With so many beautiful beaches in the world Texas often gets overlooked for its magnificent sands and seawater. And with Texas having so much more to offer, a day on the beach is often passed over for touring historical sites or dining on the state’s unique cuisine. But, Texas has 600 miles of shoreline making it a perfect vacation destination within the country.
Most previous visitors to Texas agree that the best beaches are located around the areas of Galveston, Corpus Christi, and South Padre Island although there are other beaches which are off the beaten path that provide fun and enjoyment in a more deserted and private location.
In the Corpus Christi area North Beach, or Corpus Christi Beach is located north of the ship channel which is connected to the downtown area by the Harbor Bridge. There you’ll find the typical offerings of any beach plus the Texas State Aquarium and the USS Lexington Museum. The beach is rarely overcrowded making it perfect for a relaxing vacation. McGee Beach is small but cram-packed during holidays. This particular beach is great for taking kids along since the water is shallow and it’s easier to keep track of kids in such a small area.
Padre Balli County Park, on North Padre Island, is where you’ll find the Bob Hall Pier, a famous local landmark. A popular place for fishing the pier is avoided by many swimmers and surfers because so many people are fishing. J.P. Luby Surf Park, on North Park Island, is up the beach a couple of miles from Bob Hall Pier. This particular beach draws the partying crowd and is usually very crowded.
Galveston Island alone has 32 miles of shoreline with beautiful beaches everywhere. East Beach Park is a large beach near the ship channel where swimming isn’t encouraged. There are lots of people fishing which can be dangerous to swimmers. In some areas you can simply pull your car up right beside the water. The park has a pavilion as well as restrooms and showering facilities. Alcohol is permitted on this beach which may not be the most suitable for children.
Seawall Beaches is an entire collection of beaches located along the Galveston seawall. Although alcohol is not permitted on this particular beach there are places nearby to get food. There are also places to rent surfboards, boogie boards and beach umbrellas.
Stewart Beach is the perfect spot to take children for a day of sun and fun. No alcohol is permitted on the beach and there is a mini golf course and water slide, along with other attractions for kids. Adults can shop at gift and food stores. Located between the East End and Seawall beaches, Stewart Beach has plenty of parking but does charge a fee. Galveston Island State Park is located on the west end of Galveston Island and is over 2,000 acres in size. Swimming is allowed in the park but there are no lifeguards. There are camping areas and shelters with electricity and water.
Padre Island National Seashore is not the same as Padre National Island since the two are far apart and separated by the Mansfield Channel. Padre Island National Park is southeast of Corpus Christi. Pets are allowed in the park which has camping facilities. Malaquite Beach and Bird Island Basin are both very popular places to enjoy fishing or wind surfing. The area also features guided tours and children’s programs during certain times of the year. It is not unusual to spot jellyfish or man-o-war in these waters or washed up on the beach.
Be aware that there are fees for accessing the area, parking, using the campground and certain other fees. Although Malaquite Beach is considered by many to be the best beach in the park large crowds of people are normally seen except during summer holidays. The National Seashore visitor center has a museum, concession stand, bookstore, observation decks and much more.
Port Aransas, located on Mustang Island, is a small but adequate beach with plenty of shoreline and great deep-sea fishing opportunities. Along the waterfront docks you’ll find fabulous seafood and other restaurants.
Mustang Island State Park is about 4,000 acres in size and has about five miles of beach coastline. There are often dunes that reach over 30 feet high but are blown away later by high winds or hurricanes. The park features hiking, camping and fishing, along with swimming and surfing.
At the southernmost part of Texas lies the 34-mile stretch of barrier island called South Padre Island. The large resort area features many restaurants, nightclubs, hotels, shops and more. Since the beach is lammed by students on spring break most families avoid the summer months for vacationing here. For a little less bustle try the Isla Blanca County Park where you’ll find a little more serenity.