Features

Summer Fun

Join us as we head for the beach – the one here in Austin and the one on the Gulf!

Dry-docked here in Austin, it's easy to get a jones for the sound of a crashing wave, the taste of the salt air, or the feel of a stiff warm breeze ... or a stiff, cold mai tai. When summer temps start to hover in the triple digits, the ubiquitous lament begins: "The only thing missing in Austin is an ocean."

When we decided to dress our annual Summer Fun issue with a beach theme, we discovered that there are wistful seashore simulacra all over our landlocked hamlet. Why, we're so beachy, we even have an aquacade. Sort of ... so, we invited Austin synchronized swimming troupe the H2Hos to grace our cover because they have their pretty, vintage-swim-capped heads in both this world and the next one. And fittingly, this year's Summer Fun hits the beach ... on two different coasts.

Our explorations of "The Austin Coast" include Nora Ankrum's terrific H2Hos interview, Abe Louise Young's sweet ode to the women of Barton Springs' changing room, and Diana Welch's cautionary tale on the dangers of duct tape and sizzling flesh. Meiling Guentzel and Reena Karia hit the scrubby dunes to round up local sun-soaked fun. (Many more items may be found on our Web site.)

Then, come with us to Galveston, whose seaside culture is defined by history, horror, and hijinks. Once Texas' largest city and site of so many Lone Star firsts (bank, newspaper, order of the Masons, etc.), the island is equal parts tacky and elegant, organic and sullied by man. The culture of Galveston is compatible, in my humble estimation, with Austin's in spirit, tolerance, and resilience ... and only three to four hours down the highway.

So, get ready for the heat: Slather on the SPF, find a good firm spot to spread out a blanket, and bask in it. It doesn't get any cooler than this ... no, really.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Summer Fun, Galveston, Austin Coast, beach, Beaches, Texas Coast

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