Get ready to dig your toes in the sand: From white strands to secret coves, we've found the ultimate spots by the shore, plus fabulous lodging so you can stay as long as you like.
Photo: David Muench/Corbis
North Padre is raw, unencumbered Texas coast—a dramatic contrast to the spring break chaos of South Padre. Near the island's north end, Malaquite Beach is rarely crowded. The visitor center has displays on local history and wildlife. Work up a sweat windsurfing, kayaking, or walking any of the 60 miles of uninterrupted sand down to Mansfield Channel.