I was raised in southeast Texas and spent part of every summer at the beach. Here are my top three Texas beaches!
Texas Gulf Coast Beach Life
Growing up in Texas, some my earliest memories were playing in the surf and sand of a beach, whether it was braving the crowds at Crystal Beach or fossil hunting from the surf-eroded continental shelf at Dirty Pelican Pier. The stories about the Texas Gulf Coast abound in the form of fish stories, pirate tales, hurricane accounts, and immigrant settler landings. During the days you can watch the shrimp boats trawling for their daily catches and at night you can see the twinkling lights of offshore oil rigs dancing on the waves.
1. Padre Island National Seashore
One of my favorite beaches to visit is the Padre Island National Seashore just south of Corpus Christi, Texas. The park boasts 70 miles of beaches, is a safe nesting area for sea turtles, and is a sanctuary for hundreds of bird species. On top of having beaches, it also has some great hiking trails through the grasslands and dunes. This area also has a rich history.
2. Jamaica Beach, Texas
My second favorite beach in Texas is Jamaica Beach just south of Galveston. Even though it can get crowded, it still beats the population at the Galveston beaches and Crystal Beach. As at Padre Island, there is plentiful wildlife to be seen and miles and miles of beaches. Our kids really love this beach!
3. St. Joseph (San Jose) Island
Even though it is a little hard to get to, the St. Joseph beaches are among the best beaches in Texas. It is a barrier island that is only accessible by boat or a ferry that runs from the Fisherman's Wharf in Port Aransas, Texas.
Even though this island is only 21 miles long and a maximum of 4 miles wide, it has a long and interesting history. It's been said that the first US flag to be raised in Texas was on this island. Since the island is only accessible by boat, it is probably one of the most pristine beaches in Texas even though the amount of human-generated debris that washes up on any beach in Texas is staggering.
4 Texas Beach Tips
Whether you are swimming, boogie boarding, fishing, beach combing, metal detecting, or sunbathing, there is always something to do at the beach. But there are several things that you must remember on a beach.
- Always use sunscreen.
- Always stay hydrated (helpful tip: beer and alcoholic beverages are NOT hydration…they will actually dehydrate you more).
- Always check the beach conditions and weather before you go. Texas Beachwatch and the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) are two great websites.
- Always remember—safety first!
I know this list is pretty short as far as Texas beaches go, but these are my three favorite beaches . . . plus, they are the only ones I have photos of! Other beaches that I have been to are South Padre Island beaches, Crystal Beach, Dirty Pelican Pier beach, Galveston Beach, and a nudist beach near High Island which will remain nameless (that one was by accident).
I'm sure there are more beach trips in my future, but until then: bask in the sunlight, listen to the wind, and for God's sake, play some Jimmy Buffet because everyone should visit Margaritaville!
© 2019 Billy W Mitchell