9 Best White Sand Beaches In Texas: Plan For The Perfect Family-Friendly Vacation

Let’s face it, Texas is not a destination for beach goers. Or so people think. Once mid to late spring pulls up at the doorstep of the southwest, some people start planning for a vacation in Mexico and others perhaps for a river tubing trip in San Antonio, but Texas has so much more to offer than its rivers and as a getaway to a neighbouring country. 

Despite not being as chic and glamorous as the beaches in Hawaii for example, white sand beaches in Texas bordering the soothing shorelines of the Gulf of Mexico are absolutely charming. They’re welcoming, alluring, very family-friendly and not lacking in any essentials that guests search for.

Sun, blue waters, velvety beaches and an escape from our mundane responsibilities. Isn’t it what a lot of us look for in our summer vacations? Well, the best sand beaches in Texas deliver just that and all within close proximity to each other.

1. Sylvan Beach Park

Sylvan Beach Park is a family-favorite destination for picnicking, taking a cold dip on a hot day and sunbathing. Overlooking the majestic Galveston Bay, featuring an abundance of amenities, especially for kids, and being lined with a beautiful pier where you can admire both sunset and sunrise definitely upholds Sylvan Beach Park’s ‘one of the best’ status. 

Just keep in mind that Sylvan Beach can be crowded on the weekends due to its countless amenities (no surprises there) and that it’s not the best coastline for swimming. You will encounter a few rip tide warnings and boundaries for some unsafe areas, so be sure to keep a lookout on that, especially if you’re visiting with kids. 

If you’d like to visit the pier, you need to buy a pass that costs $4.

Address: 636 N Bayshore Dr, La Porte, TX 77571

Pier at Sylvan Beach Park. Photo taken by @Liem Nguyen for Google. 

2. Crystal Beach

Crystal Beach is located on Bolivar Peninsula, an hour’s drive from Galveston. It shares much of the same qualities as its other companions such as clear white sand – hence the name of the beach – turquoise blue waters and an opportunity to kick back and relax.

As one of the prime beaches in Texas, with countless amenities to elevate the experience, you’re guaranteed to have an incredible day. 

Location: 16.8 miles from Galveston.

Crystal Beach captured by @noelledelgado on IG.

3. Whitecap Beach

Whitecap Beach is one the most beautiful beaches in all of Texas. However, it operates with an odd rule that (with a special permit) allows visitors to park their cars straight on the coastline, which – as numerous reports suggest – considerably affects people’s experience. Yet it doesn’t stop the beach from getting extremely crowded, especially during peak seasons and weekends. 

The waters are safe for swimming, even for kids, bar the tiny inconvenience in the form of jellyfish. There have been numerous reports of getting stung, so swim at your own discretion.

Whitecap Beach also provides its guests with a myriad of water activities including, but not limited to, kayaking, canoeing, parasailing, surfing. Necessary sports gear can be hired onsite along with other beach equipment.

Camping and having a small bonfire are allowed if you have a special permit.

Whitecap is an ideal destination for unwinding and having some summer fun. Just sit back and relax on its sugary white sand.

Address: 14802 Whitecap Blvd, Corpus Christi, TX 78418

Whitecap Beach. Photo source: @wiblelandscapedesign on IG.

4. UFO Beach

UFO Beach is almost as cool as it sounds. Even though the beach has nothing to do with E.T (unfortunately), UFO is actually one of the few nude beaches in Texas. Its secluded and hard-to-reach location contributes to the fact considerably. So if naturism is your thing then be sure to hit this one up. If not, then it’s probably better if you skip this one and opt for other alternatives on the list.

UFO beach is a clear and tree-less white sandy shore which means that there is no shade and no privacy whatsoever, so bring along all the necessary beach equipment such as umbrellas, beach beds, and reef-safe sunscreens! Camping is also allowed in the area.

If you decide to travel here by car, make sure to travel with a high clearance, off-road vehicle. Alternatively, you can walk 3.5 miles and reach your destination that way.

Address: South Padre Isle, TX 78597

UFO Beach. Photo credit to @javster7 on IG.

5. McGee Beach

McGee Beach is a relatively less frequented destination because it’s simply not as well known, which is ideal for numerous reasons:

  • You won’t have to worry that much about crowds
  • It’s perfect for harcore sunbathers because there’s little to no natural shade present so you’ll either have to rent an umbrella or coat yourself in a reef safe sunscreen. 
  • It’s safer for kids.

The water levels are shallow and therefore safe for children. However, note that the shoreline is lined with rocks, so wear proper footwear to avoid any injuries. 

Necessary beach equipment can be rented on site which is extremely handy. 

There you’ll also find a big playground, a dog park for our favorite furry companions and food trucks serving delicious meals to take care of an empty stomach after an all-consuming swim.

Address: 402 S Shoreline Blvd Corpus Christi, TX 78401

McGee Beach. Photo source: @kris10vartianrealtor on IG.

6. Mustang Island State Park

While we’re in the Corpus Christi area, it’s only fair to stop over at Mustang Island State Park which is located just east of Corpus Christi. 

Mustang Island State Park is a spot for romantic dates as well as hangouts for large groups of friends. Gorgeous scenery, swimmable waters and many beachside amenities make Mustang one of the most sought out destinations in all of Texas. This beach isn’t an exception either and hosts big crowds on weekends and at peak seasons.

The good news is that there isn’t a big danger of high tides or rip currents, but the bad news is that there’s no lifeguard services available either, so swim at your own risk.

Mustang Island State Park is an ideal spot for tent and RV camping, pickinging, kayaking, and paddleboarding. The beach also boasts a decent number of pretty tide pools that are a must-see.

With that said, we’re positive that Mustang Island guarantees a good time for all kinds of travelers. 

Address: 9394 TX-361, Corpus Christi, TX 78418

Mustang Island State Park. Photo source: @Richard Toward on Flickr.

7. San Jose Island

North of our beloved Corpus Christi, you’ll find San Jose Island. A beach of breathtaking nature and extremely Instagrammable spots. It’s a privately owned beach that allows visitations and explorations but not vehicles. The only way to reach San Jose Island is by taking a ferry from Port Aransas. 

This beautiful beach is lined with seashells and soft white sand. It’s perfect for surging, beachcombing, sunbathing, fishing, shelling, and swimming. 

Address: Park Rd 13B, Rockport, TX 78382

San Jose Island. Photo credit to portaransas.org

8. Stewart Beach

Most of the beaches on this list are very family-friendly but Stewart Beach is a literal haven for vacationing families. It is even named as one of the 10 Best Beaches For Families by Family Vacation Critic and rightfully so. With its infinite number of beachside amenities, sports grounds, pet-friendly policy, countless resources for kids, crystal white shoreline and its water of almost all shades of blue, Stewart Beach is one memorable destination. 

The waters are great for swimming and beginner’s surfing. 

Address: 401 Seawall Boulevard Galveston, TX 77550

Stewart Beach by @galvestonisland on IG. 

9. Boca Chica Beach

Not only is Boca Chica Beach the most secluded one on this list, but it’s also quite a sight to behold. This 8-mile-beach is filled with white-meets-gray sand and lined with beautiful seashells. 

There’s even a big chance of finding the beach deserted. So if you’d like to get away from noisy, crowded beaches and just want to relax in all things natural (because there are no amenities on Boca Chica whatsoever. Not even lifeguard services and definitely no facilities), hop into your 4-wheel-drive and then lounge in the atmosphere of Boca Chica with your loved ones. 

There’s a tiny inconvenience (or not depending on how you look at it) though. SpaceX is pretty close, so you may witness a rocket in the sky.

Address: 5059 Boca Chica Blvd. Brownsville, TX 78521

Boca Chica Beach by @Prentis T. (Tom) Keener, Jr. on Flickr.

Etiquette Guidelines

Make sure that the only thing you leave on those beaches is your footprint trail. Remember to not litter and take care of your surrounding nature. These white sand beaches in Texas are Leave No Trace Policy-active zones so make sure to familiarize yourselves with those rules prior to your trip.

The Final Takeaway

These white sand beaches in Texas really are giving the trendy ones a run for their money. Small crystal white sand dunes, the brilliance of the sun, beautiful tide pools, and the unparalleled beauty of the Gulf of Mexico. You’ll be greeted with all and more. 

Any of these picks would be an immaculate option for a short fun trip with your loved ones, so use this as your starting point, start planning and then head out.


While we at Traxplorio do our very best to give you the latest information about recreational destinations, sometimes life happens, weather happens, property owners happen, etc. We always recommend you go to the official web page and/or the relevant state authority page of your destination to check conditions, times and prices (where relevant) before you head out. Thanks for understanding, and enjoy your adventure!

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