If you’re planning a Texas beach trip that’s close to the city but far enough from the crowds, Galveston is the perfect spot! It’s home to about 30 miles of stunning shoreline on the Gulf Coast of Texas. Today, we’re going to tell you all about the best Galveston beaches so you can find your dream destination by the sea.
Whether you’re looking for a bustling shoreline or relaxing beach destination, you’re sure to find it on Galveston’s coast. From sandy shores and warm waters to tranquil seaside destinations and fun beach towns, there’s something for everyone!
Where is Galveston, Texas?
Galveston, TX is an island city in Southeast Texas. The county sits on an island off the coast of Texas, about an hour from Houston.
Galveston county takes up the entire island. The Gulf of Mexico sits Southeast of Galveston, West Bay is along its West Coast, and Galveston Bay is North.
15 Best Beaches in Galveston
Let’s get to it and take a look at the best beaches in Galveston!
1. Babe’s Beach
Babe’s Beach is at the top of the list of best Galveston beaches because of its fascinating seawall. The rock seawall runs along the beach and Seawall Blvd. It’s also a relatively new beach that’s clean and offers plenty of space for beachgoers to spread out.
Many visitors enjoy surfing, swimming, and fishing at Babe’s Beach. Out of the water, you can do some bird watching, sea combing, and picnicking. With lifeguards on duty, it’s also a great spot for families.
2. Stewart Beach
Stewart Beach is one of the most family-friendly destinations in Galveston. There are tons of amenities, from clean restrooms and outdoor showers to lifeguards and beach wheelchairs, making it a convenient place to settle in for the day.
At the beach, visitors enjoy building sandcastles, swimming, and getting active on sand volleyball courts. There are also chair and umbrella rentals at the beach. You can find plenty of local restaurants in the area for a bit to eat, too.
Local tip: Stewart Beach offers one of the best sunset views in Galveston!
3. Crystal Beach
If you’re looking to change things up and get away from the hustle, we recommend heading to Crystal Beach. This unincorporated community is located in the Bolivar Peninsula and is reached by a 20-minute ferry ride via the Galveston-Bolivar Ferry. Best of all, it’s free and well worth the quick trip!
Although there aren’t any on-duty lifeguards on Crystal Beach, the waters are almost always calm and so is the shore. It’s easy to grab a spot for yourself on the 7-mile stretch of white sand beach. If you’re lucky, you may even spot a dolphin or two!
If you’re looking to stick around Crystal Beach, there are several other activities, as well as restaurants, and accommodations.
4. East Beach
At the far eastern tip of Galveston is one is the most popular and busiest beaches in Texas – East Beach, also known as R.A. Apffel Park or ‘Party Beach.’ This stretch of sandy beach is lined with hotels, vacation rentals, and restaurants, offering the ideal spot for your next trip.
There are tons of amenities at East Beach, including restrooms, showers, and places to rent equipment. Visitors enjoy the lively boardwalk, pavilion, and entertainment stage. East Beach is also a great place to hunt for seashells, play volleyball, and watch the sunset.
5. Seawolf Park
For a bit of local history alongside a memorable beach experience, Seawolf Park is an excellent place to visit. Once an immigration station site, it now features the Galveston Naval Museum and one of the most appreciated fishing piers in the area.
Seawolf Park is the ideal beach destination for all kinds of people. Go fishing, swimming, and sea combing. There are also plenty of picnic tables and a children’s playground.
Note: If you’re looking to sunbathe or build sandcastles on Galveston Island, Seawolf Park might not be the best spot to go as the shore is a bit rocky.
6. Sea Gull Shores Pocket Park 1
Sea Gull Shores Pocket Park 1 is close to a couple of popular waterparks in Galveston: Moody Gardens and Schlitterbahn Waterpark. The area and beach are ideal for a family beach vacation. At Sea Gull Shores, you can appreciate a break from more crowded tourist attractions and a peaceful vibe.
Since there aren’t any restaurants within walking distance of the beach, many visitors like to bring a picnic and have lunch on the wide sandy beach. It’s also a great place to toss a frisbee, play some kickball, and build sandcastles.
7. Pocket Park 2
Pocket Park 2 is situated on Galveston’s west end, away from the crowds. It’s a local’s favorite, so head to this spot for a more authentic Galveston beach experience. You’ll probably even get a taste of classic Southern hospitality if you strike up a conversation with a friendly Texan!
At the beach, you can appreciate calm, pretty waters, a large stretch of sand, and fishing opportunities. Many people also enjoy the beach because you can drive onto the sand and easily camp out for the day. However, no overnight beach parking is allowed.
There are plenty of conveniences, including restrooms and showers. You can also find a popular bar and restaurant, Tipsy Turtle, by the beach.
8. Pirates Beach
If you’re looking for beach houses right by the water in a quiet neighborhood, Pirates Beach is perfect for you. You won’t find tons of activities, so it’s an easy place to unwind. With that said, more attractions are a quick drive away.
While Pirates Beach is located in a charming Galveston neighborhood, you can find many vacation rentals. It’s easily one of the best places to enjoy a low-key local vibe and beautiful shoreline. It’s also a great beach to watch the sunset!
9. Galveston Island State Park
Galveston Island State Park spans over 2,000 acres and offers something for everyone. The park stretches along Galveston’s entire coast, giving you a complete picture of the gorgeous shoreline – a photographer’s dream!
We highly recommend checking the park out no matter which beach you choose to go to. With that said, there is also public beach access at the park.
There’s something for everyone at Galveston Island State Park, from kayaking to fishing and swimming to camping. There are also nature trails, picnic sites, and rental cabins. Really, you can find it all!
10. Surfside Jetty County Park
Surfside Jetty County Park lives up perfectly to its name, boasting a massive rock jetty along the shore and offering stellar waves for surfers to ride. Anglers also enjoy catching fish at Surfside.
Surfside beach doesn’t exactly have soft sandy spots to lay your towel down and relax, and the great surfing waves are not ideal for swimming. With that said, Surfside Jetty County Park is best for those looking to catch waves or fish. The wind also draws in many kite flyers.
Many visitors also appreciate collecting seashells and birdwatching. Surfside Jetty County Park is right near a major port, so you can watch massive ships and cruisers sail past, seemingly miles and miles away.
11. Beach Town Development
If you want a lovely beach day followed by some tasty fare and maybe a quick shopping spree, the Beach Town Development is the best beach in Galveston for you. It’s located on the Eastern shore of Galveston Island, Texas, offering a peaceful but plentiful experience.
This community of charming villages provides several vacation rentals for those looking to spend some time here. It’s a great way to really get an authentic feel for Galveston, TX.
12. Porretto Beach
Porretto Beach is a charming beach with just the right amount of people, so you have plenty of space without feeling isolated on the beach. Porretto isn’t as well-known as Galveston Island State Park or Stewart Beach but offers a similar experience. From the soft sand to the lapping waves, Porretto Beach is an exciting spot to hang out.
Beachgoers enjoy sandcastle contests and music festivals. There are also many attractions nearby, like delicious restaurants and a waterpark for the little ones (and adults, too!).
13. City Jamaica Beach
City Jamaica Beach has some of the most stunning ocean views in all of Galveston, TX. You can rent one of the quaint and charming houses right by the ocean for daily sunrise and sunset views.
Although there are no lifeguards at City Jamaica Beach, you can usually expect calm, gentle waves. The beach boasts soft sand, making it ideal for a family picnic or relaxing beach day.
City Jamaica Beach is relatively popular but never very crowded, ideal for those looking for some peace and quiet.
14. Palm Beach
Palm Beach is a man-made beach inside Moody Gardens, a popular tourist attraction featuring an aquarium, spa, golf, water park, and more. This is an awesome spot to check out if you’re looking for a unique vacation, where you can enjoy it all in one place.
You can expect something for everyone at this unique beach. Enjoy freshwater lagoons, sand volleyball, a lazy river, and more. There are lifeguards on duty, plus just about all the other amenities you can think of.
15. San Luis Pass Beach
Many visitors head to San Luis Pass Beach if they’re looking to get away from the hustle and spend time in nature. The beach is located at San Luis Pass County Park and features natural wetlands and colorful wildlife, shelling, boating, and more.
If you’re looking to relax for a few days and enjoy the great outdoors, San Luis Pass County Park offers RV sites and cabins. It’s also conveniently located near several other beaches on this list for those looking to get out and explore more of Galveston, TX.
Enjoy Exploring the Best Beaches in Galveston
Galveston’s beaches are a hidden treasure! While we don’t often think of Texas as a seaside vacation destination, these beaches in Galveston offer amazing experiences.
No matter what you’re looking for – relaxation, water sports, a long or short vacation, or anything else, be sure to check out these incredible Texas beaches and enjoy some vitamin sea!