©South Padre Island Convention and Visitors Bureau. The USS Lexington, a World War II Essex Class aircraft carrier, was decommissioned in 1991 and converted to a naval aviation museum in Corpus Christi.

Family Vacations in Texas: Texas Gulf Coast

The Texas Gulf Coast is in many ways the United States' forgotten coast, lacking the hype of the East and West coasts. However, its numerous assets run the gamut from remote islands to charming Victorian ports. Galveston Island was once the state's commercial center, but after it was devastated by a massive hurricane in 1900, many businesses moved to Houston. While the population boomed inland, Galveston recovered and evolved into a resort area.

The Strand National Historic Landmark District lies at the cultural center of Galveston. Once known as the "Wall Street of the Southwest," it is now chock-full of antique stores, restaurants, and art galleries, and its buildings feature abundantly delightful architecture. To the south, Corpus Christi hosts beautiful beaches and the Texas State Aquarium.

About 43 miles to the southeast, North Padre Island, designated a national seashore in 1962, is said to be the longest remaining stretch of undeveloped barrier island on the planet. Subtropical South Padre Island is more developed and has been called the "Tip of Texas." It is host to many resorts, a thriving sport-fishing industry, and idyllic beaches.

Texas Gulf Coast Information

Address: Galveston Island Visitors Centers

2027 61st St

Galveston, TX

Telephone: 888/425-4753 Ext. 144

Continue to the next page for details on family vacations in popular Lake Amistad.

To learn more about family vacation destinations, see:

  • Family Vacations: Learn about hundreds of family vacations in destinations all over North America.
  • Houston City Guide: Find out where to stay, what to do, and where to eat when you visit Houston.
  • Texas State Guide: Learn about Mobil Travel Guide-rated hotels and restaurants in Texas, as well as other recreational activities.
  • Scenic Drives: For those who think that getting there is half the fun, we have compiled more than 100 of the most scenic drives throughout the country.