28 Ways to Enjoy the Beach Near Beaumont (Besides the Obvious)
From lapping waves to succulent seafood, you may not immediately think of Texas as a coastal destination, but it actually has some pretty amazing beaches to enjoy the sun with family and friends. And thanks to its unique location where the Gulf meets the marsh, Southeast Texas is primed with beaches for days.
The closest pedestrian beaches are about 45 minutes away at Sea Rim State Park or the Bolivar Peninsula, but there are dozens of other waterfront cities and towns within just a few hours. Of course, you could spend a lazy day on shore enjoying the sand, but if you’re looking to get active or take advantage of the landscape, here are a few more unique ideas for how to enjoy the water.
Rent a Canoe / Kayak
Sea Rim State Park has single or tandem kayak and canoes to rent by the hour. Follow their paddle trail to explore.
Collect Shark Teeth
Did you know shark teeth are a form of fossil? Spend some time wandering along the tide line looking to collect shells and treasures that may have washed up. If nothing else, it’s a free souvenir!
Camp on the Beach
At Sea Rim State Park, you can camp right on the sand both primitively or with electrical and water hookups. For a truly unique adventure, they also have one boat-in, floating campsite that’s like your own private island.
Get Your Groove On
The Stingaree is one of Bolivar Peninsula’s most popular venues for its seafood, sunset views, and live music almost every Friday and Saturday night with performances under the setting sun. Down the road and across the bay, the Galveston Old Quarter Acoustic Café is another cool spot to hit up with a listening room vibe that offers intimate artist performances.
Rent a Boat
Boatsetter.com is essentially Airbnb for boats, which lets you rent a variety of vessels by the half-day from individual owners. There’s everything from fishing dingeys to pontoon party boats, yachts, and everything in between.
The Bolivar Peninsula is one of the best places to go deep-sea fishing. You can charter a boat, hire a captain, or set your poles from shore. The north jetties are a big draw for anglers to cast a line or try crabbing.
Get Around via Golf Cart
You can rent golf carts by the day, weekend, or week, and most include delivery and pick-up. It sure beats the stress of traffic on the busy beach or parking.
Give Birding a Try
The entire peninsula is part of the Great Coastal Birding Trail, which attracts migratory species in droves. There are sanctuaries around the area as well as a nearby national wildlife refuge that sees unique species thanks to the salt marsh, mudflats, and beachfront habitat.
Watch the Wildlife
Beyond the skies, keep your eyes on the ground. River otter, alligators, opossum, and raccoons also call this area home.
Dock and Dine
High Tides on Cow Bayou is a pier-side seafood shack and bar with free dock slips and tie-ups. Topwater Grill in Galveston also offers boat-in dining. Or, post up at one of the waterfront restaurants on the pier and watch the boats roll in.
Take a Surf Lesson
Grab your wetsuit and hang 10 in the appropriately named Surfside Beach in Brazoria County. The consistent waves provide some of the best in Texas, but if you want to take lessons, Galveston offers a variety of classes and camps for all ages and abilities.
Photograph the Lighthouses
Bolivar Point Lighthouse has withstood some of the Gulf’s worst storms and while no longer in use, remains a beacon of hope to all that pass by. You may recognize if from the 1960s Emmy-award winning film, My Sweet Charlie. Across the peninsula, Galveston also has a handful of lighthouses with the East Shoal, South Jetty, and Fort Point, some of the most photogenic to seek out.
Learn to Scuba Dive
You may be surprised to discover that oil rigs and wrecks are some of the most unique dive sites in the Gulf of Mexico. Compared to artificial reefs, they attract a variety of barnacles and marine life. Check out the Freeport Liberty Ship Reef on a dive trip or charter. Flower Garden Banks is another intriguing dive site and a protected underwater sanctuary, which is the northernmost coral reef ecosystem in America. If you need to get your certification, there are plenty of operators near Galveston.
Walk the Boardwalk
If you’re looking for a nostalgic day at the pier, the rides, amusements, and attractions in Kemah and Galveston are wholesome family fun. Indulge in fare food like giant turkey legs and old-fashioned ice cream sundaes before doing a loop-di-loop on the coaster for a bird’s eye view of the Gulf.
Hit the Slides
Just blocks from the beach, Schlitterbahn Waterpark has some of the most thrilling water rides around. Home to the World’s Tallest Water Coaster and the award-winning Transportainment® River System, it’s part lazy river, part water taxi to take you from one slide to the next without ever leaving the water.
One of the coolest extreme watersports, flyboarding propels you into the air with a hydro-powered jetpack. The board is connected to a jet ski that powers riders high into the sky.
Rent Jet Skis
A recreational watercraft you control and drive, jet skis are one of the most fun water sports you can rent. Want to go faster? Simply put the pedal to the metal for a rowdy romp through the ocean or pull back on the throttle for a slow, controlled ride around the bay.
Standup paddleboarding is another fun watersport that’s a bit more of a workout, especially on the ocean. There are glow boards you can take out at night and SUP yoga classes you can take to find your zen.
Take a Jetboat Ride
If you want a thrill or to feel the wind in your hair, fly around at daring speeds doing full 360s on a jet boat ride around the bay.
Learn About Pirates
Pirates! Legends of the Gulf Coast is an interactive museum to teach you all about local lore and the swashbucklers who once ran the bay.
Hike / Bike
The elevated wooden walkways at Gambusia Nature Trail Boardwalk at Sea Rim State Park are a beautiful introduction to the dunes and the unique topography of the area. Explore the beach and marsh while working up a sweat.
Go on a Ghost Tour
Galveston is notoriously one of the most haunted areas of the country following one of the most devastating natural disasters in the history of the US – the hurricane of 1900. Nearly the entire town was wiped out, and many claim the restless souls still wander the streets. You’ll hear stories and dark secrets, and it’ll be up to you to decide which of the tales are real.
Horseback Ride on the Beach
Have you ever dreamed of a romantic walk on the beach? How about on four hooves? Galveston offers guided beach walks on a calm lagoon as the waves lap at your horses’ feet. You can also BYO horse at Sea Rim State Park if you happen to have your own handy steed.
Seeing dolphins in the wild is the highlight of any beach visit, and luckily, it’s a fairly common occurrence around the Gulf. To increase your chances, embark on a harbor tour. Special boats designed without propellers can get you up close to the magical creatures in their natural habitat safely.
Go for a Sunset Dinner Cruise
It’s dinner and dancing under the setting sun on a replica 1800s paddlewheel boat. Set sail from Moody Gardens on the Colonel Paddlewheel for stunning views of the Offatts Bayou.
Get to Know the Marine Life
A mixed entertainment complex, Moody Gardens is part aquarium, part rainforest, plus a 3D and 4D theater. Experience the reef rescue in virtual reality or find Nemo on an interactive, under the sea adventure.
Hit Some Balls
It’s always therapeutic to hit golf balls into the ocean, but if you’d like a designated course to take your stress out on the green, there’s one at Moody Gardens or Crystal Beach.
Make Your Own Fireworks Show
Ray's Fireworks at Crystal Beach has been around for 30 years to help you light up the night sky and make every day a colorful celebration. You can also snag some from the appropriately named PyroShack up the peninsula.