The Gulf Coast is a popular destination for fun under the sun. For starters, it’s a hot spot for its popular beaches and shorelines from five different areas of the United States. From the shorelines of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida, there’s a lot of ocean to explore. These attractions are still unmarred by development, so you have plenty of opportunities to go on adventures, explore their culture, eat great food, and, believe it or not, find some reasonable prices and deals. Read on to learn more about five must-see Gulf Coast destinations.

Boca Chica, Texas

Dock at Boca Chica beach, Dominican Republic

Boca Chica, Dominican Republic. Photo Credit: Unsplash, Robin Canfield

Texas is home to a number of great beaches due to its southern location in the United States that border the Gulf of Mexico, but sadly, some people forget about one beach on the southernmost point of the state, Boca Chica Beach. It is about 23 miles east of Brownsville on Highway 4 and is perfect for people whose dream is to go solo beach hanging and enjoy solitude to the fullest. The beach is open from sunrise to sunset and entrance is free, but you cannot camp or otherwise stay overnight.

White Sands Lake Beach Park, Louisiana

The beaches in Florida and Texas seem to get all the fame, but Louisiana also has plenty of beach parks to offer travelers that are just as beautiful. If you’re looking for a typical beach experience with an added twist, head on over to White Sands Lake Beach Park. It’s a full-blown water park complete with slides, trampolines, and other fun lake toys. Like any other beach park, you may find a bit more of a crowd during the peak season than you might at other Louisiana attractions, but you’ll hardly notice it when you’re too busy enjoying all the fun activities offered at White Sands.

Biloxi Lighthouse, Mississippi

Biloxi Lighthouse in Mississippi

Biloxi Lighthouse. Photo Credit: Getty Images, Sean Pavone

The moment you arrive in coastal Mississippi, you’ll see it as the perfect destination, providing relaxation and excitement in equal measure along its 62 miles of scenic shoreline. Constructed in 1848, the Biloxi Lighthouse is considered Biloxi’s signature landmark as well as one of the most photographed sites on the Gulf Coast. The tours for this lighthouse are only available for 30 minutes, from 9 – 9:30 AM due to the heat the structure’s cast iron causes. The tour will be a bit of a hike, including a 57 step climb of the 65-foot tall structure spiral staircase. Along the way, visitors can view the waterlines from hurricanes dating back more than a century.

Fort Morgan State  Historic Park, Alabama

The arches of Fort Morgan in Alabama

The arches of Fort Morgan in Alabama. Photo Credit: Unsplash,
Gary Runn

This historic park was built over 200 years ago and despite the numerous battles and natural disasters that have hit this area, rest assured that Fort Morgan is a secret spot you won’t want to miss. Labeled as one of the 10 most endangered battle sites in the United States, the site was a pinnacle of the Civil War and served the U.S. Navy during the early to mid-1900s. Bordered by the beautiful shoreline and gorgeous ocean views, you can spend your vacation exploring the old fort or lounging on the beaches. After a quick visit back in time, you can freely enjoy the nature trails, wildlife viewing, fishing, and boat launches around the area.

Anna Maria Island, Florida

Anna Maria Island, Florida

102 Willow Ave, Anna Maria, Florida. Photo Credit: Unsplash,

Anna Maria Island is one of the few lucky islands that have remained untouched by builders for restaurants, condos, and everything else that would seem fit for a beachside city. There may be construction sites, but only for buildings that are three stories tall. The majority of the island is a completely open beach, where you can enjoy a nice break from the typical Florida beach town. With no parks, no resorts, or even fast-food chains, Anna Maria will be that beachy escape that leaves you feeling rested. You can definitely experience all the trappings of an exotic and tropical vacation with a twist: you don’t even have to leave the United States!

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