If you’re yearning for a beach vacation, the Texas Gulf Coast is the perfect pet-friendly place to do it. First, we’ve got lots of pet-friendly lodgings for you to choose from, whether you want to stay in a hotel, motel, cottage, or bed and breakfast. Second, when it comes to welcoming pets on local beaches, the communities along the Texas coastline cannot be beat, from South Padre Island to Galveston. For a full listing, please check out our guide to pet-friendly Texas Gulf Coast beaches.

When you’ve had enough of the beach (is that possible?), there’s plenty you and your pet can do together. If your trip won’t be complete if you don’t see an alligator, give Brazos Bend State Park in Needville a try. With its 34 miles of trails, it’s home to Spanish moss-draped live oaks, prairies, lakes, forests, and alligators; it’s also been voted one of America’s top state parks. Keep your pet on a 6-foot leash.

If you’re feeling in a historical mood, take your pet (on a 6-foot leash) to San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site in LaPorte to see the battlefield where General Sam Houston won Texas’s independence from Mexico in the Battle of San Jacinto in 1836.

Also, don’t miss Goose Island State Park. Located outside of Corpus Christi, it’s surrounded by three different bays and is home to brown pelicans and whooping cranes, as well as “Big Tree,” a coastal live oak thought to be over 1,000 years old and one of the largest trees in the country, with a trunk circumference of 35 feet. Keep your pet on a 6-foot leash.

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