10 Best Beaches in Houston Which Can Amaze You

Given that most of Texas’ big cities are completely landlocked, people don’t always think of it as a beach state. In fact, thanks to the Gulf of Mexico, there are many gorgeous options. And Houston is in an especially good position to reach many people! This is our guide to the best beaches in Houston.

List Of 10 Best Beaches in Houston

To reach them you have to go out for some time. But if you do, you’ll find everything from solitude to cute people to a more upbeat party atmosphere. Are you the more sporting type looking for fun in the sun and water? Or are you more attracted to historical architecture?

You’ve definitely come to the right place for all the information you need to enjoy the best beaches in Houston, America. Let’s Go

1. Surfside Beach In Houston

Surfside Beach In Houston

From the name, you might think that Surfside Beach is one of the more party destination beaches in Houston. This is actually one of the more fallback ones out there! If you’re looking for a lot of features, this won’t be the place for you.

But if exploring a vast undeveloped coastline sounds like your cup of tea, we can’t recommend it high enough. It is the perfect place to relax, play in the sand, swim, oyster hunt, fish, and more.

It also has some of the deepest waters in the area. It doesn’t usually have big waves, however, making it a great place for newbies to learn how to surf.

While the beach doesn’t have many extras, there is a charming little town nearby that we really enjoyed visiting. You can even make a night of it and camp overnight at the beach for a small fee.

There is a store nearby where you can get supplies called Book-E and several local restaurants. Some of the best include The Seahorse Bar & Grill and The Beach Front. The beach is also near the beautiful Surfside Jetty County Park, which you should definitely fit into your trip!

2. Sylvan Beach Park Houston

Sylvan Beach Park Houston

Of all the beaches in Houston, Sylvan is the closest to reach, only twenty-six miles from downtown. Thirty-two acres long, Sylvan Beach is distinguished for its gleaming white sand. Many of Houston’s other beaches are covered with seaweed, so when we visited, this beach really stood out.

Unlike the first beach on our list, Sylvan Beach Park also has plenty of amenities. This is especially good for families with young children. There is a playground and a pavilion with air conditioning if you want to escape the heat for a while. There is also a lovely picnic area with tables.

There is also a pier in the park for those interested in fishing. Boating is also available with a convenient ramp for launching.

The water is also relatively calm compared to some of the other beaches in the area. This makes it more welcoming for families with young children. Sylvan also offers free parking which can help families on a budget.

If you’re down in the spring, you can also check out the annual Sylvan Beach Festival! Enjoy great seafood, drinks and party in this super fun event!

3. Stewart Beach Houston

Stewart Beach Houston

Speaking of family-friendly, one of the best beaches in Houston TX if you have kids is Stewart Beach. It is so oriented towards families that alcohol is not allowed. And apart from all the typical fun in the sand and water, the beach also has a number of recreational facilities.

It includes a pavilion, various concessions with ice cream and other treats, a playground, volleyball courts, gift shop, and more.

There are also umbrella and chair rentals, restrooms and showers for public convenience. They also rent out beach wheelchairs for the handicapped and the elderly.

It is also not far from popular attractions like Moody Gardens and Schlitterbahn Waterpark. We had a blast at this water park, which has rides ranging from gentle for little kids to fiery waterslides for teens and adults. Both also have their own hotels.

And if you want to stay right near Stewart Beach, we recommend the opulent Grand Galvez Hotel & Spa for a truly luxury experience.

4. Galveston Island State Park

Galveston Island State Park

If you want to experience some nature and wildlife with its sand and sun, then Galveston Island is one of the best beaches in Houston for it. Of course, swimming and surfing are the two biggest draws here. But there are other things to do like nature walks, bird watching, hiking, biking, and more.

This is because Galveston Island State Park has many different areas as well as forms of wildlife. The park is spread over two thousand acres and has many beaches, wetlands and estuaries.

It also has lots of different animals, including swamp rabbits and raccoons throughout the year. Meanwhile, many migratory birds make Galveston Island their temporary hope in spring and autumn.

Other fun options include various tours by different types of boats, including paddle boats, jet boats, and airboats. Admission to the park is free for anyone under the age of twelve, and $5 for everyone else.

If you want to stay, the park offers camping grounds as well as cabins, providing an affordable vacation. Otherwise, if you want to stay in more luxurious surroundings, the Moody Gardens Hotel Spa is nearby.

5. East Beach In Houston

East Beach In Houston

Technically, East Beach, next on our list of beaches in Houston, is on Galveston Island. However, it’s so different that we felt it deserved a focus in its own space.

East Beach alone is the largest beach in Texas as well as the most active on Galveston Island. If you’re craving the opposite of a serene beach experience, we highly suggest a visit. It is not only filled with people and life during the summer but also with entertainment options.

In front of its gorgeous white sand is a boardwalk, pavilion, and a stage with live music. This is the perfect family getaway! And not only that but you are also allowed to bring pets along!

East Beach is also home to the incredible annual American Institute of Architects Sandcastle Competition. It attracts thousands of people a year and we found it to be an absolute blast. The compositions are really shocking.

If you’re craving a satisfying meal for lunch or dinner, we can highly recommend Mario’s Seawall Italian Restaurant.

6. Matagorda Bay Nature Park

Matagorda Bay Nature Park

If you’re craving a more nature-filled beach experience after Galveston, look no further than Matagorda Bay! Spread over thirteen thousand acres, you will find dazzling white sand and waves for several days here. The beach part is also quite secluded, so it has a much quieter feel than the East Beach.

It is a beautiful place to enjoy a day in the sand as well as bird watching in the cove and explore the marshes. Apart from this, there are many things to do in the park. This includes mini golf, rafting, kayaking, paddle boarding and more. We had such a great time here.

They also have a nature center, which provides information in a fun way for the whole family, as well as a gift shop filled with snacks and souvenirs.

Camping is available on site, both tents and RVs. And if you don’t have your own camper, the park actually rents out to people! You can also rent all kinds of beach equipment. You can even host a party in their air-conditioned rental space with ocean views!

7. Sea Rim State Park

Sea Rim State Park

Next, we have another suggestion featuring the best nature walks for beaches in Houston: Sea Rim State Park. With four thousand acres and over five miles of coastline, the Sea Rim offers great opportunities for swimming, kayaking, beach combing, and more.

This is a great place for birdwatching, camping, fishing and even hunting if you are so inclined. We had a great time exploring the beautiful swamp via the ten-mile-long Nature Trail boardwalk. And if you don’t want to walk in the swamp, you might even decide to ride a horse through it!

The beach here is quieter than some others. You won’t find big waves, so this isn’t the place for surfing, but it is perfect for swimming, canoeing, and kayaking.

Sea Rim also has a campground and a cabin for rent. You can also camp on the beach, and be tempted to sleep by the water, should you so choose. If you don’t want to stay out overnight, the Hampton Inn & Suites in nearby Vinny, Texas, offers comfortable indoor accommodations.

8. Quintana Beach Country Park

Quintana Beach Country Park

Continuing our run of beaches in Houston TX that are located in nature parks, we have Quintana Beach. A natural beach, Quintana often consists of driftwood and seashells amidst the clear sand. This makes it a great place to gather mussels.

We also have all the amenities at the other nature parks on our list. Also there are plenty of bird watching opportunities apart from the other animals that live there. There are also hiking, fishing, camping, surfing and other similar beach activities.

Quintana Park also has some beautiful paved trails, a sparkling pier, pavilions, volleyball courts and playground to explore in nature. They also have campsites for your RV, as well as cabins for rent.

Meanwhile, there are some fascinating educational attractions as well. It includes the historic Fort Bates, the remains of the Freeport Harbor Defense, and two historic homes. When we visited, we spent almost an entire day exploring these fascinating bits of history!

And for food, we recommend Captain Mark’s Seafood. There, you can either buy delicious seafood at their market or eat one of their delicious prepared meals at their restaurant!

9. Padre Island National Seashore

Padre Island National Seashore

Padre Island in Houston not only has one of the best beaches, but it also has the world’s longest expanse of undeveloped barrier! This gorgeous beach is sixty six miles long. This beach is home to wind tidal flats, prairie, and dunes, making it a great place to visit.

Animal lovers will also get to see a lot of birds, with over 380 species of birds living here! In addition, it is a sea turtle nesting ground. When we visited, we watched with amazement as baby sea turtles were born and made their way into the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. It is a wonderful way to experience the wonders of life.

Beach amenities include restrooms and showers, and the park also offers camping and off-roading opportunities. Don’t forget to check out the Grasslands Nature Trail while you’re here! And the ranger talks are also great fun and educational if you want to learn more about the natural life there.

There is a $10 per day fee per car, but it is much cheaper than other family vacations. And especially because it covers everyone in your car!

10. Port Aransas Beach

Port Aransas Beach

Among the best beaches in Houston, TX, Port Aransas is definitely one of the most relaxing ones. In fact, there are hardly any facilities on the beach, other than beautiful scenery and of course, sand and swimming.

The main attraction here is the charming adjacent town which has a lovely gentle atmosphere perfect for a lazy weekend. Bring a book or an iPad full of things to look at, and just relax.

You can stay in one of the many condos to rent, or hotel resorts, such as the Plantation Suites and Conference Center, while soaking up the environment.

The city is filled with lots of unique shops and lots of restaurants. When we stayed there, our favorite restaurant was San Juan, which serves a mean breakfast tacos!

And if you happen to visit in April, you can visit the Texas Sandfest. This annual festival is the largest sand castle competition in the United States. In addition to all the amazingly complex structures, there’s food, live music, vendors, a beer garden, and more!

FAQs About Best Beaches in Houston

Are there nice beaches in Houston TX?

Houston is surprisingly a convenient gateway to a plethora of majestic beaches. Sure, there are no beaches in Houston. But, the sandy shores of Texas are just a short drive away from the city. Furthermore, it’s surrounded by a bunch of state parks with rejuvenating lake beaches.

Can you swim in Houston beaches?

People can still use a beach under a water quality advisory, as long as local authorities have not closed it.

What is the cleanest beach in Houston?

Stewart Beach is the Cadillac of Houston-area beaches. Located near Galveston Island’s famous Seawall Boulevard, this beach has a laundry list of amenities, including showers, concessions, chair and umbrella rentals, and lifeguards.

Does Texas have white sand beaches?

On the Gulf Coast of Texas, you’ll find some of the prettiest white sand beaches and warm crystal-clear waters. Long, thin barrier islands, like Galveston Island and Padre Island, beckon beach-goers to throw down a beach blanket and splash in the mild waters, even build a sandcastle or two.

Are Houston beaches dirty?

The water at some Houston area beaches is contaminated with fecal matter more often than not, according to a new report published by Environment America. The “Safe for Swimming” report organizes and explains U.S. beach pollution data collected throughout 2020 by local and state officials.

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