23 beautiful Texas beaches in driving distance of San Antonio
Some of us plan vacations way ahead of time, and some of us ... don't.
If you're one of the latter — or just feeling a little spontaneous — and want to get away to a beachy destination before summer ends, then we've got just the list for you.
The Texas coast is only a few hours' drive from SA, offering plenty of options for summer fun. These 23 Lone Star State beaches would be perfect to visit before summer ends.
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Shutterstock / E. Dan Klepper
Mustang Island State Park
South of Port Aransas, tpwd.texas.gov
Spend a day at the beach building sandcastles in the sun, or make it a weekend getaway by staying at one of the park’s nearly 100 campsites or enjoying one of the park’s paddling trails. The park fills up quickly, so reservations are recommended for both camping and day use.
Shutterstock / Carlos Bruzos Valin
A trip to Galveston is almost a rite of passage for Texans. Home to 32 miles of shoreline and a multitude of parks, you’re sure to find something that suits your style. Plus, visit Galveston Island’s Historic Pleasure Pier, replete with amusement park rides, arcade games and funnel cakes, for a day of family fun right over the water.
Photo via Instagram / etxtraveler
Jefferson County, fws.gov
Roam the beach’s nearly 20 miles of coastline while admiring the shells and sand that have washed up from the Gulf. Fun fact: nearly all of Texas’ known prehistory is represented in the artifacts that have been discovered
along this particular shore.
Shutterstock / Roschetzky Photography
South Padre Island
South Padre Island is one of Texas’s most well-known beaches for a reason, with some of the safest and clearest water in the Gulf. A popular spring break destination for college students across the state, South Padre Island is also a popular family vacation destination for Texans from all walks of life.
Shutterstock / Joel Trick
Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge
Lower Rio Grande Valley, fws.gov
The 97,000 acres of preserved land in this park are open to the public for wildlife watching, fishing, hunting, education and photography. Hiking trails weave throughout the park, so bring your best walking shoes to explore as much of the land as possible.
Shutterstock / Grossinger
210 Seabreeze Dr., Rockport, rockportbeach-texas.com
Rockport is the first, and one of only four, Blue Wave Beaches on the Texas Gulf Coast, making it one of the state’s cleanest and most vibrant beach destinations. Parking fees are in effect — more information is available online.
Photo via Instagram / shotsbyrayray
Bluewater Highway, Surfside Beach, surfsidetx.org
Just a quick detour from nearby Galveston, Surfside Beach offers a quieter, more low-key opportunity to soak up some sunshine and dig your toes in the sand. Plus, if you’re coming from the west, the TX-32 bridge over the Intracoastal Waterway provides stunning views of coastal marshes and the gulf on the horizon.
Shutterstock / Ryan Conine
Nueces County, portaransas.org
Located on Mustang Island, Port Aransas is a classic Texas beach holiday destination. Go fishing, light up the grill, splash in the waves or just enjoy the ocean breeze. Be advised: the ferry to Mustang Island runs between two to six times per day.
Shutterstock / Tim Malek
Park Road 22, Corpus Christi, visitcorpuschristitx.org
Tucked behind dunes, the white sands of Malaquite Beach are untouched by vehicle traffic, ensuring a safe, family-friendly day at this picturesque beach. Located at Padre Island’s midsection, Malaquite Beach serves as the perfect jumping-off point to explore what its website calls one of the “longest stretches of undeveloped barrier island on the planet.”
Wikimedia Commons / William L. Farr
Padre Island National Seashore
Padre Island, nps.gov
The park’s 70 miles of coastlines, prairies and dunes make it a haven for Texas wildlife — over 380 bird species call it home. Time your visit just right and you can catch one of this summer’s public sea turtle hatchling releases.