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Top 18 Beaches for the Perfect Houston Weekend Escape

Houston is notorious for its skyline and not for beaches or seaside views. However, I must say and I wanted to tell you this, that there are lots of beautiful beaches that are just a few hour's drive from H-Town and which are ideal for a weekend getaway. Whether you need a family vacation getaway or just a quiet weekend trip.

1. Galveston Beach

The largest beach in the vicinity of Houston, this beach presents a wide variation of beaches stretching from 30 miles of sandy shore. Check out restaurants and other attractions at the Seawall Urban Park if you prefer a beach-side dining and entertainment area or travel further along the coast to Galveston Island State Park if you prefer a secluded beach environment.

2. Surfside Beach

A calm resort based on the upper part of the Texas coast, Surfside Beach has fine, white sand and is lined with pretty houses. The waves are quite gentle making it the perfect place to swim, body surf, or even look for sea shells. It has several hotels and rental houses directly on the beach, and several restaurants offering partly raw seafood delicacies.

3. Crystal Beach

Situated on the Bolivar Peninsula, Crystal Beach is a beautiful place that attracts tourists because of its calmness and the sand on the shore. Families love the shallow and gentle terrain, which makes it appropriate for young children to enjoy. Stingaree Restaurant is another popular dining place; you may want to dine here after enjoying your beach frolic at the sea.

4. South Padre Island

A sun-kissed beach destination in the southernmost part of Texas is home to some of the best and most scenic beaches in the state. Visitors enjoy more than 100 kilometers of coastlines and an exciting boardwalk with shopping arcades, restaurants, eateries, and beach joints.

5. It is another state park that offers excellent opportunities for a beach vacation; Mustang Island State Park is located near Corpus Christi. Nine miles of exquisite coastline for swimming, fishing, beachcombing, and observing the excellent wildlife with the only company being the rocks and the birds. There are several places available for camping along the beach in simple and basic tents.

6. Quinta Mazatlan

This Spanish colonial revival mansion located in McAllen was converted into a nature center near the resacas or the oxbow lakes of Rio Grande. Public visitors can take a leisurely walk through the green landscape and also engage in birding from the deck overlooking one of the most optimal urban birding sites in the country through the private boardwalk.

7. Bryan Beach

Find the tranquility of this relatively isolated park that sits on the Bolivar Peninsula south of Freeport. Bryan Beach is one of the best places to visit as it offers more than 23 kilometers of sandy beaches, seashell-lined sand dollars, and picturesque wildflowers. Housing here was virtually destroyed by Hurricane Ike which saw beach homes reconstructed into stronger and more beautiful structures.

8. East Beach

A bit less busy than other Galveston Island beaches, East Beach is located close to the most popular attractions. Families find this section especially helpful with the beach playground and picnic tables available while the travelers would love areas where they can spread out their towels right next to hotels and beach rental houses.

9. Boca Chica Beach

Located at the southernmost tip of Texas along the Rio Grande, the Boca Chica Beach near Brownsville offers seclusion and untouched sand- Movie Location: Several scenes from the Marvel movie ‘Captain Marvel’ were filmed on this beach. OPORTUNITIES Exist for bird watching and beach combing but swimming is discouraged due to strong currents.

10. Jamaica Beach

Families and couples looking for a laid-back day at the seaside with powdery sand, vibrant homes, and a calm environment will find Jamaica Beach, which is situated at the West End of Galveston Island, ideal. Children may find what would be many hours of enjoyment in the Pirate's Cove adventure playground. Spend a weekend in one of the few coastal rental homes that abound.

11. Corpus Christi Beach

Sunbathers enjoy every moment at the sandy beach, especially on a hot summer weekend with water sports in the blue waters. Favorite attractions encompass an array of sun-kissed accommodations on the shores, beach-side eating joints, and a one-mile-long fishing jetty with palm trees and fishing jetties.

12. Bolivar Pocket Parks & Beach

These are four different but connected beach areas along the Bolivar Peninsula that would give visitors a chance to get to the shores of the Gulf of Mexico easily. Seashore Parks: You can choose from Fort Travis Seashore Park, Boyt Park & Beach, Herb’s Court, and Pocket Park #4, all of which offer picnic areas playgrounds, and restrooms nearby.

13. Beach Town

As the name implies, this neighborhood of Bolivar Peninsula is within a stone’s throw from the beach but there is so much more to it, like over 2 miles of it. Beach lovers also find adequate accommodation, shopping, recreational facilities, and services which helps when used as a base as they explore the peninsula.

14. Sea Rim State Park

Birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts get ready for this big nature preserve that is on the coast of Texas. Take a walk through marshes to get to over five miles of undeveloped coast on the McFaddin National Wildlife Refuge or rent a beachfront house with screen-enclosed rooms at one of several outfitted beach houses.

15. Matagorda Beach

This is the longest beach stretching to over 38 miles in Matagorda along the Matagorda Bay; famous for its hard-packed sands uniquely suited for activities such as running, walking, surfing, and driving along the sandy coast. The sun kiss beach attracts parents and children and; Midway Beach Lodge provides casual accommodation and fellowship.

16. San Luis Pass County Park

This is a beach park that is found in Galveston, particularly on the West End and at the mouth of the San Luis Pass. Some of the things that are of interest to the visitors include swimming and fishing both at the beach and at the 1,500-foot fishing pier. Sightings of dolphins are normally done from the pier or shoreline.

17. Sylvan Beach Park

This is not too far from the downtown area of Houston only about 20 minutes away and it is a great place to go for a walk along the water. Take a leisurely walk along the pier that borders Burnett Bay or take your children to the makeshift sandbox that is part of the bay. From picnic tables to swings, families are entertained and happy.

18. Freeport Beach

This secluded Quintana Beach area, situated close to the Brazos River, gives the vacationing visitors a serene atmosphere and nature’s allure. With a stripped coastline and rocky shoreline, beachcombers can enjoy seashells and birding while other sandy beaches offer fishing fish directly from the shore.

Indeed with the beautiful beaches located within less than a half-day’s drive from Houston, there is no reason anyone cannot plan his/her perfect beach weekend getaway. Whether you are planning a family vacation that involves surfing or a quiet camping trip, or even if you want to enjoy fresh fried shrimp near the shoreline, Texas has everything that one needs to have a peaceful vacation basking under the sun. Time to pack the sunblock, put on your sunglasses, and drive through the coastal region for that beach-side feel.