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Local Guides + ResourcesSoutheast Texas Beaches

Southeast Texas Beaches

Summertime is in full swing, and that means so is the summer heat.  There are a lot of ups and downs when it comes to living so close to the coast, but the close proximity to so many fantastic beaches definitely falls into the “pro” category!  There’s always a nice breeze at the beach, and you can always cool off in the water while you wait for the ice cream truck or the snow cone truck to drive by. 

Or… is the beach not your thing?  My husband turns into Anakin Skywalker at the mere mention of the beach and instantly complains about all the sand every single time.  If you like your summer fun a little more clean and controlled, we’ve got all the best waterparks within driving distance coming up soon, so keep an eye out!  

Southeast Texas Beaches

Sea Rim State Park

With 5.2 miles of Gulf shoreline, over 4,000 acres of marshlands, and nestled alongside McFaddin Wildlife Refuge, Sea Rim State Park is a haven for nature lovers as well as families just looking to relax.  Re-open after hurricane damage kept it closed for several years, there is still visible and ongoing restoration efforts including trying to rebuild the dunes.  Visitors can camp, go birding and beach combing, paddle in a canoe or kayak, swim, fish, crab, hunt (in season), and just stroll along the beach covered with an unfathomable number of pristine shells.  
Children 12 and under are free, adults are $3 daily with come-and-go access.  Camping rates are also available.
19335 S. Gulfway Drive
Sabine Pass, TX 77655
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McFaddin Beach

Sea Rim State Park’s next door neighbor, McFaddin Beach, is part of the larger McFaddin National Wildlife Refuge, an almost 59,000 acre wildlife sanctuary that includes the largest remaining freshwater marsh on the Texas coast.  McFaddin Beach offers 20 miles of shoreline, stretching from Sea RIm all the way to High Island, with free public access thanks to a timed gate that opens at sunrise and closes at sundown.  Vehicles are welcome, and free overnight camping is also allowed! 
7950 S Gulfway Dr
Sabine Pass, TX 77655

Bolivar Peninsula / Crystal Beach 

This is the beach of my childhood, so it holds a special place in my memories and my heart.  Bolivar Peninsula is over 25 miles of Texas coastline that includes the communities of Gilchrist, Crystal Beach, High Island, and Port Bolivar.  Most cross roads provide direct access to the beach, where families and visitors can have fun in the sun swimming, building sand castles, picnicking, bbq-ing, surf fishing, searching for shells and shark teeth, boogie boarding, and more.  Vehicles are allowed on the beach, but a Beach Permit Sticker is required for $10.  Click here for info on purchasing a beach permit sticker.

 Looking for things to do on Bolivar Peninsula besides the beach?  Check out this fantastic guide from! 


If you’re looking for fun in the sun with that instant relaxation, vacation-mode feel, look no further – Galveston has it all!  An island with ferry boat access, over 30 miles of beautiful beaches, a picturesque and scenic seawall along the main drag, beautiful architecture, an actual tall ship docked in the harbor and open for tours, a State Park, and just every square inch just bursting with history.  For more information, check out this guide on all the fantastic Galveston beaches!

Surfside Beach

A little bit of a hike to be a simple day trip, this sleepy little town near Lake Jackson is too fantastic not to be included!  The community is quiet, peaceful, and laid-back, with little to no traffic on the roads or on the beach.  Bonus – stop by the original Buc-ee’s on your way in and out!

Louisiana Beaches

We gotta give some love to our neighbors!  Holly Beach and Mae’s Beach both come highly recommended by our Blessed Moms of SETX group members.  Let us know if you visit one or both!

Things to bring

We’re beach lovers, so I’ve had a lot of practice honing this list.  Here’s my must-haves for a perfect day at the beach:

  • pop-up canopy (not necessary but we enjoy it for some portable shade – make sure you bring anchors!  I got our 10×10 canopy from Walmart for less than $40)
  • coolers with snacks, lunch, water, etc.  Divide the snacks into small, individual bags to keep sandy hands from contaminating everything!
  • chairs (at least one for you, mama!)
  • kites (we love these octopus ones, and they come in a 2 pack!)
  • sand toys (these don’t have to be specific – we’ve brought a bag of trucks and construction vehicles and the kids had a great time driving through the sand)
  • a bucket or bag for shell collection
  • Boogie board!  My oldest (10) LIVES on his at the beach and we barely see him!
  • A waterproof bluetooth speaker for fun beach tunes (I have this one in blue and I love it)
  • towels (I always bring enough for the number of people plus one)
  • sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen
  • bug spray
  • a change of clothes (leave these and the towels in the car so they don’t get sandy)
  • baby powder for de-sanding before getting in the car
  • COLLAPSIBLE WAGON. Listen up.  This is important.  How did I do life before this little miracle contraption?!  I do not go anywhere at all without my Emotional Support Wagon.  It completes me.  

Which Southeast Texas beach is your favorite? What is YOUR must-have list for a day at the beach??

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