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17 best Houston Beaches you’ll love to visit

Best Houston Beaches are located at least 30 minutes drive from the city.

The city of Houston does not have any beaches, but the good news is that the coastline is pretty close to it.

Some of these beaches are wilder, just some empty stretches of sand, while others come with all amenities for you.

Popular places like East Beach or Seawall Beach on Galveston Island allow you to enjoy the beauty of the sea and offer incredible places to perfect your tan.

Here you will easily find cabanas, beach chairs, and umbrellas, while restrooms and restaurants are within walking distance.

We also have picked beautiful beaches for those looking for quieter places, less populated strips of sand packed with nature.

Most of these don’t have restrooms or restaurants nearby, but exactly these things attract visitors.

So, this list comprises beaches suitable for everybody, all located less than 90 minutes drive from Houston.

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Most beautiful Houston beaches Tx

1. Sea Rim State Park

My list of the best beaches in Houston Tx starts with the beautiful beach from Sea Rim State Park.

This Houston beach is located in a beautiful state park on the southeastern edge of Texas.

It is the perfect destination for beach and nature lovers and offers a wide range of water sports options.

Here you can go paddling and kayaking, and try other outdoor activities that allow you to enjoy the park’s beauty.

There are plenty of routes for canoe and kayaking in the area, from easy trails less than 2 miles long to the advanced trail of almost 10 miles.

Sea Rim State Park
Sea Rim State Park

The 5 miles long beach provides plenty of space to put on your towel, perfect your tan, and make sand castles with your kids.

You can even spend the night in the area, as there are campsites with utilities, primitive sites, and cabins.

Entrance to the park costs around 5 USD per day for adults, and kids under 12 years old enter for free.

Our hotel recommendation near Sea Rim State Park

Hampton Inn & Suites Winnie is a wonderful hotel with an indoor pool, a fitness center, and a hot tub.

The rooms are big and clean, and all come with a microwave, a coffee machine, a seating area, and a desk.

Complimentary breakfast is served each morning at the property.

2. Surfside Beach

Located about one hour’s drive from Houston, this beautiful natural beach in Houston attracts many tourists from all across the state.

Surfside Beach is located along the Bluewater Highway but less crowded than other Houston Texas beaches.

The 4 miles coastline is perfect for relaxation and offers guests a sandy beach with umbrellas and special places for towels.

This Houston Texas beach is perfect for swimming and beach activities. Kids will love to search for shells on the beach, while horseback riding tours are also available for older kids and adults.

Surfside beach Texas
Surfside beach Texas

It is a perfect place for surfing, especially for beginners, due to its low waves.

There are no amenities on the beach, so pack your beach essentials and gear before leaving Houston.

You can also access the beach from the Surfside Jetty County Park, which offers tourists some amenities like kids’ playgrounds and restrooms.

The Jetty is extremely popular among fishermen and those looking to sit quietly and listen to the ocean.

Our hotel recommendation near Surfside Beach

Baymont by Wyndham Clute is our choice for a night near Surfside Beach.

This 4-star hotel serves complimentary hot breakfast to its guests, and it is located just 15 minutes drive from the beach.

The rooms come with a microwave and refrigerator, while an outdoor swimming pool and free parking are available at the property.

3. El Jardin Beach

El Jardin Beach is one of the closest beaches to Houston, located just 30 miles from the city.

Listed as one of the most popular Houston Tx beaches, El Jardin is a small beach located in a residential area.

It is the perfect destination for a day trip with a sandy beach and a lot of green space around.

Picnic tables, recreational space, and barbeque pits are right near the beach.

El Jardin beach Tx
El Jardin beach Tx

There are no restrooms or restaurants in the area, so bring everything you need for a day on the beach.

Public parking is available in the area, with direct access to the beach via a walkway.

What I like about this beach is that even though it is small, it doesn’t feel frenzied and crowded.

Our hotel recommendation near El Jardin Beach

Best Western Plus Seabrook Suites is our choice for this area, a beautiful hotel with an outdoor pool and spacious rooms.

The beach is just 10 minutes drive from the hotel, while Armand Bayou Nature Center is 10 minutes away.

A complimentary breakfast is served each morning at the property, while the rooms are equipped with a microwave, coffee maker, and refrigerator.

4. Lake Tejas

This spring-fed lake from Colmesneil is the perfect getaway for a day near the water.

The lake is generally open for summer months, and swimming from May to Labor Day is allowed.

It has one of the best beaches near Houston, with good quality sand, perfect for your kids to build sandcastles.
You can swim in the lake, go paddle boating or stay on the beach and perfect your tan.

Lake Tejas Swimming Pool in Texas
Lake Tejas Swimming Pool in Texas

Water slides measuring more than 100 feet tall that goes directly into the lake so there is no better place to have fun and bathe on a hot day in summer.

The area near the lake has playgrounds for kids and volleyball areas, so bring a ball with you.

Our hotel recommendation near Lake Tejas

Super 8 by Wyndham Jasper TX is one of the best hotels in the area, offering accommodation with barbeque facilities.

The rooms are clean and spacious with a private bathroom.

Complimentary breakfast is served each day at the property and consist in a traditional American breakfast.

5. Stewart Beach

This is one of the best family beaches near Houston Tx as you have everything you need for a day on the beach.

Between March and October, you will find restrooms, chairs, and umbrellas to rent here and lifeguards on duty.

The beach is just a short walk from the seawall walkway, so you have restaurants and bars really close.

There is a playground right near the beach and many water sports options.

Stewart Beach
Stewart Beach

Your kid will love the sandcastle competitions, which are extremely popular during summer.

The beach has a free parking lot (no parking fee), but you’d better get there early in the morning for a parking place. 

Stewart Beach is located on Galveston Island, close to Moody Gardens and Schlitterbahn Waterpark.

Our hotel recommendation near Stewart Beach

Grand Galvez is our choice for Stewart Beach, a luxurious hotel with an outdoor heated pool located right on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico.

The on-site restaurant, Galvez Bar & Grill is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and serves champagne at breakfast on Sundays.

The rooms are spacious and luxurious, with ironing facilities and a work desk.

6. Quintana Beach

Quintana beach is one of the most beautiful Houston beaches, perfect for a day close to the ocean.

It is located about 70 miles from downtown Houston and has 6 miles of sandy beach where you can run freely, lay a towel, and listen to the ocean.

Located near Freeport, the beach has a light breeze coming from the coast, so it is never too hot.

It is the perfect place to walk along the coast, enjoy bird watching or look for the most beautiful shells hidden in the sand.

Quintana Beach
Quintana Beach

The beach offers a wide range of outdoor activities like fishing, surfing, and swimming.

The place is wild, with no amenities, so don’t expect to find restrooms, restaurants, and beach chairs here.

You might spot dolphins near the shore and many birds in the air.

The closest restaurant and gas station is a few miles away from Freeport, so make sure you pack everything you need.

The nearby area has an RV park, which is extremely popular for camping, especially during summer.

Our hotel recommendation near Quintana Beach

Best Western Plus Lake Jackson Inn & Suites is the place where we slept when visiting the area.

The rooms are clean and spacious, equipped with a refrigerator and microwave. Some rooms also have a seating area, and all the rooms have a private bathroom.

Complementary breakfast is served each day at the property.

7. Sylvan Beach Park

One of the closest beaches to Houston is Sylvan Beach, located about 30 minutes drive from downtown.

It is a good place to lay your towel, swim in the ocean and relax. The mild waves from the area make this place a popular family destination.

There are also sand volleyball nets, a playground for children, and a skate park to have fun the whole day.

Two sections of the beach, with soft sand and swimming areas, are located on either side of the pier. 

Sylvan Beach Park
Sylvan Beach Park

Picnic tables, restrooms, tennis courts, and showers are everywhere around the beach, so you won’t have any difficulties spending a quality day there.

Furry friends are also welcome here, as there is a dog park on the beach where you can bring your pet for the day.

You can fish in the area; the most common catches are trout, flounder and drum.

Our hotel recommendation near Sylvan Beach Park

Hampton Inn & Suites La Porte, TX is our recommendation for your overnight stay. The hotel has a fitness center, an outdoor pool, and spacious rooms.

Each room comes with a flat-screen TV, free toiletries, and a hairdryer.

8. Rockport Beach

Located on Aransas Bay, Rockport Beach is the first beach in Texas that received a Blue Wave designation.

One of the best Houston beaches, Rockport Beach is a wonderful destination for a family getaway.

The waves are small, and there are no underwater currents so the whole family can swim safely into the ocean.

The beach is also a great destination for couples, you can easily feel the romance in the air once you get on the beach.

Rockport beach
Rockport beach

It is the perfect place to lay your towel on the sand, enjoy the sun and listen to the ocean.

Once you have had enough sun, head to Rockport historical center and explore this beautiful small town.

This location is a little further from Houston, it is about 3 hours drive, but definitely worth the effort.

Our hotel recommendation near Rockport Beach

La Quinta by Wyndham Rockport is the place where you should spend your night, and it is just 10 minutes drive from the beach.

This beautiful hotel offers its guests spacious rooms with a refrigerator, a microwave, and cable TV.

Complimentary breakfast is served at the property each morning.

9. Garner State Park

Garner State Park was founded in 1941 and has more than 1420 acres of wilderness with many rocky beaches and campsites.

It is the perfect getaway on a hot day in summer if you are looking for a place to cool off and escape city pollution.

The beach is extremely beautiful, surrounded by mesquite trees and limestone rocks.

Camping near Garner State Park Texas
Camping near Garner State Park Texas

The water is clear, just perfect for swimming and cooling off.

If you are not a good swimmer consider bringing a floating device. Aqua shoes are also very welcome as the bottom feels quite muddy or leafy.

The park is a little far from Houston, there is about 5 hours drive from Houston downtown, so consider spending a whole weekend here.

Our hotel recommendation near Garner State Park

Flying L Ranch Resort is where you have to spend your night exploring Garner State Park.

This beautiful ranch from Bandera has a western flare and many amenities for its guests.

You will find sports courts, playgrounds, miniature golf, a large swimming pool, wagon rides, a restaurant, a campfire, and many more here.

You can choose from villas, cabins, party houses, and suites all equipped with a coffee maker, a microwave, and a mini fridge.

10. East Beach

Located about 49 miles from Houston, East Beach is one of the busiest and most popular Houston beaches.

It is located in the eastern tip of Galveston island and is quite crowded during summer.

East Beach is where many festivals and concerts occur, so the young generation heads to this beach to party till morning.

The beach is preferred by those who love beach activities like sandcastle contests and volleyball tournaments.

You can lay your towel on the sandy beach, swim in the ocean, and have fun the whole day.

There are also umbrellas, beach chairs, and cabanas for renting on the beach.

picnic basket on the beach
picnic basket on the beach

Watersports lovers can go parasailing over the crystal water or rent Jet skis.

Families are welcomed here, and there are playgrounds for younger guests and shaded pavilions to protect you from the Texas sun.

The beach is located on 80 acres of R.A. Apfell Park, so you have plenty of space to move around.

There are restrooms, showers, restaurants, and food trucks with delicious dishes.

To enjoy the beauty of this beach, you have to pay a fee, and entrance to the beach is possible in designated areas.

When you get bored of laying in the sun, head to East End Lagoon Nature Preserve, a beautiful place located right near the beach.

Here you can go hiking, bird watching or kayaking.

Our hotel recommendation near East Beach

Best Western Plus Seawall Inn & Suites by the Beach is our choice for spending a night close to East Beach.

Here, the rooms are spacious and clean, and each has a refrigerator, a microwave, free toiletries, and a hairdryer.

Some of the rooms offer breathtaking views of the ocean.

11. Crystal Beach

One of the closest beaches to Houston, Crystal Beach, is located about 90 minutes from downtown Houston.

It is a beautiful and quiet beach located on the Bolivar Peninsula, a perfect place for a short vacation if you like to go camping or have an RV.

Crystal Beach is incredibly beautiful, with its clean water and white sand.

It is a pet-friendly beach; nothing can be more beautiful than playing with your dog on a white sandy beach.

You can perfect your tan here, swim in the crystal clear water or simply walk on the beach.

Crystal Beach Texas
Crystal Beach Texas

At the end of the day, make sure you have a good seat to admire the breathtaking sunset.

Getting to this island is not that straightforward, as you need to take the Bolivar Ferry from Galveston Island.

The ferry runs the entire year, and the journey last for about 15 minutes.

You might even see dolphins and sea pods on your journey from the mainland to the island.

Our hotel recommendation near Crystal Beach

Boardwalk Resort is the best option for spending the night near Crystal Beach. The resort has an outdoor swimming pool, barbeque facilities, and a hot tub.

Each of the rooms has a fully equipped kitchen and air conditioning bedrooms.

Younger guests can have fun on the minigolf course, play at the property’s playground, and splash everything around on the kids’ pool.

12. Port Aransas Beach

Port Aransas Beach is one of the most beautiful and easy-going beaches near Houston Texas.

This idyllic beach is located about 200 miles from Houston, the perfect destination for a weekend getaway.

There are not many things to do around one of the best Houston beaches, this strip of sand being the perfect destination for those looking to relax and spend some quiet moments in nature.

Port Aransas Texas beach
Port Aransas Texas beach

The beach is not very crowded and has a really peaceful vibe.

There are a few restaurants in the area where you can eat, and for breakfast, you definitely have to go to Restaurant San Juan for their delicious Tex-Mex breakfast.

Our hotel recommendation near Port Aransas Beach

Plantation Suites and Conference Center is the right choice if you plan to spend the night in the area.

The hotel has an outdoor swimming pool, barbeque facilities, and a hot tub.

The rooms come with TV, refrigerator, and microwave.

A free complimentary breakfast is served each morning at the property.

13. Galveston Island State Park

Galveston Island State Park is located about 59 miles from Houston and has one of the most appreciated Houston beaches in the area.

The beach attracts people looking to swim and cool off yearly in the ocean’s blue waters.

The gentle waves from the area make the place perfect for swimming for the whole family.

Galveston State Park also offers a wide range of outdoor and water activities, like fishing and kayaking.

There are fishing piers and boat ramps available in the area.

Galveston beach Texas
Galveston beach Texas

Walking on nature trails is also extremely popular in the area, as the park has more than 2,000 acres plus beachfront access.

The area is perfect for birdwatching, and among the most common birds you can see are pelicans, snowy egrets, Mexican eagles, and blue herons.

Restrooms and picnic tables are available in the area, and for those looking to spend the night near the beach, there are RV sites, campsites, and cabins to rent in the vicinity of the park.

Our hotel recommendation near Galveston Island State Park

Moody Gardens Hotel Spa and Convention Center  is our favorite hotel in the area. This 4-star hotel is located in lush tropical gardens, expanding on over 240 acres.

There is a 3-D theatre, a living rainforest, an aquarium, and an outdoor swimming pool with a swim-up bar.

Fresh seafood dishes are served at the on-site restaurant, Cafe in the Park, while fine dining is available at Shearn’s Restaurant.

14. Padre Island National Seashore

Padre Island National park was established in 1962 and has a total surface of 130,435 acres.

Inside this beautiful park lies one of the most pristine beaches near Houston Texas.

The 70 miles of pristine coastline is a natural wonder for those looking to relax and reconnect with nature.

You can spend a whole week on this beach, perfecting your tan and swimming in the ocean.

It is one of the most popular gateways to a world of adventure.

South Padre island in Texas
South Padre island Texas

If you want to learn new things about this fascinating place, then head to the ranger’s office for a small talk. You will learn many interesting things about the area, the wildlife, and the ecosystem.

The park is perfect for hiking and if you want to explore the area, follow Grasslands Nature Trail.

Our hotel recommendation near Padre Island National Seashore Houston beaches

Best Western Padre Island is the place we recommend for your overnight stay.

The hotel is just 10 minutes drive from Mustang Island State Park, another beautiful attraction from the area.

The rooms are spacious; each has a mini-fridge and a microwave.

Complimentary hot breakfast is served each morning at the property.

15.  Matagorda Bay Nature Park

Located about 1 hour 45 minutes drive from Houston, Matagorda Beach is the perfect destination for a weekend getaway.

This incredible Houston beach is a long strip of sand, perfect for walking, collecting shells, and listening to the ocean.

Matagorda County is home to 55 miles of the Gulf of Mexico shoreline, out of which just 24 can be accessed from land.

The other part of the shoreline is accessible only by boat.

Matagorda Bay stone wall
Matagorda Bay stone wall

Here you can find one of the most pristine beaches in Texas, and many people rush here to spend their summer holiday.

The soft sand is perfect for building sandcastles, lounging, and beachcombing.

The beach is vast and mostly untouched, so it is a good place to hunt for shells and treasures, like old Spanish coins.

For driving on the beach you need a special permit; the Matagorda County Beach Vehicle Permit costs about 10 USD for the whole year.

You can also camp in the area, and no additional charges apply.

On the water, you can go surfing or head to one of the many paddling trails where you can observe wildlife like birds, fish, and even alligators.

The waters of the ocean are perfect for swimming but keep an eye on the jetties and pier, as strong currents are sometimes reported in the area.

Our hotel recommendation near Matagorda Beach

Super 8 by Wyndham Jasper TX is one of the best hotels in the area, offering accommodation with barbeque facilities.

The rooms are clean and spacious, with a private bathroom.

Complimentary breakfast is served daily at the property and consists of a traditional American breakfast.

16. Seawall Beach

One of the most popular Houston beaches, located less than one hour’s drive from downtown, is Seawall Beach from Galveston Island.

It is one of the most exciting beaches to visit, a place where all the action happens.

This beautiful sandy beach is large enough to accommodate many visitors looking to enjoy the sun and swim in the ocean’s blue waters.

Seawall beach texas
Seawall beach texas

You can find cabanas, umbrellas, and chairs to rent on the beach, while restaurants and bars are located just across the street.

Lay in the sun for the whole day, and take a walk on the 10-mile-long seawall before sunset.

The promenade is packed with pavilions, picnic tables, historical markers, statues, and many other interesting things.

Our hotel recommendation near Seawall Beach

Moody Gardens Hotel Spa and Convention Center is our favorite hotel in the area. This 4-star hotel is located in lush tropical gardens, expanding on over 240 acres.

There is a 3-D theatre, a living rainforest, an aquarium, and an outdoor swimming pool with a swim-up bar.

Fresh seafood dishes are served at the on-site restaurant, Cafe in the Park, while fine dining is available at Shearn’s Restaurant.

17. Seahorse Beach

Several beaches are located along the coastal Bluewater Highway, but Seahorse Beach is my favorite.

It is the perfect destination for a weekend getaway from Houston, located about 60 miles drive from downtown.

Seahorse Beach is a quiet beach with stunning ocean views, preferred by those looking to escape city noise and pollution.

Seahorse beach texas
Seahorse beach texas

The easiest way to get to the beach is from public access point number three, where you have paved parking.

The beach is not very large, but this is exactly what I like about it.

Its sugary sand and the beautiful dunes on Follett’s Island make it paradise on earth.

You can see dolphins and many species of birds here if you stay quiet.

The beach is on the flying corridor of many migrating species trying to get to Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge.

Logistical tips and tricks for your trip

Book your accommodation
We always use as they have the best price-quality ratio and they offer a wide range of hotels, guesthouses, apartments, and villas to choose from.

You will find here all types of accommodations, from the cheapest ones to the most luxurious.

Don't forget travel insurance
We never leave home without HeyMondo Insurance or Safety Wings Insurance as they offer the best services and a good value for money.

When we go for longer trips around the world we get Globelink Insurance as it offers a good cover for an affordable price.

Travel insurance will always protect you against unexpected costs caused by medical events like illness, injury, theft, or travel cancellation.

We never go on any trip without travel insurance and there were many cases when we had to use it.

Renting a car
We like to explore a country on our own and a car gives us the mobility and freedom to do that.

We always rent our car from Discovercars as they have free cancellation 48 hours prior to starting date and a wide range of car rental companies and options to choose from all over the world.

Tours and attractions
When we are looking for some adventure or we simply want to break up the monotony and discover new places, we always use GetYourGuide.

We love it because we always find the most amazing experiences, with free cancellation and a large variety of activities and tours to choose from.

Airplane tickets and holiday packages
Expedia is our ally when searching for the best price for airplane tickets as it works as an aggregator for a huge number of airlines and we always find the best price for our flights.

Travel tip: use Expedia when you are searching for holiday packages as they have many last-minute offers and great discounts for hotels, flights, and even the whole holiday packages.