Texas' largest city is Houston. A name that conjures up images of oil wells, cowboy boots and..See all locations in Gulf Coast - Texas
The first thing that comes to mind about the Gulf Coast region is precisely that; the coast along the Gulf of Mexico. And no wonder, since there are more than 1,004 km (624 miles) of coastline arching southward from the Louisiana border to the Mexican border near Brownsville.
The warm water of the Gulf beckons visitors who want to swim, fish, sail, sunbathe, build sand castles, surf or just take a relaxing stroll on the beach.
Searching for some solitude? Look no further than the North Padre National Seashore, which has the longest undeveloped stretch of barrier-island beach in the world. If you prefer to be where the action is, join the crowds and party-like atmosphere up and down the coast during Spring Break, or in Galveston and Port Arthur during Mardi Gras.
Get up early in the morning to cast lines off a pier or head into the Gulf for some deep-sea fishing. Spend the afternoon relaxing on a beach enjoying the warmth of the sun and listening to the lulling sound of the waves breaking on the sand. In the evening, head out to a local waterside restaurant to enjoy fresh seafood and the dark ripple of the waves at night.
However, the Gulf Coast is not just about the sand and surf. From the sun-kissed valley near the Texas-Mexico border to the swamps in Orange, and everything in between, the region has something that appeals to every kind of traveler.
If you enjoy wildlife watching, you've definitely come to the right place. Texas hosts an amazing variety of local and migrating birds — many of which can be spotted along the Gulf Coast. Most of the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail sites are here, and the Rio Grande Valley, part of which falls in the region, is the nation's No. 1 bird-watching destination. Other prime birding areas include Harlingen, the Matagorda County Birding Nature Center in Bay City, Paradise Pond in Port Aransas and the Los Ebanos Nature Preserve in Brownsville. Catch glimpses of the endangered whooping cranes that winter at the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge and enjoy the Celebration of Whooping Cranes and Other Birds in late February; and visit Rockport-Fulton in September for the Hummer/Bird Celebration.
For history buffs, travel back to a different time in Texas with a visit to one of many sites of profound historical importance. Visit the San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site in Deer Park, where Texas avenged its Alamo defeat and won its independence from Mexico. See Spindletop in Beaumont, which set off the oil boom in Texas in 1901 and brought in the modern era of petroleum production.
For museum lovers, the region is rich with art and heritage museums, as well as historic homes and buildings. Houston's museum district is ranked among the five best in the nation, and its Museum of Fine Arts is the sixth largest in the country.
With Texas' largest city, Houston, and its surrounding metropolitan area, along with Corpus Christi, Brownsville, Harlingen, Port Arthur, Beaumont, the Brazosport Area and Bay Area Houston, there are plenty of opportunities for people who want modern day activities like shopping, visiting art museums, attending theatrical performances, splashing around at water parks, and enjoying rides at amusement parks. For a truly out-of-this world experience, visit NASA/Space Center Houston and have some fun learning about our nation's space program.
With so much to see and do here, it might be hard to decide where to start, but you don't want to miss a thing. So, be sure to learn more about the cities and attractions found within the area, and use the information to plan your adventure.
Whether you are a beach or water fan, history buff or living for the present, urbanite or nature-lover, the Gulf Coast has something for you!
Produced in association with Texas Tourism
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