Texas, renowned for its lush landscapes and cosmopolitan cities, also boasts a stunning coastline that offers a delightful retreat for both locals and tourists. Texas Beach, with its vast and varied seashores, is an often overlooked treasure trove of natural beauty. With a plethora of options to choose from, we’re here to help you explore the best beaches in Texas for swimming, sunbathing, and everything in between. From the family-friendly atmosphere of North Beach Texas to the serene setting of Rockport Beach Texas, there’s something for everyone.
1. The Resilient Port Aransas
1.1 Port Aransas: A Family Beach Haven
Port Aransas, fondly referred to as “Port A,” is a beloved family beach town nestled on Mustang Island. This coastline has admirably bounced back from the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey in 2017. Offering a six-mile stretch of broad, flat sands, it provides the perfect canvas for intricate sandcastles or a laid-back lounging session. The beach’s clay and silt-rich sand make it perfect for castle-building competitions like the annual three-day SandFest. The water, hovering around 84 degrees in the summer, is inviting for a refreshing swim.
1.1.1 Location and Contact
State Highway 361, Markers 0-62, Port Aransas, TX 78373, portaransas.org
2. Padre Island’s National Seashore
2.1 South Padre Island: A Natural Refuge
South Padre Island, located on a barrier island separating the Gulf of Mexico and Laguna Madre Bay, houses a national park that is the world’s longest undeveloped barrier island. With its 66 miles of pristine coastline, it harbors rare Kemp’s ridley sea turtles and over 380 bird species. It’s also a haven for human visitors, offering ample opportunities for walking, swimming, and birdwatching. Visitors can witness a sea turtle hatchling release at Malaquite Beach, engage in windsurfing or kayaking on Laguna Madre, or visit Little Shell and Big Shell beaches for beachcombing.
2.1.1 Location and Contact
End of Park Road 22, Corpus Christi, TX, 78480, nps.gov
3. Galveston Island State Park
3.1 Galveston: The Treasure of Texas Coast
Situated at the west end of Galveston Island, just an hour from Houston, Galveston Island State Park is a quiet gem that safeguards 2,000 acres of upper Gulf Coast barrier island ecosystem. The park, which includes beautiful beaches, lagoons, bays, and salt marshes, was closed for extensive renovations due to damage from Hurricane Ike, but plans to reopen by summer 2022. Currently, the bayside area is open, offering opportunities for fishing, picnicking, camping, swimming, hiking, and paddling.
3.1.1 Location and Contact
14901 FM 3005, Galveston, TX 77554, tpwd.texas.gov
4. Rockport Beach: An Eco-friendly Retreat
4.1 Rockport: A Sanctuary for Clean Waters
Rockport, Texas, is renowned for its commitment to clean waters and sands. The city’s beach was the state’s first to receive Blue Wave Beach certification by the Clean Beaches Coalition, meaning it abides by strict environmental standards. The beach bans vehicles, dogs, beach bonfires, fireworks, and overnight camping to maintain its pristine condition. Visitors can enjoy simple pleasures like playing in the surf or fishing from the pier.
4.1.1 Location and Contact
210 Seabreeze Dr, Rockport, TX 78382, rockportbeach-texas.com
5. Mustang Island State Park
5.1 Mustang Island: A Beachcomber’s Paradise
Mustang Island State Park, a nearly 4,000-acre gem, is located toward the southern end of the 18-mile-long Mustang Island. With stunning sand dunes, exceptional fishing spots, and over 400 species of birds, it provides an ideal escape for those seeking tranquility. Visitors can set up camp at one of the 50 primitive sites right on the beach or opt for campsites with water and electricity about a third of a mile from the beach.
5.1.1 Location and Contact
9394 State Highway 361, Corpus Christi, TX 78418, tpwd.texas.gov
6. South Padre Island: A Beach for all Ages
6.1 South Padre Island: A Versatile Destination
South Padre Island, located on the barrier island of the same name, is a classic beach destination that caters to all age groups. Despite its popularity with Spring Breakers during the peak season, the island offers 34 miles of pale, soft sand with hidden treasures from end to end. Strong and steady winds make it a favorite spot for kite surfers, while pet-friendly beaches are a hit with visitors with four-legged family members.
6.1.1 Location and Contact
Isla Blanca Park, 33174 State Park Road 100, South Padre Island, TX 78597, cameroncountytx.gov
7. Surfside Beach
7.1 Surfside Beach: A Seaside Sanctuary
Surfside Beach, located southwest of Galveston, is a hidden treasure with clean waters and four miles of beaches. Known for its seclusion, this beach allows driving on the sand north of Welk Street with a pass. Besides offering activities such as surfing, fishing, or crabbing, it also allows horses on the sand at certain times of the year.
7.1.1 Location and Contact
Stahlman Park, 2211 Bluewater Highway, Surfside Beach, TX 77541, surfsidetx.org
8. Seawall Urban Park
8.1 Galveston: The Urban Beach Experience
Seawall Urban Park, located on historic Galveston Island, is a 10-mile stretch of Gulf-facing sands that caters to every kind of beach experience. From tranquil stretches to beachfront restaurants, bars, and resorts to the vibrant Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier amusement park, this park has it all.
8.1.1 Location and Contact
801 Seawall Boulevard, Galveston, TX, 77550, galvestonparkboard.org
9. Bolivar Peninsula
9.1 Port Bolivar: A Birding Paradise
With its 27 miles of shoreline, Bolivar Peninsula, located between Galveston Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, offers broad, tawny sands that are perfect for beachcombing and birding. The whole peninsula is part of the Great Texas Birding Trail, making it a paradise for bird watchers.
9.1.1 Location and Contact
Beach access via most crossroads off Highway 87, Port Bolivar, TX (zip codes vary), bolivarpeninsulatexas.com
10. Boca Chica Beach
10.1 Boca Chica: A Beach in the Wild
Located at the southernmost stretch of the Texas coastline, Boca Chica Beach is nestled within the Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge. This beach, where the Rio Grande River empties into the Gulf of Mexico, is a nesting spot for the endangered Kemp’s ridley sea turtle and is a hotspot for various bird species.
10.1.1 Location and Contact
Access at end of Boca Chica Boulevard (Highway 4), Cameron County, TX 78521, fws.gov
From the tranquil waters of the Port Aransas beach to the bustling scene at the South Padre Island, Texas beaches offer a diverse range of experiences. Whether you’re a beach bum, a water sports enthusiast, a bird watcher, or simply someone looking for a peaceful retreat, the Lone Star State has a beach that’s perfect for you. So, pack your bags, slather on some sunscreen, and get ready to explore the best Texas Beach has to offer!