While surfers ride the waves in California, the rest of us can ride out the season on the best Gulf Coast beaches… snoozing on a towel of pure white sand… next to a warm, clear blue ocean… half-read book in hand…
Gulf Coast at its Best
Can't Beat a Florida Beach
It’s not called the “Sunshine State” for nothing. Here in America, Florida’s our go-to spot for the type of fun you’d find in the sun. But it’s really the best Gulf Coast beaches (think the Florida Panhandle to the Keys) that are responsible for this. The sand and surf here is just so much lovelier than anywhere else in the US.
Even Florida’s East Coast beaches can’t compete with its Gulf Coast beaches! The reason: the Gulf side of Florida has clear, warm water and soft, white sand – traits missing from most of America’s coastline. They’re also some of the safest for swimming. This makes them a magnet for sun seekers from all walks of life, but especially young families.
From the Panhandle to the Keys
The Florida Panhandle offers up many drive-to beaches. Some of the best Gulf Coast beaches in the area include Panama City Beach, Destin, Seagrove Beach, Cape San Blas, St George Island, and Navarre Beach.
As you head south, you’ll find beaches that make a great stop along the way to Disney World, Universal Studios, Busche Gardens and other Central Florida attractions. They include, but are hardly limited to, Anna Maria Island, Bradenton, Sarasota, Siesta Key, Madeira Beach, St Pete Beach, Clearwater Beach, and Venice.
Alabama, Texas, Mississippi, & Louisiana
The Other Florida Panhandle
Alabama’s snippet of coastline is nothing to sneeze at. Sitting pretty by the Florida Panhandle, Gulf Shores and Orange Beach offer up the same pristine Gulf Coast beaches as their neighbors, but with slightly smaller crowds and prices. Plus, from championship golf courses to state parks to zoos, there will be plenty for you to do off the beach, too.
Howdy, Beach Bum
Did you know some of the best Gulf Coast beaches are in Texas? 600 miles of shoreline leave plenty of room for sunbathing, sea shell collecting, and anything else you'd do on the beach. Consider Galveston, Spring Break hot spot South Padre Island, Port Aransas, or Corpus Christi. The Lone Star State’s laid-back vibes go well with the beach, as does a pair of jet skis or a surf board.
The Mississippi coastline recently crept up as a top tourist destination. Because folks flock to Florida and Alabama more frequently, beach goers here enjoy a lot of privacy and savings. (Sometimes, the best Gulf Coast beaches are the least populated.) When not combing the beach, make sure to check out the area attractions, like the Treasure Bay Casino or the state’s oldest tree, Friendly Oak. Gulf Coast beaches in Mississippi include Gulfport, Ocean Springs, and Biloxi.
Deep Blue Bayou
Why not squeeze in a fishing trip or two while visiting New Orleans? Louisiana’s best Gulf Coast beaches are great for water sports, and are especially worthwhile if you’re going fishing or crabbing.
We hope our guide to the best Gulf Coast beaches has helped you plan your next trip to the coast. If you’re still hung up on where to go, peruse our last minute deals – the best Gulf Coast beaches have plenty!