The Lone Star State, Texas, has a lot of hidden treasures that will fulfill your travel dreams on your next vacation trip! Whether a nature adventurer or beach lover, you will enjoy the warm Gulf Coast waters and emerald waters along with stunning sights, water activities, and amenities present in the area.
With more than 390 miles of coastline, Texas is home to a lot of beach destinations where visitors can hop on a boat, swim, sail, go fishing, jet skiing, kayaking, horseback riding, and snorkeling for a fun-filled day under the sun with the whole family. You can even saddle up gathering petal pink shells, seeing the sunset, grasping solitude, relaxing on white sand, and romancing with your partner while letting the warm water roll down about your feet. If you want to spend your day letting all your imaginations take flight, these best beaches in Texas for families might pique your interest as a vacation destination for you and your families.
To whet your concern, let’s explore the top 10 best beach destinations in Texas.
Does Texas have any nice beaches?
If you are Relocating to Texas as a newbie, it should come as no wonder that the Lone Star State has stunning beaches that are beyond just a beach. From swimming to beach combing, Texas beaches offer a lot of recreational activities for all age groups.
Texas beaches like South Padre Island, Galveston, and Boca chica possess stunning white sand and turquoise water which are major visitor hotspots and host many refreshment activities like surfing, skiing, and sailing. The stunning white sand and turquoise water make these beaches possess the title of the best beaches in Texas for swimming.
Does Texas have white sand beaches?
The beaches that are situated on the gulf coast of Texas, have stunning white sand and warm see-through waters. Extended thin bordered beaches like Padre Island and Galveston Island attract beach people to lay beach quilts on the white sand and splash warm waters and relax along the beach side. Children are most often seen making sand castles or playing with the fine white sand all around.
10 Beautiful Beaches in Texas
As you have already read the cost of living in California vs Texas blog and have decided to move to Texas, you might be wondering what next! How to relax from such workloads and boredom. Let us tell you, cowboys, live music, or beaches! Everything in Texas is bigger, bigger than your thoughts! Including beach shores.
Not dragging it more! Let us explore the top 10 beaches of the Lone Star State, Texas.
1. Boca Chica
Boca chica beach is one of the spectacular beautiful beaches present on South Padre Island is situated on a sandy peninsula the east of Brownsville that is divided by the Brazos Santiago pass (south padre Island) and Rio Grande river (Mexico). It has completely managed to remain vacant of dust, and crowds and look beautiful. The beach is free from development, with few small stilt houses, and a dock bulging out into the Gulf of Mexico.
Boca Chica doesn’t have parking facilities despite being a state park on Texas Beach. It has a long fine sand beach and transparent water that is perfect for swimming, fishing, snorkeling, bird watching, and kiteboarding. It is one of the best beaches in Texas for families and couples as the space is free from crowds and noise.
Where to stay: Alister Square Inn, Ocean’s Edge Hotel, TX, Best Western Port Aransas, Frio Hot Boca Chica, Hotel Coco Playa, Las Palmeras By Graziano
Can you still go to Boca Chica Beach?
Brownsville is roughly 23 miles east of Boca Chica Beach on Texas Highway. The beach is available 24 hours a day and free to enter. Surfing, fishing, swimming, and other sports are open to visitors to the park and beach.
Is Boca Chica Beach good?
Boca Chica Beach is one of the best beaches in Texas to swim. The water is crystal-clear and shallow in this area, and the sand is fine. It is an excellent place to do scuba diving or snorkeling, and it’s packed with wild animals.
2. Padre Island National Seashore
Padre Island national seashore is the only longest underdeveloped barrier island on the planet. This island divides one of the world’s saltiest lagoons, the Laguna Madre from the gulf of Mexico. The beautiful area was developed to secure more than 100 miles of coastline, prairies, large dunes, tidal flats, and wildlife who were staying there for a long time.
The island is well known as a home to more than 400 kinds of bird species and for nesting Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle. To know about the island’s nature and history, take the paved trail, or vehicle off-road along the beach, or hire a park ranger to take a tour and have a glimpse of the unspoiled nature, the way it used to be 100 years back.
Where to stay: Hyatt Place Corpus Christi, Omni Corpus Christi Hotel, Texas.
Is there an entrance fee for Padre Island National Seashore?
The fees to get into Padre Island National Seashore are $10 per vehicle and $7 per motorcycle. Complimentary passes are available for active-duty military members and their dependents.
Can you drive on the beach at Padre Island National Seashore?
On Padre Island National Seashore, all vehicles must be street-legal and have licenses. At Padre Island National Seashore, you can drive on the 60-mile-long South Beach and the 1-mile-long North Beach. Only the “Closed Beach” between North and South beaches is off-limits to cars.
3. South Padre Island
South Padre Island is a retro beach vacation destination for every age group. The 34-mile extended barrier island which is present just to the north of Boca chica is known to be one of Texas’s crowdest beaches. While the island has witnessed the arrival of spring breakers in the peak season of March, it also has seen a revival of family vacation destinations due to its long sandy beaches, sizzling blue water, and a lot of fun activities for kids.
While kitesurfing is the favorite leisure activity on this island, several other activities like dolphin watching, parasailing, bayside beach bars, and slayer sunset are particularly loved by the visitors. Outside the peak season, you can enjoy a fantastic time visiting Isla Blanca park and beach park water park to enjoy deep sea fishing, boat tours, and 13 water slides along with a zip line respectively.
Where to stay: Pearl South Padre Resort, La Copa Inn Beach Hotel, Isla Grand Beach Resort, Sunchase’s Suites.
Is South Padre Island worth visiting?
Padre Island is worth visiting. It is known for its white-sand beaches, calm weather, and excellent water from the Gulf. You can go there and enjoy the beautiful scenery at any time of year.
Is it safe to travel to South Padre Island?
South Padre Island is the second most dangerous city in Texas. As per the FBI, there were no murders, 16 rapes, eight robberies, 416 property crimes, 33 break-ins, and 389 thefts.
What is the best time of year to visit South Padre Island?
October and November are the best time to go to South Padre Island. December through February is also an excellent time to go to the island, one of the best Texas beaches in the winter.
4. Mustang Island
Mustang island state park is an 18-mile-long barrier island extended from the southern end of Corpus Christi and Padre Island to Port Aransas bridged by the JFK causeway. With 5 miles of amazing coastline, this pet-friendly park is one of the best beaches in Texas for swimming, paddling, bird watching, collecting shells, camping, and beach combing. Surfers take over the waves when the wind rises and paddle boarders and kayaking enjoy the waves when windfalls.
Mustang Island is famous for its shifting dunes, more than 300 native bird species, and the best fishing experience on the Texas coastline. It’s possible to go for deep fish boating as it results in catching large quantities of various fishes.
Where to stay: Amelia’s Landing, The Place at Port Aransas.
Can you drive on the beach at Mustang Island?
On Mustang Island, you can drive to any part of the beach. A row of posts blocks the beach at the southern end of Mustang Island State Park. On the northern side of the park, the remains of Fish Pass stop the beach.
Is Mustang Island a good beach?
Mustang Island has the purest, whitest, and bluest water and sand. It is one of the best places for families to go to the beach in Texas. Since there aren’t as many people there, you’ll feel calm and refreshed. There are 48 campsites with electricity and running water. A paddling trail is one of the best-known things on Mustang Island.
Can you swim at Mustang Island?
No doubt, Mustang Island is one of the best beaches in Texas to swim. You can play, camp, hike, fish, kayak, and watch birds on the island.
5. Rockport Beach
Validated by the clean beaches coalition, the first blue wave beach in Texas is Rockport beach. The long coast of fine sand and the calm pond has 65 picturesque picnic spots with grills, shades, picnic tables, volleyball courts, swings for kids, and a magnificent long walking path along the shores of the little bay.
The beach is popular for its bird sanctuary so you can spot a variety of words while roaming. Fishing can be done mostly at the end of the beach and is restricted to the boat dock and saltwater pool. It is also popular for jet and water skiers in the summers.
If you are searching for the cleanest beach in Texas, then Rockport beach is the right place for you. Pets, overnight camping, fires, and cars are not allowed on the beach. Also, be careful! Dumpster diving is illegal on this Texas beach.
Where to stay: Fairfield Inn and Suites By Marriott Hotel, Hampton Inn and Suites Rockport Fulton, Lighthouse Inn At Aransas Bay.
Which beach is better Rockport or Port Aransas?
Port Aransas is better because it is on the Gulf of Mexico and has beaches for miles and miles. It’s a great place to enjoy the waves because the water is warm and clear and the sand is soft. In the summer, the water temperature at Port Aransas is 84.2 degrees Fahrenheit, which makes it a great place to swim, boogie board, and jump waves.
How much does it cost to get into Rockport Beach?
There is a daily parking fee of $10 or an annual parking fee of $40. During business hours, people in Aransas County can show proof of residency at the ACND office and pay $20 for an annual parking permit. There is no fee to walk or ride a bike in.
6. Crystal Beach
Longing to have a good time, take a free ferry from Galveston across the bay for a trip to Crystal beach.
Situated on the Bolivar peninsula, Crystal beach extends 7 miles along the State Highway of Texas. You can enjoy fishing, free camping, birding, driving on the beach, and shell hunting while free from the crowds.
Other than water activities, crystal beach serves as a true party environment. Tourists are allowed to drive their vehicles directly onto the sand (@$10per vehicle), set up bonfires and grills, free overnight camping, gather groups, and party through the summer.
If you are a beach lover, you can find many affordable homes and land for sale near the beach. The average cost of building a house in Texas is relatively less, so you can build your dream home nearby the bay area and embrace the morning breeze and warm sunshine.
Where to stay: Bayside rentals, Beachfront rentals.
Can you swim at Crystal Beach?
Crystal Beach is a lovely beach with clean, white sand that is great for swimming. You don’t have to pay to swim.
Are there alligators in Crystal Beach Texas?
Yes, alligators are there in Crystal Beach. While their occurrence may be rare, they enjoy it on the beach. Some visitors have witnessed and captured their photos.
Does Crystal Beach in Texas have clear water?
Crystal Beach is on the Bolivar Peninsula, which is on the upper Gulf coast of Texas. This beautiful beach gets its name from the clear, sparkling water. The clear water is the best place to swim, surf, sunbathe, fish, and do other things.
7. Matagorda Bay Nature Park
Stretched 2 miles from the frontage of the Colorado River and Beachfront of the Gulf of Mexico, the stunning 1600-acre Matagorda bay beach is one of the best beaches in Texas to visit with the family. This coastline is filled with marshlands and acres of dunes with a variety of birds, offering the best bird-watching place in the nation.
Matagorda bay beach is famous for horseback riding. There are many sites for camping, redfish halls for renting for weddings, birthdays, or any other celebrations, shaded picnic areas with picnic tables and grills, and kayak rental shops available nearby the beach.
Where to stay: The Peaceful Pelican LLC, The Best Western Executive Inn El Campo
Are there alligators in Matagorda?
Matagorda Beach is one of the best places in Texas to swim but be careful as there is a prime alligator habitat. There are many large alligators in the area.
Is Matagorda Bay Safe?
In Matagorda, 49% of cities are safe, while 51% are dangerous. The rate of crime is 26.09 per 1000 people per year. However, you should be careful on the beach due to alligators, sharks, and sometimes riptides.
8. Surfside Beach, TX
Surfside is a tiny beach that stretches 60 miles from Houston situated between the Gulf of Mexico and the Intracoastal waterway. Beach provides fewer services and poor water quality, therefore you have to check the water quality of the particular part of the beach before going for a swim.
Surfside Beach is popular for bird watching, roaming, and horseback riding. It has vacation hotels, beach houses, rentals, and motels. You can visit Freeport jetties and crabbing piers to watch the departure and arrival of large ships in a row and enjoy night fishing.
Where to stay: Ocean Village Hotel, The Breeze Hotel, RV Park, Anchor Motel
Is Surfside Beach better than Galveston?
Surfside Beach is better than Galveston. Few people live there, which makes it easier to relax. It is one of the best beaches for families because there are more things to do in the water, restaurants, and exciting places to stay.
Can you swim at Surfside Beach TX?
The Surfside beach is close to the town of Freeport, on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. It is a great place to swim, and surf and the water is 81.1 degrees Fahrenheit on average. There are restrooms for people to use.
Is Surfside Beach water clear?
Surfside beach is considered one of the cleanest beaches in the area. Thus, it has clear water suitable for various water activities. The temperature of the water remains around 80-degree Fahrenheit.
9. San José Island
Sink into the unspoiled nature of Texas by taking a short ferry trip from Port Aransas and visiting San Jose Island, a real wildlife sanctuary, and a bird Paradise, which was earlier used to be a privately owned island. The beach is filled with fine white sand that extends for 21 miles and is covered with a lot of rare colorful shells. The central part of the island is beyond limits and visitors are only allowed to see the part of the island where the vegetation starts.
San Jose Island is mostly meant for bird watching, shelling, fishing, and strolling along the coastline. This is the reason why the island is known as the fishing capital of Texas.
Where to stay: Hampton Inn and Suites Port Aransas, Holiday Inn Express Hotel and Suites Port Aransas or Beach Area, and IHG Hotel.
Can you drive to San Jose Island?
San Jose Island does not allow vehicles. The only way to get to this stunning Texas beach located north of Port Aransas is by ferry. The ferry fare is $12.
Is San Jose Island inhabited?
The Texas Gulf Coast’s San Jose Island is a wild, uninhabited patch of land. Bathrooms and other amenities are non-existent. The Bass Family of Fort Worth privately and exclusively owns it.
10. Port Aransas Beach
Port Aransas is a small town situated on Mustang island- that was once known for its pirates and is now an 18 miles long white sand beach that has a lot of beach resorts. This small town hosts more than 80,000 people during winters and summer break when visitors ascend to watch birds hike the dunes, fish, swim, body surf, play volleyball, surf the boogie board, and enjoy a good time. This is a reason why the beach is best in Texas for winters.
Where to stay: Ocean’s Edge Hotel, Alister Square Inn, Best Western Port Aransas.
Which beach is better Galveston or Port Aransas?
Galveston has many places to see and things to do. However, it is costlier than Port Aransas. All you can do in Port Aransas is go to the beach, fish, kayak, surf, or sail.
Does Port Aransas have white sand beaches?
Port Aransas has miles of white and pristine sand beaches. The beach is clean and perfect for kids.
Best Beaches in Texas FAQs
What is the number 1 beach in Texas?
Port Aransas is the number 1 beach in Texas. It is known for events like the Texas SandFest, the biggest competition for sand sculptures in the country. Every year, Port Aransas also has the Whooping Crane Festival, which honors the world’s last natural population of whooping cranes. People can camp out on the sand, eat at restaurants in the area, or fish off the nearby jetty.
Is Galveston or Corpus Christi better?
Both cities have several things to see and do, but Corpus Christi is better if you want a beach and warm weather. The water at Corpus Christi’s North Beach is a little bit cleaner. The beach is also very close to the hotel and restaurants.
From the above article, you can summarise that every single coastline has its advantage, beach life; you will get exactly what you expect while visiting one of them. As said earlier, in Texas everything you will see is big, beautiful, and unique; so as the beaches in Texas, natural scenery, calm beachline, warm crystal clear gulf coast water, abundant and unique wildlife, and bird sanctuary; over the limit accessibility, and ample of water activities for all age group is what you will get and enjoy in these beaches.
The state might be huge but luckily no beach is out of reach if you are staying in San Antonio, Houston, and Corpus Christi. Some are good for spending summer vacations while some might be considered for winters or spending nightlife.
Some of them might take a long day’s drive, some might fall a minute away.
So, whenever you feel like having a beach vacation or want to soak into the sun, pack your bags, take a drive and reach out to your pool ultimatum.
Check out our quick story here on the cost of living in California vs Texas.