Reputed as the land of space technology, Houston is probably among the most underrated travel destinations. This large metropolis is situated in Texas extending to the sublime Galveston Bay. Its compact downtown area has several options to discover the local culture and some amazing tourist attractions. These include the Space Center, Houston Zoo, the Theater District featuring the renowned Houston Grand Opera, and a wide range of upscale restaurants to savor the delicious local cuisine. The city is also an ideal spot to enjoy the warm summer temperature. Texas boasts over 400 miles (643 km) of picturesque coastline where beachgoers have a myriad of choices to sunbathe. Just chill out in your flip-flops, and feel the refreshing breeze of the Gulf Coast. You can swim, kayak, sail, fish, go for turtle sightings and go boating. Book a room in one of the unique hotels or pet-friendly hotels in the city. If you’re looking for some intimate and serene beach getaways then you can also find gorgeous coves. Scroll down to find a comprehensive list of top beaches near Houston, TX.
1. El Jardin Beach, Seabrook
Photo is only for illustrative purposes
El Jardin del Mar which means ‘’The Garden of the Sea’’ in Spanish is a serene and secluded beach nestled in the northeast of Seabrook in Pasadena, Texas. This family-friendly beach offers families with children an ideal spot to spend quality time together. The surrounding area teems with diverse wildlife including the large brown pelicans, hermit crabs, rabbits, and the wonderful wild sunflowers. Escape the bustling beaches and enjoy the rather tranquil El Jardin del Mar where you can listen to the soothing waves. There is a parking area which is available at an extra cost.
El Jardin Beach, Seabrook
Address: 500 El Jardin Dr. Seabrook, TX 77586
2. Sylvan Beach, La Porte
Located some 30-minutes drive from the downtown Houston, the fun-packed Sylvan Beach is one of the closest beaches to Houston. Forming part of the 32 acres (12 hectares) Harris County park, it is suitable for children and adventurous beachgoers where they will have an array of fun activities to indulge in. The fine sandy Sylvan Beach has smaller waves making it ideal for swimming and there is no seaweed covering. The park includes a spacious playground, an air-conditioned pavilion, a skate park, tennis courts, a boat ramp, complimentary parking, and picnic tables. There is a shop where you can buy a 4 USD all-day pass for a large fishing pier. If you’re looking for a party then do not miss the Annual Sylvan Beach Festival Crawfish Jam which usually takes place in spring.
Sylvan Beach, La Porte
Address: 8121 Bay Shore Dr. La Porte, TX 77571
3. Stewart Beach, Galveston Island
The Stewart Beach is another interesting vacation spot located at the intersection of the historic Broadway Avenue and the Seawall at the Galveston Island. It is a barrier island which lies on the Texas Gulf Coast and is just some 50 miles (80 km) southeast of Houston. The beach is a popular family-friendly destination where families can enjoy the sun-drenched beach and the cool sea breeze. There are numerous facilities like the pavilion, playground, lifeguards, concessions, showers, restrooms, beach volleyball courts, a gift shop, chairs, beach wheelchairs, and umbrella rentals. Though, visitors should take note that alcoholic drinks are not allowed at the Beach. Besides, the island consists of some must-visit attractions which you do not want to miss.
Also See: 32 Best Things to do in Houston in 2020
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4. Surfside Beach
With direct access to the Gulf of Mexico, the Surfside Beach is just an hour from the south of Houston covering a distance of 60 miles (96 km). This sublime attraction is both a town and a recreation area which is at the end of an extensive peninsula is joined to Galveston Island by a bridge and surrounded by a semi-circle of lakes on its north side. The coastal town is ideal for a family vacation where there are many fun recreational activities. Facilities include motels, beach house rentals, fishing charters, shops, and restaurants.
Address: Surfside Beach, South Carolina 29575, USA
5. Bolivar Peninsula
Wondering if there are any clean beaches near Houston? The white sandy beach shoreline of the Bolivar Peninsula is one excellent example. Forming a very narrow strip stretching up to 27 miles (43 km) on the Upper Texas Gulf Coast, get ready to roll out your beach towel to sunbathe on cool spaces brimming with warmth, or take a refreshing plunge in the glistening sea. Here, you will find laid-back communities of the Crystal Beach, Port Bolivar, High Island, and Gilchrist, where you will have the chance to do fun and interesting things like fishing, live concerts, and even feast on the succulent local dishes. For some adrenaline rush try riding the waves on a boogie board. Children can stroll along the beach to look out for some gorgeous shells and shark teeth! You will also have the chance to paddle along the shoreline in a kayak.
Address: 2275 Hwy 87, Suite 10 Crystal Beach, Texas 77650
Website: Bolivar Peninsula
6. East Beach
With all the booze, frolic nights and loud music in the background, East Beach is the place to be if you’re seeking some fun entertainment. East Beach is known as the most happening and the biggest public beach in Texas located at the far eastern tip of Galveston Island. It is equally popular as a reputed fishing and bird watching spot. Expect to find festivals, and live music concerts throughout the summer months. The place usually hosts the annual American Institute of Architects (AIA) Sandcastle Competition in the month of June. Amenities consist of restrooms, showers, children’s playground, a pavilion, an entertainment stage and a boardwalk, lifeguards, beach wheelchairs, chairs, and umbrella rentals.
Address: 1923 Boddeker Rd, Galveston, TX 77550, USA
Galveston Island State Park is a blissful haven for nature lovers and adventurous spirits. Located on the western Galveston Island on the western Gulf Coast in Texas, the Galveston Island State Park is a lush green sanctuary covering an area of 2,013 acres (814.7 hectares) of dunes, estuaries, wetlands, brackish ponds, and beaches. The park was founded in 1975 for protecting the fauna consisting of a diverse range of bird species which visit this part of the island during the spring and migration periods. The park is equally an ideal spot for unwinding on the sun-soaked beach, fish, swim and even camp. Escape the bustling cities and seek refuge in this serene location where you will get to enjoy the sublime beach, the gulf, and the bay altogether.
Galveston Island and Houston Private Full-Day Sightseeing Tour
Duration: 8 hours
8. Quintana Beach
Photo is only for illustrative purposes
The gorgeous 52 acres (21 hectares) beachfront park is located on the Upper Texas Gulf Coast (in southern Brazoria County) bordered by the Surfside Beach city to the northeast and by Freeport to the southwest in the area of Bryan Beach. At the park’s entry gate a parking fee of 5 USD is collected from the Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend. The park boasts a stunning beach area, a historical site where there are remnants of the Freeport Harbor Defense during World War II and two historical buildings. The site offers various outdoor activities such as bird watching, fishing, swimming, surfing, beachcombing, shelling among others. Facilities include full-service RV campsites, restrooms, showers, self-contained cabins, lodges with kitchen, a covered pavilion, picnic tables, grills, playground, and volleyball court.
Address: 330 5th Street Quintana, TX 77541
9. Bryan Beach
This is a beautiful beach near Houston, TX. The unspoiled Bryan Beach has managed to stay in its natural state, a place where you can rejuvenate completely with your family. The beach lies on Intracoastal Waterway and Brazos River on the Gulf of Mexico. This free public beach is regularly maintained by the city of Freeport where families can spend a wonderful summer holiday. Indulge in some of the fun activities such as birding, fishing, sunbathing, and even primitive camping. Visitors won’t have to pay for car parking.
Address: Bryan BeachFreeport, TX 77541, USA
10. Crystal Beach
Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing
Stretching 7 mi (10 km), this pristine beach forms part of the 27 mi (43 km) of beach on the Bolivar Peninsula and is a great choice for a beach outing. From camping to birdwatching, the beach offers a wide array of activities for you and your family to enjoy. If that’s not enough, you and your family can enjoy the lazy river in Fun Town Water Park or play some relaxing mini golf at The Gulf Range. And finally, the entire Bolivar Peninsula showcases a fireworks show every New Year’s Eve and 4th of July.
Address: Texas 77550, United States
11. Matagorda Bay Nature Park
This is a 1,600-ac (647-ha) park and preserve situated on the Colorado River. Maintained by the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA), this nature park offers a wide variety of outdoor recreational activities like camping, fishing, watercraft rentals, a bird viewing area, mini golf, and many more. Apart from that, the park also features special events such as Birds on the Beach, Coastal Creations, and Paddle and Stroll.
Matagorda Bay Nature Park
Address: 6430 Farm to Market Road 2031, Matagorda, TX 77457
Website: Matagorda Bay Nature Park
Price: 5 USD for adults, 2 USD for disabled and elderly
12. Sea Rim State Park
Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account
The new boardwalk at Sea Rim State Park on the upper Texas Coast. Details on the reopening at http://bit.ly/SeaRimReopeningPosted by Texas Parks and Wildlife on Friday, June 20, 2014
In the southeast corner of Texas is a coastal park maintained by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. With 5.2 mi (8.3 km) of shoreline and 4,000 ac (1618 ha) of marshlands, this park is a great place for camping, fishing, kayaking, and horseback riding. Watch out for alligators though since they also live in the swamp. Also, the park offers several attractions such as McFaddin National Wildlife Refuge, J.D. Murphree Wildlife Management Area, Sabine Pass Battleground, and many more.
Sea Rim State Park
Address: 19335 S. Gulfway Drive Sabine Pass, TX 77655
Website: Sea Rim State Park
Opening hours: 8am - 10pm (daily)
Price: 3 USD for adults
Discover the sublime beaches near Houston
If you’re looking to spend your summer around Houston then consider this comprehensive list of the best beaches near Houston where you will find many fun activities to indulge in.
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