Texas has many beautiful beaches next to the Gulf of Mexico. The water looks shiny blue-green, like a sparkly crayon. The sand feels soft and smooth, as white as milk. Pretty seashells roll up on the land from the moving waves. Birds that love water fly low over the wavy water. Here are the nine best beaches in Texas that you will want to check out.
Best Beaches in Texas
Let’s delve into the details of some best beaches in Texas:
1- Padre Island National Seashore
Stretching 350 miles along Padre Island, Padre Island National Seashore offers over 60 miles of beaches with activities for everyone. The Malaquite Beach area is one of the most popular beaches in the park. It has ample parking, showers, restrooms, and wheelchair accessibility, making it an excellent choice for families. The calmer waters make it ideal for young kids.
Parents can relax while the children play in the gentle waves and dig for shells and sea life in the soft sand. The Bird Island Basin offers a protected saltwater lagoon perfect for kayaking. The remote beaches further south provide more isolation for those seeking a quieter shoreline experience.
Beachcombers may come across colorful shards of sea glass polished smooth by the waves. Driving down the beach is allowed in some areas, making for an epic coastal road trip adventure. Popular things to do include swimming, sunbathing, beachcombing for shells, fishing, birdwatching, kayaking, and camping.
2- South Padre Island
South Padre Island offers 34 miles of beaches perfect for family vacations. Numerous beachfront hotels and family resorts provide amenities like kids’ clubs, waterparks, and arcade rooms. Popular chains like Hilton and Marriott manage many of the beachfront properties. Budget options like condos and beach houses are also plentiful for larger families.
When not enjoying the beach and warm Gulf waters, families can embark on dolphin watch eco-tours, horseback rides, paddleboarding, kiteboarding, or relaxing at beach bars and seaside restaurants. Beach access points every half mile make reaching the shoreline easy. South Padre provides rental services for chairs, umbrellas, boards, and beach toys.
From March through October, visitors can observe the release of rescued baby sea turtles returning home at Sea Turtle Inc. On land, Palmetto State Park offers tropical hikes and water recreation on its reservoir. With endless family fun and relaxation options, South Padre Island rightfully claims fame as a premier beach resort destination.
3- Boca Chica Beach
Boca Chica Beach offers a peaceful shoreline experience for those seeking remote relaxation away from big crowds. This ten-mile stretch of sandy coastline bordering Mexico features gentle waves, making it ideal for small children to splash in the shallow waters. As cars are allowed to drive along certain marked sections of the beach, families can pull right up to the shoreline, plant their beach umbrellas in the sand, and relax on the oceanside.
Since Boca Chica has no high-rise resorts or hotels, stargazing at night reveals exceptionally brilliant constellations sweeping the dark sky. Located only 30 minutes from South Padre Island along Highway 4, the beach has a remote, castaway ambiance while remaining easily accessible. Boca Chica Beach has minimal amenities as a protected wildlife refuge, so families should bring plenty of shade and supplies. Due to its remoteness, there is limited cellular service.
Visitors may catch glimpses of shorebirds like terns, gulls, sandpipers, and plovers hunting for food along the gentle surf and dolphins cresting just offshore. With so many amazing beaches to explore, Texas shores offer the perfect playground for family adventures that build lifelong memories. Pack the swimsuits and sand buckets for a Texas beach vacation filled with sun, sand, sights, and smiles!
4- Mustang Island
Mustang Island lies between Corpus Christi Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. Its 18 miles of beach are vast, offering plenty of sandy real estate. Port Aransas is the only town on the island. On its beach, waters are perfect for wading, swimming, sailing, and fishing charters.
Nearby is the Port Aransas Nature Preserve, where seasonal wetlands shelter birds and other coastal creatures. The beaches here are wonderfully uncrowded, especially during the week. Be sure to check out the stand-up paddleboard and beach cruiser bike rentals!
5- North Padre Island
The longest barrier island in the world, North Padre Island, stretches from Corpus Christi to the mouth of the Rio Grande. It shelters Padre Island National Seashore. Mustang Island lies just north. Water sports like kiteboarding and windsurfing take advantage of the strong winds.
Families build sandcastles and fly kites on Whitecap Beach while bodysurfers catch waves at Bob Hall Pier Beach. Hotels with a pool in the area offer amenities like waterslides, lazy rivers, and poolside bars for travelers looking to relax. Nature lovers won’t want to miss the sea turtle hatchlings!
6- Baffin Bay Beach
Located along the upper Laguna Madre in deep South Texas, Baffin Bay Beach delivers spectacular views. The bay itself is a prime recreation spot for fishing and kayaking. The beach has a peaceful, remote quality with windblown tidal flats and grasslands.
Birdwatchers seek the endangered reddish egret and peregrine falcon—the little town of Riviera Beach fronts the bay. Visitors can talk of lovely sunrises over the water and the dazzling stars overhead at night. This is rustic, rugged Texas beach beauty at its best.
7- Rockport Beach
Rockport Beach Park lies approximately 30 miles northeast of Corpus Christi along Aransas Bay, making it one of the best beaches in Texas. Its location on the bay instead of the ocean gives it a delightful small-town beach community feel. The water is shallow with gentle waves, perfect for young children.
Families splash and swim while others launch their kayaks. Palapa huts provide shade. Local vendors sell food and rent equipment like chairs, umbrellas, and watercraft. Hotels with truck parking in the area cater to road trippers and overlanders, with ample parking lots and amenities like electrical hookups.
8- South Padre Island Pearl
The southernmost public beach in Texas, South Padre Island Pearl, forms part of South Padre Island. Its fine white sand beaches stretch over 4 miles with full amenities. Beachgoers delight in clear waters with calm waves, especially around the Laguna Madre Nature Trail lagoon.
Parasailing, paddleboarding, and kayaking rank among the most popular watersports. Dolphin Watch cruises launch from here as well. The beach park contains beach volleyball courts, snack bars, shade shelters, and playgrounds. Families especially appreciate the beach wheelchairs for disabled members.
9- Corpus Christi Beach
Corpus Christi Beach sits along Corpus Christi Bay, northwest of Mustang Island. The beach park is small but famous for its beautiful scenery, fishing pier, and seaside restaurant. Families spread their towels while bodysurfers catch waves created by the concrete pier. Nearby restaurants serve up fresh local seafood and burgers.
The city completed recent enhancements like a spray park, skate park, new restrooms, and landscaping. A sidewalk now runs the length of the beach with various access points. Periodic festivals feature live music and food.
Texas has no shortage of spectacular beaches to explore along its Gulf coastline, from the remote tidal flats of Baffin Bay to the bustling family resorts of South Padre Island. With options for every preference ranging from rugged wilderness to full amenities, beach lovers of all ages can discover their sandy slice of paradise amongst the nine best beaches in Texas.
FAQs about Best Beaches in Texas
Yes, certain designated areas of North Padre Island and Padre Island National Seashore allow beach driving if you have the proper beach parking permit. Driving is only allowed in wet sand within 20 feet of the high tide line.
The optimal time to visit the beaches of Texas is in the late spring and early autumn months, spanning May through September. This window of time provides warm yet not excessively hot weather ideal for beach going.
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