Located near the Gulf Coast of Texas, Houston is surrounded by many charming beaches.
In fact, the pretty beaches near Houston make Bayou City your best bet for a beach vacation in Texas.
Many of them are less than an hour away from Houston, making it easy to plan a day trip or a weekend getaway to enjoy a sunny and sandy time in the Lone Star State.
Whether you want a pretty white sand beach on the Gulf Coast of Texas or a party beach with concerts and entertainment, we have you covered.
Also Read: Houston to Austin Road trip
Best Gulf beaches near Houston, Texas
While the Texas coastline is not particularly gorgeous near Houston, it does have pretty amazing beaches as long as you know where to go.
Enjoy your day on the beach sunbathing, swimming, and playing in the sand.
Here are our favorite beaches near Houston, Texas.
East Beach, on Galveston Island, is one of the best beaches near Houston.
East Beach is also the largest beach in Texas and hence very popular with beachgoers.
This Galveston Beach is the hub of the island’s social life.
It is located on the far eastern tip of Galveston Island, adjacent to the East End Lagoon Nature Preserve.
During the peak summer season, East Beach hosts music concerts, festivals, events, as well as the famous Galveston sandcastle competition.
East Beach is also the only beach on Galveston Island where alcohol is permitted.
As a result, the beach can get rowdy at times.
However, East Beach continues to be popular with families and even has a dedicated play area for kids.
If you’re looking for a more calm and family-friendly beach in Galveston, then consider visiting Stewart Beach.
The beach is located just a short drive away from East Beach.
This beach has beach chairs and umbrella rentals and is a perfect spot to go beach camping on the sandy shores or build sand castles.
You will also participate in sandcastle lessons at Stewart Beach.
Galveston Island State Park
Galveston Island State Park, is one of our favorite Texas parks, to enjoy the beach.
Galveston Island State Park is also popular for bird watching and offers nature trails that take you through the salt marshes and wetlands on the coast.
You can also camp here!
The Park Visitor Center has cool nature exhibits for kids as well as a small gift shop to buy souvenirs.
Galveston Island State Park is, undoubtedly, a great option for those looking to escape the bustling city life and spend time in nature.
The city of Surfside Beach is located just an hour’s drive away from Houston.
Surfside Beach offers a tranquil and relaxing beach experience and is popular amongst Houston area beaches.
The beautifully clear turquoise water and white sand beaches make Surfside Beach one of the best beach towns near Houston.
The city has over four miles of coastline, several restaurants and convenience stores located close to the beach, as well as amazing views of Galveston Bay.
The Surfside Jetty Park has a large fishing pier, children’s playground, restrooms, and other amenities.
The beachfront Park is also a hit with nature lovers.
You can enjoy bird watching, beach camping, and shelling at Surfside Beach.
The nearby wildlife sanctuary, Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge in Freeport, is also an excellent place to visit.
Freeport also has many other attractions including the Freeport Historical Museum, nature trails, and more.
Sea Rim State Park
Sea Rim State Park is a hidden gem when it comes to the best beaches near Houston.
Located on the upper Gulf Coast near Port Arthur, Sea Rim State Park, is a great place to spend a sunny day.
This park offers some of the best bird-watching opportunities in Texas.
The stretch of beach here is also good for swimming, fishing, and shelling.
The state park also has many paddling trails and is one of the best places to go kayaking in Texas.
Crystal Beach, located on Bolivar Peninsula, is another beautiful beach near Houston.
The Bolivar Peninsula is one of the best places to visit on the Texas Gulf Coast and has 27 miles of coastline.
Visitors can reach Bolivar Peninsula by taking the ferry from Galveston Island.
Crystal Beach has nice beaches, restaurants, as well as great camping spots right on the beach.
Along with Crystal Beach, Bolivar Peninsula is home to several nice beaches and coastal communities such as Port Bolivar and High Island.
Don’t forget about the pristine beaches on South Padre Island, Padre Island National Seashore, and Mustang Island State Park which are within easy weekend trips from Houston.
Read our post on the best beaches in Texas now!
Sylvan Beach Park
Sylvan Beach Park, located in La Porte, offers another great beach that is very close to Houston.
This Harris County park has excellent facilities like a skate park, fishing pier, play area for kids, beach volleyball courts, picnic tables, and a boat ramp.
Sylvan Beach is a nice, small, sandy beach that is mostly clean and free of seaweeds.
The swimming area is well marked, has gentle waves, and is good for families.
Sylvan Beach also has many lifeguards on duty making it a great spot to take kids.
The park’s pier is a great place to take a stroll and enjoy sunset views on the coast.
Sylvan Beach Park is definitely one of our favorite beaches near Houston TX to enjoy a fun day.
Also Read: Houston to New Orleans Drive
Quintana Beach County Park
Quintana Beach is located south of Surfside Beach.
This family-friendly Texas coast town has six miles of beaches.
Quintana Beach County Park has cabins as well as RV sites for those who want a longer stay.
Also Read: Houston to South Padre Island Road trip
Matagorda Bay Nature Park
Matagorda Bay Nature Park is located right near the mouth of the Colorado River.
This is an excellent place to enjoy sea kayaking as well as kayaking on the Colorado River.
Other popular activities include fishing from the pier, beachcombing, camping, and nature photography.
The park has many species of birds and is one of our favorite places to visit near Houston for birding.
El Jardin Beach
El Jardin Beach is a pristine beach located near Houston.
The beach is pretty wild, sandy, and not too crowded.
Visitors can easily find places to set up beach chairs, beach towels, grills, and canopies.
The water here is also very calm and good for kids.
We hope you liked our guide to the best beaches near Houston, TX.