Top Texas Summer Vacations Spots

Summer is one of the most popular times to visit Texas. And, the Lone Star State is full of great places to spend your summer vacation. From the Gulf Coast to inland lakes and rivers, there are a number of ways to spend your summer vacation around water when visiting Texas. There are also a number of "landlocked" summer vacation spots that feature fun activities and attractions such as theme parks, water parks and more.
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    South Padre Island Welcome Sign
    ••• South Padre Island Welcome Sign. Danno Wise

    As Texas' southernmost beach destination, South Padre Island has a semi-tropical climate, miles of white sand beach, and clear-green beachfront waters. The Island itself has a number of great condos, hotels, shops, restaurants and bars, as well as Schlitterbahn Beach Waterpark and several other great attractions. Just across the Laguna Madre bay is the historic town of Port Isabel. And, a short drive away is the city of Brownsville and Matamoros, Mexico. Between fishing, swimming, surfing, wind surfing, jet skiing, beach combing, birding, shopping and just relaxing, there is more than enough to fill out a full week of summer vacation on South Padre Island.

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    Covering just over 1,400 acres - including 10 acres of river frontage along the Frio River, Garner State Park is one of the most popular summer destinations for Texans and visitors to Texas alike. Hands down, the river is the draw. The park is a great spot for swimming, fishing, canoeing, kayaking, tubing, snorkeling or just cooling off. Aside from the river, Garner State Park offers hiking, birding and nature watching. The majority of visitors to Garner State Park stay overnight, either in rental cabins or in tent camping sites.
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    Conveniently located within an hour's drive from Houston, Galveston Island offers visitors a perfect getaway - for a weekend or longer. In addition to miles of beaches, Galveston features a great number of unique shops, many set in the historica Strand District. Strolling along the famous Galveston Seawall is also an entertaining and relaxing way to spend time. Galveston is also home to a number of great restaurants, hotels and condos. And, there are several great attractions on the island, including modern marvels such as Schlitterbahn Waterpark and Moody Gardens, as well as historic landmarks such as the Bishops Palace.
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    Centrally located along the middle Texas coast (in the region known as the Coastal Bend) Corpus Christi has long been a favorite summer vacation spot for visitors to Texas. With part of the city situated on the mainland along the western shore of Corpus Christi Bay and the other part located on North Padre Island, Corpus Christi gives visitors a wide variety of beach options. It also is home to some of the state's top attractions, like the Texas State Aquarium and USS Lexington. Corpus Christi also features a number of great restaurants and clubs as well as as bevy of hotels and condos.

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  • 05 of 06

    San Antonio

    San Antonio is the state's most popular vacation destination year around. Summer is certainly no different. The Alamo City features several great summer attractions, such as Six Flags Fiesta Texas in addition to its year around attractions such as the Alamo, Riverwalk, and dozens of museums and other attractions.
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    Located on the tip of North Padre Island, Port Aransas is a quaint island community with a wonderful array of unique restaurants and shops to compliment it's miles of pristine beaches. One of the highlights of a visit to Port Aransas is the ferry ride across to the island, which helps set the tone for a relaxing vacation experience.