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9 Best Coastal Cities to Visit in Texas

Texas is home to over 350 miles of coastline, therefore the state has a number of incredible coastal cities. No matter if you’re looking for a picturesque beach, lucrative fishing spot or a fun town to explore, there is a Texas coastal city on this list to meet your needs. All of these Texas coastal cities deserve a spot on your bucket list.

Galveston Pleasure Pier Galveston
Credit: Pleasure Pier Galveston by Katie Haugland Bowen via Flickr


Galveston kicks off this list as one of the best coastal cities in the Lone Star State. Only 50 miles from Houston, Galveston is a popular vacation option for Houstonians. Not only does this beach town boasts miles of sandy beaches, but there are also plenty of on-shore attractions to keep visitors entertained. Shop on Galveston’s Historic Strand, explore the exhibits at Moody Gardens or find thrills at Schlitterbahn Waterpark. Galveston also has plenty to offer history buffs, from the iconic Seawall to the numerous museums like the Texas Railroad Museum and Texas Seaport Museum. With so much to offer a variety of different travelers, Galveston definitely deserves the number one spot on this list.

South Padre Island Blanca County Park on South Padre Island
Credit: Blanca County Park on South Padre Island by bigstock.com

South Padre Island

The town of South Padre is located on the world’s largest barrier island, therefore it’s known for its great beaches. During the month of March, college students from all over the state head to South Padre to enjoy boozy fun on the beach and concerts by the shore. However, South Padre Island is more than just a spring break destination for college coeds. Along with sandy beaches, South Padre is also home to a Schlitterbahn Waterpark location. Build a sand castle, saltwater fish, or even surf the waves during your stay in South Padre.

Corpus Christi Corpus Christi Museum of Science & History
Credit: Corpus Christi Museum of Science & History by ccmuseum.com

Corpus Christi

Corpus Christi, the largest beach town in Texas, offers travelers sandy beaches and many in-town attractions. When you’re not catching some rays on a beach in Corpus Christi, head to the Texas State Aquarium or tour the U.S.S. Lexington. Outdoor activities, such as surfing, fishing and windsurfing, draw numerous Texans to Corpus Christi year round.

Port Aransas Port Aransas Beach, Port Aransas
Credit: Port Aransas Beach, Port Aransas by © Bobby J Norris | Dreamstime.com

Port Aransas

If Corpus Christi is too big of a city for your liking, then Port Aransas, which is only 30 miles from Corpus Christi, is the small beach town you’re looking for. With 18 miles of sandy beaches, there is no wonder why Port Aransas attracts beach bums from all over the state. Shop, birdwatch, fish, boat or even explore the art scene while staying in this Texas coastal city.

Kemah Kemah


Kemah is a popular family-friendly destination that is located between Houston and Galveston. The main attraction in Kemah is the Kemah Boardwalk, which features amusement rides, shops and restaurants. Throughout the year, there are events and live entertainment that occur at Kemah Boardwalk. Perfect for a weekend getaway, this coastal city is popular among Houston families.

Rockport Rockport


Enjoy a quiet and quaint weekend in the coastal city of Rockport. Rockport Beach offers a serene beach scene, while the town of Rockport is full of local shops and mom-and-pop restaurants. Explore Rockport by foot, since the city is home to a number of nature reserves perfect for both hiking and biking. An unusual attraction of Rockport is its famous oak tree, which is said to be over 2,000 years old.

Port Arthur abine Pass Battleground State Historic Site in Port Arthur, TX
Credit: abine Pass Battleground State Historic Site in Port Arthur, TX by texas.gov

Port Arthur

Both Civil War buffs and fishing enthusiasts flock to Port Arthur to enjoy its natural environment. Located on the Gulf Coast and home to Lake Sabine, Port Arthur offers two bodies of water that are popular among boaters and anglers. When visitors aren’t enjoying the coast or the lake, they are experiencing the town’s history by visiting Sabine Pass Battleground State Historic Park where a Civil War battlefield is located.

Freeport Freeport Municipal Park
Credit: Freeport Municipal Park by City of Freeport


Don’t tell too many people about this small beach town that is an hour north of Houston. Escape the crowds found at Galveston’s beaches and choose to enjoy a beach in Freeport. This quaint coastal town may not offer as much as bigger cities on this list. However, you’ll still find family-owned shops and a welcoming atmosphere as well as a beautiful stretch of sandy beach in Freeport.

Port Lavaca Port Lavaca
Credit: Port Lavaca by Nicolas Henderson

Port Lavaca

Although this city has managed to escape the radar of tourists, it’s still a great beach town full of prime fishing spots, sandy beaches and a 2,200-foot boardwalk. You’ll find plenty of anglers on the boardwalk, hoping to catch the perfect redfish or flounder. If you’re not a lucky fisherman, however, you can catch some fresh seafood at one of the restaurants in town.

On The Map

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