Long sandy beaches, casual seafood joints, great shopping, mesmerizing sunsets, and historic boardwalks packed with Americana charm: these are just a few things you’ll find in the best beach towns in Texas!
The Lone Star State is incredibly diverse and offers plenty of opportunities to get outside and enjoy the great outdoors, and that includes the 367 mile stretch of Texas’ Gulf Coast.
While many Texan families develop a heartwarming tradition of returning to the same beach town year after year, it can be fun to mix it up occasionally too!
With such an enormous coastline, Texas offers you plenty of options for your next beach vacation.
We’ve compiled the best coastal towns in Texas as well as what each is well known for to help you narrow down your next Texas beach trip.
Here are the best beach towns in Texas to consider for your next vacation!
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The perfect combination of small-town feel and immense character, Rockport is unlike any other Texas beach town.
There is so much to do in Rockport that you can easily find something for the entire family to enjoy.
Grab your friend and head to downtown Rockport to shop at all of the local shops that will provide you with perfect souvenirs.
Stop off at one of the local restaurants to truly experience Rockport to the fullest.
You can then head to Rockport Beach, where you can set up under a cabana umbrella for the day.
At Rockport Beach, you will see shorebirds of all shapes and sizes flying overhead and all around you.
You can also bring your fishing pole to fish at one of the cleanest beaches in Texas.
Rockport is considered a Blue Wave beach, which means they are incredibly attentive to any littering or pollution that could be on the beach.
Visiting Rockport Beach will ensure that you have a great beach weekend away from all of the hustle and bustle of daily life.
A step up in terms of size from Rockport is Corpus Christi, one of the best beach cities in Texas.
You can set up for your beach day at one of several beaches in Corpus Christi including McGee Beach and North Beach.
With Corpus Christi being a larger city, the beaches often get crowded quickly, so getting to your spot quickly will be necessary.
There are so many fun things to see in Corpus Christi that you will want to reserve a few days to see it all.
If you love history, you can visit the USS Lexington and enjoy learning something new.
For all those that love animals, you can visit the Texas State Aquarium to see animals of all shapes and sizes.
While you are in Corpus Christi, you can also visit a two-story Whataburger (it was founded in Corpus!) and then head downtown for some shopping.
Located in South Texas, Boca Chica offers plenty of outdoor fun for the entire family.
Boca Chica is located on the Lower Rio Grande Wildlife Refuge and is almost right on the border of Texas and Mexico.
As the Rio Grande river flows along the state, it empties its waters into the Gulf of Mexico in the town of Boca Chica.
Because it offers such diverse scenery and ecosystem, you are sure to see immense wildlife and plenty of treasures during your visit to Boca Chica.
Many people travel to Boca Chica to watch for multiple species of birds or even see a rare Kemps Ridley sea turtle make it back into the ocean.
Freeport is a coastal town in Texas that is well known for both its fishing and its beaches.
While you are in Freeport, you and your family can set up on the beach for the day, go birdwatching, go fishing, or visit a historical museum.
Freeport has everything you could need to make everyone happy on your next road trip to a Texas beach.
Freeport offers a protected area for you and your family to fish safely and effectively.
You can also choose to partake in a watersport such as jet skiing or parasailing.
If you want to have a unique adventure on a Texas beach, you can also choose to camp on Surfside Beach in Freeport, allowing you to experience the beach at all hours.
Crystal Beach is a secluded Texas beach town that is located just a short ferry trip away from Galveston.
The great aspect of Crystal Beach is there is plenty of options along the shore for you and your family to set up for your beach day.
Another essential aspect of Crystal Beach is that it is separated from the main island’s hustle and bustle.
Crystal Beach is a great coastal Texas town to settle into for a weekend and enjoy a peaceful getaway surrounded by nature.
Lined with history, Port Arthur has so many stories within its town that you can spend plenty of time learning something new while enjoying one of the best coastal towns in Texas.
You can head to the Museum of the Gulf Coast, where you can learn about every single aspect of the importance of the beach as well as the stories that are engrained in the history of Port Arthur.
After you spend some time learning history, head to Sea Rim State Park to immerse yourself in nature.
Sea Rim State park combines multiple ecosystems, including the marshlands and the beaches that surround them.
During your visit to Sea Rim, you will be able to see wildlife of all types, and you can even drive on the part of the beach, which allows you to see more of the shoreline.
Port Aransas is the best beach town on Mustang Island and allows you to enjoy all this area has to offer.
You are likely to catch glimpses of wildlife all around you from shorebirds, turtles, and even dolphins!
Grab your fishing pole and head to Ray Roberts Park to fish while catching views of dolphins all around you.
While you are there you often see the beautiful patterns of sea turtles greet you in the water.
Port Aransas has plenty to do during your visit; make sure to take a break from all of your fun on the beaches of Port A to enjoy all of the delicious food that the area has to offer.
Mustang Island State Park is a great place to set up for the day and allows you easy access to the beach.
South Padre Island
People travel from all over to spend a weekend on South Padre Island, and for a good reason.
As the only tropical island in Texas, South Padre Island offers activities that the whole family will enjoy.
You can spend the day with your toes in the sand or partake in an epic sandcastle building contest.
You and your family can also join in any water adventures and head out for deep-sea fishing or parasailing.
One important aspect of South Padre Island is that college spring break is the busiest time of the year.
College-aged kids flock from all over the country to South Padre, so it is important to plan your trip accordingly.
Besides hanging out at the beach all day every day, many people travel to South Padre Island to go birdwatching and uncover all of the diverse wildlife this city has to offer.
North Padre Island
North Padre Island is a delightful gem that will have you walking through soft sands and crashing waves.
Padre Island National Seashore is located on North Padre Island, and it is a beautiful display of how different ecosystems work together.
Besides the nature aspect, a huge draw to visit North Padre Island is Kemps Ridley sea turtles.
These turtles nest on the shores of North Padre Island and are very well protected by the state park system.
People come from all over to watch the baby sea turtles being released into the ocean for the first time.
With over 70 miles of protected land, the Padre Island National Seashore is a great place to learn and uncover different wildlife and plants.
With so much shoreline, there are so many amazing places to set up for your beach day with family and friends.
Galveston is well-established as one of the best beach towns in Texas, and it has everything your family could need for a beautiful beach adventure.
Grab a bite to eat at the Shark Shack, take a ferry to Bolivar Peninsula, or simply sit back and enjoy the crashing waves on the sand below.
Galveston boasts more than 30 miles of coastline, offering you plenty of beach access and space to enjoy the sand and crisp beach air.
There are also plenty of places to eat as well as stay in Galveston, making it a perfect coastal city in Texas for a family trip.
If you and your family want a break away from the sand, you can spend a day at Schlitterbahn or head to Moody Gardens for a day full of activities.