Grab your sunblock, sunglasses, and beach bag; summer is here, and the beaches are calling. All along the Gulf of Mexico lie some of the best beaches in the US. From Florida to Texas, Alabama, and Mississippi, these picturesque beaches rank among the highest from both locals and tourists every year. View our list (in no specific order) of the top ten must-see beaches along the Gulf Coast.
Continuously ranked number one beach in the US, Siesta Key is a beachgoers paradise located in Sarasota, FL. The white, fluffy sand, clear turquoise waters, and many amenities make this beach a top favorite. Siesta stretches 8 miles long and offers visitors plenty of space to run, walk, tan, and play. Due to its popularity, Siesta can get quite busy; if you are searching for a quieter spot, head south to Crescent Beach and Turtle Beach. When you’ve had enough sun for the day, head over to Siesta Key Village for delicious cuisine, thirst-quenching daiquiris, or stop in the local shops for a souvenir.
Over thirty miles make up the sugar-white sand beaches of Alabama’s Gulf Coast, but one of them stands out among the rest. Orange Beach is known for many things, but for locals, the stunning sunset views, pretty sea oat-covered dunes, 15-mile long adventure trail, and the notorious Wharf Entertainment Complex are among the favorites. Whether you plan to relax on the beach, cast a fishing line, or kayak through the turquoise waters, Orange Beach is an outdoor experience perfect for the whole family.
Stretching from Bonita Springs to Marco Island, Naples Beach offers miles of soft sand beaches, warm gulf waters, and serene views. A mix of locals and tourists makes for a socially fun atmosphere in this upscale town. Many different areas offer an abundance of wildlife viewing, picnic areas and amenities, and of course, plenty of watersport activities.
Home to our corporate headquarters, Anna Maria Island is a 7-mile long barrier island that offers pristine white sand beaches, old Florida charm, and tranquil settings. While soaking up the sun, keep your eyes peeled for aquatic visitors such as manatees, sea turtles, and dolphins that love to make an appearance from time to time. Anna Maria Island is also great for shelling, sand dollar hunting, and coquina hunting, especially during low tide. When beach time is over, you’ll find plenty of top-rated restaurants, bars, and activities that can be found around every corner of the island.
Along the Florida Panhandle lies this vibrant beach town known for its striking emerald blue waters and sugar-white sand beaches. Destin, Florida, is a popular beach destination home to crystal-clear waters that are perfect for snorkeling, scuba ventures, shelling, and even surfing. James Lee Park also offers picnic tables, pavilions, and a playground, among other family-friendly amenities. If you have access to a boat, be sure to swing by Crab Island, one of the top sand bars in Florida. After a day at the beach, stop by the boardwalk for a bite to eat or some shopping, and finish off the evening with a scenic drive down highway 30A.
Known as one of the friendliest communities in Texas— Galveston is home to sub-tropical weather, plentiful beaches to explore, and some of the best fishing due to nutrient-rich waters, which give off a brown hue. Whether you are looking for a family-friendly area, quiet retreat, or lively entertainment, Galveston offers it all along 32 miles of beachfront property. Other nearby attractions include Moody Gardens, Schlitterbahn Galveston Island Waterpark, and the Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier amusement park.
Over 18 miles of coastline makes up Mustang Island in Texas. Here, parts of the shorelines are open for street-legal vehicles and everything that is fun in the sun. Activities include everything from birding, shelling, fishing, swimming, surfboarding, and so much more. Mustang Island State Park is five miles of open beach widely popular for camping, hiking, and picnicking, among other activities.
Biloxi, Mississippi, draws tourists from all over the world every year, not only for its renowned casinos and golf courses but also for its stunning beaches. Since Hurricane Katrina, the repaired beaches have been very well maintained and make for the perfect getaway on the Gulf. Biloxi Beach is fun for the whole family, with activities ranging from fishing, chartering, and steamboat tours— to swimming, kayaking, and sunbathing. When evening hits, try your luck at the nearby casino, or indulge in local seafood cuisine.
With an average of 361 days of sunshine per year, St. Pete beach is a must-see destination, perfect for any time of the year. TripAdvisor also named this beach the #1 beach in the US for 2021. The friendly, laid-back atmosphere extends about seven miles and offers a range of activities for all ages. The famous Don Cesar can be seen just about anywhere throughout the beach and is a highly sought-after landmark. Other activities throughout the barrier island include volleyball courts, beach cabanas, mini golf, plenty of beachside restaurants and bars, watersports, and so much more.
This warm climate oasis boasts seven miles of beaches along the coast of Louisiana. Year-round visitors from around the globe flock to Grand Isle for their world-class fishing, birding habitat, miles of tranquil beaches, and boundless wildlife. A popular location is at the east end of Grand Isle, where there is a 400-ft fishing pier, nature trails, and overnight camping.
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