The Gulf of Mexico is surrounded by extraordinary beauty and adventure on all sides. The coastline encompasses five US states, and five states in Mexico, and offers up a dazzling array of beaches, landscapes and cultures, perfect for a summer vacation.
One of the best ways to see the Gulf of Mexico is in comfort and style on a cruise from Tampa. Enjoy the luxuries on board, and take the chance to see as much of this wonderful coastline as you can. We’ve pulled together some of our favorite spots, on both sides of the border, to make the perfect summer vacation itinerary. Read on, then pack your bags and start planning your holiday today!
The Big Easy is often overlooked as a cruise destination, tucked away on the Mississippi and Lake Pontchartrain, but it is a fantastic first stop on a Gulf of Mexico trip. From the gorgeous architecture and immense nightlife of the French Quarter, to rocking jazz and blues on Frenchmen Street, to mouth-watering flavours and epic Deep South history in the Garden District, New Orleans is an exceptional holiday destination full of extraordinary sights and bursting with cool, under-the-radar experiences.
The Great Coastal Bend in Texas is one of the prime vacationing spots for winter tourists from the rest of the US (known locally as ‘snowbirds’). This delightful stretch of coastline includes arts and culture in Corpus Christi, the gorgeous sun-drenched beaches of North Padre, and unbeatable sports fishing from Port Aransas. Stretching all the way from Port Lavaca to Brownsville, there are an almost unlimited array of excellent spots to stop and explore, and awesome sights to see everywhere you turn.
Veracruz is a world away from the nightlife of Corpus Christi and the debauchery of New Orleans. This sleepy Mexican city is loaded with faded grandeur and glorious Spanish colonial architecture, and is the perfect place for travelers looking for a slower pace of life. Beaches up and down the Veracruz coast are picturesque, flanked by waving palms and beautiful sand dunes, while the city itself offers a delightful taste of Latin life, culture, food and music. Further inland, Pico de Orizaba National Park boasts the highest volcano in Mexico, and is well worth a trip.
Cancun might be best known as the Spring Break capital, but this buzzing city straddling the Gulf and the Caribbean is popular for a reason. With some of the best beaches in the world, and hospitality to match, Cancun’s jumping nightlife, luxury resorts, unbelievable reefs for diving and snorkeling and even an underwater museum means there is something for every sort of traveler. Surrounded by lush jungle, Mayan ruins at every turn, and deep, mysterious sinkholes known as cenotes, it would be unthinkable not to extend your summer vacation here with further exploration of the Yucatan peninsula.