Texas is known for a lot of things, but beaches are rarely top of many people’s list. However, the Texas shoreline is dotted with sandy gems.
The closest and most popular beaches to Houston are those located on the island of Galveston, the gem of the Gulf Coast. This thin sliver of land is accessible via a ferry ride across the bay. Galveston is not only popular for its golden beaches but also for the many family attractions located in the area. Despite the resort’s popularity, it never seems to suffer from overcrowding as there are more than 32 miles of beaches to choose from. Kemah’s Boardwalk is a delight with restaurants and carnival overlooking the bay. Nearby Katy’s claim to fame includes some of the country’s best outlet shopping.
Further down the coast and close to San Antonio, are the beaches of Port Aransas on Mustang Island. Port Aransas can be reached either via a causeway or a free 24-hour ferry service from the mainland. It's also close to the city of Corpus Christi where you can stroll along the seawall or take a dolphin-watching cruise around the bay.
The mainland portion of Corpus Christi is metropolitan. However, cross the causeway to Padre Island and the urban feel begins to fade. As you head south down Padre Island National Seashore, the modern world simply disappears.
South Padre Island
If you like quieter and less commercialised beaches then head south along the 80 miles of South Padre Island. This unspoilt natural barrier island is well known for its nature trails, diverse birdlife and water sports. Take a stroll along the 1,500ft boardwalk of Laguna Madre Nature Trail which spans four acres of wetlands.