6. Galveston: Time and the Sea
Four hotels span the legacy of this venerable city. The Hotel Galvez, recently restored to its early 20th-century elegance, looks again to the Gulf. Take tea or coffee in the sun-dappled, four-story atrium at The Tremont House, named for a hotel that opened its doors in 1839. On Galveston's Historic Wharf, the 42-room Harbor House has renovated a warehouse into a casual inn. Set among 242 acres, the Moody Gardens Hotel, Spa, and Convention Center combines 428 guest rooms with a huge aquarium and an IMAX theater. Visit www.galveston.com.
7. Corpus Christi: Seaside, City Streets
This city sparkles with sun and water. Stay downtown at Omni Corpus Christi for a splendid view of the bay and the aircraft carrier (now museum) USS Lexington. Stroll through 2,000 orchids at South Texas Botanical Gardens. Drive the loop that takes you to the beaches of Mustang Island, the fishing and vacation village of Port Aransas, and Rockport-Fulton, an artists' colony of stores and galleries. You may want to schedule a trip for Rockport-Fulton's annual Hummer/Bird Celebration, September 13-16. Visit www.corpuschristi-tx-cvb.org and www.rockport-fulton.org.