Top Texas Beach Towns

best texas beaches

Best Texas Beaches

Texas boasts more than 600 miles of coastline. Thousands of people visit these beaches from spring to fall. There are a number of ‘beach towns’ along the coast that provide beachgoers with a base of operations. These towns range in size from sleepy fishing villages to major metropolitan areas and everything in between. Here is a list of some of the best beach towns in Texas.

South Padre Island

Texas’ southernmost beach town, South Padre Island is also the most tropical in nature. Within the Town of South Padre Island, visitors will find a confluence of natural beauty and modern development. Each of these elements offer visitors plenty of things to do. The natural setting is of course the biggest draw for South Padre Island. Miles of white sand beach with blue-green waves lapping along the shore is enough for a great deal of SPI’s visitors.

However, when it comes to staying active outside, those spending a summer vacation on South Padre Island are also able to enjoy such outdoor recreational activities as snorkeling, diving, swimming, fishing, windsurfing, jet skiing, parasailing, kite boarding, beach volleyball, ocean kayaking, surfing and more.

As one of the youngest Texas beach towns (the Town of South Padre Island was founded in the 1970s), South Padre also offers plenty of modern amenities. Condominiums and hotels allow visitors to stay in comfort, while the Island’s many restaurants, clubs and bars provide a lively nightlife. There are also a number of shops set along the Island’s main thoroughfare. And, thrill seekers shouldn’t miss out on spending a day at the Island’s Schlitterbahn Beach Waterpark.


There is also plenty to see and do on Galveston Island. Beyond Galveston’s beaches, its historic charm lends a great ambience to the island. In fact, there are a number of historical homes and sites on Galveston Island which are popular stops for visitors. Shopping in Galveston’s Historic Strand District is another big off-the-beach draw. Galveston also offers a number of museums, such as the Texas Railroad Museum, Texas Seaport Museum and Lone Star Flight Museum. Those looking for something with a more modern flair should visit Moody Gardens or head to Schlitterbahn Waterpark. And, at the end of the day, Galveston’s many fine restaurants offer a variety of dinner dining options.

Corpus Christi

Corpus Christi is the largest Texas beach town. It is also home to some the state’s best known and most visited attractions – the Texas State Aquarium and the USS Lexington. Thanks to its size, Corpus offers visitors all the amenities of a city and all the charm of a coastal beach town. A portion of Corpus is located on the mainland (the main metro area), while a portion is located across Corpus Christi Bay on Padre Island. Those staying on the island have easy access to Padre Island National Seashore and a myriad of outdoor recreational activities. Fishing, surfing, swimming, beachcombing, and windsurfing are among the most popular activities. There are also a number of hotels, condominiums, shops and restaurants on both the mainland and island sides of Corpus Christi.

Port Aransas

Port Aransas, located just north of the island portion of Corpus Christi, is almost the polar opposite of Corpus, despite the fact that the two towns share a portion of the same island. While Corpus Christi is a large city with many attractions and activities, Port Aransas is a small town with a slower pace. The ferry ride over sets the tone for a laid-back visit to Port Aransas (you can drive across, but why would you?). Bird watching, nature watching, fishing, shopping, and surfing are just a few of the activities available in this charming middle coast island beach town.

What is the best beach in Texas?

Texas has hundreds of miles of coastline. And, each summer thousands of visitors flock to beaches across the Lone Star State. But, what is the best beach to visit in Texas?

Texas has literally dozens of beach destinations scattered across hundreds of miles of shoreline. Most of these beaches have their own unique characteristics. And, since the Texas coast stretches from Louisiana to Mexico, there is a great diversity in Texas beaches. So, to some extent, the best beach is a question of personal preference.

Galveston has historic charm and plenty of Gulf side shops and restaurants along the seawall. Corpus Christi is a sizeable city full of modern attractions as well as both bayfront and Gulf beaches. Port Aransas has a quaint charm that attracts many visitors, while the Padre Island Nationa Seashore beckons to those who value solitude.

However, judging by the traditional ‘best beach criteria’ of white sand, clear water and warm year around temperatures, the nod for best beach in Texas has to go to South Padre Island. Located just a dozen miles above the Texas/Mexico border, South Padre Island is a true subtropical beach with clearer water, whiter beaches and more diverse marine life than the typical Texas beach.

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