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Overview

Traditionally defined as the remarkable collection of bays and barrier islands from Matagorda Island in the north to Baffin Bay in the south, the Texas Riviera and the adjacent stretches of the Texas Gulf Coast are prime destinations for those in need of sun, sand, and solitude. The latter of the three is readily available at Padre Island National Seashore, the longest stretch of undeveloped barrier island in the world. But if you're looking for a bit of civilization with your beach getaway, the Rockport-Fulton area is a good choice, home to a vibrant arts community and a number of annual festivals.

In the heart of the Texas ...

Traditionally defined as the remarkable collection of bays and barrier islands from Matagorda Island in the north to Baffin Bay in the south, the Texas Riviera and the adjacent stretches of the Texas Gulf Coast are prime destinations for those in need of sun, sand, and solitude. The latter of the three is readily available at Padre Island National Seashore, the longest stretch of undeveloped barrier island in the world. But if you're looking for a bit of civilization with your beach getaway, the Rockport-Fulton area is a good choice, home to a vibrant arts community and a number of annual festivals.

In the heart of the Texas Riviera, Port Aransas and Corpus Christi are also good picks, as is the spring break mecca of South Padre Island to the south of the national seashore. The prime diversions in these parts are deep-sea fishing, surfing, and beach-combing, the seafood is terrific — especially the fresh Gulf shrimp, never in short supply — and the weather is warm even in the winter, when retirees from all over the country descend on the area for a few months.

Eric Peterson
About the Expert

Eric Peterson has written and contributed to numerous Frommer’s guidebooks covering the American West, including Montana & Wyoming, Yellowstone & Grand Teton National Parks, and Texas.

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Eric Peterson for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Fall (but hurricanes are possible), spring (although spring break draws road-tripping college hordes). Winter can be blustery and summers tend to be quite hot.