Texas Beaches are Not Lost

If you moved to Houston from the inland, you were probably pretty excited to be within easy driving distance from the beach. But I bet you were a little disappointed when you got there.

Houston area beaches aren’t the best. I’ll be the first to admit that. If you’re expecting white sand and electric blue water, your first visit to the Gulf Coast can be a bit of a shock. The water looks dirty and the sand is dark. Many people blame it on the Houston ship channel, the filthy Mississippi River, and pollution.

In reality, the Gulf Coast isn’t any dirtier than your average beach (at least until a few months ago before the tragic BP oil spill). The chocolate milk-esque water is actually caused by fine silt deposited by local rivers that never has a chance to settle due to currents and the very shallow waters in the Gulf.

Science aside, the look of some Texas beaches makes it hard to enjoy them. But you shouldn’t judge all Texas beaches. You can still have a few awesome beach days this summer if you’re willing to hop in the car. You might even find a beach you like right here in Houston:

Galveston Island

Galveston hit a rough patch a few years ago after Hurricane Ike. But it’s quickly rebuilding. Galveston has nice beaches and a gorgeous historic community. You can hit the beach, walk the Strand, take in some history, and grab a bite at one of the many restaurants on the sea wall. Best of all, it’s just an hour from Houston!

Corpus Christi

Corpus is another favorite coastal city. It’s not island paradise, but this family friendly community has nice, clean beaches and lots of fun things to do. Corpus Christi is located in south Texas.

Port Aransas

Port Aransas is one of the most popular beach destinations in Texas. It has a lively fishing and boating community, palm reminiscent of Beverly Hills, blue water, and it’s close to Corpus Christi. It’s a bit of a hike for Houstonians but that doesn’t stop them from making the trip during the summer months.

South Padre Island

South Padre Island is as close to a tropic island paradise as you’ll find in Texas. The sand is white, the water is crystal clear, and there are clubs, restaurants, and bars galore. South Padre is Texas’s resident spring break destination and a Mecca for young singles during the summer months. Peak travel times in South Padre might be a little wild for families with younger children. It’s also the farthest from Houston, as it’s near the Texas-Mexico border. However, it will completely change your ideas of Texas beaches.

When you live inside the loop, it’s easy to feel like you live on a self-sustaining island. Everything you need is right there! It never hurts to stretch your legs and venture beyond 610.

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