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Written by Lois Rodriguez

Texas’ biggest beach city (pop. roughly 313,000) seasons its mix of beachcombing, wakeboarding, sailing, and other oceanfront fun with such urban amenities as luxurious hotels and restaurants, a lively festival scene, and well-curated museums dedicated to art, science, nature, and history.

Shaped by agriculture, steamboating, the discovery of oil, and the railroad, the city of Palestine today harbors a wealth of attractions and activities.

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.

TravelMattersJune

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.

Als

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.

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