The beach isn’t exactly what comes to mind when most people think of Texas. But the Texas gulf coast region boasts over 600 miles of soft sand beaches and plenty of recreational opportunities on the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Lined with sleepy seaside towns and characterized by breathtaking views, the Gulf Coast region is one of the most beautiful areas of the state.
Much of the Gulf Coast area is only lightly developed. For instance, the Padre Island National Seashore has the longest stretch of barrier-island beach in the world untouched by development. Much of its wildlife is unique to the region.
The Texas Gulf Coast area is also a popular destination for bird watchers. Mustang Island, Port Aransas, and the Coastal Birding Trail all offer opportunities to spot very rare and sometimes endangered birds. The bird-spotting opportunities continue year-round, and tend to attract a crowd.
Other wildlife found in the Gulf Coast region include the American alligator, the nine- banded armadillo, the West Indian manatee, and other rare species. Aransas National Wildlife Refuge is an important spot for wildlife conservation and spotting rare fauna.
Houston, the largest urban area in the region, offers a bustling downtown that includes a theatre district, a historic district, fashionable restaurants, practically endless shopping options, and a wide range of attractions. Chief among them is the NASA Space Center, where visitors can see artifacts of American space exploration including the Apollo 17 command module, a Lunar Lander, and a reproduction of the Saturn V.
From the sparkling beaches and sleepy coastal towns to Houston’s energetic nightlife and range of historical, cultural, and tourist attractions, the Texas Gulf Coast has a lot to offer—both to visitors and residents.
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