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5 Top Beaches in South Texas You Need to Visit This Summer

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If you love the sun, sand dunes, and swimming with your family or friends in refreshing Gulf Coast water, set your sights on this compendium of five of the top beaches in South Texas to get more out of being outdoors than just a tan. Come on in, the water’s fine!

1. Boca Chica

5 Top Beaches in South Texas You Need to Visit This Summer

Photo: Wikimedia

If you prefer solitude to add to the sun, sand, and swimming, then a day at Boca Chica beach is just what the doctor ordered. Visit Boca Chica State Park, in Brownsville (roughly a 30-minute drive from town) and make note that your day alone at the beach will be just that – a day alone. This primitive locale is also sans porta-potties, so plan ahead! The area is set up nicely for fishing, camping, and swimming, and the reasons it makes this list are solitude, clear water, and beach access by vehicle or four-wheeler. While you’re there, you might want to pull out the old metal detector and look for buried treasure! Said to carry a few creative finds, it may not be a chest full of gold from the days of pirate yore, but you just might come across a unique treasure of your own. There’s also exceptional paddling opportunity to be had here, and if the weather’s good, excellent bird-watching to be had.

2. Galveston

5 Top Beaches in South Texas You Need to Visit This Summer

Photo: Wikimedia

With more than 30 miles of beach and unique activities for all ages, Galveston makes this list simply for the fun of it all. Many of their beach access points have parking fees, however, it’s worth it for the ability to swim in the warm waters, soak up the sun, and later take advantage of local shops and restaurants you might want to scour for some great finds and wonderful food service. If in need of accommodations, Galveston has a variety of resorts to choose from as well as quiet Victorian-style bed & breakfasts. Look for lodging in advance, however, as many places can fill up quickly.

3. Rockport

5 Top Beaches in South Texas You Need to Visit This Summer

Photo: Flickr/Stuart Seeger

Clean and calm, and dotted with a number of tiki-type umbrellas, Rockport Beach Park has paid parking per day or if you think you’ll be there quite regularly, you can purchase an annual pass. Downtown Rockport has various indie-style shops, art galleries, and boho-chic merchandise to peruse and if you require overnight lodging, options range in a choice of comfortable inns (one with fishing pole and kayak rentals as well as live music  three nights per week.) The food here is fresh, local seafood and fruits/vegetables at a small variety of stores in town. Mid-week is also a favorite for Wine Wednesday events, providing opportunities for wine tastings and hors d’œuvre pairings.

4. Port Aransas

5 Top Beaches in South Texas You Need to Visit This Summer

Photo: Pixabay

With its unique, laid-back appeal, Port Aransas also has soft sand and warm waters. Combine that with its recreational atmosphere and you have a wonderful day lined up at this South Texas beach. The area is known for its family-fun type atmosphere as opposed to a party place and it’s well-maintained by the city. Parking is available for a reasonable rate or free parking can be had within a fair walking distance (PS: golf carts are available for rent both on and off-beach property as well), and here you won’t have to worry about towel space as the day progresses. Summer enthusiasts in this area enjoy surfing, kayaking, fishing, as well as the free U of T Marine Science Institute Aquarium. Lodging is available at a host of affordable homes for rent (look online for listings) and there are quite a few summer meal deals to be had at local grill houses, pier restaurants, and seafood shacks.

5. South Padre Island

5 Top Beaches in South Texas You Need to Visit This Summer

Photo: Pixabay

South Padre Island delivers if you’re looking for more of an adult day on the beach, and finding your way there is easy via Google and www.sopadre.com where you’ll find all the local lowdown and helpful details. The southernmost tip of the island has been noted to have some of the best surfing in the Lone Star State, and if you’re one of the lucky, you may just catch a glimpse of a dolphin having some fun in the sun too! There are a variety of hotels with beach access for accommodations, and the nightlife features over 50 bars in less than 30 square miles. They, of course, have wonderful seafood restaurants in town as well as a number of Tex-Mex possibilities and comfort food choices. It’s a great place to spend some time, make some friends, and hang out on a South Texas beach!