Though beaches aren’t the first thing that comes to people’s minds when thinking of Texas, the Lone Star State possesses 367 miles of Gulf coastline that boasts an array of stellar beach destinations. Whether you want to swim, kayak, snorkel, sail, hop on a boat, fish in the ocean, or simply relax on a quiet stretch of sand, there is a perfect beach that could accommodate you and make your day a fun-filled one. A haven for outdoor adventurers and nature enthusiasts, there is always something for everyone. Here, we’ve collated the top beaches in Texas that you should set your sights on and never dare to miss!
Renowned as the world’s longest undeveloped barrier island, Padre Island is located 30 miles southeast of Corpus Christi. It has a 70-mile stretch of tidal flats, sand dunes, and beaches, including Malaquite Beach. You can enjoy various activities in this protected area, from long walks to camping, windsurfing, and swimming. If you’re a budding naturalist, go between June and August and witness hundreds of sea turtles hatch in line with wildlife conservation programs. If you just want pure solitude on the beach, don’t fret as the island isn’t teeming with tourists, making it a perfect place for relaxation.
Situated on the Bolivar Peninsula, the seven-mile Crystal Beach is a serene, sparkling beach with a funky ambiance. Here, you can camp, set out a campfire and a barbecue grill, and start the fun rolling. The beach is also known as a great fishing destination. You can rent a beach cabin or relish fresh seafood from restaurants. Plus, parties won’t end as there’s an array of bars and clubs to select from, allowing you to continue the fun after the sun goes down.
Just less than a one-hour drive from Houston lies the Surfside Beach – the ideal getaway to escape the city jam. Known for its cleanliness, the beach offers a refreshing vibe and a decent choice of water activities. Moreover, visitors can drive straight on the beach, which means you can avoid the hassle of carrying your belongings long-distance. Adding its abundance of lodging and restaurant but devoid of too lively crowds, it also makes a perfect spot for a day trip with the family.
Once you arrive at Mustang Island, your excitement will surely overflow. This spectacular beach destination offers many activities, such as camping, surfing, kayaking, sunning, and canoeing. If you are not an active traveler, you can simply stretch out on the sand and wait for birds, dolphins, and turtles as they explore this beautiful island.
Port Aransas Beach
Less crowded and free from the city’s hustle, Port Aransas offers a six-mile stretch of beach, which provides much-needed tranquility to its beachgoers. You can simply relax with the sound of the waves and enjoy the warm Gulf waters with your family. Otherwise, you can go birding, kayaking, or fishing during the day. Then, visit the city in the evening, where lodging and shopping areas, restaurants, and bars await you to complete your day.
South Padre Island
One of the popular tourist hotspots in the Lone Star State, South Padre Island, is lined with a 33-mile beautiful beach area. Here, watersport lovers can indulge in various activities, while nature lovers will enjoy watching diverse wildlife, such as sea turtles, dolphins, and waterfowls. The area is also known as a tropical haven for partygoers, fishermen, and families, making it a stellar beach catering to everyone.
Matagorda Beach is an ideal location for wading and swimming. However, as the Colorado River empties into the Gulf in this area, be cautious of the swift currents that may come by. Yet, to fully experience Matagorda, you need to see the Matagorda Bay Nature Park, which comprises 1,333 acres of land and a two-mile coastline. You can see dunes, coastal marshes brimmed with birds, a stunning pier, and a scenic shore, making it one of the state’s hidden natural treasures.
San Jose Island
Dubbed as “St. Jo Island” and located just across Port Aransas, San Jose Island is a private, undeveloped island, perfect if you want to experience pure solitude. Only reachable by a jetty boat, this wonderful beach is bare and has no amenities. What it offers are a calm, unspoiled sand stretch and sheer seclusion. You can lounge, swim, and fish all you want, sans anything that can disrupt your day.
With the absence of large waves and strong undertows, Rockport Beach serves as the best choice if you have kids in the family. You and your loved one can enjoy a day out in the sun and play in the water without much worry. Other enjoyable activities include boating, birdwatching, and fishing. Then, don’t forget to visit plenty of galleries and gift shops where you can buy some mementos.
Boca Chica Beach
Located in between the Lower Laguna Madre and the Rio Grande delta lies the 8-mile Boca Chica Beach. It exudes an enticing tropical feel, with magnificent flora and a dazzling shore that will touch the interest of any nature lover. If you want to escape civilization, this beach is your best bet as it will let you experience the outstanding wilderness at its finest.
Blending a busy, hip scene and incredible beaches, Galveston Island serves as a quick and fun escape from the city. Located just an hour away from Houston, the island also houses museums, restaurants, fish houses, and shopping and antique kiosks. An outstanding feature is the over 10-mile seawall that allows you to stroll, jog, skate or bike without catching any sand between your toes.
High Island Beach
Far from the typical East Texas vibe, High Island Beach is a secluded retreat place, characterized by coarse sand dotted with colorful seashells. The magnificent landscape is rarely populated and only frequented by locals cooling their horses in the surf, ideal if you want to spend some alone time in unspoiled nature.
That’s the run-through of some of the top beaches in Texas. Before you pack your bags and belongings, evaluate which one can fulfill your dream getaway. These beaches boast their distinct beauty and appeal, but when summed up, it makes the Lone Star State one of the best beach destinations in the country!