15 best Texas beaches are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the Texas Gulf Coast. Texas has 367 miles of beach on its gulf coast. Some of my fondest memories come from times that I’ve spent in Port Aransas at the beach. Whether it was fishing from the jetties, or just relaxing in the sand. Beaches are a place where we can really let loose.
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Best Texas Beaches
Some of the best Texas beaches include Rockport Beach, Port Aransas Beach, Padre Island Beach, North Beach, Mcgee Beach, Mustang Island Beaches, San Jose Island Beaches, Crystal Beach, Boca Chica Beaches, Surfside Beach, McFaddin Beach, Lighthouse Beach, Bryan Beach, Isla Blanca Beach, and Magnolia Beach.
Texas may be known mostly for its BBQ, cowboys, and ranching, but that’s not all it has to offer! Texas has many awesome beaches. Beaches provide more than just water, they bring in seafood restaurants, resorts, and a positive environment for people to gather and have fun.
Let’s take a look at the best beaches in Texas, what they have to offer, and where they are located! I see a vacation in the near future. Hey, you could even plan a destination wedding Texas style in the perfect location with so much to choose from.
1. Rockport Beach
Rockport beach is a clean beach that has given itself the title of “Texas’ first blue wave beach.” It’s located in Rockport, Texas. It meets all of the standards put forth by the Texas Beach Watch, which is administered by the EPA. Source
The beach also has all of the usual landmarks, such as fishing areas, piers, and playgrounds for children to play. At Rockport Beach, you are going to find amazing views, clean water, and endless fun.
2. Port Aransas Beach
You arrive in Port Aransas, after taking the ferry. I remember the first time I took this drive, it was the first ferry ride with a car I had taken. There were dolphins that you could see from the ferry, which made it even more of a magical experience. They even have dolphin tours!
The beach has many beachside hotels as well as fresh seafood restaurants. You can relax on the beach and then have a nice seafood meal, without even having to put a pole into the water. You can also charter a boat for deep-sea fishing.
3. Padre Island Beach
Padre Island Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Texas. South Padre Beach is a college destination for spring break that is known worldwide. People get together on the beach and have fun swimming, tanning, and just partying in general.
This beach also has a ton of good fishing. You can charter boats or fish off the shore here. You’re going to find good food, good people, and a community that is open to visitors.
4. North Beach
North Beach is located in Corpus Christi, Texas. It has a 1.5-mile-long sandy beach that is for swimming only, no vehicles are allowed. There are tons of restaurants and cocktail bars. It is also home to the Texas State Aquarium, which is one of the best aquariums in the state.
The beach has two fishing jetties, with great fishing. Locals fishing here can give you a great idea of what kind of bait to use to catch a big one! The beaches here also have public bathhouses for those who need to shower after a long day of swimming on the beach.
5. Mcgee Beach
Mcgee Beach is another beach located in Corpus Christi, Texas. It’s a clean beach that has jetties for fishing, free parking, and manicured sand for lounging in the sand. This is a great beach for families who want to swim and spend the day at a beautiful beach.
It has restroom facilities and places where you can rent pretty much anything you might need, from fishing gear to sports equipment. This beach is known for being laid back with gentle waves.
6. Mustang Island Beaches
Mustang Island is Southeast of Corpus Christi. This beach has 5 miles of open beach. You are going to have plenty of space to lounge around, go fishing, or just hang out with friends. Mustang Island Beaches are considered part of Mustang Island State Park.
People can have fun here swimming, fishing, surfing, and even bird watching! It is a pet-friendly beach, that offers many amenities, such as public bathrooms, fishing, surfing, and windsurfing as well as lessons for all kinds of activities.
7. San Jose Island Beaches
San Jose Island is a privately owned barrier island. You can access the public parts of this Island by staying on the beach just under the vegetation line. It is known for its animal population, bird watching, and fishing. You have to take a ferry to the island, enjoy your day, and then take the ferry back to Port Aransas.
Since it is close to Port Aransas, you have access to all of the great seafood restaurants and hotels that Port A is known for. Vehicles are not allowed on this beach, and this pristine beachfront is known for shelling and beachcombing.
8. Crystal Beach
Crystal Beach is located on the Bolivar Peninsula just north of Galveston Island. This is a beautiful beach with clean blue water. You can drive your vehicle onto this beach, allowing people to tailgate, and have beach fun right at your vehicle.
This beach is known worldwide as one of the best places for bird-watching shorebirds. It is also another good beach for shelling and beachcombing. The relaxed rules that allow you to drive up to the beach also allow tents and other amenities that make beach life that much sweeter.
9. Boca Chica Beaches
Boca Chica is made up of 1,055 acres of land. The Boca Chica swimming beach offers many of the same great activities as other beaches on this list. They have bird-watching, camping, fishing, and surfing. This beach is south of Corpus Christi, near the border with Mexico.
The Rio Grande River once fed into the ocean here, and remnants of the river can still be seen and hiked. The waters come and go with storms that bring extra stormwater into the river. There are a ton of shells for shelling and beautiful sands. There are no services here, so you must bring your own food and amenities.
10. Surfside Beach
Surfside Beach is known locally as “Surfside.” Surfside Beach is the name of the city in Brazoria County, Texas. The city was last reported as having less than 500 people in 2010, however, it is the home of former congressman, Ron Paul.
At one time, Surfside Beach was considered the best beach in Texas. Here you can watch dolphins, charter boats, fish, surf, and much more. This is a good beach to get surfing lessons because it has very good surf. You can rent boats and other equipment, as well as fishing gear.
11. McFaddin Beach
McFadden Beach is located in Port Arthur. This beach is very clean and well-kept. It is a large beach with 20 miles of sand. This beach has free public access and vehicles are allowed. The beach is a well-kept secret and is usually uncrowded.
The beach is also part of the McFaddin National Wildlife Refuge. Many animals and birds call this beach home, so there are many opportunities to spectate wildlife.
12. Lighthouse Beach
Lighthouse Beach is located in Port Lavaca. The beach is home to many bird species. There is a waterfront beach as well as a kids’ playground, with splash pads and picnic tables. This beach is further down the list due to the fact the water gets very murky and the sand is brown.
While it may not be as beautiful as some beaches it is still a sight to see and experience. The perfect getaway if you are looking for an uncrowded beach to take the kids.
13. Bryan Beach
Bryan Beach is a beach located in Freeport, Texas. This is a great beach for sunbathing, fishing, camping, and bird-watching. This is a natural beach with no amenities, so make sure you get everything you need in Freeport, this includes water to drink, food, and anything else.
The beach itself is a park that is large in size. There are plenty of opportunities to view wildlife and also go for a swim. This beach can get somewhat crowded, so you may want to visit it at a less busy time.
14. Isla Blanca Beach
Isla Blanca Beach is a great beach to bring the family. There are plenty of amenities, such as restaurants, a marina, and more. You can fish off the jetties or charter a boat. The beach is great for swimming. You will see many tents and coolers when you come to chill at this beach.
This beach on South Padre Island is one of the main beaches there. The beach has had several projects, including a renourishment project where they added hundreds of feet of beach to it.
15. Magnolia Beach
Last on this list is Magnolia Beach. This beach is used mostly by RVers who use the beach for boondocking. It has multiple jetties and many people have claimed that the fishing is great. It’s a great place to swim and for beachcombing.
The beach is most well-known for camping and free boondocking on the beach. This is a great place to get away for a few weeks.
Also, check out our article Best Places to Retire in Texas
In Conclusion, 15 Best Texas Beaches
The gulf coast is full of beaches, In fact, 24.5% of the population of Texas lives in the coastal areas. Source. I hope this article helps clarify which beaches you may want to visit based on your needs. Keep in mind that some of these beaches may be seasonal.
Now that you know what’s what, get out there and go swimming, fishing, surfing, and whatever else your heart desires!
Read more about Texas Beaches - 26 Best Texas Beaches for Families | Ultimate Guide
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The State of Texas has 367 miles of beach on its gulf coast and has some of the best beaches in the United States.
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