10 Best Beaches near Houston to Enjoy the Sun, Sand, and Waves!

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Houston is a world-class city that is imaginative, optimistic, vibrant, and beautiful. Located close to the Gulf of Mexico, and westward from the shores of Galveston Bay, Houston sits at the confluence of Buffalo Bayou and White Oak Bayou. Houston as a city has a lot to offer to its residents as well as the visitors. There are outdoor activities for families, museums and galleries for art lovers, a baseball stadium for sports lovers, zoo for the kids, food & drinks for everyone, and then there are nearby beaches too! 

While the city is landlocked from all sides, some of the best beaches near Houston are located within a 30-60 minutes’ drive. While most of these are located within 100 miles, some may take you a little far out. 

 

In no particular order, here are some of the best beaches near Houston to escape to some unspoiled landscapes!

1. Surfside Beach

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Take a ride out of Houston along the US State Highway 288 to reach the tropical Surfside Beach. This beach is located 67 miles south of Houston and has a plenty of activities for everyone in the family to enjoy. This chilled-out village is nestled along the shores of the Gulf of Mexico and makes for a perfect family vacation destination near Houston. Here you can feel the soft sand embrace your feet, soak up some sun along its pristine coastline, swim & surf, explore coastal reefs, bike along the Bluewater Highway Trail, and enjoy a nice Texas-sized meal at one of the shacks along the beach. 

Where? Brazoria County, Texas.

What to do here? Surf the waters, play beach soccer, have a scavenger hunt. 

2. El Jardin Beach

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Located at 32 miles out and east of Houston, the El Jardin Beach is a relaxed beach situated along the coasts of Trinity Bay. Empty of crowds, this beach is clean and beautiful and is perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and picnicking. The warm waters of the bay combined with many exciting water activities make El Jardin Beach one of the best beaches in Texas to visit with kids. 

Where? Seabrook, Texas.

What to do here? Hopscotch in the sand, play tic-tac-toe, or put on some nice music and just relax! 

3. Stewart Beach

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The Stewart Beach in Galveston was once named as one of the “10 Best Beaches for Families.” This beautiful stretch of beach is located 52 miles south of Houston and inside one of the premier beach parks in Texas. It is the place where some of the best family vacations happen, thanks to its scores of amenities like beach, pavilion, children’s playground, gift shop, and restrooms. Highly-trained lifeguards are available on the beach. 

Where? Galveston, Texas. 

What to do here? Build a sand castle, click a family picture, enjoy a nice meal. 

4. Sylvan Beach Park

Sylvan Beach Park is located 27 miles east of the city and is one of the closest beaches to Houston. This no-seaweed fine sand beach is perfect to take your kids to. Spoiled for choice, beachgoers can lounge on the beach, go swimming, take a boat out in the waters for fishing, or set a picnic at its pavilion. If you are coming to the Sylvan Beach Park, do not miss the Annual Sylvan Beach Festival Crawfish Jam that happens right on the beach. 

Where? La Porte, Texas

What to do here? Collect shells, make a sand mermaid, make footprints in the sand, go fishing. 

5. Jamaica Beach

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This yet another Galveston beach is located inside the Galveston Island State Park. Situated inside a 2000-acre park, there are many quaint areas to explore near the Jamaica Beach. Apart from the beach, there are campgrounds, hiking trails, and a few birdwatching spots inside the park. During the quiet season, this beach is almost deserted and the swimming and other beach activities can go unsupervised. 

Where? Galveston County, Texas

What to do here? Have a picnic, go bird-watching, play a ball game.

6. Galveston Island East Beach

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Head to the East Beach in Galveston for the ultimate party vibes! Located at the far eastern tip of the island, this beach is an hour’s drive from Houston. The Galveston Island East Beach is where you will find some of the best concerts, festivals, and events take place. And then there are sandcastle building competitions too! Held by the American Institute of Architects (AIA), this competition happens on the first weekend in June. Unlike the other nearby beaches, alcohol is permitted at the East Beach. 

Where? Galveston, Texas

What to do here? Build sandcastles, have a barbeque party. 

7. Bolivar Peninsula

The town of Crystal Beach in Texas is located at 96 miles from Houston and is situated on the coast of the Bolivar Peninsula. The wide and open 27 miles of beach shoreline here offers a perfect opportunity to swim and sunbathe. Spend your day at the beach searching for some shark teeth. That creeps you out? You can also build sand castles here, go surf fishing, go boogie boarding, or set up a barbeque on the beach.

Where? Crystal Beach, Texas. 

What to do here? Drive on the beach, play rounders, enjoy a game of frisbee. 

8. Terramar Beach

This beach is perfect for a quick getaway. Located at just a little over an hour’s drive from Houston, the Terramar Beach can be reached via San Luis Pass Road. This beach offers a stretch of fine sand and is a great place for shelling, bird watching, and crabbing. Swimming is of course yet another popular activity here. This beach also offers close to 150 vacation rentals for you and your family. 

Where? Galveston, Texas. 

What to do here? Go fishing, read a book, scoop some sand, book a vacation rental. 

9. Matagorda Beach

Offering close to 58 miles of beach, Matagorda beach is located at just over 100 miles from Houston. Of the 58 miles, 23 miles of the beach is located to the east of the Colorado River while the rest of located to its west. Visitors usually spend their time on the East Beach where all the action takes place. Here you can camp, go swimming, and also drive on the beach. If you are keen on swimming, the Mitchell’s Cut and the mouth of the Colorado River is best avoided due to its very swift currents. For a more secluded experince, head to the West Beach. 

Where? Matagorda County, Texas

What to do here? Hunt for shells for a necklace, make sand sculptures, bury feet in the sand. 

10. King Fisher Beach

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At 152 miles from Houston, this beach is a little far away! But if you are looking to get away from the city for a couple of days, this beach is a perfect holiday destination. A great place to sit back and enjoy some sun, this beach also has a great fishing pier. The waves often bring exciting treasures along the stretch of sand. If you have kids along, turn this beach day into a treasure-hunting day! Apart from the beach area, here you will find several covered picnic areas with BBQ pits

Where? Port O'Connor, Texas

What to do here? Jump in the waves, eat an ice cream, find treasure on the beach. 

These beaches near Houston combine top-notch water activities with some relaxing views of the ocean. For a fun-filled day in the sunshine, head to one of these beaches! Also, do let us know about your beach experience in the comments section below.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ever since my first trip at the age of 4, I’ve been fascinated to explore places around the world. Lover of world cultures, food, souls and all things blue; I spend most part of my day writing about travel ...

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