15 Best Beaches in Texas

From Beaumont to Galveston to Corpus Christi and everywhere in between, the Gulf Coast is home to lots of Texas beaches that are perfect for soaking up the saltwater air and the sound of crashing waves. 

If you’re looking for a new beach to enjoy, here’s where to find the best beaches in Texas!

Small sandcastle on the Port Aransas beach with children playing in the background

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Rockport Beach

Rockport Beach is located in Rockport, Texas, and draws people from miles around. This quaint little beach has plenty of areas for you and your family to sit back and relax under one of many cabana umbrellas.

Rockport Beach is Texas’ first and only Blue Wave Beach, meaning it is incredibly clean and free of litter.

Rockport Beach also has fishing piers, playgrounds, and even an area to protect migratory birds, giving you and your family plenty of options while you are visiting.

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Rockport Beach costs $10 for a parking day pass, or $40 for an annual pass, which allows you to come and go as you please. It’s free to enter on foot or by bike.

Rockport Beach is a smaller beach, so planning time to get your space and set up for the day is important.

While you are visiting, make sure to plan some time to explore historic downtown Rockport where you can shop, grab a bite to eat, and enjoy the saltwater breeze off of the ocean.

Rockport beach with multiple straw cabanas visible with the water in the background. visiting rockport beach is one of the most fun things to do in rockport tx

Padre Island National Seashore

Arguably the prettiest beach in Texas, the Padre Island National Seashore is known for being the longest undeveloped stretch of coastline on a barrier island on the planet.

When visiting South Padre Island National Seashore, you can see seagulls and pelicans flying overhead and watch the tide rise and fall as you dig your feet further into the sand.

Another reason people travel to Padre Island National Seashore is to catch a glimpse at tiny Kemp Ridley Sea Turtles hatching and making their way to the ocean.

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Every year, hundreds of these tiny turtles find their way into the ocean with the protection of volunteers who keep predators away and ensure they have a safe path.

Padre Island National Seashore protects miles and miles of land that includes a variety of birds, tidal pools, and more. When you visit this beach, you are sure to find some ocean wildlife in its natural habitat all the while making some incredible memories with your friends and family.

Purple flowers blooming on sand dunes on padre island, one of the prettiest islands in texas

North Beach

North Beach is one of the best beaches in Corpus Christi. It is a great beach to visit because of its close proximity to many of Corpus Christi’s main attractions. Within walking distance of North Beach is the Texas State Aquarium, USS Lexington, as well as Fajitaville.

North Beach is a vehicle-free beach, ensuring that you have plenty of areas to walk along the beach watching for dolphins in the distance or searching for seashells.

North Beach also has multiple bathrooms and shower facilities, allowing you to wash all of the sand off before you load your family back in the car.

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McGee Beach

McGee Beach is a laid back and calm beach that is perfect to take your entire family swimming or fishing for the day. Located in Corpus Christi, this Texas beach is close to restaurants as well as plenty of free parking spots for your family to take advantage of.

McGee Beach tends to have calmer waves than most beaches, making it a perfect spot for small kids to enjoy the beach without having to fight large and often intense waves.

McGee Beach has soft white sand that is perfect to sink your feet into and soak in the sounds of the waves all around you.

This is one of the best beaches in Texas that is free to the public. It’s a very popular destination for Texas families in the summer, so make sure to arrive early to grab your spot.

beach in corpus christi texas with a small white gazebo along the promenade

Mustang Island State Park

Mustang Island State Park is located in Port Aransas, Texas, and sits right on miles of coastal shoreline. This is one of the best Texas beaches to visit if you are planning to camp or RV, allowing you electric and water hookups with the beach being only steps away.

In order to enter Mustang Island State Park, you must pay a daily rate or camping rate that can be paid in person or online. Camping on the beach allows you to enjoy all day at the beach and then soak up the rest of the night around a campfire with all of your friends and family.

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San Jose Island

San Jose Island is a private little oasis just off of the coast of Port Aransas. This small island can be visited by jumping on a ferry at Fisherman’s Wharf and taking the short ride over to this perfect getaway destination.

Before you visit San Jose Island, make sure to pack everything you need with you as there are no stores or restaurants on the island. Find a perfect spot to have a picnic and soak in the rest of the day while enjoying this small Texas paradise.

Flock of seagulls on the beach on San Jose Island, one of the prettiest islands off of texas

McFaddin Beach

McFaddin Beach is located along the Gulf Coast near Port Arthur and is made up of miles of coastline. McFaddin Beach is rich in history and many people have found some incredible artifacts washed ashore on this exact beach.

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When you visit McFaddin beach, you will find the sand is denser than most beaches in Texas, which allows you to walk easily and drive along the beach as well.

This beach is not as well-known as many along the Texas Coast, which allows you to often have most of the beach to yourself when you visit.

Sunrise over the beach, one of the best things to do in Port Aransas TX

Lighthouse Beach

Lighthouse Beach, located in Port Lavaca, is a great escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life, and one of the best beaches near Houston.

As you pull into Lighthouse Beach, you are greeted by plenty of places to park your RV as well as a large boardwalk that allows you to explore the marsh all around.

Lighthouse Beach is a smaller Texas beach, but still offers plenty for the whole family to enjoy. Take some time to enjoy the playground with your kids, or sit back and relax under the multiple cabana umbrellas located throughout the beach.

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Magnolia Beach

Magnolia Beach is a well known boondocking spot that RVers come from miles around to take advantage of. Magnolia Beach is first come first serve for RVs and campers to set up, so make sure to get there early to grab a spot.

Besides being used as a boondocking spot for RVers, Magnolia Beach also has multiple jetties and areas to go fishing or just spend the day swimming in the saltwater all around. You can explore the beach throughout the day, and even boondocking is free for those that want to take advantage of it.

Bryan Beach

Located in Freeport, Texas, Bryan Beach is a great beach to hang out with friends and family for the day. Access fees will vary, so calling beforehand will make sure you are well prepared.

Make sure you grab everything you need for Bryan Beach before you travel over the intercoastal so you will not have to drive in and out of town all day. There is plenty to do at Bryan Beach from fishing to swimming, sunbathing and more!

bryan beach in freeport, one of the best beaches in texas to visit

Boca Chica Beach

Often considered one of the prettiest beaches in Texas, Boca Chica Beach is a gem that is located near Brownsville, Texas. Boca Chica is a perfect spot to spend the day birdwatching, surfing, and soaking up the sun.

Boca Chica is also open for you and your family to be able to camp on, allowing you to soak in the sand and the waves all the while having your campsite nearby. While you are there, you can even see the lighthouse on the Mexican border.

bright orange sunset over boca chica beach, one of the best texas beaches to visit

Isla Blanca Beach

Isla Blanca Beach is any beachgoer’s dream with the immense amount of amenities that it offers. With over 600 RV sites, you can enjoy Isla Blanca Beach by bringing your trailer or camper with you.

There are also plenty of opportunities to take part in multiple one-of-a-kind adventures from Isla Blanca Beach such as offshore fishing, snorkeling, and even parasailing.

Isla Blanca Beach has multiple ways to rent cabanas and offers multiple restaurants to enjoy during your trip. Your trip to Isla Blanca Beach is sure to be a hit and keep you coming back year after year.

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Jamaica Beach

As one of the best beaches in Galveston, Texas, Jamaica Beach is a great destination for those that want to escape the city, but not travel too far. Galveston is a short drive from Houston and offers a beach escape for all those in the city.

Jamaica Beach is a great beach that offers you plenty of room to set up for a perfect day at the beach. After your day at the beach, enjoy many Galveston restaurants such as The Spot to make your adventure complete.

sand dunes with some shrubbery on a beach in texas

Sea Rim State Park Beach

Near the Texas and Louisiana Coast, lies Sea Rim State Park which is the perfect combination of marsh and beach. When you travel to Sea Rim State Park you can spend your day watching as shorebirds come and go in the marsh area of the park.

You can then load up your family and drive directly on the beach to soak up the sights and sounds of the beach. After you drive on the beach, you can set up your spot to soak in the saltwater air and the most perfect sand to construct sandcastles with.

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Crystal Beach

Quiet and beautiful Crystal Beach is located on a peninsula, allowing you a perfect little escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Crystal Beach offers you glistening waters and plenty of space for you and your family to enjoy and is one of the best beaches in Texas for families.

You can enjoy the ferry ride from Crystal Beach to Galveston where you are likely to see dolphins and some truly incredible views.

2 photos of texas beaches: galveston from above and rockport from the shore. black and pink text on a white background reads "15 best beaches in texas"

10 thoughts on “15 Best Beaches in Texas”

  1. There are no fees or permits required for Bryan Beach and we also allow overnight camping – come play and stay for FREE!

  2. Crystal Beach is the best kept secret in Texas. After driving on the beach to set your EZ up & enjoy the day on the beach you can go to Stingaree restaurant & Marina on the bay side to enjoy some of the best seafood in the state. Also Steve’s Landing for good food & atmosphere. Ship’s Wheel for live music & dancing on the Peninsula.

  3. Surfside Beach (and extended Brazoria County Beach) allows vehicle access, overnight camping, and open fires – including fireworks during legal time-frames. They just require an annual pass that can be purchased at multiple places in town (e.g. any gas station). On holiday weekends, the traffic gets horrible, but get there early, stay late, and it’s great. Bring your own bathroom though, because there are none, and the cops will ask where you’re “going.”


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