The Sylvan Beach is the nearest beach to downtown Houston. It is the perfect place to relax or enjoy time with family and friends. The fine sand, lesser seaweed, and smaller waves make it an enjoyable destination for swimming. The beach has a 32-acre park complex that includes a large playground, tennis court, Skate Park, picnic tables, and an air-conditioned pavilion.
Distance from Houston: 35 minutes, (30 miles approximately)
Suggested Hours: 2 Hours.
Open Hours: 7:00 AM – 10:00 PM
Address: La Porte, TX 77571, USA
El Jardin Beach is a city-owned beach, a popular spot amongst the locals for family outings by the sea. The beach is not frequented by tourists and to its advantage; for it remains relatively un-crowded. It is a small beach yet it is rich in marine life and vegetation.
Timings : 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Parking: limited spot, payment required for visitors
Distance from Houston: 33 miles
Address: 500 El Jardin Dr, Seabrook, TX 77586
Jamaica Beach is a public access beach, the perfect spot to spend the day with family and friends or to host your next big event. The Park complex was built in1989 with the collective effort of the community. It is equipped with swings, a picnic area, a pavilion with a kitchen, and a basketball court.
Entry rate and Parking Fee: Free
Additional Facilities: Vehicles allowed on the beach(Speed Limit - 10mph)
pets allowed on leash.
Distance from Houston: 61.4 miles
Stewart Beach is a premier family beach of Galveston. It was named as one of the “10 Best Beaches for Families” by Family Vacation Critic in 2013. The beach features a park with a pavilion, concessions, restrooms, chair, and umbrella rentals, beach volleyball courts, a children playground, and much more, under the supervision of trained lifeguards. The park also offers access to a wheelchair and parking is free of charge for the differently able.
Address: 201 Seawall Blvd, Galveston, TX 77550
Open Timings: Monday thru Thursday: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Friday thru Sunday: 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
Memorial Day to Labor Day
Monday thru Thursday: 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
Friday thru Sunday: 8:00 am – 7:00 pm
East Beach, located at the far eastern tip of Galveston Island is the ultimate party destination. It is renowned for the beach parties, festivals, and live concerts held throughout the summer months.
Distance from Houston: 1 hour, (54 miles)
Suggested Hours: 2 Hours.
Open Hours: 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM (Monday – Thursday) &
8:00 AM – 7:00 PM (Friday – Sunday)
For Pets: 12:00 AM – 5:00 PM (Monday – Sunday)
Address: 193-199 Seawall Blvd, Galveston, TX 77550, United States.
Galveston Island State Park spans up to 2,000 acres encompassing different terrains such as estuaries, wetlands, and beaches. Here, you can experience the Gulf of Mexico, Galveston Bay, or both. Popular activities that one can enjoy are kayaking, bird watching, nature field trips, fishing, swimming, hiking, surfing, and biking. It is also equipped with restroom, showers, picnic tables; rental cabins, tents, and RVs are also available for rent.
Timings: Open 24 hours a day
Entry Rate: USD 5 for adults
Free for ages under 12.
Distance from Houston: 58 miles
The Surfside Beach, located in Brazoria County is heralded as the ultimate gateway destination, popular amongst the locals for its quaint but vibrant charm. It is a great spot to enjoy water activities, experience the outdoors, and observe wildlife.
Timings: 8 pm curfew
Distance from Houston: 65.4 miles
The Texas City Dike/Beach is a levee built-in 1915 for protection against cross currents and to reduce silting. Stretching up to 5.3 miles, it is the longest man-made fishing pier in the world and one of the most popular boat launches and fishing areas. It is equipped with facilities such as Lighted parking boat ramps, a Concrete shelter, Fish cleaning station, and portable restrooms. Other activities that can be enjoyed here are bird watching, Jet Skiing, swimming, and cycling.
Entry Fee: USD 10 per car on weekends, Free during summer weekdays and winter.
Distance from Houston: 44.9 miles
Timings: Mon-Fri 8:00am to 5:00pm
The Crystal Beach or Bolivar Beach in Bolivar peninsula is one of a kind for here; you can experience tranquillity at its finest. It encompasses 27 miles of Beach Shoreline on the Upper Texas Gulf Coast. It is located along Highway 87, close to Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge.
Distance from Dallas: 1 hour 50-minute, (96.8 miles)
Suggested Hours: 2 Hours.
Open Hours: 8:00 AM – 10:00 PM (Monday – Sunday)
Address: Port Bolivar, TX 77550
Entry Fees: USD 5
Quintana Beach is a natural beach located on the Upper Texas Gulf Coast. Its condition is dictated by the tides and the weather condition of the place. Activities such as bird watching, fishing, swimming, surfing, beachcombing, and shelling can be enjoyed here.
Timings : 8 am to 5 pm
Parking : Available, USD 5
Distance From Houston : 69.6 miles
Porretto Beach is a private beach in Galveston, popular for its family-oriented setting and service. Popular activities here include picnicking, building sandcastles, canoeing, and paddleboarding. Swimming here is a safe and enjoyable experience as the waters are shallow and clean. You can also enjoy a stroll along the seawall, for the crowds are less here. Pets are allowed on the beach, but they should be kept on a leash.
Bryan Beach, located in Brazoria County offers three miles of scenic, natural beach. The area has not been commercialized yet; it is still in its natural state making it the perfect spot to enjoy sunbathing, camping, fishing, bird watching, or just relax. Visitors are also advised to purchase what they would need beforehand. Bryan Beach is also one of the few beaches left in Texas where you can drive and camp on the beach without paying a fine. However, glass containers and fireworks are prohibited here.
The Blue Lagoon is one of the most beautiful swimming spots in Texas. Its crystal clear blue waters give it an illusion of a tropical paradise. Swimming and scuba diving are the most popular activity one can indulge in. The Blue Lagoon offers scuba training of various levels, from beginner to advanced. Unfortunately, the lagoon lacks vegetation and there’s not much to witness.
Matagorda Bay Beach is a natural, 26-mile long beach near the mouth of the River Colorado. It is a great place to enjoy nature and quiet time alone, or with family and friends. The place remains uncrowned throughout the year. You can also enjoy camping and swimming here. It is a great place to swim however, one should be cautious of the swift currents of the river. You can bring an RV or a tent and camp here for 72 hours, camping fees are not levied here. Driving on the dunes is prohibited, however, you can drive on the beach with a 4*4 vehicle after obtaining a permit of USD 10.
Magnolia Beach is a 1.5-mile-long beach on the Texas coast, south of Lavaca. It is a peaceful and relaxing place where you can enjoy camping in the midst of nature. The spacious beach and the hard-packed sand make it easy to drive in and find a nice spot for your RV. The camping charges are free of cost. The beach has a well-maintained bathroom with flush toilets and showers. The only disadvantage here would be the lack of shops around the area.
Sunny Beach, located on Galveston’s west end is a secluded site, quiet during the weekdays and full on weekends. It is a wide drive-on beach with portable restrooms, houses to rent, and dining places nearby. Here you can enjoy simple activities such as swimming, fishing, collecting shells, or have a picnic. The water is not deep and the area is usually patrolled by the police, hence it is a safe environment where you can comfortably relax.
Hippie Hollow Beach also originally known as McGregor County Park features a steep rocky shoreline with access to Lake Travis. It is the only Clothing optional public park in Texas. It is legal to sunbathe and swim naked here making it the perfect destination for a fun recreational trip. Overnight camping, bonfires, firework, pets, and glass containers are banned here. All visitors must be over 18 years old to be allowed entry to the beach.
West End Pocket Parks are situated at Galveston island’s west end and hence the name. There are two beaches – Beach Pocket Park 1 and Beach Pocket 2. Pocket 1 is lower in facilities and crowds. It is a fair choice for those who enjoy simple entertainment or is looking for some quiet time whereas Pocket 2 has more facilities such as restroom, showers, and changing rooms. You can also enjoy the ocean view from the sun deck.
If there is anything we missed out on, do mention it in the comments.