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How is the Texas gulf Coast?

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We'll be visiting relatives in the Hill Country in Feb. and are thinking of also checking out the Gulf Coast area. To be honest, Texas and the Hill Country don't do much for us, but we'll be visiting the Fredericksburg area once or twice a year. We've visited there a half a dozen times now and are looking for a bit of variety if we want to add on 4 or 5 days to our trip. We can get cheap airfares from our home to Harlingen and thought of making a loop by driving the coast up to the Galveston area, cutting over to the Hill Country for our family visit for 3 or 4 days, and then going back to Harlingen for our flight.

We love coastal areas, particularly the scenic natural areas and places where there are opportunities for water-based activities like kayaking and close coastal fishing. We don't like tacky beach areas at all with all of their hub bub, and that is not at all what we're looking for. And, we don't want to just lie on the beach.

We've visited the Florida panhandle area in the past, and we just returned from a long vacation on Sanibel in Florida. Will the Texas coast appeal to us, or should we just forget the idea? I've read some older posts here basically telling people to forget the Texas coast because it is nothing compared to other areas of the Gulf coast in other states. Thanks.

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