The 15 Best Beaches In Texas

With 367 miles of coastline, you have a lot of options for a beach vacation in Texas. But, as with everything, you want to maximize your time and effort put into the vacation — and you want to ensure you pick the best location upon committing to that beach. 

 

367 miles. That’s a lot of beaches to sift through. 

 

Luckily for you, I’ve chosen some of the best beaches in Texas when choosing a vacation, including which beach is best for families with kids, elderly folks, college kids, and more. I’ll also tell you if you can do some of the best beach activities to do at that location, like jet skiing, fishing, paddleboarding, snorkeling, and kite surfing.

 

But I’ll stop telling you about how great these beaches in Texas are and start showing you instead.

1. South Padre Island

It’s located near the southern tip of Texas near the Mexico border. It’s about a 45-minute drive to Brownville on the Texas — Mexico border. South Padre Island is nearly a four and a half hour drive from San Antonio.

 

The best way to get to South Padre Beach is to get

Getting To South Padre Island

The best way to get to South Padre Beach is to get on TX-550, then take I-69 to US-77 in Willacy County. Follow I-37 N till you get to exit 140B.

Parking At South Padre Island

You can almost always find a spot to park in South Padre Island thanks to the plentiful free parking available on the island. All along Gulf Boulevard, there are 24 city public beach accesses. Just note that there are two types of beach accesses — city and county. You’ll have to pay a fee for county parking, but city parking is free.

Photos Of South Padre Island

sunrise from the beach at south padre island
early evening time at south padre island

South Padre Island Beach has you covered no matter what your interests are. Adrenaline junkie? There’s fast-paced windsurfing and jetskiing available. Want something slower-paced? There are paddleboarding and fishing options on the shore. 

 

The beaches are clean and spacious, with miles of fine white sand that’s perfect to sunbathe on, play sports like volleyball, cornhole, and frisbee. If you avoid peak tourism seasons times like spring break and the Fourth of July, you’ll find uncrowded beaches.

Good For Yes / No

 

Surfing

 

 

Yes

 

Swimming

 

 

Yes

 

Fishing

 

 

Yes

 

Snorkeling

 

 

Yes

 

Kite Surfing

 

 

Yes

 

Paddle Boarding

 

 

Yes

 

Beach Sports

 

 

Yes

The water is shallow with gentle waves. The beaches are clean with creamy white sand. There’s an overflowing list of fun beach activities to do while visiting South Padre Island. 

 

So whether you’re a college student, have young children, want heart-pounding water sports, or simply prefer to enjoy a calm, accessible beach in old age, South Padre Island offers the best experience for diverse needs.

Good For Yes / No

 

Young Adults

 

 

Yes

 

Families

 

 

Yes

 

Elderly

 

 

Yes

South Padre Island Weather

The temperature rarely dips below 75 degrees Fahrenheit year-round, with May through September being the hottest months. September sees showers nearly the whole month. If you go in the summer, be sure to bring plenty of water and sunscreen as the sun can be rather unforgiving. 

 

The short buildings near the beach won’t be tall enough to block out the sun, so you can enjoy a breathtaking Texas beach sunset. South Padre Island has also been spared destruction from hurricanes, so you can enjoy the untouched sandy beaches.

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Top 5 Places To Stay Near South Padre Island

Because of the high-quality beach, you’ll find lots of high-quality hotels and resorts on the oceanfront. If they’re out of your budget, though, there are cheaper places to stay on your vacation.

  • Isla Grand Beach Resort
  • Comfort Suites Near South Padre Island Beach
  • Schlitterbahn Waterpark and Beach Resort
  • Upper Deck Hotel with the Poolside Bar & Grill
  • The Palms Resort

Top 5 Things To Do Near South Padre Island

South Padre Island has nearby kiteboarding and windsurfing shops available, paddleboarding, nearshore and offshore fishing, skydiving, parasailing, and even horseback riding.

Top 5 Restaurants Near South Padre Island

You see the sea? You’ll see the seafood. Delicious seafood restaurants line the shores of South Padre Island, giving you the best meals harvested from the ocean. If seafood isn’t your thing, there are still plenty of American diners, pizza joints, and Mexican restaurants because of the proximity to the Mexican border.

  • Blackbeard’s seafood restaurant

  • Pier 19

  • Ceviche Ceviche

  • The Grapevine Cafe and Coffeehouse

  • Yummies Bistro

2. Surfside Beach

The sunny, calm waters of Surfside Beach resides nearly an hour and a half south from Houston in the southeast part of the state. The nearest towns are Angleton and West Columbia.

Getting To Surfside Beach

Let’s say you want to get there from Houston. You’d take HWY-288 heading south, and the island is pretty much a straight shot. You could bike to Surfside Beach if you’re already on the island — a lot of the roads have bike paths along the side.

Parking At Surfside Beach

Most of the time I find a spot if I get there early. The beach doesn’t have a parking lot so guests park directly on the beach. This can lead to the beach filling up pretty quickly by the afternoon, making it nearly impossible to find a spot afterward. There is a free parking section and a paid parking area. 

Photos Of Surfside Beach

Surfside Beach is not as action-packed as other beaches are. The town is small and mostly residential, so you should bring your own beach tent, gear, and any water games you want to play. There’s not much else to do besides what you can bring and operate at a beach yourself.

Good For Yes / No

 

Surfing

 

 

Yes

 

Swimming

 

 

Yes

 

Fishing

 

 

Yes

 

Snorkeling

 

 

No

 

Kite Surfing

 

 

No

 

Paddle Boarding

 

 

No

 

Beach Sports

 

 

Yes

If you go a bit before June and a little after August, avoiding peak times, you’ll find this beach nearly empty. Even if you go when everyone else does, you’ll enjoy the serene environment where it’s just you, your loved ones, the wind, waves, and ocean. 

 

You might see folks surfing and paddleboarding, but there are no jet skis or windsurfers or other speedaholics here. If you want that fix, you’ll want to go to another beach.

Good For Yes / No

 

Young Adults

 

 

No

 

Families

 

 

Yes

 

Elderly

 

 

Yes

Surfside Beach Weather

Annually, there are 203 sunny days to be had at Surfside Beach. It’s been unaffected by the recent hurricanes, so the beaches are clean and crisp. Because of low construction around the beach, the surrounding buildings don’t impede the beautiful view of sunsets.

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Top 5 Places To Stay Near Surfside Beach

Surfside Island is a sleepy little neighborhood without many high rise buildings or massive resorts. The hotels by Surfside Beach will most likely be smaller and locally-owned. There are also rental properties galore — akin to AirBnBs. 

 

There’s not a lot of good options on Surfside Island itself, so you’ll have to stay a bit farther away for comfortable hotel arrangements.

  • Ocean Village Hotel
  • Ocean Village Extended Stay Suites
  • Days Inn by Wyndham Freeport
  • Baymont by Wyndham Clute
  • TownePlace Suites by Marriott Lake Jackson Chute

Top 5 Things To Do Near Surfside Beach

Surfside Beach is what you make of it. Whether you decide to go fishing, surfing, make sandcastles with the little ones, or just decide to read all day, Surfside Beach affords the privacy and space you need to have a great time. While quiet, there are a few exciting gems here, such as:

  • Horseback riding on the beach.
  • Explore the historic Jetty Park in Surfside.
  • Go on a guided dolphin tour.
  • Visit the Quintana Neotropical Bird Sanctuary.
  • Walk, jog, or bike the Bluewater Highway Trail.

Top 5 Restaurants Near Surfside Beach

Most of the food options on Surfside Island skews toward American hamburgers or grills, although nearly all of their menus will have a seafood option. Of course, there are still seafood restaurants as well, like Pier 30.

  • Red Snapper Inn
  • Seahorse Bar and Grill
  • Kitty’s Purple Cow Cafe
  • Pier 30
  • Beach Front Deck Bar and Grill — where you can play giant chess!

3. Corpus Christi Beach

Corpus Christi Beach, renamed North Beach in 2012, is on the southern edge of Texas, nearly 146 miles south of San Antonio. To the west of Corpus Christi Beach is Alice and Kingsville.

Getting To Corpus Christi Beach

To get there from the north, take I-37 and head south. If you’re coming from the west, go east on TX-44. Take US-77 if you’re driving north from the south. Unless you’re coming up there for the Fourth of July or Memorial Day, you shouldn’t hit traffic congestion.

Parking At Corpus Christi Beach

You can mostly find a spot at Corpus Christi Beach depending on when you go. If you avoid holidays, parking isn’t an issue as there are copious parking lots by the beach and street parking if you’re feeling up for a walk. If you’re so inclined, you can bike to the beach as well.

Photos Of Corpus Christi Beach

The water along North Beach’s shores is deep blue and beautiful, but the sand along the beach is gravely and too uncomfortable to lay on. Beachgoers often leave trash behind, and some visitors have even reported medical waste found on the beach, like needles and pill bottles. Many said they were stung by jellyfish upon swimming in the water as well.

 

You can still have a day at the beach, just be cognizant of your surroundings and wear shoes. Maybe grab a chair as opposed to lying on the sand, and don’t spend too long in the water.

Good For Yes / No

 

Surfing

 

 

Yes

 

Swimming

 

 

Yes

 

Fishing

 

 

Yes

 

Snorkeling

 

 

No

 

Kite Surfing

 

 

No

 

Paddle Boarding

 

 

No

 

Beach Sports

 

 

No

If you like being near the water, you’ll still like visiting North Beach.

 

Corpus Christi has lots of surrounding attractions to entertain visitors, such as the Texas State Aquarium and the USS Lexington Museum. There are bars and restaurants galore along North Beach, so night owls will have plenty to do after hours.

Good For Yes / No

 

Young Adults

 

 

Yes

 

Families

 

 

Yes

 

Elderly

 

 

Yes

Corpus Christi Beach Weather

North Beach maintains idyllic weather conditions year-round, though June through August could get near 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

 

You’ll want to avoid September if you don’t want to get caught in the rain, but otherwise, Corpus Christi will provide a great backdrop for summer vacations.

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Top 5 Places To Stay Near Corpus Christi Beach

You won’t see many resorts in North Beach. You’re more likely to see a few nice hotels and lots of cheaper motels. No matter what your budget is, you’ll find a place to stay along North Beach or Corpus Christi Beach.

  • Hotel De Ville
  • Beachcomber Cottages
  • Omni Corpus Christi Hotel
  • V Boutique Hotel
  • Best Western Corpus Christi

Top 5 Things To Do Near Corpus Christi Beach

Like aquariums? Like museums and amusement parks? North Beach has some of the best attractions in Texas. Whether a nature lover or WWII buff, North Beach has it all.

  • The Texas State Aquarium
  • USS Lexington WWII Aircraft Carrier and Naval Museum
  • Hurricane Alley Waterpark
  • Corpus Christi Museum of Science and Natural History
  • Texas Surf Museum

Top 5 Restaurants Near Corpus Christi Beach

North Beach offers a variety of choices for those who like different types of food. There’s plentiful seafood restaurants and also Mexican food, barbeques, upscale dining, and casual American eats.

  • Blackbeard’s on the Beach
  • Bali’s Bar and Grille
  • Water Street Oyster and Sushi Bar
  • Yo Philly Cheesesteaks and Subs
  • Hester’s Cafe

4. Mustang Island

Mustang Island is nearly directly to the east of Corpus Christi on the southern edge of Texas.

Getting To Mustang Island

You’ll have to take I-37 and take TX-358, then turn onto TX-361 to enter the island.

Parking At Mustang Island

You will always find a spot. There’s always a place to park in one of the nearby lots.

Photos Of Mustang Island

sun setting over the horizon at mustang island texas
two elderly people walking on the beach at mustang island texas

There are nearly five miles of beach at the Mustang Island State Park, so it’s unlikely to feel crowded. You can find a secluded spot and surf the waters, go paddling on the Mustang Island State Park Paddling Trail, or simply take a thorough stroll along the beach — among others.

Good For Yes / No

 

Surfing

 

 

Yes

 

Swimming

 

 

Yes

 

Fishing

 

 

Yes

 

Snorkeling

 

 

No

 

Kite Surfing

 

 

Yes

 

Paddle Boarding

 

 

Yes

 

Beach Sports

 

 

Yes

Small kids will love the miles of beach to explore and sand to build castles on. College kids can entertain themselves if they bring beach sports equipment or games, though if they go by themselves, they might not like the alcohol restrictions. Older folks will enjoy the privacy along this long strip of beach.

Good For Yes / No

 

Young Adults

 

 

Yes

 

Families

 

 

Yes

 

Elderly

 

 

Yes

Mustang Island Weather

Expect clouds and heavier showers in September and parts of October if you want to avoid peak tourism times. But summer will bring the typical Texan weather — warm days nearing 100 degrees.

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Top 5 Places To Stay Near Mustang Island

There’s no housing in the state park, but a few hotels line the entrance to the island before getting to the park. You’ll find plenty of places to stay on the mainland as well — mostly chain hotels, but a few locally-owned businesses and resorts as well.

  • Village by the Beach
  • Best Western — Padre Island
  • La Casa Del Sol
  • Waves Resort Corpus Christi
  • The Island Hotel

Top 5 Things To Do Near Mustang Island

Of course, the biggest attraction on this island is Mustang Island State Park, with the miles of naturally beautiful beaches and the freedom to do nearly any popular beach activity. There’s a kitschy pirate cruise you could do, or if you like nature, a beautiful birding center to pay a visit to.

  • Explore Mustang Island State Park
  • Red Dragon Pirate Cruises
  • Leonabelle Turnbull Birding Center
  • Horses on the Beach
  • Chute ‘Em Up Parasailing

Top 5 Restaurants Near Mustang Island

While mostly consisting of seafood, the restaurant selection on Mustang Island includes Italian, Southern, Thai, and Latin American.

  • Padre Island Burger Company
  • Costa Sur Wok and Ceviche Bar
  • Snoopy’s Pier
  • Thai Siam Island Restaurant
  • Island Time

5. Boca Chica Beach

Boca Chica Beach is at the southernmost tip of Texas, but well worth the drive to capture a beach getaway.

Getting To Boca Chica Beach

Getting to the beach requires taking Route-281 or Route-77 down as if you’re heading to Mexico. The roads may be congested on the small roads, but it’s so tucked out of the way that traffic shouldn’t be a problem. Brownsville would be the closest city.

Parking At Boca Chica Beach

You can always find a spot to park, as you park directly on the beach.

Photos Of Boca Chica Beach

sand dunes out at boca chica beach texas

Boca Chica is one of the United State’s southernmost mainland beaches aside from Florida, of course. As with any excellent beach, you can do all the basic beach endeavors, like surfing, fishing, snorkeling, birdwatching, and kitesurfing.

Good For Yes / No

 

Surfing

 

 

Yes

 

Swimming

 

 

Yes

 

Fishing

 

 

Yes

 

Snorkeling

 

 

Yes

 

Kite Surfing

 

 

Yes

 

Paddle Boarding

 

 

Yes

 

Beach Sports

 

 

Yes

Due to distance, many Texan beach-goers prefer to save travel time by choosing a beach close to them. It makes economic sense, and it also gives visitors plenty of space to spread out, break out the cornhole, and blast some tunes without worry.

Good For Yes / No

 

Young Adults

 

 

Yes

 

Families

 

 

Yes

 

Elderly

 

 

Yes

Boca Chica Beach Weather

Boca Chica Beach received some heavy rainfall during 2017’s Hurricane Harvey, it avoided the brunt of the damages. The beach is much more pleasant without hurricanes, staying warm and arid year-round.

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Top 5 Places To Stay Near Boca Chica Beach

The areas surrounding Boca Chica Beach aren’t developed, which is great for the local environment but inconvenient for beachgoers, as you’ll have to drive nearly 45 minutes farther inland to reach Boca Chica Beach. Still, there are plenty of cheap options in the surrounding towns to make staying near Boca Chica easier.

  • Staybridge Suites in Brownville
  • Rooms at the Pecan
  • Hotel at Alameda Express
  • La Quinta Inn & Suites by Wyndham Brownsville North
  • Rancho Viejo Resort and Country Club

Top 5 Things To Do Near Boca Chica Beach

Boca Chica doesn’t have much in terms of businesses providing amenities. It’s more of a choose-your-own-adventure with the people and gear you bring along with you. Still, you can do the following if you hit a lull in your vacation.

  • Visit Boca Chica State Park
  • Birdwatch at the Sabal Palm Sanctuary
  • Attend the Gladys Porter Zoo
  • Go to the Stillman House Museum
  • Visit the Children’s Museum of Brownsville

Top 5 Restaurants Near Boca Chica Beach

Because of its proximity to the Mexican border, most restaurants will offer Mexican food. You can still find restaurants providing American staples, like burgers and shakes.

  • Vermillion Restaurant and Watering Hole
  • Cocteleria El Amigo
  • Dora’s
  • Stars Drive-In
  • 100% Natural

6. Crystal Beach

Near the southwestern border along the Gulf Coast sits Crystal Beach.

Getting To Crystal Beach

The nearest metropolitan city is Houston, about 100 miles away. To get there, take I-10 E before turning onto I-45 S and US-90 E.

Parking At Crystal Beach

You can always find a spot at Crystal Beach, since you can park directly on the sand.

Photos Of Crystal Beach

lady in green shirt walking on bolivar peninsula crystal beach

Crystal Beach gets its name for a reason — when you step on these sands, you’ll gaze into crystal blue waters with shallow waters great for kayaking and paddle boarding that deepen out into the perfect surfing waves.

Good For Yes / No

 

Surfing

 

 

Yes

 

Swimming

 

 

Yes

 

Fishing

 

 

Yes

 

Snorkeling

 

 

No

 

Kite Surfing

 

 

Yes

 

Paddle Boarding

 

 

Yes

 

Beach Sports

 

 

Yes

Crystal Beach is a popular vacation destination for both old and young people alike. The Bolivar Peninsula has lots of dining options to choose from, as well as clean beaches on which people can bring their entertainment.

Good For Yes / No

 

Young Adults

 

 

Yes

 

Families

 

 

Yes

 

Elderly

 

 

Yes

Crystal Beach Weather

Bolivar Peninsula, which contains Crystal Beach, received severe damage from Hurricane Harvey in 2017 since the peninsula is one of Texas’ barrier landforms. Almost all have been cleaned up since the initial destruction, and the warm skies and general lack of rain seem opposite from the devastating weather that hit the peninsula in 2017.

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Top 5 Places To Stay Near Crystal Beach

You’ll find smaller, locally-owned businesses on the island itself. As a result, finding a place to stay during peak seasons may be difficult when all the on-peninsula hotels fill up. There will be plenty of places to stay in off-peak times, in either a humble hotel or swankier villa.

  • Crystal Beach Villa
  • Saltwater Inn 
  • Out by the Sea Bed and Breakfast
  • Comfort Inn and Suites at Winnie
  • Hampton Inn and Suites — Winnie

Top 5 Things To Do Near Crystal Beach

Crystal Beach isn’t as crowded as some other beaches like South Padre and nearby Galveston, but there are still several businesses and organizations doing what they can to preoccupy beachgoers with interesting things to do, such as:

  • Visit the Bolivar Lighthouse
  • Fort Travis Park
  • Fun Spot Water Slide
  • Moody Gardens
  • Birdwatching on the Peninsula

Top 5 Restaurants Near Crystal Beach

Get your choice of Tex-Mex, American food, and tons of seafood options. You have your pick of cafes, higher-end dining, or a casual diner.

  • Steve’s Landing Restaurant
  • Ocean Grille Restaurant
  • Joe’s Cantina
  • Stingaree Restaurant and Marina
  • Hardheads Icehouse Grille and Scratch Chicken

7. Port Aransas Beach

Situated to the east of Corpus Christi, Port Aransas sits at the top of Mustang Island.

Getting To Port Aransas Beach

You’ll need to head south on I-37 before taking US-131 and TX-119. Unless it’s peak travel time, traffic should be clear.

Parking At Port Aransas Beach

You can always find a place to park, since there’s parking all along Port Aransas Beach road which runs parallel to the beach.

Photos Of Port Aransas Beach

With 18 miles of uninterrupted beach, Mustang Island offers a variety of fun activities for you and your family. There are some jetties to fish off of, plenty of big waves to entertain surfers, pretty and clean waters to swim in, and dozens of other things to do on this small island.

Good For Yes / No

 

Surfing

 

 

Yes

 

Swimming

 

 

Yes

 

Fishing

 

 

Yes

 

Snorkeling

 

 

No

 

Kite Surfing

 

 

Yes

 

Paddle Boarding

 

 

No

 

Beach Sports

 

 

Yes

The beach doesn’t get crowded with spring breakers or beachcombers alike. Families will like the clean beaches and kid-friendly activities. You should pack with you what you want to do on the beach, but there are still awesome nearby attractions for all people.

Good For Yes / No

 

Young Adults

 

 

Yes

 

Families

 

 

Yes

 

Elderly

 

 

Yes

Port Aransas Beach Weather

Hurricane Harvey greeted Port Aransas first in its path of destruction in Texas, so the beach received a lot of wind and flood damages. It has since been restored, and mostly sunny and clear skies have reigned ever since.

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Top 5 Places To Stay Near Port Aransas Beach

You’ll see a wide range in prices for the hotels near Port Aransas, ranging from the budget-friendly accommodations to pricier resort-style spaces.

  • The Beachcomber Motel
  • Sea Isle Village
  • Holiday Inn Express — Port Aransas
  • Tropic Island Resort
  • Amelia’s Landing Hotel

Top 5 Things To Do Near Port Aransas Beach

The options are varied. You could go on a pirate ship or a museum, depending on your tastes.

  • Visit Robert Points Park
  • Rent a golf cart and explore the beach
  • Check out the Port Aransas Museum
  • Red Dragon Pirate Cruises
  • Enjoy a Dolphin Watching Cruise

Top 5 Restaurants Near Port Aransas Beach

Aside from the stereotypical seafood and beach-themes common to most beach towns, Port Aransas likes the pirate aesthetic as well. There are pirate-themed restaurants in addition to Mexican, American, and other ones.

  • The Gaff
  • Shell’s
  • Port A Pizzeria
  • Restaurant San Juan
  • Trout Street Bar and Grill

8. Rockport Beach

Despite it’s smaller size, Rockport has one of the best beaches in Texas.

Getting To Rockport Beach

You’ll find this beach about 30 miles northeast of Corpus Christi toward the southern point of Texas. It’s easiest to get there heading south on I-37, Route 181, or Route 183.

Parking At Rockport Beach

There’s a huge parking lot near the Rockport Beach Park, so if you miss peak travel times like Memorial Day or the Fourth of July, you can always find a spot.

Photos Of Rockport Beach

sunset over rockport in texas

Rockport Beach restricts bringing pets and glass bottles on the beach and enforces people clean up after themselves. Because of the high upkeep, Rockport became Texas’ first Blue Wave Beach. The water is warm but not too turbulent, so people of all ages can enjoy playing in the waves.

Good For Yes / No

 

Surfing

 

 

No

 

Swimming

 

 

Yes

 

Fishing

 

 

Yes

 

Snorkeling

 

 

Yes

 

Kite Surfing

 

 

No

 

Paddle Boarding

 

 

Yes

 

Beach Sports

 

 

Yes

Since it’s so clean and held to pristine conditions, Rockport Beach is the perfect getaway for people who want to enjoy the beach without stepping on trash or gritting through obnoxious noise pollution.

Good For Yes / No

 

Young Adults

 

 

Yes

 

Families

 

 

Yes

 

Elderly

 

 

Yes

Rockport Beach Weather

Hurricane Harvey’s devastating winds and floods did not spare Rockport, but the town has mostly recovered. Sunny days and crisp ocean breezes now dominate the picturesque beach.

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Top 5 Places To Stay Near Rockport Beach

There aren’t many commercial hotels by Rockport Beach, mostly smaller inns. Some chain hotels stand near the beach, though, should you want to use reward perks from that company.

  • Harbour Inn
  • Days Inn by Wyndham Rockport Texas
  • Holiday Inn Express & Suites Rockport – Bay View
  • Bay View Inn
  • Blue Wave Inn

Top 5 Things To Do Near Rockport Beach

Preserving the beauty of the past is Rockport’s mission. Whether it’s the environment or historic sites, there will be plenty of charming areas to visit during your stay at Rockport Beach.

  • Goose Island State Park
  • Fulton Mansion State Historic Site
  • Texas Maritime Museum
  • Visit the oldest oak in Texas
  • Aquarium at Rockport Harbor

Top 5 Restaurants Near Rockport Beach

Rockport’s restaurants range from fancy-schmancy upscale dining to casual barbecue places. Types of food range from New American to comfort food and barbecue to Mexican.

  • Latitude 28°02′ Restaurant and Art Gallery
  • 495 Chesapeake Eats
  • Aranda’s Mexican Grill
  • Our Family Kitchen
  • Mac’s Pit Barbecue and Catering

9. Stewart Beach

Galveston is south of Mustang Island, near Texas City. 

Getting To Stewart Beach

It’s a little more than an hour south of Houston. You might experience traffic getting out of the city, but once you head south on I-45 S, it’ll be smooth sailing from there.

Parking At Stewart Beach

Stewart Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Texas behind South Padre Island. When summer hits, you’ll sometimes find a spot easily, but most of the time you’ll have to go in circles.

Photos Of Stewart Beach

view of stewart beach in galveston from the road

Due to its popularity, Galveston offers lots of options for all types of beachgoers. There are kitesurfing and surfboard rentals, paddleboarding, and fishing spots available. Different speeds for different needs.

Good For Yes / No

 

Surfing

 

 

Yes

 

Swimming

 

 

Yes

 

Fishing

 

 

Yes

 

Snorkeling

 

 

Yes

 

Kite Surfing

 

 

Yes

 

Paddle Boarding

 

 

No

 

Beach Sports

 

 

Yes

Stewart Beach is clean, has a friendly staff, and offers plentiful amenities like a pavilion and beach chair and umbrella rentals. The beach has a lot of strict rules, including one that bans alcohol from the beach. College kids hoping to spring break there might not like that restriction.

Good For Yes / No

 

Young Adults

 

 

No

 

Families

 

 

Yes

 

Elderly

 

 

Yes

Stewart Beach Weather

Stewart Beach is nearby dozens of historic sites mixed with modern fixtures. If you’re a history buff or looking for the next flashy thing to keep you occupied, Stewart Beach offers a week’s worth of activities in one idyllic town.

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Top 5 Places To Stay Near Stewart Beach

If you want to stay right on the beach, you’re going to have to pay. The shorelines are stippled with expensive hotels and resorts.

  • The Tremont House
  • DoubleTree by Hilton
  • Hotel Galvez and Spa
  • The Lost Bayou Guesthouse Bed and Breakfast 
  • Coppersmith Inn Bed and Breakfast

Top 5 Things To Do Near Stewart Beach

Stewart Beach is nearby dozens of historic sites mixed with modern fixtures. If you’re a history buff or looking for the next flashy thing to keep you occupied, Stewart Beach offers a week’s worth of activities in one idyllic town.

  • Visit Pleasure Pier
  • Galveston Horse and Pony Rides
  • Enter a haunted house (if you dare)
  • Galveston Water Adventures for Thrill Seekers
  • Tour a historical heritage site

Top 5 Restaurants Near Stewart Beach

All those tourists coming to Stewart Beach have to eat somewhere, so there are plenty of options for plenty of budgets. There are seafood, Mexican, Italian, Asian options, and a restaurant nearly 100 years old.

  • Grotto Ristorante
  • Bronco Burrito
  • Gaido’s
  • Shrimp N Stuff
  • Porch Cafe

10. Malaquite Beach

Located on Padre Island, Malaquite Beach is southeast of Corpus Christi.

Getting To Malaquite Beach

Getting there requires you take I-37 south, eventually getting on US-181 S and TX-199 E.

Parking At Malaquite Beach

The parking lot is massive for Malaquite Beach, so you can can always find a spot when you’re there. 

Photos Of Malaquite Beach

blue sky day at malaquite beach texas with waves breaking

The wind constantly blows along the shore in powerful gusts, making surfing and kitesurfing a breeze. Paddleboarders should only attempt paddleboarding if they have strong balance.

Good For Yes / No

 

Surfing

 

 

Yes

 

Swimming

 

 

Yes

 

Fishing

 

 

Yes

 

Snorkeling

 

 

Yes

 

Kite Surfing

 

 

Yes

 

Paddle Boarding

 

 

Yes

 

Beach Sports

 

 

Yes

Little kids, young couples, and retirees will love visiting this beach. A good spot isn’t too far of a walk from the parking lot, and there are plenty of beach and surrounding activities to keep people of all ages entertained.

Good For Yes / No

 

Young Adults

 

 

Yes

 

Families

 

 

Yes

 

Elderly

 

 

Yes

Malaquite Beach Weather

This formerly Hurricane Harvey afflicted beach now bustles with vibrancy. The water is blue, the sun is warm, and the cool breeze always pushing at your back to continue exploring the surf more. Just be sure to pack sunscreen — there’s not much cloud coverage on this beach.

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Top 5 Places To Stay Near Malaquite Beach

Hotels on the island are going to be much more luxurious and expensive than those on the mainland, but know there’s going to be enough places to accommodate you and your family’s needs.

  • Waves Resort Corpus Christi
  • Best Western Padre Island
  • Candlewood Suites
  • Bluff’s Landing Marina and Lodge
  • Comfort Suites Near Texas A&M

Top 5 Things To Do Near Malaquite Beach

The real beauty of Malaquite Beach is the surrounding natural environments. Walking through the state park or the national seashore could take all day, but the gorgeous scenery you’ll take in will be worth it.

  • Padre Balli Park
  • Texas Sealife Center
  • Mustang Island State Park
  • Whitecap Beach
  • Padre Island National Seashore

Top 5 Restaurants Near Malaquite Beach

Offering everything from Mexican food to American classics like beef burgers and pizza, dining around Malaquite Beach won’t be anything for which to break out of your comfort zone, but the food will be delicious nonetheless.

  • Dragonfly Restaurant
  • Brooklyn Pie Co.
  • La Palma
  • Black Sheep Bistro
  • The Angry Marlin

11. Lighthouse Beach

Lighthouse beach is next to Port Lavaca along Lavaca Bay

Getting To Lighthouse Beach

The closest city is Victoria, Texas. To get to Lighthouse Beach, take US-181 S or TX-199 E and head south.

Parking At Lighthouse Beach

Sometimes you can find a spot, depending on the time of day. Morning time, no problem. But if you get there in the late afternoon, you’ll have to keep going in circles. If you stay at a nearby motel, though, you won’t have to drive to the beach at all — you can simply walk.

Photos Of Lighthouse Beach

lighthouse beach from the road in port lavaca texas

Lighthouse Beach is spacious and accommodating for large crowds. It’s clean with lots of shade to sit under. However, there’s not much wind coming off from the water or many waves.

Good For Yes / No

 

Surfing

 

 

No

 

Swimming

 

 

Yes

 

Fishing

 

 

Yes

 

Snorkeling

 

 

No

 

Kite Surfing

 

 

No

 

Paddle Boarding

 

 

Yes

 

Beach Sports

 

 

Yes

Little kids will keep themselves preoccupied with the miles of clean sand and calm waters. Older people will like the easy beach accessibility from the nearby parking lot as well as privacy. Teenagers and college kids might grow restless.

Good For Yes / No

 

Young Adults

 

 

No

 

Families

 

 

Yes

 

Elderly

 

 

Yes

Lighthouse Beach Weather

Lighthouse Beach was unable to escape the wrath of Hurricane Harvey, but it didn’t get the devastation as bad as other areas. Now it’s back to its pleasant, sunny normalcy.

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Top Places To Stay Near Lighthouse Beach

Lighthouse Beach doesn’t have many high-quality options for hotels. Below are the only ones above an 80% rating. You could get closer hotels for a lot cheaper, but the experience you get there might not be worth saving the money.

Holiday Inn Express and Suites

La Quinta Inn and Suites by Wyndham

Top 5 Things To Do Near Lighthouse Beach

Port Lavaca is a small, slow-paced town with natural beauty as its main commodity. If slower-paced activities are your ideal, you’ll like spending time around Lighthouse Beach.

  • Indianola Fishing Marina
  • Calhoun County Museum
  • Port Salle Monument
  • Half Moon Reef Lighthouse
  • Port Lavaca Bird Sanctuary

Top 5 Restaurants Near Lighthouse Beach

You’ll find most restaurants sell freshly caught seafood, a mix between American and Mexican cuisine, and other options for adventurous eaters.

  • Oven Loven Pizza
  • Casa Jalisco
  • Green Iguana Grill 
  • Taqueria La Finca
  • Don Julio Mexican Restaurant

12. Galveston Beach

This list of best beaches in Texas wouldn’t be complete without Galveston Beach. It’s on Galveston Island, nearly an hour southeast of Houston.

Getting To Galveston Beach

Galveston and Texas City are the closest towns this beach. You’re essentially going to drive down I-45 S to Galveston Island, so traffic won’t be too bad once you leave the city.

Parking At Galveston Beach

You can sometimes find a spot during the summer months traveling here, as Galveston is one of the most popular beach getaway destinations in Texas.

While there’s plenty of parking, the beach often fills up by noon. If you’re in a pinch, you can always take an Uber or Lyft to the beach from your hotel.

Photos Of Galveston Beach

sun rising over galveston beach in galveston tx
sunset at galveston beach in galveston tx
view of pleasure pier up close from galveston beach in galveston tx

There are go-karts. Extreme water sports. Jet skis. You name it, Galveston has it. The city is dedicated to making sure you and your loved ones have fun during their time here.

Good For Yes / No

 

Surfing

 

 

Yes

 

Swimming

 

 

Yes

 

Fishing

 

 

Yes

 

Snorkeling

 

 

Yes

 

Kite Surfing

 

 

Yes

 

Paddle Boarding

 

 

Yes

 

Beach Sports

 

 

Yes

No matter what age group, ability, or size you are, there’s going to be something for you to do in Galveston.

 

Some attractions, like go-karts, will interest kids while teenagers might gravitate toward the extreme water sports. The elderly can explore nearby historic areas, and young couples can share cocktails while gazing at the waves.

Good For Yes / No

 

Young Adults

 

 

Yes

 

Families

 

 

Yes

 

Elderly

 

 

Yes

Galveston Beach Weather

Galveston is sunny and bright year-round, with temperatures rarely dropping below 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

 

The clouds stay away for most of the year, meaning you can work on your tan and enjoy the beautiful blue skies above.

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Top 5 Places To Stay Near Galveston Beach

You’ll find a variety of hotels near Galveston Beach, ranging from humble motels to fully high-class resorts.

 

There’s something for everyone’s price ranges.

  • Casa Del Mar Beachfront Suites
  • Hampton Inn and Suites Galveston
  • Quality Inn Suites Beachfront
  • San Luis Resort and Spa
  • Four Seasons on the Gulf

Top 5 Things To Do Near Galveston Beach

Galveston has a website dedicated to all of the awesome things you can do while visiting.

 

There’s something for everyone, if you’re into nature or history, going to pubs or seeking a thrill.

  • Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier
  • Extreme Water Sports
  • Galveston Naval Museum
  • Moody Mansion
  • Galveston Island State Park

Top 5 Restaurants Near Galveston Beach

As with Galveston’s attractions, there’s going to be a delicious meal for anyone’s palate when they come here.

  • Yamato Japanese Restaurant
  • Cajun Greek
  • Salsas Mexican Restaurant
  • Tongs Happy Buddha
  • Texas Pit Stop BBQ

13. Matagorda Beach

Right by Matagorda, Matagorda Beach is in the middle of Texas’ coast along the Gulf of Mexico.

Getting To Matagorda Beach

To get there, take HWY 288 S and head down till you reach TX-60. It takes about three hours if you’re heading down from Houston. Matagorda is the nearest town.

Parking At Matagorda Beach

There are a good bit of parking lots around the beach, and since this destination isn’t super popular, you can pretty much always find a spot when you go.

Photos Of Matagorda Beach

matagorda beach on an overcast grey sky day

Matagorda Beach is spacious. You can drive right up on the sand and go exploring in your car, or you can unpack your beach gear and watch the blue waves crashing on the shore.

 

There are shorebirds galore and plenty of crabs scuttling about the beach. With fewer people around, you can get a bigger shell haul.

Good For Yes / No

 

Surfing

 

 

Yes

 

Swimming

 

 

Yes

 

Fishing

 

 

Yes

 

Snorkeling

 

 

No

 

Kite Surfing

 

 

Yes

 

Paddle Boarding

 

 

Yes

 

Beach Sports

 

 

Yes

While fun to sit and stare at the beautiful environment, you might grow bored of it eventually at Matagorda Bay.

 

Come in large groups and converse with your peers, or bring a book with you as you sit on the beach. Families with small kids might have an easier time with this, as will older folks.

Good For Yes / No

 

Young Adults

 

 

Yes

 

Families

 

 

Yes

 

Elderly

 

 

Yes

Matagorda Beach Weather

Matagorda Bay’s weather is comparable to the surrounding beaches — approaching the hundreds between May and August with September and October being the wetter months.

 

Avoid those last two if you want clear skies and warm temperatures on your trip.

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Top 3 Places To Stay Near Matagorda Beach

The rustic look of these locally-owned hotels mimics the charm of Matagorda Beach itself. You’ll find their prices economical for the short drive you’ll have to make to get to the beach.

 

There are other lodging options in farther cities should these fill up, but they’re about 30 minutes away from the beach.

  • Fisherman’s Motel
  • Stanley-Fisher House Bed and Breakfast
  • Matagorda Saltgrass Lodge

Top 5 Things To Do Near Matagorda Beach

The activities near Matagorda Beach are rather sparse and spread out. If you want to visit the beach, it would be best to get the most out of the visit as you can, as these waters will be cleaner and bluer than more populated beaches.

  • Mad Island
  • Go kayaking
  • Learn to paddleboard
  • Go horseback riding
  • Fish along the pier

Top 5 Restaurants Near Matagorda Beach

Matagorda Beach restaurants mostly skew toward seafood, but there are still a few options for those who might not like it. There’s plenty of BBQ and juicy burgers to be had on this beach.

  • Waterfront Restaurant
  • Spoonbills Restaurant
  • Snappers Bar and Grill
  • Lighthouse Barbeque Cafe
  • Bayside Seafood Restaurant

14. Magnolia Beach

Magnolia Beach is nearly in the middle of the Texas coast, tucked away in the Lavaca Bay. 

Getting To Magnolia Beach

The closest large city is Victoria. Magnolia Beach is around two and a half hours southwest from Houston. Get there by driving along US-87 or TX-35.

Parking At Magnolia Beach

Magnolia Beach doesn’t get a lot of tourists, so you can almost always find a spot to park.

Photos Of Magnolia Beach

Magnolia Beach has mostly residential homes bordering the beach. You won’t find tourist-trap amusement parks or any other hot commodity other beaches have.

 

Instead, you need to pack your gear and entertainment with you and spend time relaxing on the shore.

Good For Yes / No

 

Surfing

 

 

No

 

Swimming

 

 

Yes

 

Fishing

 

 

Yes

 

Snorkeling

 

 

No

 

Kite Surfing

 

 

Yes

 

Paddle Boarding

 

 

Yes

 

Beach Sports

 

 

Yes

Magnolia Beach is best for a road trip or RV camping vacation as opposed to action-filled breaks.

 

You won’t find many spring breakers here, but those who prefer introverted beach getaways as opposed to extroverted ones.

Good For Yes / No

 

Young Adults

 

 

No

 

Families

 

 

Yes

 

Elderly

 

 

Yes

Magnolia Beach Weather

Pretty much all year-round you’ll have clear, sunny skies. Just skip September and October, as those are the rainier months.

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Top 5 Places To Stay Near Magnolia Beach

Again, RV’s would probably be the most preferred lodging to bring here as there will be plenty of RV parks unless you want to camp out on the beach. There aren’t many hotels or resorts to choose from.

  • The Bayshore
  • Indian Point Motel

Top 5 Things To Do Near Magnolia Beach

As with the hotels, activities near Magnolia Beach are sparse as well. But there are still a few gems.

  • Unity Park
  • Pinebrook Farms
  • GenuWine Tasting Room

Top 5 Restaurants Near Magnolia Beach

There aren’t any restaurants by Magnolia Beach. The closest food establishment would be in Port Lavaca, so take a look at the options from Lighthouse Beach to get a feel for what’s good. 

 

The seclusion from the outside world is what makes Magnolia Beach one of the best beaches in Texas. It’s beautiful, unspoiled waters are comparable to few others on the Texas shore.

15. San Jose Island Beach

Last on our list of the best beaches in Texas is on San Jose Island, a private island with public beaches toward the middle of the Texas coast

Getting To San Jose Island Beach

Getting to San Jose Island requires hopping on a ferry from Port Aransas, which is about 45 minutes from Corpus Christi.

Parking At San Jose Island Beach

The ferry can bring up to 20 passenger vehicles. Once you get to San Jose, you can park nearly anywhere on the beach.

Photos Of San Jose Island Beach

san jode island beach aransas county texas

This secluded little island has lots of wind action going on. The beaches are pristine and deep blue, and it would be great to go snorkeling or surfing on.

Good For Yes / No

 

Surfing

 

 

Yes

 

Swimming

 

 

Yes

 

Fishing

 

 

Yes

 

Snorkeling

 

 

Yes

 

Kite Surfing

 

 

Yes

 

Paddle Boarding

 

 

Yes

 

Beach Sports

 

 

Yes

San Jose Island is a private island with a public beach, and visitors are not allowed to trek past the vegetation lines along the beach.

 

The owner asks visitors to respect the serene ecosystem of the beach, ensuring they don’t ruin the landscape. Anyone can go as long as they leave the San Jose Island Beaches better than they found them.

Good For Yes / No

 

Young Adults

 

 

Yes

 

Families

 

 

Yes

 

Elderly

 

 

Yes

San Jose Island Beach Weather

The weather in San Jose Island is typical to that of other beaches in Texas.

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Top 5 Places To Stay Near San Jose Island Beach

The island is undeveloped, so there are no hotels or resorts to stay at. The easiest would be to stay in Port Aransas.

  • Best Western Port Aransas
  • Days Inn by Wyndham Port Aransas
  • Amelia’s Landing Hotel
  • Holiday Inn Express and Suites Port Aransas
  • Hampton Inn and Suites Port Aransas

Top 5 Things To Do Near San Jose Island Beach

You step into an undeveloped beach when you arrive at San Jose Island. Enjoy it for what it gives you — raw nature in all its beauty. Just be sure to pack sunscreen, water, and a hat.

  • Shelling
  • Surfing
  • Birdwatching
  • Build sandcastles
  • Walk along the beach

Top 5 Restaurants Near San Jose Island Beach

Again, the top restaurants won’t be on San Jose Island Beach but in Port Aransas. To avoid wasting your time, check back at the options presented under Port Aransas Beach.

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