Share with your friends


Note: All travel is subject to frequently-changing governmental restrictions—please check federal, state, and local advisories before scheduling trips.

As the weather starts to chill across the country, there’s one long stretch of coastline where the beach still beckons—the Gulf Coast. From Texas to Florida, you’ll find sunny stretches of sand, delicious seafood restaurants, buzzing beach bars, and plenty of affordable hotel and house rentals. That’s right. The Gulf Coast is the rare vacation paradise that won’t break the bank. True, winter is nippy across much of the Gulf (though still a nice time for a sunny stroll in your favorite hoodie), but most of the year the weather is reliably warm. Here are the best Gulf Coast beach towns in each state.

RELATED: 10 kid-friendly things to do in Pigeon Forge

Mustang Island, Port Aransas, TX

Port Aransas, or “Port A” as locals call it, has blossomed into one of the hottest destinations in Texas, and this barrier island just off the coast is one of the main reasons why. Mustang Island offers gorgeous clear waters and soft, nutmeg-colored sand. You can drive on the beach with your car or golf cart rental, which means there’s always a party or tailgate set up somewhere. Down by the wharf area of Mustang Island, you’ll find seafood spots aplenty. Grab a shrimp cocktail at Virginia’s on the Bay and watch dolphins splash about the marina every evening, then head over to Castaway’s for some of the best hushpuppies in town.

Stay: Check out this modern, recently remodeled condo with gorgeous ocean views. You’ll be beachfront with two bedrooms for under $200 a night!

Gulf Shores, AL

If you’re looking for an affordable beach destination where the party never ends, make your way to Gulf Shores. It’s like Alabama just decided to make things easy for everyone and put all its best bars, restaurants, hotels, and rentals in one place. With its warm, sparkling blue water, Gulf Shores is a seaside escape for everyone from families to fraternities alike.

Stay: There’s no shortage of condo rentals, but we particularly like this cozy 2-bedroom condo that sleeps 7 right across from the beach. The condo building boasts a pool and great gazebo grill area directly on the water. That’s where we’d be with friends most evenings after a day at the beach!

Perdido Key, FL

If you haven’t seen an episode of MTV’s Floribama Shore (the Gulf Coast version of Jersey Shore), then you’re just going to have to trust us. The Alabama-Florida state line is where the party’s at, and Flora-Bama is the bar that made it all famous. Some say it’s the most famous bar in the country.

Stay: When you rent this 3-bedroom condo directly on the beach, you’ll be mere steps away from the fun. Besides its prime location, this condo has beautiful 8th floor Gulf views and a full kitchenette.

Gulfport, MS

Lined with beachfront casino resorts, sunny Gulfport is here to show you a good time. After a day in the sun, grab some of the famous beer-fried Gator Bites at Shaggy’s Gulfport Beach for dinner, then head toward Howard Avenue closer to Biloxi for great nightlife at places like The Mermaid Dive Bar or Sandbar Daiquiri Bar and Grill.

Stay: We love this charming coastal townhome on the stretch of beach between Biloxi and Gulfport because it lies a block from the beach, was recently renovated, and is located in a picturesque gated beach community. Relax here in a modern home decked out with memory foam mattresses and large, flat-screen TV offering both Hulu and Netflix.

Holly Beach, LA

Not only does the Louisiana coast have beautiful stretches of shoreline, but it also has great hunting, fishing, and casinos like Delta Downs Racetrack and Casino. Gather your group and stay at this cheery canal-front home in Holly Beach—also known as the Cajun Riviera!

Stay: This clean 3-bedroom house has a welcoming coastal vibe and spacious patio for socializing. The place was especially built for outdoor fun, and is outfitted with an outdoor fridge, charcoal BBQ pit, plus a crawfish boiler and fish fryer. There’s even an outdoor fish cleaning station for those who like to grill up their catches of the day!

Tagged: Beach, Destinations, Florida, Seasonal, Texas, Texas, Types of Travel

Note: CheapTickets compensates authors for their writings appearing on this site.

Compass + Twine

Compass + Twine

Compass + Twine

Latest posts by Compass + Twine (see all)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.