Even though we aren’t known for having the prettiest beaches in the world, they’re the only water we know and we appreciate them in our own way. Galveston isn’t our only option either despite popular belief – there are actually dozens of other coastal destinations to enjoy the Gulf in solitude. Here are 10 of our favorites.
1. Boca Chica
If you're looking for some seclusion, this is the beach for you. Far down in the Rio Grande delta, where the river flows into the Gulf and the U.S. becomes Mexico, this desolate village off of Highway 4 is almost ghostly in nature - but not so much that its peacefulness is lessened in any way.
2. Laguna Atascosa Refuge
Although it isn't really a place for swimming, this National Wildlife Refuge is definitely worth a visit since it has over 400 different species of bird to gawk at. Head east on Highway 106 until you come across the visitor's center and pay a measly $3 for a day pass - totally worth it for the gorgeous views of both nature and wildlife.
3. Baffin Bay
Much of this bay is surrounded by private ranches, so the coastline is virtually untouched. It's a haven for fishing and hunting, as well as rare wildlife like whitetail bucks and white-throated antelope. Plus, sunsets like that are hard to beat.
If you've lost faith in Texas beaches due to Galveston's unimpressive water, Padre Island will definitely redeem your opinion. Not to mention it's the longest undeveloped barrier island in the entire world. Now don't mistake this for South Padre Island, which is a tourist trap with people packed like a can of sardines. I'm talking about Padre Island to the north - South Beach, to be exact. You'll find peace and tranquility unlike anything other than the empty lands of West Texas. Here, you can camp, windsurf, and see the hatching of the most adorable sea turtles you'll ever lay eyes on.
5. Mustang Island State Park
Although this beach is fairly popular, especially during Spring Break, there are still little areas of solitude that can be found. It's no secret why this beach is so highly regarded: it has white sands and blue-green water perfect for surfing, swimming, camping, and everything in between.
This beach has been voted one of the most beautiful in Texas, and it's also one of the most romantic with a 1500 foot jetty illuminated with hanging lights.
A beach not too far from Houston with free parking and not overrun with tourists? Count me in! You can also drive on the beach and make bonfires at this beach near Freeport.
8. Matagorda Bay
Even though it's not too far from Galveston, Matagorda hardly gets any tourists since nearly the entire island is a nature preserve. But who's to say you can't enjoy a nice, quiet day at the beach here and head back to the main island for dinner? Sounds perfect to me.
9. Galveston Island State Park
Although the main Galveston beaches are filled with tourists year round, the state park on the island is sort of a hidden gem. With plenty of trails that lead you right to the water, it's a great place to go to escape the hustle and bustle.
10. San Jose Island
This island is only 21 miles across and open to the public despite being privately owned. It's right across the ship canal from Port Aransas yet so much less crowded. I highly recommend visiting it the next time you're in the mood for a relaxing beach day.
Have you ever been to any of these places? Are there any other little known beaches along the coast that are worth a visit?