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17 Best Beaches near San Antonio, Texas

Looking for the best beaches near San Antonio?

Rivers and riverwalks yes, but beaches are not what most people think of when they imagine the city of San Antonio!

After all, it is located in Central Texas.

However, Texas has over 400 miles of coastline and there are many beautiful sandy beaches within driving distance of San Antonio.

Also Read: Best romantic weekend getaways near San Antonio, Texas

Beautiful Lake Travis is a gem of the Texas Hill Country
Beautiful beaches in the Texas Hill Country

The Hill Country also has fantastic lakes with calm beaches that are perfect on a hot summer day.

The lakeside beaches offer a wonderful day trip from downtown San Antonio, whereas the Gulf Coast beaches make a great weekend getaway.

Both are perfect in their own way for the whole family to cool down in the Texas heat!

However, if you want a sandy beach oasis – the coast is your best bet!

Also Read: Things to do on the San Antonio Riverwalk, Texas

Crab on the beach at Padre Island National Seashore Texas
Crab on the beach at Padre Island National Seashore Texas

Best Lake Beaches in San Antonio, TX

The Texas Hill Country, located north of San Antonio, has plenty of shallow rivers and calm lakes for water lovers.

Here you will also find specially made sandy beach areas which are a hit with families.

Canyon Overlook Park Beach, Canyon Lake

Just an hour outside downtown San Antonio, you will find the beautiful Overlook Park beach.

It is located on the southeast shores of Canyon Lake near the Canyon Lake Dam Overlook Park.

It is a perfect spot to immerse yourself in nature and enjoy wildlife spotting and bird watching.

Canyon Lake looks spectacular at sunset
Canyon Lake looks spectacular at sunset and is one of our favorite places to visit in Texas

A short trail leads down to the rocky beach which offers incredible views of Canyon Lake and the Guadalupe River. 

For more lakeside views, try the 0.6-mile trail to the dam where hikers will be rewarded with the perfect place to swim and cool off from the Texas heat.

North Park Beach, Canyon Lake

Another scenic beach on the shores of Canyon Lake is North Park Beach.

It is one of the few beaches near San Antonio that has natural caves to explore and fossils to discover in the nearby area. 

Canyon Lake is one of the deepest and clearest lakes in Texas.

Walking over the dam walkway at Overlook Park in Canyon Lake is great fun

The clear water offers excellent opportunities for scuba diving and even has sunken ships to discover under the depths close to the North Beach.

This beach offers some of the best sunset views on the lake, and for visitors wanting to catch more than one, there are 19 campsites to choose from.

Canyon Park Beach, Canyon Lake

One of the closest as well as least crowded options for beaches in San Antonio is Canyon Park Beach.

The beach is located on the west side of Canyon Lake. 

This pebbled beach is perfect for water sports and offers several options for kayaking, canoeing, SUP, wakeboarding, and jet skiing.

Hiking trails along the shore at Canyon Lake
Hiking trails and beach along the shore at Canyon Lake

The beach also has a boat ramp for visitors to launch their boats.

You can take the short trail down to the beach and make sure to pack what you need for the day as there are not many amenities nearby. 

Guadalupe River State Park Beach

Just 45 minutes from downtown San Antonio, is Guadalupe River State Park – one of the best state parks in the Texas Hill Country.

The beach here stretches for four miles along the banks of the Guadalupe River.

On a trip, you can enjoy incredible views of canyons on one side and the beach on the other. 

Guadalupe River State Park is a great place to swim hike fish picnic and camp
Guadalupe River State Park is a great place to swim hike fish picnic and camp

The park also has over 12 miles of hike and bike trails offering scenic views of the river as well as plenty of outdoor activities such as kayaking, tubing, and paddling.

This is a perfect option for the more outdoorsy type of travelers.

The state park has several waterfront campsites, all with picnic tables to enjoy the lakeside views. 

The beach here is pebbled, so bring along the water shoes to navigate the shores – especially if you have kids!

Comal Park Beach

Comal Park Beach, also located on the shores of Canyon Lake, is another underrated option for locals.

It is pretty popular from April through September and can be easily reached in under an hour from downtown San Antonio.

Comal Park Beach is one of the best beaches in San Antonio, Texas for swimming – especially with the roped-off swim area.

Marina at Canyon Lake, Texas
Marina at Canyon Lake, Texas

Visitors can also play new play area, picnic tables, and boating in this beautiful park. 

Although clean and well-maintained, the shoreline does not offer much shade in the summer so bring an umbrella and plenty of sunscreen on hot summer days! 

Also, the shore is rocky – so bring those water shoes.

Best Gulf Coast Beaches near the San Antonio area

Surrounded by the warm waters of the Gulf Coast, you can enjoy an almost tropical vibe on these Texas beaches.

Whether you want to relax on the shore, search for shells and wildlife or enjoy some watersports, you will find many Gulf beaches within driving distance from San Antonio.

Also Read: 16 Best Day Trips from San Antonio, Texas

Surfside Beach

Although a long drive out of San Antonio, magical Surfside Beach offers long stretches of sandy beach along the Gulf of Mexico. 

As the name suggests, Surfside Beach is known for its consistent waves, making it one of the best places in Texas for surfing. 

Surfside Beach is one of our favorite beach towns in Texas
Surfside Beach is one of our favorite beach towns in Texas

With its deep coastal waters and reefs, it is also one of the best places to fish, either from the Surfside beach Jetty Park or on a fishing boat off of the coast. 

There are beach rentals right by the shore, making Surfside Beach one of the best places for a longer vacation as well as a day trip from San Antonio.

Padre Island National Seashore

The Padre Island National Seashore is one of our favorite national parks in Texas.

We have camped here – swam here, biked here, and it is our go-to destination for a family beach getaway.

Padre Island National Seashore Texas is an excellent birding destination
Padre Island National Seashore Texas is an excellent birding destination

Padre Island National Seashore is the world’s largest undeveloped barrier island and, unbelievably, is just two and a half hours from San Antonio. 

Visitors to the park can explore over 66 miles of coastline filled with tall sandy dunes and low-lying tidal flats.

The geological features make the island a birding paradise – you can easily spot over 380 bird species here.

Padre Island National Seashore Sea Turtle Hatchling Release in Texas
Padre Island National Seashore Sea Turtle Hatchling Release in Texas

The park is also home to Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtle, one of the rarest and most endangered sea turtles in the world. 

Watching a sea turtle hatchling release arranged by the park is an amazing experience.

Mustang Island State Park

Another favorite contender for the best San Antonio beaches is found at Mustang Island State Park.

It is located just over 2.5 hours from San Antonio.

While not as vast as the national park site, the state park still has over 5 miles of shoreline and soft sand beaches.

Sand castle at Mustang Island near Port Aransas, Texas
Sand castle at Mustang Island near Port Aransas, Texas

This barrier island also has paddling trails and is one of the best kayaking destinations in Texas.

The water and electric campsites are perfect for those wanting to stay longer on these expansive sandy beaches – but be sure to book one well in advance as they filled fast.

Want to stay on the sandy beaches? There are plenty of sea shells and even shark teeth fossils to discover along with activities such as sand castle building.

Sunrise on the sand dunes at Mustang Island near Port Aransas, Texas
Sunrise on the sand dunes at Mustang Island near Port Aransas, Texas

South Padre Island

Quite unlike remote North Padre Island, South Padre Island is the Lone Star State’s most popular resort town.

It is home to one of the most picturesque beaches in Texas and well worth the 4.5-hour drive from San Antonio.

The island is popular for its restaurants, museums, shops, dolphin watching tours, pirate cruises, and more.

South Padre Island Convention Center photo op
South Padre Island Convention Center photo op

A favorite activity for many is horseback riding on the beach while enjoying the sea breeze on a hot summer afternoon.

During March, this is the spring beak capital of Texas and hosts beach parties and events for the younger crowd. 

North Beach, Corpus Christi

Just 2 hours from San Antonio, North Beach in Corpus Christi is one of the closest ocean beaches from Alamo City. 

The sandy shores of North Beach are right on the protected waters of Laguna Madre making it the perfect spot for bird watching.

Driftwood on the beach at sunrise in Corpus Christi, Texas
Driftwood on the beach at sunrise in Corpus Christi, Texas

The beach is 3 miles long and perfect for relaxing by the water.

North Beach is also located close to major attractions such as the USS Lexington Museum on the Bay and the Texas State Aquarium.

Port Aransas Beach

If you are looking for an eclectic beach town with a funky atmosphere, Port Aransas is the place for you.

This small beach town is located on Mustang Island and is only a 3-hour drive from San Antonio.

Here you will find a variety of shops, restaurants, and bars to explore.

Port Aransas beach access
Port Aransas beach access

The beach is wide and the perfect place to build sandcastles or fly a kite.

Be sure to check out the annual Sandfest – one of the largest sand sculpting competitions in the world.

Port A is also known as the ‘Fishing Capital of Texas’ thanks to the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

McGee Beach, Corpus Christi

McGee Beach is located on the north side of Corpus Christi and is one of the most popular beaches in the city.

The beach is located a little under 3 hrs from downtown San Antonio.

The clear and calm water makes it a perfect place for family vacations.

Beachview near The Promenade in Corpus Christi, Texas
Beach view near The Promenade in Corpus Christi, Texas

The on-site playgrounds are a hit with the kids while the adults can enjoy fishing from the jetty.

The beach is wide and covered in soft sand making it perfect for a game of volleyball or building sandcastles.

Take a stroll along the Seawall and admire the views of the Corpus Christi Bay while you’re here.

San Jose Island

A short ferry ride away from Port Aransas, you will find a hidden gem – the private, isolated, and uninhabited San Jose Island.

Although privately owned, visitors can catch the passenger ferry from Port A to the island.

Jetty boat connecting San Jose Island with Port Aransas
Jetty boat connecting San Jose Island with Port Aransas

Once here, you can explore the beach where combing for sand dollars and shells is a favorite activity. 

The island is completely vehicle-free, making it the perfect place to enjoy the peace and solitude of this unique Texas beach. 

Rockport Beach

As a Blue Wave Certified Beach, Rockport is the cleanest beach in Texas.

This pristine beach off of the Gulf of Mexico is quite family-friendly.

It is a perfect place for wildlife spotting, crabbing, birding, and even spotting the dolphins.

A Brown Pelican at Aransas Bay near Rockport Texas
A Brown Pelican at Aransas Bay near Rockport Texas

For those who prefer a more active beach day, you can play beach volleyball or enjoy the walking and biking trails in the city.

The gentle waves are also good to give surfing a go!

Galveston Island

Galveston Island is located over a four-hour drive from San Antonio.

The vibrant Pleasure Pier, many museums, an abundance of seafood restaurants, and plenty of beaches make Galveston Island the perfect beach getaway from San Antonio.

Galveston has really pretty beaches
Galveston has really pretty beaches

Some of the best beaches in Galveston include East beach and Stewart Beach.

Galveston Island State Park is perfect for outdoor lovers with its over four miles of trails for hiking or biking as well as numerous options for canoeing and kayaking.

Jamaica Beach

Little-known Jamaica Beach is located on the southern end of Galveston Island.

Here you will find expansive ocean views, pastel stilt houses, and sandy shores.

Near Babes Beach in Galveston
Near Babes Beach in Galveston

Four hours away from San Antonio, it is the perfect beach getaway for those wanting to unwind and relax. 

Whether it is bars and cafes or marine activities you want, Jamaica Beach has it all. 

Boca Chica State Park

Close to the border of Mexico, Boca Chica State Park is a pristine wildlife refuge with plenty of beaches and dunes to explore. 

The shell-covered shores are perfect for swimming, fishing and surfing.

Looking to do something unique? You can also tour the SpaceX launch pad while in the area.

With no big cities nearby, the spectacular views of the starry night sky make this state park a real jewel of Texas!

Sunrise at Boca Chica Beach in Texas
Sunrise at Boca Chica Beach in Texas

Whether by a lake or the ocean, beaches are the best way to enjoy the summer heat in Texas. 

Pick your favorite from this list and rejuvenate on a weekend trip filled with sandy shores, water sports, and incredible sunsets.

There are a variety of beaches to choose from near San Antonio, each with its unique atmosphere and activities.

Gulf of Mexico View from the Beach near Galveston
Gulf of Mexico View from the Beach near Galveston

Whether you are looking for a remote island getaway or a lively beach town, you will find what you are looking for within a few hours’ drive from Alamo City.

So pack your sunscreen and swimsuit and plan your next beach getaway near San Antonio now.