Texas is famously known for its BBQs, cowboy, live music and not to forget its hot temperatures. The scorching heat of the summer leads to most Texan families diving down the beach lines. However, the more than 400 miles of the coastline come as a surprise to most tourists and outsiders. Unlike its neighbors like Mexico and Florida, Texas does not have a reputation for being a beach state. Some people even say that the beaches of Texas are dirty with muddy shore and murky waters.
To counteract this notion, we have prepared a list of some of the best beaches you can discover in Texas. There are many reasons why these white sand beaches in Texas are a great place to visit this summer. They are typically clear and have warm waters. This makes them an excellent place for swimming, snorkelling, surfing and fishing.
Some people love to stay on the beach all day long, enjoying sunbathing and picnics. Others enjoy taking an unhurried stroll in the morning or afternoon. These Texas beaches’ calm and clean waters are also best for your kids and pets. Read below to get a glimpse of these hidden gems.
This 8-mile long strip of white sand beach is found near Brownsville. Located at the State’s southernmost tip, Boca Chica remains untouched by urbanization. It is also the clearest beach in Texas. You can view both the Mexico coastline and Padre Island from its shore. If you want an escape from the hustle of civilization, do visit the Boca Chica beach.
Getting to Boca Chica beach
To get to the beach, you need to drive 23 miles east on Texas Highway 4 from Brownsville. When you reach the dead-end on the road, you will find yourself at the beach. The driving time will usually take you around half an hour. The beach will be open 24 hours daily with a parking fee of $5. Though the entrance is free, you should note that overnight camping and glass at the beach are not allowed.
Enjoying the beach
At Boca Chica beach, you will not find any stores for souvenirs and replenishments. You should be prepared for inconveniences such as no restrooms and rinse showers. Bring your food supply, first-aid kit, insect repellent, sting relief and other beach equipment. It will be just you and the undisrupted nature.
Being protected by the state and federal authorities, Boca Chica is rich in wildlife. You can enjoy picturesque phenomena such as mangrove marshes, clay dunes and tidal salt flats. You can indulge yourself in bird and animal watching. If you are visiting in the spring and summer months, you will also view nesting turtles.
The waters at Boca Chica are clean and clear emerald, which is suitable for swimming, fishing, snorkeling and kiteboarding. Just remember to bring your own equipment. Being a pet-friendly beach, you can also bring along your furry companion as long as you clean up after them.
SAN JOSE ISLAND
San Jose Island is a 21-mile coastline located on the Gulf Coast of Texas. Surrounded by the Gulf of Mexico, Aransas Bay and the Mesquite Bay, San Jose Island is just a long stretch of white sand beach, but what more do we need? San Jose Island is privately owned and closed to the public except for the beach below the high tide line. It is primarily managed for the wildlife. So, if you want a beach getaway from civilization, San Jose might be your next summer destination.
Getting to San Jose Island Beach
The only way to access San Jose Island is through a scheduled ferry ride from Fisherman’s Wharf in Port Aransas, just 10 minutes away from the Island. There are limited tickets, which will cost you $15 per person. The first ferry leaves at 6:30 a.m. to the Island and keeps going after every one or two hours. The last departure from the Island is scheduled at 6:00 p.m., so you better watch the time if you don’t want to stay overnight.
Enjoying the Beach
San Jose Island is a secluded beach, untouched by commercialization. So, you need to bring your own food supply, insect repellent, sunscreen and everything else you might need. You will not find any stores, rinse showers, trash cans and even restrooms. Overall, San Jose Island offers private time to immerse yourself into the untouched Texas nature.
Being a protected land, it is home to more than 300 birds and 600 species of fish. Due to this, it is a perfect destination to enjoy birdwatching, snorkeling and swimming. The calm waters of San Jose Island, with very few jellyfish and debris, provide the perfect condition for jetty fishing.
Perhaps the most famous activity on San Jose Island is beachcombing. Shells of various colors and sizes are scattered along the seashore, making it is a gem for seashell collectors. Try taking a stroll along the desolate seashore with your family, loved one or even your little pet. Enjoy the fresh breeze and wonderous views offered by San Jose Island Beach.
PADRE ISLAND NATIONAL SEASHORE
Padre Island National Seashore is located on the south of Padre Island. Despite being located in Padre Island, known for its crowded beaches, Padre Island National Seashore is secluded and in touch with nature. This 70-mile long beach boasts as the world’s longest underdeveloped barrier Island.
Getting to the Beach
You can easily drive to Padre Island National Seashore. From Corpus Christi, it will take you about half an hour and about three and a half hours drive from Austin. Many people choose to camp in their RVs at the beach itself. You will need to pay $10 as an entrance fee. If you decide to drive further down the road, you should have your own supplies as those parts are remote and deserted.
Enjoying the beach
Most of the beach features no amenities; however, you can find some well-maintained visitors’ centers. You will get clean restrooms, changing rooms, public showers, picnic areas and restaurants. Padre Island National Seashore is one of the best Texas beaches to spend quality time with your nearest and dearest one or alone with your pet. Its soft white sand is perfect for long, unhurried walks along the shore or along its few hiking trails.
Protected by the federal government, Padre Island National Seashore is a safe haven for over 380 bird species and various animals and fishes. You can enjoy your time by birdwatching and fishing. There is a special event where you can watch baby Kemp’s ridley sea turtle being released safely on some scheduled days. You can also enjoy your vacation with canoeing, kayaking and swimming. But please note that there are no lifeguards.
Mustang Island is an 18-miles long barrier Island on the Gulf Coast of Texas, from Port Aransas to Corpus Christi. With the whitest and most pristine sand in the State and clear blue waters, you can’t help but fall in love with these clear water beaches in Texas. It is a surprise that such a glorious beach such as this one is not well known and is underrated. Due to this reason, Mustang Island is no less than a hidden treasure.
Getting to Mustang Island
It is just a 30-minute drive from Corpus Christi and about 2 and half hour drive from San Antonio. There is an entrance fee of $5 for people above 13 years. As for parking, you can make use of the parking lot or the campsites. But note that the campsite will cost you around $10 to $20 per day depending on the comfort and site. You might be wondering about the unexpected charges, but on a positive note, Mustang Island is less crowded and cleaner than other popular beaches.
Enjoying the beach
Mustang Island is the perfect getaway for you and your loved one. It is family-friendly and pet-friendly too. If you are a nature lover and interested in watching wild animals in their habitat, look no further than Mustang Island. It has diverse fauna such as dolphins, crabs, local birds and fishes, and sea turtles. Bring along your binoculars; you might be lucky to get a glimpse of the rare Aplomado Falcon. You can also comb the beach looking for shells and fossils.
You can have a rejuvenating time with your family by swimming, kayaking, sunbathing and enjoying BBQs at the shore. Mustang Island has a popular 20-mile long paddling trail where you can enjoy fishing and watch coastal birds up close. If you want a summer vacation at the beach with clear, blue and warm waters, then head to Mustang Island.
Whitecap Beach is a small beach just 1.5 miles long at the end of whitecap road located at Corpus Christi. It is named after its pristine, untouched white sands and is a perfect location for small groups or solo adventures.
Getting to Whitecap beach
It will take you only 25 minutes if you drive from the town of Corpus Christi. Parking is free on the beach or the parking lot, but you will need a permit that costs $12 and is valid throughout the year. You can buy the permit from any store nearby. Another plus point of getting this permit is that you can also access some of the nearby beaches.
Enjoying the beach
The beach is open 24/7 throughout the year. Despite being a small beach, Whitecap beach has all the basic well-maintained amenities on site. You get clean public restrooms, rinse showers, stores for basic necessities and picnic areas. You can enjoy overnight camping, birdwatching, jetty fishing and beachcombing. The waters of Whitecap beach are also perfect for beginner surfers, and the Padre Island Surf Camp is also located here. If you or your children are interested to learn about surfing, you can sign up for the camp.
MCGEE CORPUS CHRISTI
McGee Beach stretches along the seawall of downtown Corpus Christi. People flock into McGee Beach to experience seaweed-free, calm waves and clear waters. Enjoy barefooted walks on the velvety white sands, a beautiful view of nature away from the crowds.
Getting to McGee Beach
The beach opens 24 hours a day throughout the year. It is 3 hours drive from Austin and Houston. You will not be charged any entrance fee, and parking permits are not required. However, unlike other beaches, you cannot drive or park on the beach here. There are plenty of parking areas which are within walking distance to the beach.
Enjoying the beach
McGee beach is convenient to access with properly maintained facilities like restrooms, rinse showers, playgrounds and restaurants. The waters are calm and clean, making it ideal for families with children. You can also bring along your pet or two as long as you clean after them.
At McGee beach, you can enjoy a calm moment of fishing, swimming, biking and even skateboarding. There are also rental services on the beach itself; so you don’t need to bring along every beach equipment. Being close to downtown Corpus Christi, you can easily access restaurants, stores and lounges. In short, McGee beach is the perfect summer destination for families.
Final Opinion on White Sand Beaches in Texas
If you are looking for a trip or a short visit to a beach, you have to check out one of these gems. These beaches are not only beautiful, but they are also the best clear water beaches in Texas. They have calm waves, clear waters and plenty of activities to do.
These beaches are also near some of the country’s best hotels, which means you won’t have to worry about finding lodging on vacation. You can enjoy the waters all day long and return to your hotels or campsite for a warm, delicious dinner. They are the perfect place to spend your summer, whether it’s an afternoon on the water or a week-long vacation. It is up to you how you want to spend your time on the beach – relax or take part in recreational activities.
Appreciate the beauty offered by nature, and please keep the beaches clean. Clean up after yourself and use the trash bins. If the bins are not available, carry your own waste bags. Of course, you can watch the local faunas from up-close, but do not disturb or harm them. And lastly, don’t forget to take your sunscreen.