It’s summer, baby, the hottest time of the year. Make the most out of this unbearable heat by soaking in some rays, walking the boardwalks, and diving into the pristine waters of these beautiful coastal towns in Texas.
Galveston Beach is what it is, but the area is an undeniable good time. Whether you’re bouncing around the boardwalk, taking stroll (or trolley) by gorgeous Victorian houses, checking out the recently renovated state park, or dining down on the town’s awesome restaurants, Galveston has all the works for a good evening, weekend, and holiday staycation.
2. Port Aransas
Located on Mustang Island, Port Aransas is a family beach town with miles and miles of stunning sandy beaches. In addition to the paradisiacal scenery, the “fishing capital of Texas” is renowned for its local wildlife – shoutout Leonabull Turbull Birding Center – hiking trails, recreational watersport activities, and restaurant scene.
3. South Padre Island
Recently named one of the top 10 under-the-radar beaches in the United States, South Padre Island is the “world’s longest undeveloped barrier island” and a go-to for Texas beachgoers. Located 15 minutes driving from Corpus Christi, the gorgeous, white sandy beaches and turquoise waters of South Padre Island offer a resplendent setting for swimming, sunbathing, and kiteboarding if you so choose.
4. Port Isabel
Located two-and-a-half miles outside of South Padre Island, Port Isabel is a town that dates back to 1519. Rumored to be the site of buried pirate treasure, the scenic coastal town is populated with over historic gems including the Treasures of the Gulf Coast Museum, Port Isabel Historic Museum as well as a medley of timeless artisan shops, galleries, and seafood dining destinations.
See why Freeport’s motto is “where the fun happens”. Known for its pristine beaches, maritime heritage, and laid-back vibes, Freeport offers an idyllic day-trip just a 40-minute drive from Galveston. The coastal Texas town is home to Surfside Beach, one of the popular beaches in the area. Furthermore, the area features a variety of vibrant cafes, bars, gift shops, and seafood shacks.
6. Corpus Christi
Known as the “sparkling city by the sea”, Corpus Christi is central to the best beaches in Texas. Outside of its stunning beaches, the city has a lot to offer culturally. Here, visitors can visit the Texas Surf Museum, South Texas Botanical Gardens & Nature Center, and Texas State Aquarium at North Beach – home to over 460 species of animals as well as various ecosystems featuring sea, land, and sky creatures including sharks, flamingos, and eagles.
Also, while in the area, be sure to saddle your broomstick and fly over to Coffee Mugg – Texas’s only Harry Potter-themed coffee shop.
Three hours or so outside of Houston, the charming coastal town of Rockport is home to the gorgeous, family-friendly, and clean, namesake Rockport Beach. Ideal for lounging, picnicking, and soaking in island vibes, Rockport Beach is one of the best beaches in Texas. The area also features the Texas Gulf Coast at the Texas Maritime Museum, Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, Rockport Center for the Arts, and also the largest model crab in the country.
8. Port Arthur
Port Arthur is a coastal railroad town located on the Louisiana line in southeast, Texas. Nestled in the company of Nederland, Groves, and Port Neches, the “Cajun capital of Texas” its offers a beautiful blend of cultural influences with must-see sites ranging from the Buu Mon Buddhist Temple, to the Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church and Queen of Peace Shrine and Gardens.