A man walks his dogs on the Padre Island National Seashore. (Courtesy/National Park Service) 

Need an island getaway? Look no further than Texas. Here are six offshore options you'll want to explore.

Padre Island

The largest barrier island of Texas' many, Padre Island is home to both family-friendly beaches and spring-break party resorts.

Take to the water for paddle boarding, sailing, kayaking, and sea turtle and dolphin watching, or stay on land for spas, sandcastle festivals, a food scene worth sampling and beachfront horseback rides.

Galveston Island

This barrier island is equal parts historic mansions and waterfront fun. Families and couples alike will love Galveston Island's unique architecture and mansion tours, boating, beach relaxation, eco-tourism, dolphin- and whale-watching excursions, and museums.

Pelican Island

North of Galveston Harbor, Pelican Island is an ideal spot for seasonal festivals, fishing, bird-watching, beaches, art and history museums.

Stroll downtown for dining and art, watch seasonal festivals like Oktoberfest take over the streets, or take to the golf course or farmed fishing pier.

Mustang Island

With more than 18 miles of barrier-island shoreline, Mustang Island’s wildlife, beaches and marine preserves make it a Gulf island worth visiting.

Camp on sandy beaches or in protected forests, enjoy sunny days on the water, or take to museums and the local University of Texas Marine Science Institute to immerse in the wildlife native to the island.

And at the island’s northern end you’ll find Port Aransas and its many shops, restaurants and accommodations.

San José Island

Just north of Mustang Island, San José Island boasts untouched beaches rife with seabirds and shells. A private island, this former ranch is now a wildlife sanctuary reachable by ferry.

Stay in nearby Port Aransas, which has many cozy cottages to rent. Its local waterfront neighborhoods are perfect for exploring, eating and shopping.

Matagorda Island

A remote island accessible only by boat, it is home to Matagorda Island National Wildlife Refuge and State Natural Area. It is an ideal spot for campers up to the challenge of zero electricity or running water.

Go truly off-grid in exchange for saltwater fishing, in-season hunting, bird-watching and stargazing.

This story is from the Office of the Governor, Economic Development and Tourism. 

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