These days, Texans have grown accustomed to seeing our state at the top of most lists: best BBQ, fastest growing, most executions, sturdiest economy, best BBQ, best BBQ, etc… But the state of our beaches has rarely been remarked upon in favorable comparison to, say, Florida and Hawaii. 

But in the new list of the “Top 10 Coastal States For Spending Summer By The Shore” from real estate blog Estately, Texas landed itself in the more-than-respectable number-four slot, behind Mississippi, California, and—in the top spot—New York. 

If you’re busy busting out your best impression of the cowboys around the campfire in the old Pace picante sauce commercial in response to that, consider that Estately published their criteria: which included which states have the most pleasant weather during the summer months, the ocean temperatures, rain, shark attacks, miles of shoreline, incidences of skin cancer, and boating safety, so at least there’s a method to that madness. 

Texas beaches are a pleasant place to spend a vacation, of course, whether you prefer South Padre Island, Galveston, Port Aransas, or elsewhere. Still, even the biggest Texas booster would have a hard time making the argument with a straight face that our beaches top Hawaii’s. Certainly it’s worth considering some objective criteria in making such a list, and it makes sense that our vast coastline would boost Texas over, say, the Carolinas or Alabama—as does our weather, according to Estately: 

Texas: With ocean temperatures in the 80s and few clouds in sight Texas’ beaches will have you on cloud 9, unless of course you visit Cloud 10 Creamery.

Nobody wants their beach vacation ruined by a rainy day, and that’s an unlikely event even in the more temperate parts of drought-plagued Texas, which does lend the state some additional credibility here: What good are the abundant beaches of Florida if you’re going to be watching them from a rain-drenched hotel window? Similarly, the Sunshine State’s mild, pleasant waves are terrific, but given the higher number of shark attacks in Florida, compared to Texas, can you truly enjoy them if you’ve got one eye out for a simmering shark attack? 

Of course, at least one great white made its way to Texas already this summer, for reasons that marine biologists struggled to understand. While she’s unlikely to call Texas her permanent home, the fun of a beach trip is inherently muted by the word “shark,” or viewings of Jaws 
or even Sharknado, all of which suggest that Texas’ hold on a top-five slot is at least partly up in the air.