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There are many fabulous vacation destinations across the world, but the Gulf of Mexico is a true treasure trove of hidden gems. Tucked into the embrace of eastern Mexico and the southern United States, this body of water laps at some of the richest cultural coasts of North America. While Mexico boasts some of the most popular coastal getaways, some US gulf coast locations are just as popular for their history, fishing, warm weather, and other unique qualities.

South Padre Island

At the bottom of the Texas coast, South Padre is a beautiful barrier island with 30+ miles of soft white sands. Next door to Mexico, this dream destination offers the best of both countries, sans passport. Fresh seafood meets Mexico’s finest ingredients and spices, generating some of the finest dining this side of the border – Tex-Mex at its best. This is the place to go for Mexican flare, ease of travel, and if complete rest is on your mind.

Corpus Christi, Texas

Home to more of the Padre Island coast, Corpus Christi is host to some of the last coastal sands that allow vehicle traffic. The entire stretch does not offer this, but it is an attractive option and a popular attraction.

Corpus Christi is one of the greatest saltwater fishing locales in Texas. While nestled on the coast, however, Corpus is host to both fresh and brackish waters, as well, with its nearby lakes and rivers that open to the bay.

This stretch of the coast is also the greatest breeding, rescue, and release area for Kemp turtle hatchlings. This is the nature lover’s place to be. Regular turtle hatchling releases are open for nature lovers to see, almost monthly.

Also home to the USS Lexington, Schlitterbahn, and the Corpus Christi Hooks, this town has something for everyone.

Louisiana Gulf Coast

New Orleans doesn’t lie on the gulf coast; however, it is fed from it. The New Orleans Port is on the Mississippi River, which feeds into the Gulf of Mexico; one of the greatest gulf travel pulls. New Orleans is home to the French Quarter, famous Bourbon Street, and some of the best Cajun food imaginable.

A complete Gulf of Mexico gem, New Orleans, like most other towns along the Mississippi/Gulf mouth was in serious trouble with storm surge and levee breeches during Hurricane Katrina. After the hurricane, many relief efforts went into transforming New Orleans back into the sparking city it once was.

Biloxi, Mississippi

Mississippi is a great stretch of the gulf coast with magnificent casino resorts. Like many coastal areas along the gulf, Biloxi was long riddled with hurricane blind-sides. The coast was once made fairly stagnant by hurricane surge waters, however dredging decades later have made way for a thriving coastal, and consequently casino, market.

Biloxi has quite a history about it, as well, home to the Jefferson Davis waterfront home, Beauvoir, and the Jefferson Davis Presidential Library and Museum.

Florida Panhandle

The Florida panhandle is the gateway to the eastern side of the gulf coast – home to some of the most pristine beaches in the United States. Pensacola, Destin, Fort Walton Beach, all of these offer some of the greatest Gulf resorts, whitest sands, and freshest seafood. 

The Gulf of Mexico is a grand space that is open to so many possibilities. The weather is never stable in all places at once, often alive with hurricanes, tropical disturbances, and the like. It is also rich with the life of many cultures. This luxurious body of water offers much to many.

Disclosure: Our property, service and product reviews are sponsored by the proprietor or brand being appraised. All opinions remain our own and are in no way influenced by the sponsor.