The Gulf Coast of the United States is the coastline along the Southern United States where they meet the Gulf of Mexico. The coastal states that have a shoreline on the Gulf of Mexico are Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida, and these are known as the Gulf States. The economy of the Gulf Coast area is dominated by industries related to energy, petrochemicals, fishing, aerospace, agriculture, and tourism. The large cities of the region are (from west to east) McAllen, Brownsville, Corpus Christi, Houston, Galveston, Beaumont, Lafayette, Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Biloxi, Mobile, Pensacola, St. Petersburg, Tampa, and increasingly, Sarasota. All are the centers of their respective metropolitan areas and contain large ports. (Baton Rouge is relatively far from the Gulf of Mexico; its port is on the Mississippi River, as is the port of New Orleans.)
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