Few Houstonians would say Houston has awesome summer weather. If the heat and humidity keep you from going outdoors at almost any cost and you’re craving some fun in the sun, beat the heat with some coastal sea breeze and a dip in the water at one of these nearby beaches.
Just an hour south of Houston, Surfside Beach is a convenient place to spend a day playing in the sand and surf. The community has a small beach town vibe reinforced by cute pastel homes and nautical-themed restaurants. Considering the drive is hardly longer than many work commutes, Surfside Beach’s location makes it a great place for a beach day.
A 75-minute drive from downtown Houston lies Jamaica Beach, another cute community that makes for a good beach day or weekend trip. Free admission and an abundance of parking space are other selling points of the family-friendly beach.
Jamaica Beach is also the gateway to Galveston Island State Park, a beautiful and undeveloped nature preserve with walking trails and fascinating wildlife. At just under a mile, the Prairie Trail nature path is one of the most popular hikes.
Rounding out our list of Galveston beaches is Stewart Beach, a family-friendly, mile-long stretch of white sand that often appears on ranked lists of Texas’ best beaches. Stewart Beach is only an hour’s drive from AMLI River Oaks, and its no-alcohol policy makes it a tame and beautiful place to bring kids of all ages.
Although not on a beach, the Matagorda Island Lighthouse is a captivating structure surrounded by natural beauty and wildlife. Where beaches are concerned, it offers rustic, uncrowded beaches. An hour and 45 minutes from downtown Houston, Matagorda can be visited in a day trip. If you enjoy camping, it’s a place worth spending a full weekend. Outdoor activities you can participate in include hiking, fishing, bird watching, and kayaking.
Sea Rim State Park
Another beach destination for nature lovers is Sea Rim State Park. Beautiful stretches of seaside land, the Gambusia Nature Trail, and a host of inland streams and lagoons make Sea Rim State Park a wet and wild paradise. The plentitude of water and general lack of development attract many of Texas’s most exotic bird species, making the vast park an ideal destination for birdwatchers and nature lovers. If you love the coast but prefer to stay away from crowds, give Sea Rim State Park a shot.
If a beach that feels remote but is readily accessible from Houston sounds like your ideal place to spend a day off work, then High Island should definitely be on your radar. Situated on the Bolivar Peninsula, sandwiched between the Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge and McFaddin National Wildlife Refuge, High Island is a small town that has two remote, rustic, rarely crowded beaches you can enjoy. The water is warm, the sand dunes soft, and the birds that fly and feed in the area extraordinary. As long as traffic is moving at a reasonable pace, you can get from AMLI City Vista and downtown Houston to the town of High Island in an hour and 15 minutes.
Fifteen minutes from High Island lies Frozen Point, a marshy area on the eastern edge of Galveston Bay. If you love to spend time in natural waterfront settings and aren’t picky about white sand beaches, Frozen Point is worth a visit. It’s a great place to walk along the water, keeping your eyes peeled for rare forms of wildlife while admiring the beauty all around you. Alligators, bobcats, muskrats, otters, and hundreds of species of exotic birds can all be spotted. Part of the Anahuac Wildlife National Refuge, Frozen Point is just an hour and a half from downtown Houston.
Houston’s proximity to the warm, blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico means several great beaches are in the vicinity. If you’re planning on leaving your Houston apartment for a weekend and don’t mind driving a bit further, you may also want to check out Rockport and The Big Tree, Fish Pass, Dagger Point, and other beautiful beach environments in the Corpus Christi area. Wherever you decide to spend your next Houston beach day or weekend getaway, we wish you a wonderful time!
What are your favorite near-Houston beaches?
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