View of beach umbrellas and Pleasure Pier amusement park on Galveston Island, Texas.

Best beach towns on the Gulf Coast

Written by:
September 8, 2023
Mark Taylor Cunningham // Shutterstock

Best beach towns on the Gulf Coast

Summer vacation season is upon us and while many travelers are looking to take trips outside of the United States in summer 2024, it's easy to forget that there are plenty of perfect waterside getaways right here in America. The West Coast has many Pacific Ocean possibilities, the Midwest has its great lakeside locales, and New England has its bays and oceanfront areas too. But many of the greatest beach towns in America are in the Gulf Coast: eight of the top 10, in fact, based on our findings here at Stacker. Plus, according to research from Google, three of the top 15 summer 2024 destinations worldwide are in the region. 

Beachfront locales are hugely sought after in the summer, as the latest 2024 summer travel trends report from AirBnB confirms. Not only are beaches a great place to unwind and create family bonding moments, but they also boost people's mental health.

So what makes a good beach town? Access to a beach, of course, but also plenty of indoor and outdoor activities to keep kids entertained, warm weather, and a long beach season (the average number of days beaches are open for swimming).

Stacker determined rankings by several factors, giving the most weight to the number of beaches within a quarter mile of a city or town and the total shoreline of those beaches. Weather patterns and the duration of each beach's swim season affect town scores. The ranking also takes into account the prevalence of beach-related businesses, unemployment rates, and median home prices.

The EPA lists more than 200 beaches on the Gulf Coast, totaling more than 400 miles of beach shoreline.

Correction

A previous version of this article contained multiple errors in data analysis that skewed the overall ranking of beach towns, including incorrectly identifying the number of beaches in some towns and mischaracterizing some municipalities as beach towns. The article has been updated to correct the errors.

#50. Alvin, Texas

- Number of beaches: 1
- Beach length: 1.27 miles
- Average swim season length: 364 days
- Average county summer temperature: 85.4 degrees
- Median home price: $189,900

#49. Pascagoula, Mississippi

- Number of beaches: 2
- Beach length: 0.52 miles
- Average swim season length: 213 days
- Average county summer temperature: 82.1 degrees
- Median home price: $124,900

#48. Henderson Point, Mississippi

- Number of beaches: 1
- Beach length: 1.09 miles
- Average swim season length: 213 days
- Average county summer temperature: 82.3 degrees
- Median home price: $168,700

#47. Seadrift, Texas

- Number of beaches: 1
- Beach length: 0.62 miles
- Average swim season length: 364 days
- Average county summer temperature: 85.9 degrees
- Median home price: $106,800

#46. Ocean Springs, Mississippi

- Number of beaches: 2
- Beach length: 2.31 miles
- Average swim season length: 213 days
- Average county summer temperature: 82.1 degrees
- Median home price: $189,800

#45. Port O'Connor, Texas

- Number of beaches: 2
- Beach length: 0.72 miles
- Average swim season length: 364 days
- Average county summer temperature: 85.9 degrees
- Median home price: $236,500

#44. Fairhope, Alabama

- Number of beaches: 3
- Beach length: 1.26 miles
- Average swim season length: 152 days
- Average county summer temperature: 81.7 degrees
- Median home price: $370,100

#43. Magnolia Beach, Texas

- Number of beaches: 1
- Beach length: 1.37 miles
- Average swim season length: 364 days
- Average county summer temperature: 85.9 degrees
- Median home price: $266,200

#42. Rockport, Texas

- Number of beaches: 1
- Beach length: 0.85 miles
- Average swim season length: 364 days
- Average county summer temperature: 85.7 degrees
- Median home price: $289,300

#41. Point Comfort, Texas

- Number of beaches: 2
- Beach length: 0.41 miles
- Average swim season length: 364 days
- Average county summer temperature: 85.9 degrees
- Median home price: $96,300

#40. La Porte, Texas

- Number of beaches: 2
- Beach length: 1.04 miles
- Average swim season length: 364 days
- Average county summer temperature: 86.0 degrees
- Median home price: $173,900

#39. Dauphin Island, Alabama

- Number of beaches: 2
- Beach length: 5.75 miles
- Average swim season length: 152 days
- Average county summer temperature: 81.9 degrees
- Median home price: $287,100

#38. Baytown, Texas

- Number of beaches: 2
- Beach length: 1.06 miles
- Average swim season length: 364 days
- Average county summer temperature: 84.5 degrees
- Median home price: $155,100

#37. Bay St. Louis, Mississippi

- Number of beaches: 2
- Beach length: 4.54 miles
- Average swim season length: 213 days
- Average county summer temperature: 82.5 degrees
- Median home price: $205,200

#36. Port Mansfield, Texas

- Number of beaches: 2
- Beach length: 1.27 miles
- Average swim season length: 364 days
- Average county summer temperature: 86.0 degrees
- Median home price: $86,900

#35. Gulf Shores, Alabama

- Number of beaches: 3
- Beach length: 8.2 miles
- Average swim season length: 152 days
- Average county summer temperature: 81.7 degrees
- Median home price: $261,200

#34. Waveland, Mississippi

- Number of beaches: 3
- Beach length: 4.76 miles
- Average swim season length: 213 days
- Average county summer temperature: 82.5 degrees
- Median home price: $175,600

#33. Grand Isle, Louisiana

- Number of beaches: 9
- Beach length: 9.53 miles
- Average swim season length: 81 days
- Average county summer temperature: 83.6 degrees
- Median home price: $241,400

#32. Pasadena, Texas

- Number of beaches: 3
- Beach length: 1.06 miles
- Average swim season length: 364 days
- Average county summer temperature: 86.0 degrees
- Median home price: $160,200

#31. Orange Beach, Alabama

- Number of beaches: 7
- Beach length: 8.58 miles
- Average swim season length: 152 days
- Average county summer temperature: 81.7 degrees
- Median home price: $344,900

#30. Marco Island, Florida

- Number of beaches: 6
- Beach length: 11.11 miles
- Average swim season length: 182 days
- Average county summer temperature: 83.0 degrees
- Median home price: $676,000

#29. Manasota Key, Florida

- Number of beaches: 5
- Beach length: 7.24 miles
- Average swim season length: 364 days
- Average county summer temperature: 82.5 degrees
- Median home price: $746,200

#28. Pass Christian, Mississippi

- Number of beaches: 3
- Beach length: 6.75 miles
- Average swim season length: 213 days
- Average county summer temperature: 82.3 degrees
- Median home price: $192,500

#27. Fort Walton Beach, Florida

- Number of beaches: 3
- Beach length: 6.65 miles
- Average swim season length: 244 days
- Average county summer temperature: 82.2 degrees
- Median home price: $236,500

#26. Sargent, Texas

- Number of beaches: 1
- Beach length: 9.59 miles
- Average swim season length: 364 days
- Average county summer temperature: 85.2 degrees
- Median home price: $215,700

#25. Venice, Florida

- Number of beaches: 7
- Beach length: 6.48 miles
- Average swim season length: 312 days
- Average county summer temperature: 82.4 degrees
- Median home price: $307,600

#24. Laurel, Florida

- Number of beaches: 5
- Beach length: 7.37 miles
- Average swim season length: 218 days
- Average county summer temperature: 82.4 degrees
- Median home price: $389,600

#23. Tampa, Florida

- Number of beaches: 7
- Beach length: 8.14 miles
- Average swim season length: 208 days
- Average county summer temperature: 83.8 degrees
- Median home price: $292,900

#22. Sarasota, Florida

- Number of beaches: 8
- Beach length: 10.8 miles
- Average swim season length: 182 days
- Average county summer temperature: 82.4 degrees
- Median home price: $272,200

#21. Miramar Beach, Florida

- Number of beaches: 2
- Beach length: 10.15 miles
- Average swim season length: 244 days
- Average county summer temperature: 82.0 degrees
- Median home price: $436,600

#20. Quintana, Texas

- Number of beaches: 3
- Beach length: 8.85 miles
- Average swim season length: 364 days
- Average county summer temperature: 85.4 degrees
- Median home price: $250,300

#19. Biloxi, Mississippi

- Number of beaches: 4
- Beach length: 5.59 miles
- Average swim season length: 213 days
- Average county summer temperature: 82.3 degrees
- Median home price: $180,800

#18. Portland, Texas

- Number of beaches: 5
- Beach length: 4.35 miles
- Average swim season length: 364 days
- Average county summer temperature: 85.5 degrees
- Median home price: $190,600

#17. Long Beach, Mississippi

- Number of beaches: 3
- Beach length: 9.13 miles
- Average swim season length: 213 days
- Average county summer temperature: 82.3 degrees
- Median home price: $163,800

#16. Lower Grand Lagoon, Florida

- Number of beaches: 2
- Beach length: 11.62 miles
- Average swim season length: 244 days
- Average county summer temperature: 82.3 degrees
- Median home price: $272,600

#15. Lamar, Texas

- Number of beaches: 3
- Beach length: 0.96 miles
- Average swim season length: 364 days
- Average county summer temperature: 85.7 degrees
- Median home price: $173,500

#14. St. George Island, Florida

- Number of beaches: 3
- Beach length: 19.16 miles
- Average swim season length: 244 days
- Average county summer temperature: 81.6 degrees
- Median home price: $541,200

#13. Port Aransas, Texas

- Number of beaches: 6
- Beach length: 12.17 miles
- Average swim season length: 364 days
- Average county summer temperature: 86.1 degrees
- Median home price: $448,300

#12. Clearwater, Florida

- Number of beaches: 6
- Beach length: 6.83 miles
- Average swim season length: 182 days
- Average county summer temperature: 84.7 degrees
- Median home price: $248,100

#11. South Padre Island, Texas

- Number of beaches: 8
- Beach length: 9.75 miles
- Average swim season length: 364 days
- Average county summer temperature: 86.3 degrees
- Median home price: $364,300

#10. Surfside Beach, Texas

- Number of beaches: 3
- Beach length: 15.33 miles
- Average swim season length: 364 days
- Average county summer temperature: 85.4 degrees
- Median home price: $198,300

#9. Palacios, Texas

- Number of beaches: 6
- Beach length: 2.37 miles
- Average swim season length: 364 days
- Average county summer temperature: 85.2 degrees
- Median home price: $161,800

#8. Gulfport, Mississippi

- Number of beaches: 6
- Beach length: 8.76 miles
- Average swim season length: 213 days
- Average county summer temperature: 82.3 degrees
- Median home price: $140,700

#7. Freeport, Texas

- Number of beaches: 4
- Beach length: 15.75 miles
- Average swim season length: 364 days
- Average county summer temperature: 85.4 degrees
- Median home price: $143,600

#6. Texas City, Texas

- Number of beaches: 4
- Beach length: 8.85 miles
- Average swim season length: 364 days
- Average county summer temperature: 85.4 degrees
- Median home price: $159,900

#5. Aransas Pass, Texas

- Number of beaches: 5
- Beach length: 5.5 miles
- Average swim season length: 364 days
- Average county summer temperature: 86.1 degrees
- Median home price: $160,900

#4. Jamaica Beach, Texas

- Number of beaches: 4
- Beach length: 20.85 miles
- Average swim season length: 364 days
- Average county summer temperature: 85.4 degrees
- Median home price: $280,400

#3. Bolivar Peninsula, Texas

- Number of beaches: 17
- Beach length: 27.21 miles
- Average swim season length: 364 days
- Average county summer temperature: 85.4 degrees
- Median home price: $244,300

#2. Galveston, Texas

- Number of beaches: 17
- Beach length: 49.18 miles
- Average swim season length: 364 days
- Average county summer temperature: 85.4 degrees
- Median home price: $250,800

#1. Corpus Christi, Texas

- Number of beaches: 40
- Beach length: 53.83 miles
- Average swim season length: 364 days
- Average county summer temperature: 86.6 degrees
- Median home price: $174,800

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