Home to over 350 miles of sand dunes, quaint coastal towns rich in character, and adventure-filled activities both on and off the water, a life on Texas’ Gulf Coast never bores. Read on to discover some of the region’s biggest hotspots and how to spend your time here, according to the locals.
Channel Their Inner Tourists
Named one of the top American boardwalks by Forbes Traveler, the Kemah Boardwalk overlooks Galveston Bay and is home to themed restaurants, retail shops, amusement rides and arcades. Whether you’re a young family looking for somewhere to bring the kids or a couple that loves being a part of a happening scene, Kemah is a go-to destination for entertainment and dining experiences.
With more than 400 space artifacts, interactive exhibits and attractions on site, Space Center Houston brings the universe together under one roof. As the official visitor center of the NASA Johnson Space Center, this museum offers tours of the Independence shuttle and has VR simulators. Visitors can even check out NASA’s collection of spacesuits. The things to see and do are almost as limitless as the cosmos themselves.
Immerse Themselves in Nature
With over 2,500 acres of natural wetlands, forest, prairie and marsh habitats, the Armand Bayou Nature Center is home to over 270 species of birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians. It’s the largest urban wilderness preserve in the United States, dedicated to preserving natural habitats for animals and helping visitors understand the local ecosystem. Visit to bird watch, canoe, go on a boat cruise or hike.
Celebrate the Catch of the Day
Stretching 5.3 miles into Galveston Bay, the Texas City Dike is the longest man-made fishing pier in the world, and one of the most popular boat launch and fishing areas on the Texas Gulf Coast. Featuring events like fishing tournaments, kite festivals and movie nights, and amenities including parks, playgrounds, bike trails, boat ramps, picnic areas and a disc golf course, it’s a major draw for anyone who can’t get enough of coastal living.
Go For an Action-Packed Day
A theme park, amusement park and zoo all in one, Moody Gardens is easily recognized by its three distinctive pyramids. Whether you want to explore a tropical rainforest, dive into their on-site aquarium, discover unique museum exhibits or partake in a host of activities involving ropes courses, zip lines, boat rides, water slides or golfing, there’s something for everyone at Moody Gardens.
Spend Time on the Water
There’s a lot to love about Galveston Island. From its beautiful beaches to its historical downtown area, there’s no shortage of things to see, do and explore. Water lovers will enjoy swimming, fishing, ski-dooing, kayaking and more on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico; history buffs will love touring the island’s local museums; and the whole family can pass the time dining at some of Galveston’s best local restaurants.
Grab Refreshing Treats
Cool Cow Creamery is Kemah’s only small-batch, handcrafted ice creamery. Flavors change daily so no matter how many times you visit, there’ll always be something new to try. Enjoy your Cool Cow ice cream in scoops, on a cone, in a shake, a sundae, a banana split or sandwiched between two homemade brownies or cookie bars. Are your taste buds tingling yet?
Golf with Friends
The Houston area is home to many greens, but on Texas’ Gulf Coast, the place to golf is Bay Forest’s course. Winding through a natural bayside with large trees, lush greenery and bayou-fed waterways, this golfing destination lives up to its title as one of the top 20 municipal courses in Texas according to the Dallas Morning News.
Indulge in the Best Crawfish
For over ten years, BB’s has brought authentic Tex-Orleans food to the streets of Texas. The Houston Press named the restaurant one of Houston’s best for crawfish while the Chron.com named it one of the area’s favorite spots to visit according to restaurant-goers themselves. Give BB’s a whirl and let us know if their house blend of spices is as finger-licking addicting as people say it is.
Embark on Road Trips
From spring-fed rivers and expansive lakes, to unique vegetation and quaint towns, this local favorite destination offers plenty to see and do. Spanning 10,000 miles of breathtaking views, the Texas Hill Country was practically designed for road tripping. With plenty of hotels and overnight accommodations, you can rest assured that you’ll have somewhere to recharge after your fun-filled afternoon.
Book Romantic Getaways
If you’ve never visited Grand Galvez, add this historic beachfront property to your summer destination list. Located on Texas’ Gulf Coast, this romantic getaway is close to Galveston’s finest attractions, the historic Strand District, and is home to breathtaking panoramic views. As one of the best hotels in Galveston for more than a century, it offers visitors access to its salon, fitness center, meditation garden, boutique and pool.
Into baseball? Join a league with friends or family at Big League Dreams. Established in 2005, this sport’s park is entirely unique with baseball fields that are scaled-down replicas of famous ballparks such as Boston’s Fenway Park, New York’s Yankee Stadium and Chicago’s Wrigley Field. In addition to stadium seating, this recreation center is home to restaurants and batting cages to practice your swing.
Interested in living near Texas’ Gulf Coast? Explore our housing opportunities at Coastal Point and Lago Mar. Next, learn why so many people are moving to Texas and discover our coastal-inspired communities, where you can experience what it’s like to live by the water.
Images courtesy of: Ryson Vacation Rentals (Galveston Island); Backpacker Magazine (Texas Hill Country); Galveston (Grand Galvez Hotel) and Big League Dreams (Big League Dreams).