Top 8 Texas Beaches

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The Lone Star State is known for doing everything bigger than the rest of the U.S., but do Texas' beaches stack up against the competition?

Like Florida, Texas is bathed in sunshine and has a long stretch of coast facing into the warm, emerald waters of the Gulf of Mexico. So, can we expect mile upon mile of powder white sand beaches lapped by the crystal clear waters of the Gulf? Well, actually no – Texas is very much the poor cousin when it comes to great beaches on the Gulf Coast.

But all is not lost; there are a handful of fantastic beaches in Texas but you'll need a little help with finding them. With the right advice under your belt you will be able to find a beach to suit whatever your needs. From the windswept shores of some of the remote barrier islands to family friendly resort beaches Texas has them. There's even a beach or two for those who like to go au-naturel.

So, without further ado, here is our list of the best beaches in Texas:

  • 1. Boca Chica Beach

    Boca Chica Beach
    Alexander Hatley

    Federal and state protection has helped ensure that Boca Chica Beach remains undeveloped and untamed despite it being the southernmost point in Texas. It's Spanish name also hints at its location on the Texas-Mexico border where the delta of the Rio Grande meets the Laguna Madre salt flats.

    Part of Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge, those who visit will find a spectacular stretch of wild and unspoilt sand stretching… read more »

  • 2. South Padre Island Beach

    South Padre Island Beach
    Todd Carr

    It's the beach of South Padre Island that takes centre stage in this resort town immediately off the southern coast of the Lone Star State. It's possible to visit without having to get your feet wet via the Queen Isabella Causeway, which connects it to Port Isabel on the mainland. However, the beach of South Padre Island are an encyclopaedia of water sports, meaning you're sure to be looking to… read more »

  • 3. Hippie Hollow Beach

    Hippie Hollow Beach

    Hippie Hollow is the only legally recognized clothing-optional public beach in Texas and was originally known as McGregor Country Park. The word "beach" is somewhat misleading as it is really a lakeside park and access to the water involves scrambling over the smooth limestone rocks when the water level is low.

    Located on the shores of Lake Travis, the park is managed by the Travis County Parks Department. It is… read more »

  • 4. San José Island

    San José Island
    Corey Leopold

    This off-the-beaten-track beach is nestled on its own secluded island. To get here, you'll need to park at Port Aransas and then hop on the ferry to reach San Jose's warm waters and caramel-coloured sands. Early-risers will be happy to know that the first boat leaves at 6:30 am, but the last one back to the mainland is at 6:10 pm, so do keep an eye on the time to… read more »

  • 5. Padre Island National Seashore

    Padre Island National Seashore

    Located off the coast of south Texas, a little over 30 minutes away from Corpus Christi, there are plenty of things that make this area unique. It separates the Gulf of Mexico from the Laguna Madre, which is one of a few hypersaline lagoons in the world - a body of water that's even saltier than most seawater.

    66 miles of coastline, dunes, prairies, and wind tidal flats teeming… read more »

  • 6. Surfside Beach

    Surfside Beach
    Lance L Lowry

    Locally known as "Surfside" this beach is situated on Follet's Island by the Gulf of Mexico near the city of Freeport. The sand tends to be more wet and compact, so not ideal for building extravagant sandcastles. The beach is divided into one area where there is car access and the other area being only for pedestrian use. 

    Overall, the atmosphere is relaxed and family-friendly, but it can get a… read more »

  • 7. Rockport Beach

    Rockport Beach
    Lindsey Parker

    This family-friendly, man-made spot's about 30 miles from Corpus Christi and overlooks the Aransas Bay on the south Texas coast. It's well-known for its pristine sands, plus a tonne of amenities, with things like volleyball courts, playgrounds and swings along the beachfront. 

    For something a little more laidback, you can take a stroll out onto the pier for a spot of fishing and do some bird watching. 

    There's plenty of parking… read more »

  • 8. Galveston Beach

    Galveston Beach
    CJ TravelTips

    Galveston has been wowing those heading to the Texas coast for almost 200 years, and there's no great surprise when you consider the island has 32 miles of beachfront to mull over.

    One of the best when it comes to facilities as well as atmosphere is Galveston's Each Beach, which has a pavilion and boardwalk as well as restrooms and children's playgrounds. The broad expanse of Stewart Beach's golden sands provides… read more »