Best Beaches In Texas

Beaches are synonymous with the summer and the best days of our lives. If you are in Texas, or will be in Texas this summer and are planning on visiting some great beaches, there are so many to choose from. Take a look at our list of the best beaches in Texas, and begin planning your next day (and night) away.

Each of the beaches offers something different, and they are all stunning. If you’re interested in finding out the best beaches you can get without stepping over the border into Mexico, keep reading.

Best Beaches In Texas

Boca Chica

If you’re looking for a slice of untouched paradise, head over to Boca Chica. This is the closest beach to Mexico, and is only separated by the Rio Grande. Boca Chica is an 8-mile-long beach that is covered with glorious pale sand.

It is the perfect spot to get away from the hustle of the city, as there are no nearby facilities to take advantage of. This rustic beach will take you back to what the beach is supposed to be like, so if you are planning on staying a while, make sure to pack everything you need.

Location:Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge

Best Feature: tranquility and untouched. There are no nearby facilities to draw people in.

Best Time To Visit: between April and July. Visitors may be able to catch a glimpse of the rare sea turtles that nest in the area.

Is This Beach Pet Friendly?: visitors can bring their dogs to this beach as long as they are kept on a leash.

Padre Island National Seashore

Padre Island National Seashore stretches an incredible 70-miles. These white sandy beaches and dunes are like nothing you will see anywhere else, and the stunning water is perfect for a variety of activities. Visitors can go swimming, windsurfing, fishing, and even kayaking

For those who don’t want to dip their toes into the water, this beach offer great opportunities to go beach-combing or bird-watching.

There are over 300 bird species to gaze at, and there’s even the chance to see sea turtles. Like Boca Chica, this beach is remote and offer little in the way of facilities, which makes it the perfect place to be alone.

Location: Padre Island National Seashore

Best Feature: 70-mile beach with few visitors. Visitors have the opportunity to camp on the location for a small fee.

Best Time To Visit: despite its cold water, it has been advised that the best time to visit this beach is from winter to spring. However, it is a stunning place to visit year-round because of the nature and landscapes.

Is This Beach Pet Friendly?: visitors can bring their dogs to this beach as long as the animals are kept on a leash.

Matagorda Bay Nature Park

This beautiful beach is another great location if you want some time to yourself away from people. The entire beach stretches across 58-miles, but only around half of it is accessible by foot. Matagorda Bay Nature Park, and the whole Matagorda Island is a serene and peaceful place, and offers a good time to those who are willing to step away from the city. 

Here, you can camp for the night and watch the ocean, as well as go kayaking and horseback riding. If you want to venture inland, there are loads of places to explore, like the coastal marshes.

At these marshes, you might be able to see birds like spoonbills, storks, and herons, as well as the Matagorda Island Lighthouse, though it isn’t open to the public anymore.

Location: Matagorda May Nature Park

Best Feature: serene surroundings, bird life, and few local facilities

Best Time To Visit: this beach is a great location to visit year-round

Is This Beach Pet Friendly?: visitors are allowed to bring their dogs with them to this beach as long as they are kept on a leash

Rockport Beach

Rockport Beach is one of the few beaches that do not allow pets, camping, vehicles, or fireworks on its shores. These rules were put in place to keep the location as clean and natural as possible, which has resulted in this beach being one of the most beautiful in the state.

Here, you can spend your afternoons sunbathing, playing volleyball, sunbathing, or fishing from the pier. The nearby facilities make it easy to enjoy your time at this beach, as they include showers, restrooms, and even picnic tables. 

Location: a few miles away from the village of Rockport

Best Feature: this beach is incredibly clean and natural, as there are no cars, pets, camping, or fireworks allowed.

Best Time To Visit: the summer months are a great time to visit this beach, as swimming and sunbathing is popular in this area.

Is This Beach Pet Friendly?: no, no pets are allowed at this beach.

Crystal Beach

This beach is the one you would go to if you want to spend time lounging on the sand with others. Crystal Beach is famous for its party atmosphere, and visitors can drive their cars on the sand (for a free). Additionally, you are allowed to camp overnight, and set up bonfires and grills to have an unforgettable night. 

If you don’t want to spend the night camping on the beach, you can make use of the hotels and restaurants nearby. There are bars and nightclubs in the vicinity to keep you pumped all night, making this spot great for the warm summer nights.

Visiting this beach, you can go looking for hermit crabs and shells, enjoy some fishing, or even go bird watching. Whatever you like, you will find a slice of it on this stunning and high energy peninsula.

Location: Bolivar Peninsula

Best Feature: high-energy nightlife in the area and the party atmosphere on the beach

Best Time To Visit: the best time to visit this beach is during the summer months between 8am and 10pm

Is This Beach Pet Friendly?: visitors can bring their dogs to this beach. There are various hotels and restaurants who accept pets on the premise, so there is no better place to be with your canine companion

Port Aransas

Port Aransas beach is the ideal location for a family day out in the summer. There are a number of peaceful restaurants to choose from, as well as vacation homes. The 18-mile beach has many well maintained facilities that visitors will appreciate, such as showers and restrooms.

Although this is an extremely popular location for tourists. It is always a laid-back place to visit. If you want to enjoy some festivals on the beach, this is your place.

The largest event in Port Aransas is the Texas SandFest. This festival is all about building sand sculptures, live music, and other activities that are great for families. If that doesn’t appeal to you, why not check out the Whooping Crane Festival that is held there every February?

Location: Port Aransas, Mustang Island

Best Feature: family friendly environment

Best Time To Visit: the best time to visit this location is during the summer, but it is very pleasant even in early Fall.

Is This Beach Pet Friendly?: visitors can bring their dogs to this beach and even let them off the leash on the Coastal Bend.

Mustang Island State Park

Mustang Island State Park is named after the wild horses that used to roam there. This is  one of the most attractive beaches in Texas, and has a lot to offer. There are around 20-miles of hiking trails to explore on the island, and 5-miles of beach to take in.

On the beach, you can gaze upon the wildlife (which includes dolphins, shorebirds and even turtles), as well as enjoy the green dunes and waves.

There are close to 100 campsites available on the beach area and further inland, where you can enjoy the use of electricity. Here, you can enjoy swimming, paddleboarding, kayaking, and birdwatching. For the anglers, you can fish off the jetties or make use of the charters for anyone who wants a challenge. 

Location: Mustang Island State Park, east of Corpus Christi

Best Feature: there are various activities available, including 20-miles of hiking trails and 5-miles of beach

Best Time To Visit: the best time to visit this location is during the Fall

Is This Beach Pet Friendly?: visitors can bring their dogs to this location as long as they are kept on a leash no longer than 6-feet. No dogs are permitted inside the buildings in the area.

San José Island

San José Island is a stunning, uninhabited island just across from Port Aransas. Although you are only allowed on the beach as the island is privately owned, there is plenty to see and enjoy.

You can go finishing on this quiet island and soak in the sun. If you’re planning on staying a while, make sure that you pack all the necessities, including an  umbrella and sunscreen. You will be stuck on the island until a ferry comes again, so be prepared to survive without any facilities. The ferry goes to and from the island every 2-hours.

Location: San José Island

Best Feature: the island is uninhabited and has no facilities

Best Time To Visit: early morning during hr summer months

Is This Beach Pet Friendly?: visitors can take their dogs here and even let them off the leash as this island is uninhabited. However, there may be dangers such as rattlesnakes in the area.

Surfside Beach

This beach is one of the best locations for surfing in the state, and it is very popular. Surfside Beach is beautifully clean and pleasant, as its pale sands stretch out for 4-miles. Here, you can visit with your dogs, and even enjoy a campfire. If you want to bring your vehicle, you can drive it on permitted areas for a fee and enjoy the views at a speed, 

At Surfside Beach, you can make the most of the beach by going for long walks and catching crabs. Guided horseback rides are offered, where you can take in the sights as you ride along the sand, and visitors can go fishing on the jetties. For those who want to dip their toes in, there are great locations on this beach for swimming.

Location: Follet’s Island

Best Feature: this beach is great for surfing

Best Time To Visit: the best months to visit this beach is during April, November, and March as the weather is the most pleasant.

Is This Beach Pet Friendly?: visitors can bring their dogs to this location as long as they are kept in their leash

Galveston Island

This beach is one of the most popular in Texas. Here, there are multiple festivals held throughout the year, including the yearly Sandcastle Competition.

This beach is great for families and friends alike, as there are playground areas for children, as well as an amusement park. The amusement park is home to a roller coaster, Ferris wheel, and many restaurants, hotels, and bars. 

Some beaches are busies than others on Galveston Island. East Beach is one of the few that permits alcohol, so if you are looking for a quiet night, that is not it. If you’re looking for something more child friendly, check out Steward Beach. Here, there are lifeguards and even the chance to take sandcastle lessons to fin the next competition.

Location: hour south of Houston

Best Feature: festivals and busy atmosphere

Best Time To Visit: the best time to visit this beach is from March – April, or October – November, as the weather is pleasant and warm.

Is This Beach Pet Friendly?: visitors can bring their dogs to this location as long as they are kept on their leash.

Final Thoughts

Texas has a lot of great beaches, and they are all unique. Some of these beaches are pristine and natural, while others are known for their partying atmosphere.

Next time you find yourself in Texas, why not check out some of these beaches? There is something for everyone, whether you want to go bird watching, swimming, or even surfing.

Robert Miller
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