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FutureStarrBest Beaches in Texas
The Gulf region entices with 600 miles of coastline that invite you to swim and swim. You can also go horseback riding, jet skiing, sea kayaking, fishing, or snorkeling. Texas is known as the top bird-watching destination in the United States. From Beaumont to Galveston to Corpus Christi and everywhere in between, the Gulf Coast is home to lots of Texas beaches that are perfect for soaking up the saltwater air and the sound of crashing waves.
Crystal Beach is located on the Bolivar Peninsula, on Texas’s Upper Gulf, and is one of the best beaches in Texas for families. The quiet beach is popular for its abundant fishing opportunities, as well as crabbing and seafood. Guests are allowed to drive their cars and trucks onto the sand and camp out overnight (free), and set up grills and bonfires. After the sun sets, nearby restaurants, bars, and nightclubs keep the energy high. A ferry departs Galveston and Crystal Beach 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, making it easy to access the area.
North Beach is one of the best beaches in south Texas. It sits just across Harbor Bridge from Harbor Bridge in Corpus Christi, the second-largest city in the state. Within walking distance from the beach is the USS Lexington, a WWII aircraft carrier turned naval museum. The Texas State Aquarium features a 4D theater, a 400,000-gallon tank habitat for sharks and a jungle exhibit of flora and fauna native to the Yucatán, such as flamingos and southern 2-toed sloths.
Mustang Island State Park is home to 20 miles of hiking trails and 5 miles of beach. 98 campsites are available, located directly on the sand or father back. Swimming, birding, paddleboarding, and kayaking are all noble pursuits at the state park. This is one of the best Texas beaches to visit if you are planning to camp or RV, allowing you electric and water hookups with the beach being only steps from the shoreline. For visitors to Mustang Island, you must pay a daily rate or camping rate that can be paid in person or online.
Rockport Beach, Texas, is Texas' first and only Blue Wave Beach. It was the first beach to earn “Blue Wave Beach” status, an environmental certification. Rockport is one of the cleanest beaches in Texas and may be the best for families with children. The city of Rockport, 31 miles northeast of Corpus Christi, also makes a vibrant beach backdrop. Don't miss the annual Fulton Oysterfest in March, which supports the local volunteer fire department.
Matagorda Bay Nature Park is one of Texas’s most serene beaches. Only a few of the island's 58 miles of beach are accessible by foot. The island's rusted-over Lighthouse was built in 1852 and is no longer open to the public. It's one of the best spots in the Gulf of Texas to go for a bird-spotting, or go for kayaking in the shallow water or horseback riding in the shallows or marshes.
South Padre Island is a tourist hot spot in Texas for the wild life and those looking for the wildlife. The island's north end tends to be much quieter, if less developed, than the rest of the year. Isla Blanca Park, a water park with 13 waterslides and a zip line, is the perfect place to spend some time in the sun and play a variety of activities, from parasailing to deep-sea fishing to dolphin-watching trips. Bird watching is a popular activity, as visitors have spotted herons, egrets and Yellow-billed Loons among the more than 300 bird species that flock here during spring and fall migrations.
Port Aransas is a quiet, quiet spot for you to relax and enjoy the sounds of the Gulf of Mexico. It's a long stretch of coastline that offers plenty of opportunity for families to enjoy the peace of the day. The island is less crowded than its more popular counterparts such as South Padre Island and Galatino. The city has 6 miles of beaches and plenty of places to relax in the sun and play with your kids at sunset and take a break away from the hustle and bustle.
Surfside Beach is located in Brazoria County near Freeport, Texas. The area is less than an hour driving distance from Houston. Visitors can drive straight on the beach, avoiding need to drag beach supplies long-distance. Stronger waves occur during the hurricane season months, making Surfside one of the best surfing beaches in the state. Campfires are also permitted on Surfside, which means seaside s’mores for all to enjoy at this beach. Restaurants and lodging are plentiful in this small town, and a crabbing pier means fun for all.
The 7o miles of beaches and sand dunes that make up Padre Island National Seashore are a nature lover's paradise for over 300 individual bird species, as well as endangered Kemp’s ridley sea turtle. Padre is known for being the longest undeveloped coastline on a barrier island on the planet. The seashore belongs to the birds and the turtles, but those in the know come here to relax, camp, windsurf, kayak, and stroll the waterline in solitude.
San José Island is private-owned so there are no restaurants or stores on the island. There are zero facilities, bathrooms, running water, or shade, but the beach is incredibly safe and quiet. The Whooping Crane Festival takes place in nearby Port Aransas in February every February. Mustang Island is one of Texas's most scenic sand-rimmed barrier islands, up to 21 miles in length, and is less crowded than Matagorda Island, or Mustang Island.