Make your way around the Gulf of Mexico -- from the large port cities of Corpus Cristi and Gavelston to South Padre Island on the southernmost tip of Texas.
Mustang Island State Park provides 5 miles of open beach perfect for picnicking, camping, fishing, swimming and more.
In the heart of Corpus Christi is the downtown Bayfront. You'll find some of the best restaurants, occasional pedicab or pediboat vendors and festivals along Shoreline Drive.
Across the Queen Isabella Memorial Bridge from South Padre Island is the town of Port Isabel whose 1852 lighthouse offers a spectacular view of the entire gulf area.
Stewart Beach has everything you need for a family day at the beach: umbrella and chair rentals, a children's play area, an outdoor pavilion and more.
The Galveston Island Convention Center at The San Luis Resort is popular for executive conferences thanks to its resort-like facility overlooking the Gulf of Mexico.
Whether you want to enjoy a sunset stroll or charter a boat for a deep-sea fishing adventure, Port Aranas (the only town on Mustang Island) is worth a visit.
Much more under the radar is Boca Chica Beach, Texas' southernmost stretch of sand, whose only development is a series of stilt homes near the Brazos Santiago Pass.
Don't let this scenic view fool you, South Padre Island is spring break central and a popular year-round vacation spot due to its sub-tropical climate. It's by far the most bustling spot along the gulf with countless resort hotels, condo towers, retails shops and restaurants.
The longest stretch of undeveloped barrier island in the world, Padre Island National Seashore's 70 miles of coastline protect a coastal prairie, a dune system and a nesting ground for the endangered Kemp's ridley sea turtle.