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17 Best Beaches in Texas (Prettiest, Cleanest, & More!)

John Oakley

Are you planning a beach getaway in the Lone Star State? Then you’ll want to know all about the best beaches in Texas before your trip!

Throughout this article, you’ll learn all about the best beaches in Texas for a vacation that you won’t want to miss out on. 

Whether you’re the type of person who loves secluded beaches or the more family-friendly ones, this list has got you covered (so start planning your weekend getaway in Texas now).

Texas may be known for its excellent barbecue, live music, and everything larger-than-life, but many people underestimate the greatness of a Texas beach. 

No matter which of the best beaches in Texas from this list you choose to visit, you’ll truly be in for a treat.

Best Texas Beaches You Can’t Afford to Miss

Here are our favorite beaches in Texas for vacation in no particular order.

Galveston Island East Beach

Galveston Island East Beach is one of the best beaches in Texas
Galveston Island East Beach is one of the best beaches in Texas

Galveston Island East Beach is a popular beach in Texas, let alone in America! 

This Texas beach is located on the eastern side of the island and is easily one of the most incredible beaches to catch the sunrise or sunset in the entire state, making it one of the best places to visit in the US.

At Galveston Island East Beach, you can find tons of amenities like a pavilion, showers and bathrooms, a rental place for all of your beach needs like chairs, and even a playground for children.

One thing that many people love about this Texas beach is that all beverages are allowed! This is why there are often parties held here, and there are many events here throughout the year. 

Usually, the concerts held here will even have boozy drinks for sale that you can enjoy under the grand pavilion.

Rockport Beach

Rockport Beach is one of the best beaches in Texas
Grossinger /

Easily one of the best beaches in Texas is Rockport Beach. The beach is completely free to visit if you walk or bike to get there, but there is a $10 fee to park if you drive to Rockport Beach. 

Beyond that, it’s a Blue Wave Beach, the first of its kind in Texas.

Located in the beautiful beach town of Rockport, Rockport Beach is one of the prettiest beaches in the state and, despite being only a mile long, is filled with fun things to do. 

You can go swimming, participate in water sports, and more on the cleanest beach in Texas. It’s the perfect beach to go to if you’re traveling with a family.

But note, dogs are not allowed on Rockport Beach as it is a bird sanctuary.

North Beach

North Beach is one of the best beaches in Texas

North Beach is one of the best beaches in Texas, located in Corpus Christi. This is one of the more popular spots for a Texas beach vacation, but that’s because it’s such a nice area to visit.

Not only is there a beautiful beach here where you can walk around and relax while listening to the waves, but there’s so much more.

Head to the aquarium to see all of the sea creatures, stop by the restaurant for a tasty meal, and even take a ride on the Ferris wheel for some epic views of the area. 

Plus, there’s the great Corpus Christi Bay Trail that’s paved and worth walking or biking.

Isla Blanca Beach

Isla Blanca Beach is one of the best beaches in Texas
Have fun on this beach on South Padre Island!

This beautifully serene beach is one that you won’t want to miss out on. It’s located on South Padre Island and is one of the top kid-friendly beaches in Texas. 

It’s best visited in the summer, especially if you plan on stopping by the amazing Beach Park while you’re there, which is a fun water feature for children.

There is a small fee of $5 to visit the beach. Be sure to arrive early if you need to rent anything, like chairs and umbrellas, because they have a limited amount that they rent out each day. The beach is also known to get pretty busy!

Magnolia Beach

North Beach is one of the best beaches in Texas

Magnolia Beach is another of the best beaches in Texas that you won’t want to miss out on. 

It’s located right next to Alamo Beach and is about 1.5 miles long. Overall, this beach is pretty clean and has great water quality, but it can be pretty crowded depending on the time of year you visit.

Like you’d expect, as one of the nicest beaches in Texas, Magnolia Beach is filled with excellent amenities to make your beach day even better. 

There are picnic tables, grills, showers, restrooms, and even a car parking lot. Plus, there are spots to park your RV.

Boca Chica Beach

Boca Chica Beach is one of the best beaches in Texas

For a public beach in Texas, look no further than Boca Chica Beach.

It’s consistently listed as one of the best beaches in Texas not only for its free entry but also because it’s open 24 hours, so if you want to have a late night near the water, you can.

Besides, Boca Chica is also one of the prettiest beaches in the Lone Star State! That’s because it’s located between the Rio Grande delta and lower Laguna Madre in the southernmost tip of Texas. 

Boca Chica Beach is huge, covering more than 1,000 acres of land. However, keep in mind that it’s not as lavish as some of the other beaches in Texas. 

There aren’t any services or amenities; however, that’s what makes it such a fun beach to visit.

Because there aren’t many services here, it’s not always the busiest beach either. You can generally find a quiet spot for yourself, especially during the fall and winter months

This beach is an excellent spot for surfing, but make sure you bring your own board!

San Jose Island

San Jose Island is one of the best beaches in Texas

San Jose Island is a great place for a Texas beach located right on the Texas Gulf. 

It is privately owned, but guests are allowed to visit the public spaces of the beach on the island. This is the perfect spot to see a number of bird species, shell searching, and fishing!

All around the island is about 20 miles or so of beautiful sandy beach, so if you’re up for a walk, you’re sure to find a tranquil spot just for you and your family! 

To get to San Jose Beach, head to Port Aransas and catch the ferry.

Matagorda Bay Nature Park

Matagorda Bay Nature Park is one of the best beaches in Texas

Calling all nature lovers! Matagorda Bay Nature Park is perfect for a Texas beach vacation.

It’s not necessarily a beach but is an entire nature area near the water that even includes a campground, so you can spend the night right near the water at one of the nineteen waterfront campsites.

The park covers more than 1,300 acres and is filled with things to do, especially if you’re traveling with family and younger children. 

You can swim, fish, boat, picnic, bird watching, golf, kayak, raft, and more. There are even summer camps hosted here, which can be fun if you live in the area.

Surfside Beach

Surfside Beach is one of the best beaches near Houston

Surfside Beach is located near Freeport, and the entire town is named after the beach!

With a population of less than 500, this is the perfect place to go if you’re looking for the best beaches in Texas to relax.

Many people compare it to Galveston but say that it’s a lot more tranquil and relaxing.

This beach is known for being pretty clean, and you can drive right onto the beach sand in your car. 

It has beautiful waves and is perfect for bird watching, swimming, boating, and fishing. Many people also love following the Bluewater Highway Trail for a jog that goes right near the water.

McGee Beach

McGee Beach is one of the beautiful beaches in Texas
McGee Beach is one of the beautiful beaches in Texas

Another of Corpus Christi’s beaches is McGee Beach, which is usually even more popular than North Beach, making it one of the best beaches in Texas. 

It’s exceptionally well maintained, dog friendly, and has some of the most beautiful white sand in Texas.

Located right on Corpus Christi Bay, McGee Beach is notably clean and has free parking nearby.

The water here is typically very tranquil, making it perfect for families traveling to the area with younger children. Like a few other beaches on this list, the beach is open every day of the year.

Jamaica Beach

Jamaica Beach is one of the best San Antonio Beaches

Located in Galveston County, Jamaica Beach is a great Texas beach to visit if you’re looking for something a bit calmer and less visited. It’s spotless, which makes it one of the best beaches in Texas.

Keep in mind that there aren’t any lifeguards at the beach here, but it is entirely free to visit.

If you’re traveling with children, make sure you pay attention to them due to the lack of lifeguards. 

Sometimes there are events hosted here throughout the year, so keep an eye on their online schedule.

Sea Rim State Park Beach

Sea Rim State Park Beach is one of the best beaches in Texas

Despite being closed for many years in the past because of damage caused by hurricanes, Sea Rim State Park remains one of the best beaches in Texas. 

This beach is located inside a state park and is the perfect place for boating, swimming, fishing, and even bird watching.

The beach is about 5 miles long and is entirely natural. It’s a bit more rugged than other beaches on this list, which is something to consider. 

There are some great facilities here, including campgrounds, restrooms, showers, and even a picnic area.

Port Aransas Beach

Port Aransas Beach is one of the cool beaches in Texas

At about five miles long, Port Aransas Beach on Mustang Island is one heck of a beach in Texas! It’s quite a long stretch of sand and even has lifeguard stands throughout just in case of emergency. 

It’s another beach in Texas where you can drive your car right up onto the sand, so you’ll want to get there early if you want a spot.

For a super fun time, consider camping right near the water. You can get a permit to camp on the beach for up to three nights, which is an exciting experience on Mustang Island!

The water here is perfect for swimming, fishing, surfing, and having fun.

Good to know: College kids swarm Port Aransas during spring break.

Crystal Beach

Crystal Beach is one of the best beaches in Texas
JStepan /

For a true hidden gem, make your way to Crystal Beach, one of the best beaches in Texas. It’s super calm and clean and usually isn’t busy at all, no matter the time of year. 

The relatively warm water is reasonably clear and is not even that far from Galveston.

You can swim at Crystal Beach, but it’s honestly one of the best places to visit if you just want to spend a day near the water. 

You can take long walks along the edge of the water at sunset for an incredible experience. Keep in mind that the beach gets super busy on holiday weekends.

Stewart Beach

Stewart Beach is one of the best beaches near Houston

Stewart Beach is one of Galveston’s finest beaches, one of the top ones to visit for families with young children. To enter the beach, you have to pay the parking fee, which changes depending on whether you come on a weekday or weekend.

At Stewart Beach, there are lifeguard pavilions that watch the water while you’re having fun. There are also beach volleyball courts, pavilions for picnicking, concessions, and of course, nice public restrooms and showers. 

Visit during a weekday morning to save money and have a chunk of the beach to yourself.

Malaquite Beach

Malaquite Beach is one of the best beaches in Texas
Malaquite is one of the best beaches on North Padre Island

Malaquite Beach in the quiet Padre Island National Seashore is the perfect beach to go to if you’re looking for a great camping area. 

This is one of the top spots in the state for beach camping, which is ideal for a romantic getaway in the wilderness.

After all, this national park in Texas is famous for being the world’s longest undeveloped barrier island.

Malaquite Beach only costs about $10 per car for admission and is incredibly scenic. Here, you can rest on one of the many park benches, make sandcastles in the sand, or even go for a swim if you’re feeling up to it. 

The park is spotless and doesn’t allow cars right on the sand, making it safer than some other beaches on this list.

Bryan Beach

Bryan Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in Texas

Last but not least on this list of the best beaches in Texas is Bryan Beach in Freeport! At about three miles long, this is one of the greatest beaches in the whole state. 

The beach is completely natural and offers breathtaking views, making it a great spot for swimming, fishing, and of course, sunbathing.

This beach is only an hour from Houston, making it a fantastic day trip from the city. You can even head over to Surfside Beach or Quintana Beach after since they’re right in the same area. 

Note that fees change, so make sure to contact the town’s recreation department for pricing ahead of time.

Wrapping Up on the Nicest Beaches in Texas

As you can see, there are so many places to go for a Texas beach vacation. You could even visit more than one beach during your trip for an even more unforgettable experience. 

From Padre Island National Seashore and Mustang Island State Park to Galveston and Bolivar Peninsula, Texas has miles of beaches for all types of crowds.

What Texas beach would you most want to visit? Let us know in the comments!

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