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The Best Beaches in Texas

Coastal Living Logo By Tracey Minkin of Coastal Living | Slide 2 of 11: On the southern Texas barrier island of the same name that separates the Gulf of Mexico and Laguna Madre Bay, the Padre Island National Seashore is the longest stretch of undeveloped barrier island in the world. What this means is 70 miles of pristine coastline and glorious beaches that shelter the rare Kemp’s ridley sea turtle and more than 380 bird species, plus offer walking, swimming, birdwatching, and enjoying the wild beauty of the Texas coast. Among the beaches here, Malaquite Swimming Beach has a Visitor Center and Pavilion, beach wheelchair access, is closed to driving, and conducts a sea turtle hatchling release during the summer season (go here for more information). For beachcombers, Little Shell and Big Shell beaches are aptly named for their bounty. Entrance fees include $10 per vehicle for a one-day pass, $10 per person for pedestrians and bicyclists (go here for all fees).

Padre Island National Seashore

On the southern Texas barrier island of the same name that separates the Gulf of Mexico and Laguna Madre Bay, the Padre Island National Seashore is the longest stretch of undeveloped barrier island in the world. What this means is 70 miles of pristine coastline and glorious beaches that shelter the rare Kemp’s ridley sea turtle and more than 380 bird species, plus offer walking, swimming, birdwatching, and enjoying the wild beauty of the Texas coast. Among the beaches here, Malaquite Swimming Beach has a Visitor Center and Pavilion, beach wheelchair access, is closed to driving, and conducts a sea turtle hatchling release during the summer season (go here for more information). For beachcombers, Little Shell and Big Shell beaches are aptly named for their bounty. Entrance fees include $10 per vehicle for a one-day pass, $10 per person for pedestrians and bicyclists (go here for all fees).

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