Houston is a glorious city, and with a population of over 2.3 million, it’s the fourth most populated city in America. There are many incredible sights to see, but today we’ll be looking at some of the best beaches in Houston worth visiting.
Now Houston might seem like a bit of an oddity at first. While there are over 1,000 square miles of water, many of the great beaches will require a short drive from the central city to reach. Before we look at our top picks, let’s look at some essential things to consider before heading off to one of Houston’s best beaches.
What To Consider When Looking For A Beach In Houston?
When you take a trip to Houston or the Bayou City as it’s also known, you’ll see plenty of beautiful beaches. From sprawling coastal ones to out-of-the-way secluded spots. But before you check out our picks for the best beaches near Houston, make sure you consider these essential points.
Houston is very close to the Gulf of Mexico, so it’s an excellent location for beach-lovers. Houston also generally has a very even/ warm temperature throughout most of the year. That being said, most beaches will often require a short journey by car/ public transport. So, you’ll need to think about traveling to and from the beach.
Because many of the beaches in Houston will require travel outside of the city itself, you’ll likely need a car. Which also means you’ll need to park. Many Houston beaches are popular tourist spots which means you’ll likely need to pay for parking.
The Stewart Beach, for example, charges $12 to $15 depending on when you’re visiting. In contrast, the El Jardin Beach doesn’t charge at all but offers much less space.
Beaches aren’t all about the sand and the sea; there are plenty of amenities to think about as well. Some beaches will have toilets and changing rooms onsite, while others might have sports equipment like surfboards for hire!
The great thing about Houston beaches is the wide variety available. Beaches aren’t just sea and sand, after all. The Galveston Island State Park, for example, offers hiking trails, canoe hire, nature trails, wildlife tours, and much more.
But if you’re looking for something simpler, then Houston has got you covered with smaller, more secluded beaches like the Surfside beach.
The 5 Best Beaches in Houston
We’ve chosen our picks by looking at a number of factors, such as their location, the onsite amenities, fees, size, and more. Since there is such a wide variety of beaches, we’ve included something for everyone, whether you’re looking for a small secluded haven or a big family beach.
1. The Sylvan Beach
|Address||Sylvan Beach, La Porte, TX 77571|
At around 20 – 30 minutes from central Houston, you can reach this relaxing beach after just a short car ride. While this quaint beach might seem a little simplistic to some, we think it perfectly captures the peaceful tranquility most people will want from a beautiful beach!
With fine white sand and gentle waves, this beach is ideal for a romantic getaway. But there is also an onsite playground and picnic tables too. Anyone looking to enjoy some fishing will also be sure to have plenty of fun with an onsite fishing pier. Accessing the pier does come with a small additional charge of $4, though.
There are some great views to enjoy of Galveston Bay too. Onsite restrooms are available, and you can even hire a boat for the day. While Sylvan Beach Park might seem relatively small, there is plenty to see and do, so you’ll easily be entertained for the whole day!
2. The Galveston Island State Park
|Address||14901 FM 3005
Galveston, TX 77554
The Galveston Island State Park is a haven with plenty of great things to do! The park has separate beach and bay areas for you to visit and is packed with some great features and attractions.
There is something for everyone to do when they take a visit to this beach! Just a short car ride from central Houston and with plenty of onsite parking space, the Galveston Island State Park is ideal for a day trip out.
You can take a relaxing stroll across the sand, enjoy a spot of fishing, or even rent a kayak or canoe if you want to tackle the waves up close! If you’re looking for a more active trip to the beach, you can also rent bikes and journey around the neighboring trails.
There are onsite picnic tables and benches, and the beach also has lifeguards on-site at all times. Thanks to its proximity to the Gulf Coast, you can also see some fantastic wildlife up-close too. The beach is free to visit for children under 12, but older children and adults will have to pay a $5 entry fee.
3. The El Jardin Beach
|Address||500 El Jardin Dr, Seabrook, TX 77586|
El Jardin Beach is another small but mighty beach perfect for a relaxing getaway. The beach is ideal for anyone looking to enjoy a spot of fishing, but you can also enjoy soaking up some sun and whiling the day away.
There are some onsite picnic tables and benches so you could even enjoy some lunch. At only four and a half acres, this beach isn’t overly large, so not the best choice if you want a long beachside walk.
However, you can enjoy seeing plenty of marine wildlife as the beach is a popular spot for fish and birds. There is a small car park and no additional fees for using it! However, be warned it does fill up fast, especially during peak times.
The beach is 30 – 40 minutes from Houston by car and a popular spot for families. The waves are slow and shallow, making it ideal for some light swimming, and thanks to being so close to Houston’s main port, you can enjoy watching the ships come in while you relax.
4. The Stewart Beach
|Address||201 Seawall Blvd, Galveston, TX 77550|
The Stewart Beach is our second beach from Galveston Island. Found near the Seawall Boulevard, this beautiful beach is just a short drive from Houston. It’s the perfect family-friendly beach with plenty to keep both children and adults entertained.
With stunning white sand and tranquil waves, this beach is the perfect place to relax. But it’s also an excellent spot for anyone looking for a more active trip to the beach! You can enjoy some beachside volleyball and numerous events run throughout the holiday season.
There are plenty of onsite amenities, including changing rooms, restrooms, and showers. You can also get food and drink from the onsite concessions stalls and beachside snack bar. You can even hire a variety of beach supplies, and there are professional lifeguards on duty as well.
The beach has a large car park, but it does fill up fast, especially during peak times. Parking costs $12 Monday – Thursday and $15 Friday – Sunday. With plenty to see and do, Stewart Beach is definitely one of the best beaches in Houston.
5. The Surfside Beach
|Address||1304 Monument Dr, Surfside Beach, TX 77541-9522|
The Surfside beach is the perfect romantic getaway! This hidden paradise runs along the coastline and is around a 45-minute drive from central Houston. It offers some stunning views and calming, gentle waves.
While the beach is a great surfing spot, most people visiting are simply looking for a peaceful place to relax. The beach can get busy on the weekends, but it will likely be much quieter if you’re visiting during the week.
There are some onsite restrooms, but amenities are kept to a minimum. This is a beach to visit if you enjoy the simpler things in life! Although for a $12 fee, you can enjoy a drive across the beach in your car.
So, that’s five very different beaches you can visit near Houston! While Texas isn’t particularly famous for its beaches, there are certainly some fantastic ones to see! So, if you ever feel like enjoying some sand and sea, pay one of these beautiful beaches a visit.