With a few more weeks of warm weather still ahead, there’s no better time than now to head down to Galveston and check out one of the many beautiful beaches located just an hour away from downtown Houston. Whether you’re looking for simple sand and surf, or a livelier atmosphere with restaurants nearby, there are many options to choose from to enjoy the Gulf of Mexico or Galveston Bay.
Get ready to dig your toes in the sand at one of the following Galveston Island beaches.
Seawall Urban Park
With more than 10 miles of beach and the country’s longest continuous sidewalk, Seawall Urban Park is close to several beachfront restaurants and tourist attractions, including Pleasure Pier. This is a popular spot for running and biking, with the ocean as the perfect backdrop. Visitors can park between 6th and 69th Streets, as well as 81st to 103rd Streets.
All the beaches located along the Seawall have paid parking, which is enforced from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day. You can pay by the hour or day, but the best deal if you’re going to be a frequent visitor is the annual pass. For $50, you’ll get unlimited access to the Seawall beaches and all of Galveston’s beach parks. Just like the Seawall beaches? The annual pass will cost you only $25.
Stewart Beach is one of the most popular spots for anyone visiting Galveston. In addition to beautiful beaches, it has volleyball courts, a playground, concessions, and umbrella and chair rentals. Heading out to dinner straight after your day at the beach? They’ve also got showers and changing rooms. Parents will also appreciate the presence of lifeguards who keep an eye on things.
Stewart Beach is located at the intersection of Broadway and Seawall Blvd.
If you’re looking to enjoy an adult beverage while soaking up the sun, East Beach is the spot for you. As the only public beach in Galveston where alcohol is allowed, it’s a top choice for those looking to have a good time.
In addition to an entertainment stage and pavilion, East Beach has a playground for the kids, chair and umbrella rentals, and restrooms and showers. There’s also food and alcohol vendors in case your cooler ends up running low. It also hosts the famous American Institute of Architects (AIA) Sand Castle Competition every summer.
East Beach is located at 1923 Boddeker Drive.
Galveston Island State Park
This quiet park on the city’s west end has both gulf and bay access. Enjoy kayaking, mountain biking, birdwatching, geocaching and fishing during the day, and take advantage of beach camping a night. There’s beach and bay campsites, plus air-conditioned lodges for rent. Park admission for adults is $5 per person, and kids 12 and under are free.
Galveston Island State Park is located right off Seawall Blvd., about 10 miles from the 61st Street and Seawall intersection.
Pocket Park 1
If you’re looking for some sun and sand close to Moody Gardens, look no further than Pocket Park 1. Located at 11102 San Luis Pass Road on the west end of Galveston, and is one of the few area beaches that offers on-beach parking. Pocket Park 1 makes it easy to set up camp for the day and even grill out if you want. Portable restrooms are open for the summer season.
Pocket Park 2
Located a little further west than Pocket Park 1 at 11745 San Luis Pass Road, Pocket Park 2 is just minutes from some of the city’s hottest attractions. With paved parking and indoor restrooms and showers during the official summer season, it has plenty of amenities. Looking to grab some good food or drink during your beach day? The Tipsy Turtle Bar & Grill is just steps away from the water with an unobstructed sun deck from which to enjoy your meal and an ice-cold beverage.
Named one of 2015’s top five Best Restored Beaches in America by the American Shore and Beach Preservation Association, Babe’s Beach is 15 blocks of beach right along the Seawall west of 61st Street. The beach continues to be improved thanks to the Galveston Park Board, who approved adding 800,000 cubic yards of sand to offer visitors and guest even more room to relax and enjoy the waves.
While you’re at the beach, enjoy a good meal with an even better view with our guide to some of the best restaurants with patios in Galveston.
So, what is your favorite Galveston beach for a day of fun? Let us know by commenting below.