texas Gulf Coast is a perfect place for a holiday.