Spanning 367 miles from the Rio Grande River to the Louisiana border, the Gulf Coast region has attracted visitors for centuries with opportunities for swimming, fishing, hunting, bird watching, and camping.
Today’s visitors can experience a variety of natural environments from the untouched splendor of the Matagorda Island State Natural Area to the white-sand beaches of South Padre Island. At Matagorda Bay, visitors can take in the sites where French explorer Robert de La Salle established a European colony. Buffalo Bayou is the site of the famous Battle of San Jacinto where General Sam Houston led the Texian Army to victory against Santa Anna in 1836.
Man-made attractions abound at the Gulf Coast. In La Porte, visitors can explore the USS Texas, a historic battleship used in both world wars. For a look at aquatic life, there is the Texas State Aquarium in Corpus Christi. Galveston, once known as the “Playground of the South,” features one of the most substantial showings of 19th century architecture. Visitors can also tour the Elissa, a 19th century merchant vessel and one of the oldest sailing ships.
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