Texas Coast Living
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Texas Coast Living
Life on the Texas Gulf Coast
Curated by Michael Stuart
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Hilary Duff – Bikini at a beach in Malibu 2017 | Indian Girls Villa

Hilary Duff – Bikini at a beach in Malibu 2017 | Indian Girls Villa | Texas Coast Living | Scoop.it

Hilary Duff – Bikini at a beach

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Austin Small Boutique has Great Online Shop

Austin Small Boutique has Great Online Shop | Texas Coast Living | Scoop.it

One of the most gratifying things about traveling is getting to shop cool, small boutiques in a city that’s not your own. The sense of excitement, and above all else, the fun that comes from browsing a totally new retail scene and discovering labels you’ve never seen before is reason enough to board a plane.

But in some cases, you don’t have to. While many of these special little shops don't operate web stores, a handful of them do it so well that online fans might not even realize they’re anchored by brick-and-mortar operations.


Michael Stuart's insight:

Austin's By George presents a mix of hip US-based labels and modern European brands.


The men’s and women’s sections are robust and the home category features little extras like locally made bitters, beach towels, sleek ceramics, and travel guides.

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Beach Safety in Recreational Areas | USA.gov

Beach Safety in Recreational Areas | USA.gov | Texas Coast Living | Scoop.it
Beach Safety and Closures
Michael Stuart's insight:

Beach regulations for oceans and lakes vary across the United States. Whether you're enjoying a vacation trip or you're a regular beachcomber, use these tips to keep you safe on the shore and in the water.

Beach Safety

Beach Closures

Sometimes beaches are closed because water testing has found the presence of human or animal waste. This poses a threat to your health and as a precaution, a beach will be closed until further notice. Before you leave home, learn about the rules of the beach you want to visit, as well as swimming advisories. 

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Construction booms across Port Aransas

Construction booms across Port Aransas | Texas Coast Living | Scoop.it

Construction continues to steam along in Port Aransas. City records show  development moving at a brisk rate.

Port Aransas is “a solid, healthy market with willing sellers and willing buyers,” Local Developer Lorette said. “These are individuals, people wanting to have a part of Port Aransas and come and enjoy it”.

Many buyers are longtime Port Aransas residents who see a strengthening economy happening all around them.“ They see prices going up and figure, if we’re going to buy something else, we’d better do it now.”

  • The Port Aransas real estate market is growing increasingly attractive to the San Antonio market. The South Padre Island market still is strong, but it’s not as attractive to San Antonio as it used to be. “You can’t go have fun in Mexico, because it’s not safe,” Lorette said.
  • Another Port Aransas growth factor lies in the fact that more and more people are moving to Texas and discovering Port Aransas. And many Houston area residents decided they like Port Aransas after visiting Mustang Island instead of Galveston in the wake of Hurricane Ike, which struck the northern Texas coast in 2008.
  • Port Aransas is attractive partly because it still contains relatively inexpensive property that’s close to the beach, compared to Florida, California and other coastal locations around the U.S.

Oil money is a big part of what’s driving the market, both directly and indirectly. Across South Texas, Eagle Ford shale gas and oil drilling has produced billions of dollars in wealth in the past several years. Many who have profited from the frenzied drilling are just now finding the time to take some time off and spend some serious time in Port Aransas.

Customers coming from Austin and San Antonio, that whole area,” said Harris, owner of Bay Area Title and Brite Star Construction. “They love Port Aransas, and they want to be in Port Aransas. We’ve seen a huge increase in traffic looking to buy property.” People see Port Aransas real estate as a safe investment, he said.

  • “It’s an investor’s dream, because you can use it part of the time and rent it when you’re not here,” Harris said.
  • Most new owners of short-term rental properties in Port Aransas never have to dip into their existing funds to make mortgage payments because rental income takes care of it, he said. Harris said he knows some folks who are a year ahead on payments right now.

The development firm of Koontz McCombs began construction on Village North, a residential development planned within the newly named Newport Dunes at Palmilla Beach golf course.

Further south down The Island Road, construction is underway on Two Town Center, a 15-unit condominium at the popular Cinnamon Shore development, said Lee Ann Peters, sales director at Cinnamon Shore.

Eighteen single-family homes also are under construction at Cinnamon Shore, Peters said.  A $1 million community swimming pool complex opened last spring at Cinnamon Shore. It’s the development’s second such pool.

Via http://www.portasouthjetty.com/news/2013-05-30/Front_Page/Construction_booms_across_Port_Aransas.html

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Why Your Team Needs YOU to Take a Summer Vacation

Why Your Team Needs YOU to Take a Summer Vacation | Texas Coast Living | Scoop.it

In today’s always on world, entrepreneurs often struggle with how to really unplug and step away. Not only can it be difficult to keep up day-to-day work-life balance but leaders also wrestle with deciding if, when, or how to take a vacation and step away from the office for an extended period.

Cinnamon Shore Port Aransas Texas

If you are on the fence about taking a vacation here are three questions to ask yourself.Is your perspective tank full? If you never step away from the office and the day-to-day challenges you are trying to solve, you miss out on replenishing one of the most vital fuels for business success: perspective.  You will find that the guidance and leadership you provide is clearer, more precise, and more actionable when you get back.

How deep is your bench? When you step away and take a vacation you create a empoweredn opportunity for others to step up. Who can you really rely on? You will find that people  and their confidence will go up. You may find that people are willing to step up and take on new challenges when before they would have not. You will also find that team members learn more when they work to solve problems in your absence.

Are you a corporate athlete? Real athletes have the same DNA. They also have one thing in common: They all take breaks during the game.  Whether it is an inspiring kickoff you give upon your return or a better understanding of the goals ahead, your team will thrive on your passion. Your renewed perspective is contagious, and it will arm the team with the energy they need to take on the last months of the year with passion and dedication.

The Texas coast has some of the most affordable beach home vacations in the country with any large homes that can accommodate your entire team.

Source: Why Your Team Needs YOU to Take a Summer Vacation

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4 Reasons You Need a Company Retreat

4 Reasons You Need a Company Retreat | Texas Coast Living | Scoop.it

How to Host an Amazing Company Retreat

Cinnamon Shore in Port Aransas

A company retreat may not top the “best vacation ever,” but it be something worth looking forward to that creates lasting memories and also helps drive the future of your company. If you do things right, you can put on an amazing company retreat that people will rave about all year. New Urbanism communities along the Texas coast, such as Cinnamon Shore in Port Aransas and  Beachtown in Galveston, are great options for hosting work getaways that combine top-of-the-line accommodations with wild, inspirational natural beauty. Both communities feature on-site restaurants and pools, beach access and large beach homes that are perfect for informal meetings and after-hours gatherings.

Here are tips for planning your next company retreat on the Texas coast.

4 Reasons You Need a Company Retreat
When you really understand the benefits of a retreat, it sounds crazy not to have one. Here are several reasons you should allocate resources toward concentrated time together in a fun venue:

  • Connect in a different way. When your team interacts face-to-face every day, conversations naturally lead to hobbies, families, dreams, etc. Remote team members don’t learn those little things about each other like people who share an office space, and if you’ve ever tried to force a casual conversation on Skype, you know how awkward it can be. Getting away together lets all members of your team connect through shared experiences, which will make their workplace bonds even stronger.
  • Discuss values. As a startup, talking about values can sometimes feel a little silly and “corporate.” We only spend one meal during the retreat discussing what we stand for, but having the conversation is still effective. Addressing the topic briefly and in the right environment helps everyone internalize values and strengthens your company culture.
  • Think bigger. Retreats disrupt your routine so you can plan for the future. New ideas are often formed out of spontaneous brainstorming sessions, and retreats create the ideal environment for the free flow of ideas.
  • Celebrate together. If you’ve hit a big milestone recently or had a good year, a retreat provides the perfect time to reward your employees and do something unique to celebrate everyone’s hard work.

Additional Reading: How to Run a Company Retreat for Remote Teams

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15 Gems of the Texas Coast

15 Gems of the Texas Coast | Texas Coast Living | Scoop.it

Texas Beach (Photo credit: Corey Leopold)

The summer heat can be a beast, but even more so if you live in a congested city.  If you want to get away to cool off and relax, Texas has more than 350 miles of wild coastal beauty waiting.  True, when you think of a beach vacation the Texas coast may not be the first to come to mind.  But if you know where to look, you’ll find the Coastal Bend full of beautiful locations ripe for summer fun.  

This list from Texas Monthly discusses in detail fifteen of the best places to relax in nature along the Texas Coast.  As a native Texan, I’m sorry to say I’ve only visited a handful of places on this list.  This awesome list even has several places I’ve never heard of.  To think, the Laguna Atacosa Refuge is close enough for a day trip, and I’ve yet to go watch for ocelots!  (Yes, real ocelots. The Laguna Atacosa Refuge is a 97,000 acre wildlife refuge is home to over four hundred species of birds and myriad other creatures.)

The Texas coast has so much to offer – read the rest of the list here for more.

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World's First Beach Calligrapher Makes Cape Town Beaches Even More Beautiful

World's First Beach Calligrapher Makes Cape Town Beaches Even More Beautiful | Texas Coast Living | Scoop.it

Although calligraphy is one of the oldest forms of artistic writing, this twist by artsit Andrew van der Merwe is relatively new. 

Via Lauren Moss, Royal Presence
Michael Stuart's insight:

For the past eight years, the self-proclaimed Beach Scriber has been creating beautiful calligraphy in the sands of Cape Town.

He uses a special instrument that looks like a gigantic, four-sided, cheese grater on a stick (without the holes) to carve stunning patterns into the sand.

Wearing shoes that are like smaller skateboards without wheels that prevent him from leaving footprints in the sand, he gently steps around his design, working from the inside out.

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Holiday Inn Corpus Christi North Padre Island - Padre Island Hotels, Texas

Holiday Inn Corpus Christi North Padre Island 4 Stars Padre Island Hotels, Texas Within US Travel Directory One of our top picks in Padre Island.

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12 Travel Hacks Everyone With Wanderlust Should Know

12 Travel Hacks Everyone With Wanderlust Should Know | Texas Coast Living | Scoop.it

Tips to Travel like a Pro and enjoy more of your vacation time.

1. Forgot your eyeliner at home? In a pinch, lightly press your mascara wand to your lash line.

2. Unless you’re traveling during warm weather, pack at least one infinity scarf.

3. Instead of a curling iron, pack a sea salt spray. Spritzing your hair, tying it up with a towel, and you’ll wake up to beach waves.

4. If you must pack a heat styling tool, wrap a potholder around it if it’s still warm when you pack it.

5. Leggings take up minimum space in your bag and they can be dressed up or down, worn to bed, or even worn when working out.

6. Bring along a balm that will work as an eyebrow tamer, hair smoother, lip balm, and cuticle cream.

7. Traveling wreaks havoc on your skin. Pack a single-use skin mask to get glowing mid-vacation.

8. Instead of packing your heaviest pair of shoes, wear them on the plane to save weight in your luggage.

9. If you’re not going to be away for long, pack small amounts of makeup in contact lens cases.

10. Pick one color scheme for your vacation outfits so that you can mix and match pieces.

11. Pack the items you can’t live without in your carry on.

12. While traveling, wear clothing with pockets.

Vacation isn’t about packing. It’s about visiting a new place and enjoying your time away!

Via: www.longwaitforisabella.com/2015/03/travel-hacks.html

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What thrived and dived during the Texas coast recession?

What thrived and dived during the Texas coast recession? | Texas Coast Living | Scoop.it

What thrived during the Texas coast recession is a story how two developers came out smelling like a rose.

This study is about the lessons learned from two “high-end real estate project developers” that thrived during the worse recession and storms to hit the Texas coast in history. A silver lining from the unfortunate times the region experienced from 2008 to 2012, and a testimony to enduring value.

Synopsis At the real estate peak in 2007, over a dozen high-end projects were under way on the Texas coast transforming the skyline and promising better lifestyles. Some of the projects completely failed, most will redeem their value sometime in the future, but only two thrived and are roaring out of the recession.

At TexasGulfCoastOnline.com we have a criteria list we use to determine the rare and remarkable projects on the Texas coast

Here is how we pick them:

  • The properties being built, as well as the location, have to be rare and unique.
  • The owners and developers of the projects must be reputable and solidly financed.
  • An impressive amenities package must be offered both in the individual homes as well as the community – and must exceed what is already available in the local area.
  • A good marketing plan and sales operation team must be in place to ensure the project’s success.
  • The project must not have major erosion and insurance issues.
  • The project should have energy efficient and storm resistant features.
  • The project design and price range should fit with the buyer profile for the area, and its surrounding properties.
  • The project and personnel must be in good standing with the local community.
  • The project must have sound market fundamentals such as rental income vs. price and supply vs. demand, predicting a safe investment.

Here are the only two high-end developers and their projects that thrived during the hard times:

Conclusion It’s a real testimony that our two developers (and their projects) are such a success. Both the Paez family and the Lamkin family have a history of successful projects in real estate and other industries.

The attributes that they demonstrated can be used as a guide to decide the value of any project and as a guide for other developers to follow. A rising tide lifts all boats, so this is a good thing for everyone.

Winning High-end Real Estate Project Takeaways

  • Great development leadership
  • Good location / value
  • Solid Market Fundamentals
  • Strong Financial Backing
  • Commitment to local community
  • High-rises & Inclusive Resorts

Losing High-end Real Estate Project Takeaways

  • Inexperienced developer
  • Location price mismatch
  • Problem with Market Fundamentals
  • Highly leveraged project
  • Environment issue
  • Coastal Golf courses
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The Texas coast travel and tourism industry

The Texas coast travel and tourism industry | Texas Coast Living | Scoop.it

David Teel, President and CEO of the Texas Travel Industry Association (TTIA). TTIA represents an array of travel and tourism-related business in our state, including hotels, airlines, attractions, campgrounds, convention and visitor bureaus, advertising firms, restaurants, travel agencies and tour operators.

Mr. Teel shared his thoughts on the current state of the travel and tourism industry and its importance to the Texas economy.

What are some of the new destinations and travel hot spots here in Texas that are keeping the industry growing?

David Teel: This year in particular, 2012, has been one of the most robust years in my days in this industry that I’ve seen. We had the new Pleasure Pier come on-line down on the seawall in Galveston.

It’s really a kind of throwback to the old boardwalk kind of experience. And it’s on the site of what used to be the old historic Flagship Hotel. So the foundation is still there and what was unique about that was that in its day the Flagship was, I think, the only hotel, at least in this country, that was built over water. Of course, the last hurricane down there kind of did away with that, but Landry’s moved in and refurbished that … The Pleasure Pier has been going great. It’s been very popular there and it’s added a new dimension to the landscape there in Galveston, which they’ve needed after that last hurricane.

It’s a welcome addition to their tourism. SeaWorld, of course, added their Aquatica Water Park – a major addition to an already significant attraction. The Schlitterbahn resort hotel on South Padre Island, they went in and bought what I think was the old Holiday Inn down there and put in a 221-room hotel and indoor waterpark that’s pretty much adjacent to their outdoor waterpark.

What should every Texans know about their state’s travel and tourism industry?

David Teel: I think people should know that we are predominately a small business/entrepreneurial industry.

That means that a lot of those half million to a million jobs that we talked about are driven by small business. Yes, we have some huge employers like the airlines and the SeaWorld’s that employ thousands of people.

But it’s still all about the small businesspeople — people in our communities throughout the state who are hiring workers, who are communicating with consumers and generating travel. And that travel not only generates revenues for those businesses, it’s creating jobs in those communities and there’s a domino effect with the tax revenues that are generated of that business.

There’s no better tax for a Texan to have than one that’s paid by somebody else. And that’s what travel-generated taxes are. It is such a value to a community because you’re bringing visitors into a community and those visitors are helping keep your property taxes lower, your sales tax rates lower because they’re providing additional revenues that help fund your schools, pave your roads and pay for public safety.

A lot of times people see us as just being a fun, family entertainment-driven industry, but, in fact, we’re business – as much a business as anybody else.

Via http://thetexaseconomy.org/business-industry/industries/articles/article.php

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Oil Spill Money Helps Texas Protect Coast

Oil Spill Money Helps Texas Protect Coast | Texas Coast Living | Scoop.it

Money paid by BP and Transocean to settle criminal penalties arising from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill has helped Texas close the largest conservation land purchase in the state’s history: Just over 17,000 acres of undisturbed coastal prairie in Calhoun County for $50 million.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation (the non-profit fundraising arm of the state’s parks department) will raise the balance of the funds — about $15 million after the oil spill funds are applied. The foundation would initially be a joint owner of the land, alongside other non-profit conservation organizations; eventually, the plan is for the land to be donated to the department itself.

Conservationists and environmental advocates hailed the purchase as a significant move to protect the state’s coast, which experts estimate is losing hundreds of acres of rural land each day. Conserving rural lands, they said, is crucial not only for preserving open spaces in Texas, but also as a way to protect water resources. Along the coast, keeping land undeveloped can serve as a “natural buffer” against sea-level rise and storm surges — often a much cheaper way to ensure hurricane protection than costly infrastructure like seawalls.


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How to Pack for a Texas Coast Weekend Trip

How to Pack for a Texas Coast Weekend Trip | Texas Coast Living | Scoop.it

Waiting until the last minute to pack for a trip isn’t a problem, unless you don’t know what to take.

Baggage Dept (Photo credit: Noël Zia Lee)
  1.  Don’t check a bag.
  2.  Keep a list in your bag or on your phone.
  3.  Pack minimally.
  4.  Be strategic with what you wear.
  5.  Roll your clothing to save space and avoid wrinkling.
  6.  Learn to bundle.
  7.  Bring an extra bag.
  8.  Know the TSA’s 3-1-1 rule.
    Each liquid must be in a 3.4-ounce bottle (or smaller); all of the bottles must be in 1 clear, quart-sized plastic bag; and each passenger can have only 1 bag. If you travel often, consider investing in some 3-ounce, reusable containers. Or just buy the travel-size shampoos and soaps.
  9. Keep electronics and liquids in a convenient place.

Don’t forget waterproof sandals for the beach.

See this video on how to pack a suitcase http://youtu.be/4A0jC07gke0

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