7 Charming Coastal Towns In Texas You Must Visit
(This article has affiliate links to products which we may make commission from at no extra cost to you.)
Looking for beautiful beach destinations in Texas? Or maybe you are planning a relaxing getaway trip in Texas. We have got you covered. Here are the best coastal towns in Texas you must definitely consider visiting.
Boasting gorgeous shorelines, entertaining piers and pristine beaches, the seaside towns in Texas have an undeniable charm. Whether you are looking for a much needed getaway with your family or companion, these coastal towns offer you lots of fun things to do, historic attractions, delicious local cuisines and nature trails in addition to the excellent beaches.
Here are some of the nicest coastal towns in Texas that are perfect for a relaxing getaway;
Best Coastal Towns In Texas
Galveston is the quintessential beach town. Visitors to Galveston will find 32-miles of gorgeous Texas Gulf Coast beaches to enjoy. Here you can spend the day building sandcastles, playing in the ocean, or just relaxing in the sand. In addition to the beaches, Galveston Island has loads of entertainment options. Families love to spend time at Galveston’s Historic Pleasure Pier amusement park and Schlitterbahn Water Park. Galveston’s Moody Garden Hotel is a destination in itself containing aquariums, a rainforest, a discovery museum, 3 & 4D Theatres, and so much more.
This island is big on history also and boasts one of the largest and most well-preserved concentrations of Victorian architecture in the country. To get up close and personal with these homes, visitors can tour Moody Mansion, one of the island’s most historic homes. There are also several museums in Galveston, including a historic railroad museum.
Galveston Island’s historic shopping area called “The Strand” is the perfect place to spend the day shopping and the evening having a great meal and cocktail. Hearsay On the Strand is the perfect place for a great date night, while families will enjoy Mama Theresa’s Flying Pizza. No matter what you choose to do while visiting, Galveston Island is a great beach getaway.
Beach quote : “Happiness is a day at the beach.”
Where To Stay In Galveston : Hilton Galveston Island Resort
By Michelle Snell of That Texas Couple
2. South Padre
South Padre is the southernmost Texas coastal town and calls itself Tropical Texas—South Padre Island is the only tropical island along the Texas Gulf Coast. Although most of the over one million annual visitors go between Spring Break and Labor Day, South Padre is an excellent US Gulf Coast destination all year round and especially during the winter.
Some of the most popular fun things to do in South Padre include savoring miles of superb beaches, sampling scrumptious Gulf seafood, seeing spectacular sunrises and sunsets, and building stellar sand castles. There is even a Sandcastle Trail with dozens of sand castles around South Padre. Magnificent sunrises are easy to see as most vacation rentals, condos, and hotels line the South Padre coastline. For scintillating sunsets, cross the skinny island (less than half mile wide) to Laguna Madre Bay. Better yet, enjoy a sunset sailing with Osprey Cruises or Ka Motion Sailing Adventure.
Wipe the sand off your toes, slide on your flip flops, and head to some of South Padre’s best attractions. They include Sea Turtle Inc., Native Plant Center (with a wonderful labyrinth on the property), Isla Blanca County Park (and its Cristo de las Pescadores statue), and South Padre Island Birding, Nature Center, & Alligator Sanctuary. (see the gator show!).
Favourite places to eat in South Padre include F&B SPI, Yummies Bistro, The Painted Marlin Grille, Sea Ranch, and Wanna Wanna Beach Bar. Wherever you eat in South Padre, try the daily special fresh catch seafood (especially if it is red snapper or grouper).
Where To Stay In South Padre : Best Western Beachside Inn
By Charles McCool of McCool Travel
3. Port Aransas
Port Aransas is a small coastal town on the Gulf Coast of Texas with a population of just over 5,000 people. It is located on the tip of Mustang Island across the bay from Corpus Christi, Texas. The town is small, but during the summer it gets quite busy, filling up with tourists coming to soak up the sun. The town is famous for its colourful architecture and long stretches of public beaches.
The best time to go to Port Aransas is in early summer during the months of May and June. However, if you want to go fishing, late summer and early fall are the best times. If you want to visit in winter, it might be too cold to swim, but you can still enjoy walks on the beach as well as birding.
While here, make sure to enjoy time at the beaches in Port Aransas and the nearby Mustang Island State Park. You can also go shopping downtown or drive about forty miles south to see the Padre Island National Seashore. If you are looking for good eats, check out Virginia’s on the Bay, Cancun Mexican Restaurant, and Island Cafe. For dessert, get some ice cream at Island Scoop.
Where To Stay In Port Aransas : Best Western Port Aransas
By Stephanie Craig of Oklahoma Wonders
Rockport beach is among the top 10 beaches in Texas America. It is a mile-long beach on the peninsula near Rockport Harbour, in front of Aransas Bay. It is a 3-hour drive from Houston. The beach was noted as the first “Blue Wave Beach” of Texas. Such a title is given to beaches that maintain proper environmental cleanliness. Thus, Rockport beach is known for its cleanliness.
There is a very family-friendly environment here. Kids can play their hearts out with no restrictions. The water is quite shallow, so it is safe to swim. The seawater is also regularly checked for bacterial growth. Pet owners can walk their pets only in a designated area on one side of the beach.
There are many notable places within a 1 m radius of the beach. You can explore the Texas Maritime Museum and Rockport Art Centre in your free time. Paradise House is a nearby shopping destination. The shop sells beach-themed clothing and home decor items. At night, hop into Poor Man’s Country Club to enjoy the region’s vibrant nightlife and delicious food.
Like any other beach, the ideal time to visit Rockport Beach is summer. Try to avoid weekends and holidays like the 4th of July as the beach gets extremely crowded then.
Where To Stay In Rockport : Pelican Bay Resort
By Ruma Dey Baidya of The Holiday Story
5. Corpus Christi
Popularly known as the Sparkling City by the Sea, Corpus Christi is one of the best coastal towns in Texas that tourists love visiting. Having gorgeous beaches, an intriguing history, kid friendly attractions and nature trails, this town offers something to everyone. The Malaquite Beach is undoubtedly the most pristine and scenic beach in Corpus Christi. Its perfect for relaxation, walking on the soft sands and soaking in breath taking views of the sea. The JP Luby beach is also a beautiful beach specially for those who would like to participate in water activities such as surfing and kiteboarding.
Another picturesque spot in Corpus Christi is the charming Harbor bridge which connects the town to its port. This iconic landmark lightens up beautifully during the evening. The Art Museum of South Texas is a major attraction for art enthusiasts. It is filled with incredible artworks and interactive exhibits that is fun for kids too. The Corpus Christi of Science History too has fascinating collectibles, activities and historic artefacts to explore.
Where To Stay In Corpus Christi : Omni Corpus Christi Hotel
6. Port Isabel
Located just across the Laguna Madre from beautiful South Padre Island, the small town of Port Isabel, Texas, is best known for one memorable feature that’s quite rare in the Lone Star State: a lighthouse that you can climb. A short 75-step climb will deliver you to the top of the picturesque Port Isabel Lighthouse, and without a doubt, enjoying the view is one of the best things to do in Port Isabel – but not the only one.
While visiting this charming coastal town in Texas, be sure to also check out the Pirate’s Landing Fishing Pier (it’s the longest fishing pier in Texas!), take a dolphin-spotting cruise, check out the Port Isabel History Museum, and visit the South Padre Island Dolphin Research and Nature Center (which, despite the name, is indeed located in Port Isabel).
If you are traveling with kids, taking a pirate cruise aboard the Black Dragon is also a fun addition to your trip. For food, don’t miss popular spots like Joe’s Oyster Bar, Ceviche Ceviche, and Isabel’s Cafe. And, of course, no trip to Port Isabel would be complete without driving across the Queen Isabella Causeway to explore all of the beautiful beaches and fun things to do on South Padre Island, as well.
Where To Stay In Port Isabel : Casa Rosa Inn
By Kate Storm of Lone Star Travel Guide
7. Surfside Beach
Located 65 miles away from Houston is Surfside Beach, a picturesque respite from the hustle of cities. This quaint town is well known for activities such as deep sea fishing, surfing, jet skiing, swimming and bird watching. The long stretches of the shorelines and white sandy beaches are perfect for sun lounging. If you are looking for a great spot for fishing head to Surfside Jetty Park.
The Bluewater Highway Trail has many pretty nature trails that guide you in exploring the wide variety of flora and fauna in the town. Do not miss out visiting Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge for a leisurely time of bird spotting of over 200 varieties of birds. Sharkies On The Beach is a wonderful place to enjoy nightlife with live music and karaoke nights. For hearty meals, head to Beach Front Deck Bar and Grill.
Where To Stay In Surfside Beach : Ocean Village Hotel
So these are some of the best coastal towns in Texas. Which one would you like to visit? Let us know in the comments section below.