Why Go to the Coastal Plains?
The Coastal Plain of Texas is a region that borders Mexico, the Gulf of Mexico, Louisiana, and Arkansas. In Texas, it extends from the city of Paris in the north to San Antonio in the west and Del Rio in the south. It is approximately a third of the state.
Description of the Landscape and Climate
The Coastal Plain of Texas has a large beach line that boarders the Gulf of Mexico. The summers are very warm and winters can be cold in the north. Rainfall usually totals 30-55 inches per year. There are natural barrier islands in the Gulf that shield the shoreline. There is a wide variety of vegetation, including grasslands, salt marshes, piney woods and plains. The region is largely flat and includes natural water sources including the Brazos River, Colorado River, and Rio Grande. It also includes several manmade lakes called reservoirs that are used for water for cities, fishing and boating.
The area supports approximately 4.5 million people and includes some of the most densely populated and industrialized communities in Texas.
Industries include agriculture--dairy, cattle, hogs, poultry, grains, cotton, corn, peanuts, roses, fruit, hay, sheep, wheat, vegetables and rice. Industries that rely on the resources of the region include fish, pine and hardwood trees, shrimp, oil and natural gas extraction and refinement.
Major cities include Austin, Brownsville, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, and Tyler. The city of Houston, a popular manmade destination, grew to its size due to it being a port city on the Gulf of Mexico and a large center for gas and oil production.
National Parks include Big Thicket National Preserve in Kountze which is a forest and Padre Island National Seashore, a natural destination, which is on a barrier island and is full of sand dunes and grasslands which is unlike the mainland coastal region.