4 Gulf Coast Beaches Worthy of Your Bucket List
The Gulf Coast passes through five states: Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida. Just north of the Gulf of Mexico, this region has warm weather, white sand beaches, and enough activities to keep any traveler happy. Find out why these four Gulf Coast beaches are worthy of your bucket list.
Galveston Island State Park
Image via Flickr by Andy Morffew
Birdwatchers and history buffs should check out this protected area in Galveston, Texas. Galveston Island State Park is a combination of several habitats including beach, prairie, salt marsh, and bay. You can fish from the beach or bay shore, hike the nature trails, set up camp, or look for migrating birds. The beach has restrooms and a rinse shower, but there aren’t any lifeguards.
While you’re in Galveston, spend a day visiting the historic district. Much of the architecture — like Bishop’s Palace and Moody Mansion — dates back to the Victorian era. If you want to see something truly unique, make sure to visit the Tree Sculptures. The sculptures date back to 2009 when Hurricane Ike destroyed many of the city’s oak trees. The local artists carved the remains to beautify the area.
Henderson Beach State Park
Image via Flickr by Road Travel America
If you’re the outdoorsy type, you’ll probably enjoy this beach in Destin, Florida. Henderson Beach State Park is known for its stunning emerald-green waters and the white sugar sand along its 6,000-foot shorelines. There are 60 campsites where you can set up a tent or RV. Dogs are allowed on the beach, so you can bring Fido on your trip. The park’s amenities include restrooms, outdoor showers, a playground, six pavilions with barbecue grills, and a nature trail. If you’d rather not rough it, there are also hotels nearby.
This option is perfect for travelers who want some time at the beach without straying too far from the city’s nightlife — Biloxi, Mississippi, is known for its many casinos. If you’re not into the casino scene, Biloxi also has several family friendly entertainment centers.
When you need a break from the flashing lights and bustling crowds, you can visit Biloxi Beach to go swimming or sunbathing. It’s clean, it has soft sand, and the sunset views are beautiful. Additionally, the water is calm — which is great for families with small children.
Tigertail Beach is known for shelling and for birdwatching, but it has enough activities to make just about everyone happy. If you’re into water sports, you can rent kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, paddle boats, and other equipment. You’ll get easy beach access from your home base if you choose wisely by using HotelPlanner to find the best Marco Island hotels.
To reach Tigertail Beach, visitors must cross (or walk around) a tidal lagoon that’s full of fiddler crabs and other small sea creatures. Squeamish visitors won’t enjoy the mucky lagoon pathway, but curious children will have fun chasing the minnows.
Whether you want to stay in a resort, go camping, be close to the city, or play water sports all day, you’ll find what you want on the Gulf Coast. Be sure to include one of these beach destinations in your itinerary.