It’s no secret I’m really a mermaid… ok, maybe just in the summertime. My favorite thing to do in the summer is run away to the beach. (You would know this if you followed my Instagram.) Growing up in Texas, about 2 hours away from the Texas coast, and a fisherman’s daughter, it naturally became part of life to spend a lot of time near the water. From Galveston to Port Lavaca, every beach in the lone star state that I have visited had a something unique about it. Here are my favorite 7 Texas beaches you should visit this summer. If you love beach and sunset pictures, follow me on Instagram @aprilmonterrosa.
1. Padre Island National Seashore
The Padre Island National Seashore is my favorite to visit. They have a neat little visitor’s center with a small museum and it is home to a sea turtle rescue. There is also an area to camp and nice shower and restroom facilities. The national park is located just outside of Corpus Christi (not South Padre Island.) Padre Island National Seashore is subdivided into several beaches; the ones I have visited are Malaquite Beach that is located at the park’s Visitor Center and the Malaquite Campground, Little Shell Beach (“Little Shell”) that gets its name from the variety of little seashells such as common arks, coquina, and cockles, and Big Shell Beach (“Big Shell”) that gets its name from common arcs, coquina, cockles, and quahogs, that are bigger than the ones at Little Shell.
2. Mustang Island
Mustang Island is fun when you have a big group of people. Located in Port Aransas, its more than five miles of Texas coast for hanging out on the beach, fishing on the jetties, and collecting seashells. The state park was named for wild horses that roamed the island for hundreds of years. Mustang Island State Park is perfect for the RV camper and primitive camper with its 48 water and electric campsites or 50 drive-up primitive sites. The park also has water, cold-water rinse showers and portable toilets along two miles of the beach, full restrooms and showers with hot water located near the water-electric campground. And if you forget to pack anything, there is a store that sells drinks, snacks, supplies, and gift items.
3. Jamaica Beach
Galveston, one of my favorite coastal towns. If you have never visited, you must. Galveston Island beach is a popular spot to visit in the summertime. While looking for a quieter spot to relax on the beach, I accidentally stumbled upon Jamaica Beach. Jamaica Beach is a city in Galveston County, Texas, United States on Galveston Island with a population of about 900ish. It’s away from the more crowded beached in Galveston. With its local restaurants and homes on the shoreline, if you want a quiet beach vacation, consider visiting Jamaica Beach.
4. Lighthouse Beach
Lighthouse Beach is in Port Lavaca, Texas at the intersection of Hwy 35 and Lavaca Bay. The beach is a good place to relax for those that need a little shade since it has covered cabanas available. The family friendly beach has picnic area, playground, and splash pad. Lighthouse Beach is home to the longest lighted fishing pier and longest wetlands boardwalk in Texas. What makes it a great place to relax are amenities like the overnight RV camping, restrooms, and outdoor showers. If you like to birdwatch, you’ll enjoy sitting in the shade of the covered observatory. This beach is perfect for those who love observing wildlife.
5. Matagorda Beach
I plan to go back to this beach, I didn’t get to spend as much time as I wanted there. I found this gorgeous nature gem on one of my spontaneous road trips. Passing through Port Lavaca, Palacios (which I plan to return to as well.), and Bay City, I ended up right in the middle of the Gulf Coast, marshes, dunes, and the Colorado River catching a sunset. It was breathtaking. If you are a nature lover, I highly recommend visiting this beach. The scenic drive across the Intracoastal Waterway leads you right to the Matagorda Bay Nature Park. The 1,600 -acre Nature Park provides many amenities as you explore the beaches and marshes and many educational activities.
6. Surfside Beach
Driving along the Texas coastline from Galveston to Jamaica Beach, it brought me to another beach I had never heard of, Surfside Beach. Surfside Beach is located a few miles west of Freeport, Texas. Considered to be the Cradle of Texas, this beach is known for its fishing. If you have a boat or not, there are plenty of fishing spots for everyone. This beach is in a very small town; it’s perfect for those that want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and prefer a low-key beach setting. With only a couple of local stores and gas stations in the area, be sure you go prepared with food, drinks, and plenty of sunscreen. If you are traveling with kids, be sure to visit Jetty Park. There is a new play area for the kids right on the jetty where you can sit back and watch the waves as the kids play.
7. South Padre Island Beach
Considered to be the cleanest beach in Texas, the downfall to SPI in my opinion is how packed it gets. The beaches are clean and beautiful but because of how popular and commercialized this Texas beach destination has become, it can be a bit crowed, especially in the summertime. I prefer a beach you can drive and park on; with many businesses and hotels right on the shore, there are only certain areas of the beach you can drive on. If you drive all the way out on 100 Park Road to the end of it, you will see some big sand dunes. If you climbed them to the top, you can see a wilder area of the beach. You never know what treasures you may find when walking on that beach and if you are into horseback riding, this is the area that you can do it.