The Texas coastal curve stretches hundreds of miles along the western shore of the Gulf of Mexico. Of course, along the coast visitors can expect to find a variety of great beaches. But, there is much more to do along the Texas coast than just going to the beach. There are a wide variety of outdoor recreational activities available throughout the year. And, some of the state's best attractions lie along the coast line. Basically, from Beaumont to Brownsville, the Texas coast holds a bounty of vacation activity treasure awaiting visitors.
Located in Corpus Christi, which is essentially the centerpoint of the Texas coast, the Texas State Aquarium ranks as one of the state's top attractions. It's easy to see why. The Texas State Aquarium is situated on the shores of Corpus Christi Bay and offers excellent views of the city of Corpus Christi, as well as the bay itself. But, it's what's inside the TSA that really wows visitors. The Aquarium has a vast array of displays housing fish which are indigenous to the Gulf of Mexico, as well as a few exotic species. There is a full slate of daily programs, including: You “Otter” Know This; Dolphin Presentations; Dive Encounters; Reptile Report; Birds of Prey; and much more. There are also a number of special events throughout the year and several educational programs, including the popular Sea Camp and Sea Squirt programs.
Sure, the Texas coast is much more than beaches. But, visitors would be remiss not to take a trip to the beach while visiting the Texas coastal region. Since the Texas coast line stretches from Mexico to Louisiana, the beaches found in the Lone Star State vary greatly. Galveston, Freeport, Port Aransas, Corpus Christi and South Padre Island are among the best known beach locales, but more isolated stretches of sand can be found in every portion of the Texas coast.
There is a myriad of angling opportunities along the Texas coast. Whether fishing from the beachfront or in one of the dozens of bays and rivers that connect to the Gulf of Mexico, Texas has world class inshore fishing for a variety of species. Speckled trout (spotted seatrout), redfish (red drum), and flounder are considered the 'Big 3' - hands down the most popular inshore species up and down the coast. However, each region has its own unique species and flair. Portions of the upper coast offer seasonal striper fishing, while on the lower coast, snook are a popular target.
Tour a Battleship
The Texas coast is home to two retired battleships - the Battleship Texas, moored next to the San Jacinto Monument, and the USS Lexington, located adjacent to the Texas State Aquarium in Corpus Christi. Battleship Texas was built more than 100 years ago, in 1910 to be exact, and saw service in both World Wars before being retired to its current location. The USS Lexington also served in World War II, as an aircraft carrier. Today, both ships serve as museums and are open to the public for tours.
Step Back in Time
The Texas coast is steeped in history. And, there are a number of great attractions visitors can see to get a feel for this history. The Texas Seaport Museum in Galveston, which is also home to the 1877 tall ship Elissa, celebrates Galveston's place as the "Ellis Island of the West." In fact, much of Galveston Island's vast history is still on display throughout the island, from historic homes to the famous Strand District, Galveston is practically an living history site in itself. On the far southern edge of the Texas coast, the historic Point Isabel Lighthouse is open to the public, while the Museums of Port Isabel trace the history of not just its namesake city, but the entire Texas coast.