The beach has a special lure that keeps drawing me there. Maybe it’s the laid back nature of it all. Maybe it’s the constant sound of waves lapping against the shoreline or the gulls hovering overhead hoping for a quick snack on the wing. Or, maybe it’s the way that I can just close my eyes, draw a deep a breath of salty air and imagine that I’m far away from any responsibilities and deadlines.

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The miles and miles of coastal Texas attract visitors by the millions every year for good reason. Though not always the picture perfect destinations profiled in Conde’ Nast Traveler, the beaches and communities of the “third coast” have a character of their own. They are what they are and that’s plenty good for most.

Galveston Island has history. Its beaches were once shared by the notorious pirate Jean La Fitte and the native Karankawa tribe. Crooner Frank Sinatra played the piered Balinese Room that stretched 600-feet out over the water as gambling in the illegal casino went on in the back . . . until the Texas Rangers put an end to that in the late 1950s.

The beaches in Galveston are fun. Some are free, while others charge a fee. They have been a part of Texas culture since before the days of the Republic and families still migrate there every summer for the sand, the shopping, the food and the adventure. Check out the East Beach and Stewart Beach . . . loads of space and family fun.

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Farther down the coast is Padre Island with its rolling dunes and white sand as far as the eye can see. Just a short drive from Corpus Christi, I have spent hours at PI taking in the views, snapping photos and soaking in the solitude . . . if you go deep enough into the National Seashore it’s like a whole ‘nother world where you can be at one with nature and Mother Earth. Uh, sorry . . . a flashback to the ‘60s.

At the southernmost tip of the State you find gulf side getaways like South Padre Island. The beaches there were made for lounging and the water sports are endless. Fishing, boating, windsurfing and other activities fill the day with fun in the sun. A sea life museum, the world famous Schlitterbahn, nature parks and more round out the “do list”, and the local eateries are loaded with fresh seafood to be had.

A getaway to the Texas Gulf coast is something special. For some it’s a seasonal ritual, for others it’s a first time experience with enough memories to fill a five-gallon orange sand pale to overflowing. But, for whatever reason, it’s a trip to be treasured, because the beaches of Texas are “Beachy Keen”.  


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