24 essential Texas beaches to visit before summer is over 

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Only a few hours' drive from San Antonio, the Texas coast makes the perfect escape from city life into nature.

Whether you're looking to windsurf, fish, bird watch, play with the kids, or just spend a day basking in the hot summer sun, Texas boasts a wide variety of beaches with something sure to please just about any type of beachgoer.

We've rounded up a collection of 24 Texas beaches that would be perfect to visit before summer ends.
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Port Aransas
portaransas.org
Located on Mustang Island, Port Aransas is a classic Texas beach holiday destination. Go fishing, light up the grill, splash in the waves or just enjoy the ocean breeze.
Photo via Instagram / me_gusta_queso
Goose Island State Park
202 S Palmetto St, (361) 729-2858, tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/goose-island
Set up a picnic or even pitch a tent for the night under the shade of the park’s live oaks. Just North of Corpus Christi, the park boasts great fishing, hiking, birdwatching and camping spots.
Photo via Instagram / gooseislandstatepark
Padre Island National Seashore
Padre Island, nps.gov
The park’s 70 miles of coastlines, prairies and dunes make it a haven for Texas wildlife and home to over 380 bird species. Time your visit just right and you can catch one of this summer’s public sea turtle hatchling releases.
Photo via Instagram / photohawker
Mustang Island State Park
South of Port Aransas, tpwd.texas.gov
Spend a day at the beach building sandcastles in the sun, or make it a weekend getaway by staying at one of the park’s nearly 100 campsites. The park fills up quickly, so reservations are recommended for both camping and day use.
Photo via Instagram / oakley.loa
South Padre Island
myspi.org
South Padre one of Texas’s most well-known beaches for a reason, with some of the safest and clearest water in the Gulf. A popular spring break destination for college students across the state, South Padre is also a popular family vacation destination for Texans from all walks of life.
Photo via Instagram / atxwookiee
Galveston Island
galveston.com
A trip to Galveston is almost a rite of passage for Texans. Home to 32 miles of shoreline and a multitude of parks, you’re sure to find something that suits your style. Plus, visit the Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier for a day of family fun right over the water.
Photo via Instagram / rollingonadream_
Rockport Beach
210 Seabreeze Dr., Rockport, rockportbeach-texas.com/
Rockport is the first, and one of only four, Blue Wave Beaches on the Texas Gulf Coast, making it one of the state’s cleanest beach destinations.
Photo via Instagram / rockporttexas
San Jose Island
San Jose Island, Aransas County, sanjoseislandtexas.org
Just a short ferry ride away from Port Aransas, San Jose Island is a privately-owned island with over 21 miles of undisturbed golden sand. While the mainland is off-limits, the public beaches are perfect for a day spent fishing, birding and shell hunting.
Photo via Instagram / portatexas
Boca Chica
Brownsville, tpwd.texas.gov
At the very end of Hwy 4, Boca Chica Beach is a getaway untouched by urbanization. Drive just a couple of miles down to the beach and you’ll find the tip of Texas, where the Rio Grande meets the Gulf of Mexico.
Photo via Instagram / k8fotor
Port Lavaca
portlavaca.org
At the center of the Gulf Coastline is Port Lavaca, a bird lover’s dream with over 400 migratory bird species. Calhoun County has been the nation’s leading county in bird count for seven years during the North America Migratory Count. Even if birds aren’t your thing, there’s plenty to do with local historical sites and stunning beaches.
Photo via Instagram / etherbunneh
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Surfside Beach
Bluewater Hwy, Surfside Beach, surfsidetx.org
Just a quick detour from nearby Galveston, Surfside Beach offers a quieter, more low-key opportunity to soak up some sunshine and dig your toes in the sand.
Photo via Instagram / roadventureswithrayne
McFaddin Beach
Jefferson County, visitportarthurtx.com
Roam the beach’s nearly 20 miles of coastline while admiring the shells and sand that have washed up from the Gulf. Fun fact: nearly all of Texas’ known prehistory is represented in the artifacts that have been discovered along this particular shore.
Photo via Instagram / creativeaerial
Loyola Beach
Kleberg County, texasescapes.com
Only 24 miles southeast of Kingsville is Loyola Beach, a great spot for fishing or, if you’re not too keen on reeling in your meal, great seafood.
Photo via Instagram / everythingbenjamin
Matagorda Island
Matagorda Island, Calhoun County, tpwd.texas.gov
No vehicles are allowed on this island — an untouched paradise, Matagorda Island is home to a veritable cornucopia of native species. A lighthouse dating back to 1852 stands tall at the island’s tip as a symbol of its preservation.
Photo via Instagram / s.hopkins.runs
I.B. Magee Beach Park
Port Aransas, nuecesco.com
Whether stopping by for an afternoon picnic or spending the night, the park’s beachfront amenities make for a peaceful and affordable excursion.
Photo via Instagram / tomwweber
Malaquite Beach
Park Rd 22, Corpus Christi, visitcorpuschristitx.org
Tucked behind dunes, the white sands of Malaquite Beach are untouched by vehicle traffic, ensuring a safe, family-friendly day at this picturesque beach.
Photo via Instagram / chaoticzen361
Magnolia Beach
Waterfront of Lavaca Bay, Calhoun County, tpwd.texas.gov
This 1.5 mile long stretch of sand along Matagorda Bay is the perfect spot to set up camp or pull up your RV, watch gorgeous sunsets and sleep to the sound of waves. There’s only one little shop in the quiet town, though, so be sure to pack everything you need before taking off or be prepared for a drive 20 minutes north to Port Lavaca to stock up.
Photo via Instagram / seeingtheseitz
Jamaica Beach
Galveston Island, ci.jamaicabeach.tx
While its name may suggest otherwise, this little pocket of a town is located on Galveston’s West End, providing a getaway from the busier Seawall just eight miles north.
Photo via Instagram / shanto187
Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge
Lower Rio Grande Valley, fws.gov
The 97,000 acres of preserved land in this park are open to the public for wildlife watching, fishing, hunting, education and photography. Hiking trails weave throughout the park, so bring your best walking shoes to explore as much of the land as possible.
Photo via Instagram / nefta27
High Island
Bolivar Peninsula, Galveston County, houstonaudubon.org
Those who prefer solitude over beach crowds may find their happy place along High Island’s miles of coastline. Enjoy the company of birds and wildlife as you stroll across the sand or explore the many sanctuaries preserving the area’s natural ecosystem.
Photo via Instagram / stonestreet72
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Light House Beach
700 Lighthouse Beach Rd, Port Lavaca, portlavaca.org
A favorite for both locals and tourists alike, the tropical atmosphere and birdwatching opportunities of Lighthouse Beach make for a stunning weekend getaway. Simply hook your RV up at one of 55 hook up sites and head to the salty waters, or take a stroll down the 2,200 foot boardwalk.
Photo via Instagram / migshinojosa
Bird Island Basin
Bird Island Basin Rd, Corpus Christi, nps.gov
Birding isn’t the only way to pass the time at the Bird Island Basin, although it is a great one. The beach is known by locals and regulars for its fantastic windsurfing and kayaking conditions, so take to the waters or watch from the shore for a day of beachtime fun.
Photo via Instagram / kristirreese
South Packery Channel Beach
14218 S Padre Island Dr., Corpus Christi, visitcorpuschristitx.org
Serving as the dividing line between Padre Island and Mustang Island, the channel is a breath of fresh air sandwiched between two Texas favorites. Bring the kids along for a safe day of play, or lay out your best towel for a relaxing day in the sun with less of the traffic.
Photo via Instagram / morningsuninmylife
Sea Rim State Park
Southern Jefferson County, tpwd.texas.gov
Four-thousand acres of marshland hug the 5.2 miles of beachfront at this state park, offering a unique display of wildlife near the sandy shores.
Photo via Instagram / searimstatepark
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Port Aransas
portaransas.org
Located on Mustang Island, Port Aransas is a classic Texas beach holiday destination. Go fishing, light up the grill, splash in the waves or just enjoy the ocean breeze.
Photo via Instagram / me_gusta_queso

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