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Whatever you love, it lives here! Here are some uniquely Texan things to see and do. When you find something that sparks your interest, just add it to your Texas passport.

Texas has a reputation as being the place where the Old West begins. So it's easy to understand why some people are surprised to find more than 600 miles of sparkling coastline here. We're also home to the longest undeveloped barrier island in the world. It's true. So if you're looking for a stretch of beach to soak up the sun and the surf, we have a “little” room for you here.

Not all of the colorful characters along the Texas coast wear sunscreen or play Frisbee. Texas is the number one bird-watching destination in the nation. And since most of our 600 bird species can be spotted along the coast, this is the place to find many birds of another color. Of course, spectacular lush land and seascapes are abundant, while playful bottlenose dolphins and sea turtles appear now and then to entertain our guests as well.

Water Activities

Some parts of Texas are dry, but where it's wet, we make a big splash. From jet skiing, sea kayaking, sailing,and snorkeling to tremendous game fishing, there are endless ways to soak up the fun here. Then there are singular experiences like a horseback ride along a beautiful beach that you'll remember forever.

Beaches

Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge - Gulf Coast, Angleton

More than 42,000 acres are a nesting area for mottled ducks and wintering grounds for snow geese. Access by boat for fishing, crabbing, oystering (permitted in public waters) and waterfowl hunting in specified areas. Enjoy a six-mile, self-guided auto tour and hiking trail. Big Slough Recreation...

Bryan Beach - Gulf Coast, Brazosport Area

This beach is on the Gulf of Mexico, Intracoastal Waterway and Brazos River. Activities include fishing, beach recreation and primitive camping. From Freeport, southwest two miles on F.M. 1495, then three miles south.

Fishing Piers - Gulf Coast, Galveston

Free municipal jetties and rock piers are at Seawall Boulevard at 10th, 17th, 30th, 37th and 61st streets. Commercial fishing piers are on Seawall Boulevard at 25th, 61st and 90th streets, as well as at Seawolf Park on Pelican Island. Flanking the ship channel between Galveston and Bolivar Penins...

Galveston Island Beach - Gulf Coast, Galveston

Thirty-two miles of sand beach are edged by hotels, condos, restaurants and attractions. Camping is permitted only in designated areas, commercial facilities and at Galveston Island State Park. Parking charges at certain beach recreation areas; free parking available at others.

Galveston Island State Park - Gulf Coast, Galveston

After extensive hurricane damage in 2008, camping and day use have been restored to beach and bay sides. Both areas have rest rooms. The beach side has tables, grills and showers.

Horses On the Beach - Gulf Coast, Corpus Christi

Offers 1- and 1.5-hour horseback rides along the sandy beaches of Corpus Christi. Rides are 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 5 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Call for available times and reservations. 16562 Park Road 22.

Isla Blanca Park - Gulf Coast, South Padre Island

Features a white beach, picnic and playground areas, two beachfront pavilions, fishing jetty, restaurants and clubs, a full-service marina with daily charters, a water park, a sea walk, and boat ramp. Camping facilities include RV sites. Open 6:30 a.m.-11 p.m. Admission charge. 33174 State Park...

Matagorda Beach - Gulf Coast, Bay City

Matagorda Beach stretches 55 miles along the Gulf of Mexico. Fish on the jetty walkway or pier, soak up the sun, walk along the beach, search for seashells and relax by the water's edge. Permits required for driving on the beachcan be purchased at the beach entrance or local stores. Matagorda Cou...

Matagorda County Birding Nature Center - Gulf Coast, Bay City

Spanning 35 acres on the Colorado River, the park includes an observation platform, trails, fishing piers, a wetlands area, pavilion and six gardens. Kayaking trips and educational programs are available. Open sunup-sundown daily. Located 1.7 miles west of Bay City on Texas 35 next to LeTulle Pa...

Mustang Island State Park - Gulf Coast, Port Aransas

Seaside beaches stretch for five miles along the open Gulf of Mexico. This is one of the best places to see coastal marine life, from sea turtles to herons. It offers rinse showers, bulk water and portable toilets in convenience stations along the beach. Admission charge. On Texas 361, 14 miles s...

Padre Island National Seashore - Gulf Coast, Corpus Christi

This is one of the United State's last natural seashores. Information about swimming, camping areas and nature trails is available at the visitor center, which has a museum and bookstore. Collecting historical artifacts and use of metal detectors are prohibited. Open 24 hours a day. Admission ch...

Pelican Island - Gulf Coast, Galveston

Newport Corp. and Texas A&M University at Galveston are on the south edge. Seawolf Park is on the northern point. This scenic location is edged by palms and banks of oleanders with picnic facilities and a lighted fishing pier.

Port of Galveston - Gulf Coast, Galveston

The first major port in Texas is the nation's only port where all facilities are under one management and the only major U.S. port facility not supported by public funds. The Fisherman's Wharf area includes fish markets, seafood restaurants and charter/group boat docks. Avenue A between 17th and...

Quintana Beach County Park - Gulf Coast, Brazosport Area

Day-use facilities include a fishing pier and playground. Elevated boardwalks with wheelchair ramps connect shaded pavilions. Coveney House has a period museum and natural history display. Reservations accepted for camping. Admission charge. From Texas 288 in Freeport, take F.M. 1495 south 1.7...

San Bernard National Wildlife Refuge - Gulf Coast, Brazosport Area

Geese winter in this 27,000-acre refuge. The bird list for the refuge contains nearly 250 species. Auto tours, hiking trails and boardwalks are great for spotting birds. Open sunrise-sunset daily. For access, hunting and fishing information, contact the field office at 2547 C.R. 316 in Brazoria (...

Sargent Beach - Gulf Coast, Bay City

Sargent Beach is a coastal community 30 miles south of Bay City. The Intercoastal Waterway winds its way through Sargent, providing access to the Gulf of Mexico and East Matagorda Bay. This beach offers a quiet, uncrowded alternative. Matagorda County.

Schlitterbahn Galveston Island Waterpark - Gulf Coast, Galveston

The park features uphill water coasters, water slides, kid's playgrounds, whitewater rapids, a wave pool, hot tubs, plus the Boogie Bahn surf ride and the exclusive Transportainment river system. The summer season runs late April-mid-Sept. Heated indoor season is late Sept.-mid-April. Admission...

Seawolf Park - Gulf Coast, Galveston

The park provides a close look at oceangoing vessels entering and departing the port and yacht basin. Fishing is available from the lighted pier. The naval exhibit features tours of the restored WWII submarine USS Cavalla and the destroyer escort USS Stewart. Open daily. Admission charge. Pelica...

Surfside Beach - Gulf Coast, Brazosport Area

The name is both a town and a description of this resort-recreation area. Miles of sandy beaches teeming with seashells and marine life make this a perfect recreational retreat. Beach house rentals, motels, fishing charters, restaurants and shops are available for beach goers.

Whataburger Field - Gulf Coast, Corpus Christi

Home of the Corpus Christi Hooks, Double-A affiliate of the Houston Astros baseball club, the field was ranked one of the top 10 best minor league ballparks by USA Today. This facility features more than 5,000 seats, luxury suites, a swimming pool and kids' area. The Hooks play a 140-game schedu...

Wilderness Park - Gulf Coast, Brazosport Area

This 482-acre park, in its natural state, is bordered by Buffalo Camp Bayou and the Brazos River. It includes an interpretive quarter-mile nature loop and a four-mile hiking trail. Wildlife include deer, small mammals and alligators. Enjoy picnicking, fishing and hiking. On Texas 332, one mile w...

Bird Watching

If bird watching is your thing, you're in for a treat. If it's not, by the time you leave the Gulf Coast, it most certainly will be. Throughout the year, bird lovers from all over the world come to Port Aransas , Mustang Island and other popular bird-watching spots such as those on the Coastal Birding Trail . Here you can view hundreds of rare or even endangered species of birds in their natural habitats. Try not to miss this feathered affair.

Parks

Copper Breaks State Park

777 Park Road 62 Quanah, TX 79252

Activities include camping , picnicking, boating, fishing, mountain biking, swimming, wildlife viewing, backpacking, kite flying, summer educational/interpretive programs, astronomy, natural and historical exhibits. The park rents paddle boats, and a portion of the official Texas longhorn herd is at the park. Copper Breaks State Park has been designated an International Dark Sky Park. If you plan to swim at the park, read through our swimming safety tips before you come.

Equestrian

The equestrian can enjoy a 3.5-mile, round-trip trail over flat and rough terrain. There is a large parking area and a water tank for horses. The camping area has six camping sites and a 10-foot tying rail. Water faucets and restrooms are nearby. This area can also be used by a group. Visitors must provide their own horses.

Ranger Programs

The park offers a variety of educational opportunities. Check the calendar for upcoming events or contact the park for special tours.

Ask about the Junior Ranger Explorer Packs available for free checkout at the park!

Area Attractions

Nearby attractions include the Hardeman County Historical Museum in Quanah and the Firehall Museum in Crowell, which maintain displays and exhibits of artifacts and other historical items of early Texas. On State Highway 6, between Quanah and the park, one can observe prominent hills to the east that make up Medicine Mound, a ceremonial and religious site of the Comanches. The mounds are located on private property, and trespassing is prohibited. Completed in 1967, Greenbelt Reservoir is a 1,900-acre impoundment located five miles north of Clarendon on State Highway 70. Travelers leaving Copper Breaks are only a few hours' drive from three other state parks - Caprock Canyons State Park, Palo Duro Canyon State Park and Lake Arrowhead State Park.

Lake Aarowhead State Park

229 Park Road 63 Wichita Falls, TX

The park offers fishing, lake swimming on an unsupervised beach, water skiing, disc golf, picnicking, camping, nature study, hiking, horseback riding and boating.

In addition to campsites for tents and RVs, the park also has group facilities .

Equestrian

This site offers approximately five miles of multiuse trails on approximately 300 acres that are open to hikers as well as riders. The trails pass over grassy, flat terrain. Each of the four campsites has water, electricity, a picnic table, a fire ring, a tie rail and a picket line. Parking and restrooms are available near the group building. Restrooms with showers are located at the central campgrounds. Visitors must provide their own horses.

Annual Events

Kids Fishing Contest and Adult Rough Fish Contest is held annually on the first Saturday in June.

Equipment Rentals

The park has a limited amount of binoculars and bird books to loan to visitors.

This park participates in the Angler Education " Tackle Loaner Program "; individuals can borrow rods, reels and tackle boxes with hooks, sinkers and bobbers.

Ranger Programs

Educational programs available at the park include Hunter Education , Fishing Education Programs, Project Learning Tree, Project Wild , Aquatic Wild, Texas Rare and Wild, Adopt a Wetland, and Buffalo Soldiers community education outreach programs. Teachers can obtain continuing education credits for attending many of these programs. All educational programs must be scheduled through the park headquarters and require a minimum of 10 participants in order to conduct the training.

Area Attractions

Nearby points of interest include Fort Richardson State Park, Historic Site & Lost Creek Reservoir State Trailway ; Possum Kingdom State Park ; Copper Breaks State Park ; the city of Wichita Falls, with its Spring Fling (April), Red River Rodeo (June), Hotter 'N Hell Hundred Bicycle Ride (August), Texas/Oklahoma Jr. Golf Tour (June), and Midwestern State University; Sheppard Air Force Base; Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge; and River Bend Nature Works in Wichita Falls. The annual (70 years and counting) Pioneer Reunion Rodeo is held on the third weekend in September.

Palo Duro Canyon State Park

One of the most renowned destinations in Texas is referred to as the "Grand Canyon of Texas." Take a daylong horseback ride or hike to the famous Lighthouse rock formation, or drive to the top of the canyon and take in the breathtaking view from the overlook. The park offers primitive and developed campsites as well as newly renovated rock cabins and fully furnished CCC-constructed cabins. Includes an interpretive center and a summer amphitheater.

Admission charge.

About 12 miles east of Canyon via Texas 217 and Park Road 5.