A sunny day featuring sandy beaches and azure waters is the best way to relax. Houston city has beautiful landscapes and sceneries with rare gems. Though there are fewer various coastlines around the city, beaches are rare to be found. Since Houston has moderate temperature it is easy to visit beaches nearby for a relaxing moment. This article highlights the best beaches near Houston, Texas to help individuals unwind. They are family friendly with unique amenities and various activities to enjoy.
Sylvan Beach is one of the nearest beaches to downtown Houston. This white sand beach boasts a lot of family-friendly amenities. It is safe and enjoyable to swim because of the gentle waves and absence of seaweed.
Sylvan Beach Park has endless options for amusing and entertaining activities. While strolling on the beach, you will enjoy the gorgeous sunset views overlooking La Porte. Head to the beach fishing pier to catch fish such as flounder, trout, and drum.
Beach amenities available include restrooms and lifeguards on duty. In addition, the availability of air-conditioned pavilions makes it suitable for events. Other facilities include tennis courts, a children’s playground, Skate Park, and benches for picnicking.
Location: 636 N Bayshore Dr, La Porte, TX 77571
Distance from Houston: 27 miles, 34minutes drive
2. Crystal Beach
Crystal Beach is a seven stretch located in Bolivar Peninsula. It is one of the best beaches near Houston allowing you to drive and park on the sand. The kind of sand at Crystal Beach is a sugar white sand beach perfect for sunbathing. This place is a refined family destination popular for boogie boarding, swimming, birding, fishing, and bird watching.
Crystal Beach has kid-friendly activities to keep them entertained throughout the vacation. Kids enjoy collecting seashells and looking for shark teeth or building various sandcastles. Your family will enjoy flying kites while enjoying the view.
Water at Crystal Beach is muddy but the beach is usually clean since it’s uncrowded. Families and friends enjoy setting up a BBQ or basking in the sun. Crystal Beach is one of a kind with many local shops around. In addition, it’s the only beach that allows fireworks. The beachfront has a Firework Giant Display to celebrate various events. Amenities include restrooms, free parking, pet-friendly spots, and showers. Also, there is a secluded beach villa for weddings, family reunions, golfing tournaments, and celebrations of sunsets.
Location: Bolivar Peninsula, TX 77550
Distance from Houston: 96.8miles, 1hour 35minutes drive
Surfside Beach is a nice spot for a weekend gateway. Situated on Follets Island in Brazoria County, this beach has miles of seashell-covered sand and beautiful marine life. With 4 miles of gorgeous coastlines, the beach captivates a lot of visitors. As the prettiest beaches near Houston, Surfside has plenty of family activities.
Families enjoy fishing, collecting seashells, boating, and bird watching. Additionally, its miles of pristine sand are perfect for bike trails, boat ramps, and offshore fishing. Surfside Beach water quality is safe and compliant with federal water standards. What’s more, the beach hosts various events such as The Food Art Festivals, beach cleanups, and Surfside Marathon.
Find an idyllic spot and set up your beach umbrella. In addition, Surfside Beach has low consistent waves perfect for swimming, kayaking, and surfing. The beach offers picnic areas, restrooms, and other amenities. In addition, there are near beach house rentals, souvenir shops, motels, and restaurants.
Location: 304 Monument Drive Surfside Beach, TX 77541
Distance from Houston: 64.6miles, 1hour 10minutes drive
To continue with our list of best beaches in Houston, Stewart Beach is a must mention. Stewart Beach is a beautiful spot for family vacations and retreats. It is the safest beach around Houston for kids with its 24/7 lifeguard patrols. Stewart Beach was recognized by Family Vacation Critic magazine because of its vast, family-friendly amenities. Family-oriented activities include beach volleyball, sandcastle competitions, giant Jenga, and a kid’s playground.
The golden sand is incredible parking and family concerts. Stewart Beach water is colored with Mississippi delta mud but favorable for swimming. Amenities on this beach are plenty and modern. Stewart Beach is home to many pavilions, restrooms, showers, concessions, volleyball courts, chairs, and umbrella rentals.
The beach is open from 9 am to 5 pm and the restrooms are closed 30 minutes after closing of the gates. Though Stewart Beach allows individual and family concerts, alcohol is not permitted. In addition, the beach offers access to a wheelchair and parking is free for the differently abled persons.
Location: 201 Seawall Blvd, Galveston, TX 77550
Distance from Houston: 52.7miles, 53 minutes drive
Are you looking for a spacious uncrowded beach? El Jardin Beach is a great spot for family outings thanks to its advantage of being infrequently visited by tourists. It is a city-owned beach small in size but with a bunch of activities. Located in Seabrook, El Jardin Beach is ideal for those who seek serenity and relaxation and is not overwhelming like other beaches.
This beautiful beach is rich in marine life and a great spot for trips. To save a spot, arrive early since the beach has 18 parking areas. The sand here is white with less seaweed and smaller waves. The ambiance is friendly and you can spend time building sandcastles, sunbathing, listening to the waves, playing with your dog, or taking photographs.
In terms of accessibility, locals enjoy free entrance and parking while visitors need to pay for admission. The beach is clean with shallow waters hence it’s safe to swim here. The quality of the water is not tested but has less seaweed. Other activities include walking while enjoying the incredible surrounding of seagulls, vultures, barges, and small fish jumping out of water.
Location: 500 El Jardin Dr, Seabrook, TX 77586
Distance from Houston: 34.9miles, 40minutes drive
Quintana is one of the best beaches near Houston. It is a nice place to satisfy your fill for sun and sand. In this 52-acre park located in upper Gulf Coast Texas, there’s no shortage of entertainment. Though the beach opens from 8 am to 5 pm, the conditions are determined by the weather and conditions around Gulf Coast.
The golden sand at Quintana Beach provides access to vehicles and parking. Quintana Beach offers an array of family fun activities to enjoy. This includes surfing, fishing, beachcombing, bird watching, and swimming. In addition, the beach offers day and night amenities including RV sites, restrooms, cabins, and a boardwalk leading to the beach.
As a natural beach, there are few hiking trails but safety is ensured. As you enjoy the striking beauty of the beach, you can spot dolphins and other remnants of its historical site.
Location: 330 5th St, Quintana, TX 77541
Distance from Houston: 69.6 miles, 1hour drive
Matagorda Bay Beach is a great place to enjoy nature while listening to ocean waves with family and friends. Located east of the Colorado River, these 58 miles of beach are packed with exciting activities. You can stroll around the beachfront while exploring the coastal marshes which are habitats for various birds. Trails around the beach are suitable for hiking and walking but watch out for rattlesnakes if you are walking in the grass. Driving on the beach is prohibited and you must obtain a permit or park at Jetty Park a few miles from the location.
Matagorda Bay Beach is a great spot for swimming but with restrictions. Swim in the shallow waters and be careful of rip currents. Camping is also popular here. Families will enjoy camping anywhere around the beach, with no additional fees for up to 72 hours. Tents and RVS are allowed but be cautious of the soft sand if you are bringing an RV.
In addition, the beach has restrooms, outdoor public showers, picnic tables, public grills, and pet-friendly amenities. Matagorda Bay Beach also offers rentals for beach equipment, beach wagons, chairs, and paddleboards.
Location: 642o FM2031, Matagorda, TX 77457
Distance from Houston: 101.2miles, 1hour 50minutes drive
Galveston Island features 2,000 acres of wetlands, dunes, brackish ponds, and estuaries. Although there are popular things to do around the park, the beach is one of them. As a public beach, it is crowded and with few facilities. Galveston Island beach water is usually muddy with seaweed and suspended sand.
This should not scare you from enjoying it since there are fun activities. Families spend time soaking in the sun and sand while splashing and swimming. For adventure, there are nine hiking trails, bird watching, jet-skiing, fishing, kayaking, and boat riding.
There are fewer amenities in Galveston Beach like restrooms and rinse-off showers. In addition, camping is allowed at night near the camping sites. Remember, there are no lifeguards on duty at the beach.
Location: 14901 FM3005, Galveston, TX 77551
Distance from Houston: 58miles, 1hour drive
9. East Beach
Have you ever held a beach party? East Beach is known as a party beach and it’s one of the loveliest beaches around Houston. This place is a spot for nightlife enthusiasts and travelers because of its upbeat ambiance and waterfront hangouts.
Over the years, this white beach sand is known to host colorful concerts, open-air events, and festivals. Live concerts such as AIA Sandcastle Competition are held here throughout the summer months. In addition, it is the only beach in Galveston that allows booze.
East Beach water quality meets acceptable standards of swimming and is monitored once per week. In terms of amenities, East Beach features pavilions, an entertainment stage, restrooms, a boardwalk, showers, umbrella rentals, and a kids’ playground.
Location: 1923 Boddeker Rd, Galveston, TX 77550
Distance from Houston: 55 miles, 1hour drive
Jamaica Beach is known as the slice of Texas paradise. Located in the East End Galveston, this beach is a family destination venue. It is a place to spend time with friends and families or host your event. Unlike other beaches in Houston, activities here are unique. Families spend time kayaking, canoeing, picnicking, or building sandcastles. Major events on the beach include the Jamaica beach arts craft fair and Memorial Day weekend events.
If you don’t know where to spend New Year’s Eve, visit Jamaica Beach. Additionally, kids are allowed and enjoy flying kites. Jamaica Beach is always calm and gorgeous with clean fine brown sand suitable for kid’s games and building castles.
The water quality at this beach is clean and saltier compared to other beaches. Jamaica Beach has public canals patrolled by policemen and is suitable for fishing, swimming, and boat riding. Take meditative walks around the beach picnic areas and enjoy the relaxing view of the ocean. Their community amenities include pavilions, basketball courts, restrooms, vacation rentals, and RV access.
Location: 16721 Jolly Roger Rd, Jamaica Beach, TX 77554
Distance from Houston: 60.3miles, 1 hour drive
Padre Island was established in 1962 and protects 60 miles of coastline along the Gulf of Mexico. Among the best beaches near Houston, it is famous for windsurfing and other fun-filled activities. You can spend your day hiking, kayaking, swimming, or the seashore marine life.
Padre Island National Seashore is a wonderland for nature lovers. The beautiful white sand is perfect for building sandcastles. Most of the area around the beach is primitive and accessed by four-wheel vehicles. The west coast of the beach dune and tidal flat environments for windsurfing. You will enjoy your day soaking up in the sand and dipping yourself into the inviting waters.
The water here is clean and warm compared to other beaches. In terms of safety, there are no lifeguards around Padre Island beach hence swimming can be risky unless you are competent. Also, be cautious of the weather-changing conditions around here. There are no amenities here like a covered beach and chairs but you are allowed to carry them. In addition, camping is allowed at Padre Island Beach with no reservations required.
Location: 20301 Park Road 22. Corpus Christi, TX 78418
Distance from Houston: 267miles, 4hours 35minutes drive
Nothing beats a peaceful vibe and a crowd less shoreline. Sea Rim State Park is among the best beaches near Houston that offers a family-friendly atmosphere filled with enjoyment. Located in Gulf Mexico Jefferson County, this park features 4,141 acres of marshland. You will need to drive for a few miles to find a spot you love around the beach.
The beach was closed due to extensive damage from the hurricane but later opened in 2010 with more activities and amenities. The water is clean with a shallow sea shore and you can walk 50 meters in the ocean without water reaching your knees. Enjoy the scenic beachfront view of 5.2 miles that attracts sun lovers.
Visitors and locals spend time kayaking, hunting, fishing, swimming, and paddling. Additionally, the Sea Rim State beach marshland offers abundant wildlife. Beach camping is also allowed at certain months in this park. You will enjoy camping and saddle up for a horseback ride along the sand. Services and amenities include picnic areas, rinse-off showers, restrooms, an outdoor grill, a tent pad, and a campsite with electricity.
Location: 19335 TX-87, Sabine Pass, TX 77655
Distance from Houston: 109miles, 1hour 45 minute’s drive
13. Rockport Beach
Rockport is a splendid beach situated in Aransas Bay on the South Texas coast. It is a laid hideaway place perfect for family vacations and holidays. It was the first beach in Texas to receive a Blue Wave designation.
This beautiful spot is famous for its pristine sand, well-kempt amenities, and family-friendly atmosphere. There are different activities to enjoy at the beach so came with your kids. Rockport Beach offers saltwater fishing, kids’ play areas, volleyball courts, walking trails, and Barbeque pits. Water at the beach is shallow with deepest ends of 2.5 feet
The bathrooms are clean with freshwater showers. Additionally, Rockport Beach is a perfect spot for couples. It has a serene ambiance with beautiful picnic tables and beach cabanas to spend time with your loved one.
Location: 212 Seabreeze Dr. Rockport, TX 78382
Distance from Houston: 187.5 miles, a 3hour drive
14. Bryan Beach
Planning for an enjoyable camp? Bryan Beach is the only beach near Houston that allows camping and driving without paying. Located in Brazoria County, this natural beach crates perfect opportunities for fishing, sunbathing, camping, and bird-watching.
Though it’s often crowded, Bryan Beach offers beautiful dunes with miles of beach strolling. Since it’s a public beach, there are no amenities or modern facilities but you can take advantage of the free RV and tent camping.
Whether you are an angler, kayaker, or sunbather, Bryan Beach has everything for someone. Listen to the waves while strolling in the clean hard-packed sand. The water is clear blue attracting visitors to swim. In addition, glass containers and fireworks are prohibited on the beach for safety measures.
Location: Country Rd 241, Freeport, TX 77541
Distance from Houston: 65.3 miles, 1hour drive
15. Lake Tejas Beach
Lake Tejas Beach is a venue for splashy fun and entertainment. As a spring-fed lake near Colmesneil Texas, this beach is perfect for sunbathing and paddle boating. The white beach sand offers family and friends an opportunity to enjoy playing volleyball. If you are visiting with kids there is a separate children’s play area.
There are multiple diving boards perfect for kids and teenagers. Lake Tejas has private tables and beach umbrellas for individuals who love privacy. After getting enough sun, you can enjoy the breezy shade at the lake’s piney wood trees.
Visiting Lake Tejas Beach is easy and affordable. The beach offers a grill that serves ice cream, burgers, nachos, and corn dogs. Discover their numerous campsites and pavilions around the beach. Recreational water standards are observed with safety elements and tested annually. The amenities are not fancy, there are no picnic tables but you will find restrooms, foods stand, and kids’ slide.
Location: 152 Lake Tejas, Lp, Colmesneil, TX 75938
Distance from Houston: 116miles, 2hours drive
Do you prefer your solitude? Located on the East end of the Gulf Coast, Porretto is a private beach with family-friendly amenities. It is a place to relax and escape the hustle and bustle of the city. The white sand is suitable for building castles for kids. Other activities around the beach include canoeing and paddle boarding.
Swimming here is safe and fun since the waters are shallow and clean. Porretto Beach provides free parking for locals with chairs and umbrellas for rentals. If you love wine, cocktails, or beer then you are lucky since the beach allows alcohol.
In terms of amenities, Porretto has restrooms nearby but with no-rinse showers. Other beach amenities include sunbeds and lifeguards on duty. In addition, pets are allowed on the beach but should be kept unleashed.
Location: 10th and Seawall Blvd, Galveston, TX 77550
Distance from Houston: 52.6 miles, 1hour drive
17. Magnolia Beach
Last on our list of best beaches near Houston is the Magnolia Beach. It is a beautiful place where you can relax and enjoy the whistling sounds of waves. Magnolia is a public beach located South of Lavaca. This 1.5-mile-long stretch of hand-picked sand offers a picturesque oceanfront view. For a relaxing moment, you can enjoy fishing, surfing, volleyball, and wade fishing.
The water here is less salty since the Lavaca River flows in the bay. Magnolia Beach is spacious making it easy to drive and find a spot for camping. The area around the beach is clean with beautiful scenery of gazebos. Remember to wear shoes since the sand contains a lot of crushed shells in it.
Magnolia Beach has maintained campground facilities with bathrooms, hot water showers, and flush toilets. Entry and camping on the beach is free but locals and visitors are advised to camp on the side of the bridge. Additionally, pets are allowed so you can come with your barking master.
Location: 719 N Ocean Dr, Port Lavaca, TX 77979
Distance from Houston: 141.7 miles, 2hours 30minutes drive
Even though beaches are essential for relaxing, picking the perfect beach will depend on the ambiance. It is good to select a beach near you with preferred amenities and family-friendly activities. Also, access the pros and limitations of each beach before deciding on where to spend your leisure time.