Longing to feel the sand between your toes this summer? Some of the best beaches in Texas are located just an hour or so south of the greater Houston area. Whether you're looking for a seaside escape for the day, a weekend, or longer, these beaches are all awesome options for some family friendly summer fun in the sun. And for more ideas on activities and things to do for the whole family, check out our summer fun guide for Houston kids.
201 Seawall Blvd., Galveston, TX 77550
As one of the most popular family beaches on Galveston Island, this beach boasts lounge chair and umbrella rentals, clean restrooms, and lifeguards. Large shower and changing areas make this beach ideal for day trips to wash the sand off before the car ride home. Stewart Beach is home to fun events such as sand castle building lessons, and also features a playground, pavilion, and sand volleyball courts. Summer admission per vehicle is $12 Monday-Friday and $15 on the weekends, holidays, and special events.
Public Access Beach 1A, Galveston, TX 77550
This Galveston spot is a bit off of the beaten path at the very east end of the island. The gorgeous beachfront community, Beachtown, features gorgeous beach houses, a quaint cafe, and a delicious ice cream shop. While Beachtown does offer several paid beach entry points at $13 per vehicle, free public beach access can be found at the very east end of Beachtown at access point 1A. A short walk from the parking area over sand dunes brings you to a stretch of spacious beach to set up chairs, eat a picnic lunch and relax. Even on a holiday weekend, this area is typically not crowded, making it a great spot for kite flying or bringing the family dog for a swim.
The quaint streets of Beachtown provide a picturesque backdrop for beach adventures.
Galveston Island State Park
14901 FM 3005, Galveston, TX 77554
Perfect for an adventurous family beach outing, Galveston Island State Park has so much to offer. In addition to swimming and sand play on the beach, enjoy hiking, biking trails, and fishing piers. Bring along your own kayak or canoe to take advantage of the park's unique paddling trails. The daily entrance fee is $5 for adults, kids aged 12 and under are free. Restrooms, showers, and picnic tables are located throughout the park. Campsites for tents and RVs, as well as rental cabins are available. See the state park's website for full pricing details.
Take advantage of windy beach days by flying a kite.
San Luis Pass Pocket Park
11745 San Luis Pass Rd., Galveston, TX 77554
With gorgeous beachfront stretches and an educational wetlands preserve, the San Luis Pass Pocket Park is the perfect place to spend a beach day. Picnicking, bird watching, and kite flying are among favorite activities at this beach, located on Galveston's west end. Beach chairs and umbrellas are available for daily rental. Outdoor showers make it easy to rinse the sand off before heading home for the day. Summer admission per vehicle is $12 Monday-Friday and $15 on the weekends, holidays, and special events.
Surfside Jetty County Park
101 Parkview Road, Surfside, TX 77541
This free park boasts a beachfront playground and is a great spot to spend a day on the water. The playground structure features three ladder levels with several winding slides that little ones will really love! Take advantage of covered picnic areas, paved parking, and convenient restrooms at this 15-acre park. Surfside Jetty County Park has something for everyone, including fishing, swimming, bird watching, shelling, and beach combing.
Photos by Ashley Jones