Best Beaches of Texas

Texas is a great beach destination.  The best beaches of Texas sit on the Gulf Coast, where the water is clean and clear, the sand is soft and warm and the action never stops. I love beach travel destinations, and the Texas Gulf Coast offers a wide variety of beaches including South Padre Island, Port Aransas, the Houston Bay area, Galveston Island, and Beaumont and Port Arthur.  They are home to some of the finest beaches in the U.S., with year-round swimming and surfing, boating, kayaking and water sports, hundreds of fish and bird varieties for fantastic fishing and birding opportunities — this is an affordable beach vacation you’ll not want to miss!

South Padre Island

South Padre Island is a resort vacation spot off the southernmost Gulf Coast of Texas.  South Padre Island is a small coastal community that offers a wide variety of activities for everyone. Whether you’re looking for the perfect beach vacation, a romantic getaway, a dream wedding, a fishing trip, or wanting to play on the beach and have some fun in the sun, you’ll find it at South Padre Island.  South Padre Island has the widest, cleanest beaches, and with the widest point of the Island being just a half-mile, you’re always just steps away from the ocean.  Visit our South Padre Island Travel Guide.

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South Padre Island

Malaquite Beach

Malaquite Beach is located at the northern end of Padre Island National Seashore near the entrance. It consist of a little more than 4 miles of gulf beach and includes a visitor center, observation deck, concession operation, restrooms, showers, changing rooms, over 40 campsites, picnic tables and a large paved parking lot. Malaquite Beach is rarely crowded. The visitor center has displays on local history and wildlife. Work up a sweat windsurfing, kayaking, or walking any of the 60 miles of uninterrupted sand down to Mansfield Channel.  It is one of the only beaches on North Padre Island that is closed to vehicles. Come prepared with chairs (or rent them on the beach in the summer), coolers, and sunscreen!  Visit the South Padre Island Travel Guide

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Malaquite Beach, North Padre Island

Corpus Christi

Corpus Christi is a coastal city in the south region of Texas.  Corpus Christi is 130 miles southeast of San Antonio.There’s plenty more than swimming and sunbathing on the shores of Corpus Christi.  Each beach varies and has its own unique appeal.  Some come for the gentle waves and tranquil atmosphere, and others for the offshore wind for surfing and wake boarding. If you are interested in fishing, you can use the jetties and piers.  You can also come for the cabanas and beautiful city backdrop at North beach where you can visit the U.S.S. Lexington, The Texas State aquarium and just have a lot of fun!  Or go to McGee Beach for the beautiful manicured sandy beaches, stay for the jetty fishing, enjoy the calm waters, or just to be close to downtown.  Visit our Corpus Christi Travel Guide

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Corpus Christi Beach with USS Lexington in Background

 

North Beach

Located just across the Harbor Bridge, North Beach is home to two of Corpus Christi’s most popular attractions the Texas State Aquarium and the USS Lexington, an aircraft carrier turned museum. North Beach offers a good variety of places to eat and drink and awesome bay front views. Sip on a cocktail and dip your feet in the Corpus Christi Bay waters.  Visit our Corpus Christi Travel Guide

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North Beach

 

East Beach

Located on the southern tip of Galveston Island, East Beach is spacious and lively beach.  On the shores of East Beach are beach parties at their finest. If you are looking to party, then East Beach is your ultimate destination!  East Beach is known for its great festivals and live concerts and is one of the best-known Galveston Texas beaches in existence.  The beach park has a pavilion, boardwalk, entertainment stage, along with restrooms, showers, chair and umbrella rentals, and concessions.  Alcohol is permitted on the beach.  Admission is $8 per vehicle and pets are permitted on leash.  Visit our Galveston Texas Travel Guide

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East Beach

Palm Beach at Moody Gardens

Bask in the sun, poolside, on Galveston’s only white sand beach and surround yourself with lush, landscaping. Relax in a Texas-sized spa or enjoy a game of beach volleyball on our regulation court. Either way, you’re in for an unforgettable day at the beach!  Palm Beach at Moody Gardens is a resort that offers hotel accommodations with access to freshwater lagoons and silky white sand enveloped by free-flowing waterfalls and dense, exotic plants and trees. It is characteristic of an exotic island offering complimentary shade umbrellas and lounge chairs. Palm Beach has  an interactive splash pad for kids and a beach party on Saturdays with live music, face painting, and other activities. Resort attractions include a 100-gallon aquarium with turtles, stingrays, and sea turtles, and a rain forest area featuring animals from around the world.  Visit our Galveston Texas Travel Guide

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Palm Beach at Moody Gardens

Mustang Island

Mustang Island is an 18-mile long barrier island on the beautiful Texas coast. At the southern end of the island are Padre Island and the JFK Causeway that connects to Corpus Christi. At the northern end is the small and spunky town of Port Aransas, which is a mere ferry ride away from the mainland and San José Island. This is a great beach destination where everyone in the family can enjoy something.  Mustang Island is a barrier island state park that is home to a variety of wildlife, pristine coastlines, and adventure for all ages.  You can come here to fish, watch the migration of waterfowl, collect shells along the beach or have the kids attend the Junior Ranger Exploration events.  Your family pet is welcome too as long as they are on their leash.  Mustang Island features beach-front campfires, on-beach camping, fantastic beach combing, turtles, dolphins and birds, and paddling trail excursions.  There is also a beach bath house.  Adults are $5 dollars daily for entrance and children 12 & under are free.  Visit our Mustang Island Visitors Guide

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Mustang Island

 

Sea Rim State Park

At the far southeast corner of Texas lies a remote and unique coastal park. Sea Rim State Park has 5.2 miles of Gulf shoreline and 4,000 acres of marshlands.  Here you can camp, go birding and beach combing, paddle in a canoe or kayak, swim, fish, hunt (in season), or walk along the Gambusia Nature Trail which is a boardwalk through the marsh.  There are 15 campsites with utilities, cabins, and primitive camping on the beach.   You can fish or surf in the marsh areas.  You do not need a fishing license in the park.  There is also a boat ramp.  Sea Rim State Park also offers paddling trails, from as 1.79 mile easy trail to the 9.59 mile advanced trail.  Visit our Port Arthur Texas Travel Guide

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Sea Rim State Park

San Jose Island

The chance to immerse yourself in unruffled Texas nature is just a short ferry ride away from Port Aransas, Texas.  The pristine beaches of San Jose Island are open to the public but closed to vehicles.  This makes for excellent swimming, surfing, beachcombing and shelling. Lightning whelks, shark eyes, sand dollars and many other species of shells sprinkle the sandy shoreline. Get a great view from the observation decks and lookouts where you can spot Roseate Spoonbills, Reddish Egrets and Black-Bellied Whistling Ducks. The warm waters are home to over 600 species of a fisherman’s favorite Texas-sized catches. Enjoy a day of fishing from the jetties and piers or board a fishing charter.  Rent a golf cart and explore all that there is to offer here.  There are lots of boutiques, fresh gulf seafood and other favorites at the local eateries.  After dinner, enjoy live music and ice-cold beverages at the island bars.  Visit our Port Aransas Travel Guide

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San Jose Island

Port Aransas (Port A) Beach

Port Aransas is 180 miles southeast of San Antonio.  Port Aransas is on the more calm and relaxing ends of the Texas beach spectrum. While “chill” might best describe Port A, all of the exciting beach activities, great restaurants and great vacation rental properties make this the Texas beach to bring the family for a memorable yet manageable beach vacation.  People come to Port Aransas to enjoy the 6.3 miles of beach along the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico.  Here you can kick back and relax, read, enjoy the sun, play beach games like volleyball, football, or Frisbee.  The water is great for swimming, bodysurfing, boogie boarding, and surfing.  The beach permits for 3 x 3 feet campfires which turns a fun night of camping on the beach into an unforgettable experience for the kiddos. Also rest assured that there are ample lifeguards on duty to make sure of your safety while enjoying some surf, swimming, body-boarding, or just body surfing in the waves.  Visit our Port Aransas Travel Guide

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Port Aransas Beach

Rockport Beach

Rockport Beach is a Blue Wave Beach and is the only beach in Texas certified by the Clean Beaches Council in Washington D.C.  Be prepared for great facilities, beautiful views and loads of fun during your visit. Everyone loves Rockport Beach, a long crescent of sand with calm shallows, picnic pavilions, and volleyball courts. This is a great beach for families with small children or those looking for a closely monitored beach.  The beach is litter free, handicap accessible, has public restroom facilities, picnic sites, children’s play areas, swimming, fishing, public boat ramp and is also a bird sanctuary.  Visit our Rockport Beach Texas Travel Guide

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Rockport Beach

Stewart Beach

Stewart Beach was named one of the “10 Best Beaches for Families” by Family Vacation Critic in 2013.  Stewart Beach is a family beach park located on Galveston Island where Broadway Avenue meets the Seawall.  The Beach, which is part of a beach park, has a children’s playground behind it. The beach is directly backed by a boardwalk with concessions and games.  Various events are planned during the summer including sandcastle building tournaments and volleyball championships.  There is a concession for beach chair, boogie board and umbrella rentals and a snack bar that is located at the pavilion, along with a souvenir shop.  Beach amenities include a bath house with hot water showers and restrooms. There is no admission fee to the beach but vehicles are charged for entry to the park with a differentiated fee for cars and RVs.  There is a lifeguard watching the waters as well as security personnel on the beach.  At the entry to the park where this beach is located, there is a miniature golf course, a walk-around human maze and a water slide.  There are also local bands that play on the beach, and beach wheelchairs are rented to help keep the beach accessible to the disabled.  Pets are allowed on leash.  Visit our Galveston Texas Travel Guide

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Stewart Beach

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31 Comments

  1. Dennis

    Since my wife and I have only been to Amarillo, TX we are both very curious about the Texas Gulf Coast. The photos of the beaches you have shared have sparked some interest to learn more. We are both from Long Island, NY and are no strangers to the beaches along the south shore of the island. We are in our 2nd year as full time RVers and are planning to return to TX to spend some time on the gulf coast. Sea Rim State Park looks to be a place we would enjoy with the boardwalk along the Gambusia Nature Trail, as well as having campsites with utilities. This will definitely be a place we will be visiting…Dennis

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Glad I can be of help!  I lived in Texas for 10 years, so know all about their beaches 🙂

      Reply
  2. Daniella

    Hi Lea,

    As usual, your articles are so inviting, I am always hanging out on your site as the there are so many helpful tips and beautiful pictures! It’s a long time now that I dream to travel in Texas and this article will definitely help me to plan the trip. It is always a problem to know where to go and not go when going on vacation:)
    Again, thank you very much for this excellent post!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You are very welcome Daniella! Thanks for visiting some of the best beaches in Texas. We really do have it all in Texas, but then of course I am a bit biased 🙂

      Reply
  3. Tabby77

    What an in depth beach guide strangely enough people don’t think beaches when they think Texas I glad to see the beautiful white sand and turquoise waters those are my favorite types of beaches.great pictures and overall overview about each beach. Where did you find such big pictures on my beach website I have pictures but there not as big as yours.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thank you so much 🙂 Texas has awesome beaches! I just size my pictures to fit. I am not sure why they appear so big, LOL thanks for visiting the Best Beaches of Texas!

      Reply
  4. Labman

    My tendency is to check out Sea Rim. A nice kayak through a marsh sounds like a wonderful time. Even the primitive camping on the beach is right up my alley.

    San Jose beach sounds better for my spouse. She loves to collect shells and other knick knacks.

    I’m more of a nature lover but do love to photograph the unique bird species found on the coast.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Then you both would love it here! Texas beaches are a bit different than what you will find in Florida or say California. Thanks for reading about the Texas beaches!

      Reply
  5. EllieCommunicates

    Hi, I just love your site and your post. Those pictures made me dream about the summer time, now that the autumn is here and the weather gets cold.
    I especially liked the Port Aransas Beach and San Jose Island. It would be useful if you could recommend things to see nearby or places to eat, so that when we go there to be fully prepared.
    Thank you for making me dream of sun, sand and sea.
    Ellie

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Hi Ellie, yes I am working on a travel guide for each location to include restaurants, night spots, hotels, weather and more 🙂 Thanks for visiting the best beaches of Texas!

      Reply
  6. Clare

    What beautiful looking beaches! Being from the UK I had never really associated Texas with the beach (despite the obvious geography)! Thank you so much for making me rethink my entire itinerary to try and incorporate at least one of the beauties! Just need to choose which will fit in now!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Yes, most people do not, for some reason, associate Texas with beaches. Heck I didn’t either until I moved here LOL Thanks for reading!

      Reply
  7. Carol

    I’ve only been to the northern parts of Texas and never really considered it for a beach destination, however, this has changed my original thinking of what Texas is all about. Seems there are lots of great choices, and the fact that a few of them allow dogs does it for me! I’m wondering, what is the peak season? And, what are the temperatures like in the winter months?

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      The peak season is going to be the summer months when kids are out of school. It is still warm though, my pool water is still warm and we are still swimming and hanging out in the sun. January and February are going to hover a little above 70. In November you will see temperatures in the high 70s. December is probably the coldest month (not really cold) with temperatures in the low 70s. Any time is really good to head to South Padre Island.

      Reply
  8. Bob Fuerstenau

    After reading your site,my mind was on the beach in Cabo, and I forgot to ask you if you would mind giving a comment on my site! http://mymetaldetectorbiz.com Thank you Leahrae

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Yes, I will Bob. I will go there now 🙂

      Reply
  9. Bob Fuerstenau

    I loved your site Leahrae, as it was easy to navigate and very informative with lots of beautiful pictures as well!You showed and explained about every beach and accommodation they offered that left no questions unanswered.As I was just watching it snow outside, here in Idaho. It made me want to start packing.Nice job!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thank you Bob!

      Reply
  10. Surbhi

    Your post is just in time to help me decide where to go for the spring break. South Padre Island seems to be the top choice for college kids like myself, do you think it’s a good idea to go there with friends this Spring? What will be the weather like?

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      I just got back from South Padre and it is the destination for Spring Breakers and they do cater to them. Check the weather because we came back early. A storm was going through and it was super windy and cold. The water temp is not bad, but the wind about did us in. Not normal though. Normally the weather is awesome this time of year. The storm has probably blown through since I left :/

      Reply
  11. Ryan

    I was planning a trip to visit a friend in Texas when I came across this article. I don’t know why but I never thought of looking up beaches in texas.

    I guess I got the feeling that a lot of people do when thinking of Texas…you kind of think most of it is some sort of sandy desert similar to Arizona.

    It’s great to see there are so many nice beaches to visit, I will be sure to bring my swim suit!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      I tend to prefer Florida for beaches, just for the “atmosphere” but just came back from South Padre Island and Galveston. They are both great beaches. Galveston has a lot more of the atmosphere I like with lots of restaurants and little bars to hang out in. Thanks for the comments!

      Reply
  12. Jason

    The beaches of Texas are quite unique. I would love to visit the Corpus Christi some time to experience the U.S.S. Lexington.

    East beach also sounds good to go to and enjoy the party atmosphere. Looking forward to seeing you in Texas.

    Thank you for your post.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Yes, I agree. I just came back from South Padre Island and wanted to stop in Corpus just to see the USS Lexington. My son, on the other hand, just wanted to get home as a storm was going through and we were heading home a little early from our trip 🙁

      Reply
  13. cavan

    I have never been to the beaches in Texas, been to Houston but not the beach. Thanks for in lighting me about what is there. cheers

    Reply
  14. john

    Leahrae,
    Have been to the Galveston area, went to the beach when we were there. Enjoyed it very well. You have a nice selection of beaches on this post. About how far are each of the beaches from the Houston area, as this is the spot where I would start from.
    John

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      The closes is going to be Galveston Island and I personally like these beaches the best. Great atmosphere, restaurants, and little hole-in-the wall places.

      Reply
  15. Von

    Hi Leahrae,

    I was in Texas last May 2015. Texas BBQ is amazing! I was expecting it from them though. After seeing this post, I knew I missed something on that trip. How come I did not see this beautiful part of Texas!? I will come back for sure!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Being a Texan…yes I agree, the Texas coast is amazing and love the BBQ!

      Reply
  16. Melanie

    Some good info on your site. When my family and I feel financially ready for a holiday somewhere nice, I will keep this in mind. Also, if possible, put some beautiful sandy, blue watery sea and sky pics on. Give your site some of that holiday flavour. All the best 🙂

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Working on the pics now Melanie. Actually at South Padre Island, so going to take some here and on the way back to Dallas 🙂

      Reply

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