Need an island getaway? Look no further than Texas. Here are six offshore options you’ll want to explore yourself.
The largest barrier island of Texas’ many, Padre Island is home to both family-friendly beaches and spring-break party resorts. Take to the water for paddle boarding, sailing, kayaking and sea turtle and dolphin watching, or stay on land for spas, sand castle festivals, a food scene worth sampling and beachfront horseback rides.
This barrier island is equal parts historic mansions and waterfront fun. Families and couples alike will love Galveston Island‘s unique architecture and mansion tours, boating, beach relaxation, eco-tourism, dolphin and whale watching and museums.
North of Galveston Harbor, Pelican Island is an ideal spot for seasonal festivals, fishing, bird watching, beaches, art and history museums. Stroll downtown for dining and art, watch seasonal festivals like Oktoberfest take over the streets or take to the golf course or farmed fishing pier.
With more than 18 miles of barrier-island shoreline, Mustang Island’s wildlife, beaches and marine preserves make it a Gulf island worth visiting. Camp on sandy beaches or in protected forests, enjoy sunny days on the water or take to museums and the local University of Texas Marine Science Institute to immerse yourself in the wildlife native to the island. And at the island’s northern end, you’ll find Port Aransas and its many shops, restaurants and accommodations.
San José Island
Just north of Mustang Island, San José Island boasts untouched beaches rife with sea birds and shells. A private island, this former ranch is now a wildlife sanctuary reachable by ferry. Stay in nearby Port Aransas, which has many cozy cottages to rent. Its local waterfront neighborhoods are perfect for exploring, eating and shopping.
A remote island only accessible by boat, the Matagorda Island National Wildlife Refuge and State Natural Area is an ideal spot for campers up to the challenge of zero electricity or running water. Go truly off-grid in exchange for saltwater fishing, in-season hunting, bird watching and stargazing.