Beaches Near Houston
Summertime Houston is known across the country for being hot, hot, hot, but it's also a time to enjoy the sun, sand, and waves at one of the many beaches within driving distance of Houston. We pulled together a list of some our favorites: the nearest just 30 minutes from Downtown and the farthest just over an hour. So, grab your loved ones and some bottled water, and plan your perfect getaway!
Sylvan Beach Park
26 miles from Downtown Houston
Travel time: 30-40 min
8121 Bay Shore Dr., La Porte, TX 77571
Sylvan Beach is the closest beach to downtown Houston. In just over 30 minutes, you’ll find a 32-acre park along Galveston Bay with white sand, no seaweed, and smaller waves for easier swimming conditions. The park complex includes a large playground, tennis courts, skate park, picnic tables, and an air-conditioned pavilion. Stop by Sylvan’s bait and tackle shop to purchase passes to their large fishing pier. Trout, flounder, and drum are often caught off the pier. The park also offers a boat ramp for easy access to the bay.
50 miles from Downtown Houston
Travel time: 1 h – 1 h 7 min
2501 Seawall Blvd. Galveston, TX 77550
While visiting Galveston beaches, thrill-seekers should make a stop at the historic Pleasure Pier for some extra doses of fun. Experience 100-foot vertical drops at 52 miles per hour on the Pier’s Iron Shark. Or take a ride on a log-flume ride, the high-spinning ‘Revolution’ and the Texas Flyer—the tallest swing ride in the state.
51 miles from Downtown Houston
Travel time: 1 h – 1 h 10 min
201 Seawall Blvd. Galveston, TX
Stewart Beach is Galveston’s premier family-friendly beach park, named as one of the “10 Best Beaches for Families” by the Family Vacation Critic. Stewart offers a snack bar, restrooms, showers, souvenir shop, as well as regular supervision of highly trained lifeguards, all just minutes down the street from Galveston’s Seawall and entertainment district. Pay $12 to drive on the beach for the day. Umbrellas and chairs are also available to rent. Stewart Beach is just a short one-hour drive from downtown Houston.
54 miles from Downtown Houston
Travel time: 1 h 2 – 1 h 12 min
1923 Boddeker Road Galveston, TX 77550
Head to East Beach for lively entertainment and festivities! East Beach is one of the few Galveston beaches where alcohol is permitted. Enjoy regular live bands, festivals, volleyball tournaments, and even an annual sandcastle competition. Food trucks and vendors are on site, as well as umbrella and chair rental. Jet Ski and parasail rentals are also available. It’s $12 to park close to the beach but free parking is available down the road with a short walk.
Galveston Island State Park
58 miles from Downtown Houston
Travel time: 1 h 5 min
14901 FM 3005 Galveston, TX 77554
Galveston Island State Park is the perfect beach for nature lovers. The park was the best beach picnicking spot in the state by Texas Parks & Wildlife Magazine. For just a $5 entry fee (children under 12 are free) visitors have access to the beach, fishing, camping, kayaking, hiking, and some of Texas’ best bird watching. Birders can expect to come across snowy egrets, blue herons, pelicans, and Mexican eagles. Bikers and hikers can explore one of nine nature trails in the 2,013-acre park. Beachgoers can set up campsite right along the beach. Facilities include restrooms and showers.
63 miles from Downtown Houston
Travel time: 1 h 16 min
Beach Dr. Surfside Beach, TX 77541
Just one hour from downtown Houston, Surfside Beach, TX offers beautiful white sand beaches and free parking. The sleepy beach town is the perfect escape from some of the more populated beaches on the coast. Surfside has a small population but offers a great little selection of fresh seafood grills and burger bars for visiting beachgoers and fishermen. Visitors will also find inexpensive beach house rentals for weekend trips and other vacations. Bonfires, pets, and even horses are permitted on the beach.
Quintana Beach County Park
63 miles from Downtown Houston
Travel time: 1 h 11 min - 1hr 22 min
330 5th Street Quintana, TX 77541
Quintana offers six miles of natural sandy beach with free vehicle access and parking. Quintana Beach County Park offers RV sites, cabins, restrooms and showers, a playground and an elevated boardwalk that leads to the beach. The park also has hiking trails and a great lighted fishing pier. From Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend there is a $5 parking fee per vehicle collected at the entry gate to the park for day use access of the park and pedestrian beach. Registered overnight campers are exempt.