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Written by Lois Rodriguez

With its coastal setting and intriguing history, Galveston is a favorite among readers seeking a Texas beach escape.

Archeological evidence suggests that humans have inhabited the San Marcos area for 10,000 years or more. And to this day, it continues to lure visitors with its natural beauty, historic charm, and darn-delicious food.

If you’re going to go to the “extreme,” then Texas is the place to do it, and next weekend, two high-voltage sporting events are revving up competition here in the Lone Star State – ESPN’s X Games and Red Bull’s Cliff Diving World Series.

It's hard to imagine if you’re exploring the family-friendly playground of the Kemah Boardwalk or the quirky galleries of Kemah’s Lighthouse District, but from the 1920s through the 1950s, Kemah was once a hotspot for illegal gambling, drinking, and associated vice.

Founded in 2003 to promote awareness of coastal ecosystems and the marine environment through the disciplines of science and art, Galveston’s nonprofit Artist Boat Adventures offers the unusual combination of kayaking and art-making in some of Texas’ most important and diverse ecosystems. Biologist and Artist Boat Adventures employee Kari Howard enjoys leading these creative tours, and provided further insights during a recent conversation.


Throughout my life, in every neighborhood, on every summer's vacation, road trip, or nature hike, there has been a memorable swimming hole.

25 Boardwalk

Summer is here. for me, there’s something about the longer days and warm nights that calls to mind childhood memories of whirling amusement rides and delicious theme-park fare.


Inside Dirty Al’s at Pelican Station in Port Isabel, I have a front-row seat for watching the Laguna Madre: A tugboat pushes barges on the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, the Black Dragon pirate ship and dolphin-watch boats crisscross the bay, and cormorants float semi-submerged beyond the patio.

28 SaltyDog

I’m at the “coolest honky tonk on the Texas Riviera,” so claims the large, plywood sign outside. Having passed by many times, this is my first visit to the Salty Dog Saloon, a laid-back bar on Port Aransas’ main drag.

33 Gator-JGS

Watching an alligator glide through a murky bog, I’d have sworn I was in Louisiana. But no, this gator—one of a dozen I spotted during an hour’s tour—patrols the waters of Cattail Marsh in Beaumont.

61 Old-Quarter

Among the many good reasons to visit downtown Galveston, one of the more obscure, but best, is a passion for song. As often as four nights a week, savvy aficionados of a distinctive Lone Star State troubadour tradition trek to the Strand Historic District.

75 Lex

There’s no denying that Corpus Christi is one of the most beloved destinations in Texas, and for good reason. However, among the well-known
ways to pass a day on the bay, Corpus Christi is packed with plenty of hidden gems and off-the-beaten-path surprises.

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