Things To Do

A Travel Blogger's Picks For the Best Beaches Closest To Dallas

Jessica Serna
Get a royal tan in Corpus Christi, home of late Tejano queen Selena.
There’s no need to travel to the East or West Coast for a memorable summer vacation to the beach. Texas is home to several beach towns that have sandy shores and salt water, but also history, wildlife, beach-side activities, gorgeous hotels, personality and hidden gems. When the summer finally starts, Texans are ready to have a good time and Texas travel blogger My Curly Adventures knows the best spots. Here are her picks for the five best beach towns in Texas.

Port Arthur
Port Arthur’s marshlands and position on the Gulf of Mexico allow a wide variety of exploration on land and water, making it the perfect place to plan your next camping trip. Sea Rim State Park (19335 TX 87) has an abundance of wildlife, plus five miles of sandy beaches and beautiful landscapes. You can kayak or canoe along one of their several paddling trails, which vary in length and difficulty. From the boardwalk or the beach, the view as the sun sets is unforgettable, as the sky’s vibrant colors reflect off the water all around. There are several campsites and a cabin available, but the coolest spot of all is a floating, primitive campsite where you can pitch a tent out in the middle of the marsh.
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Port Arthur has more than beaches. It also has wildlife and unforgettable views.
Jessica Sernaa
Crystal Beach
Crystal Beach is a charming beach town the Bolivar Peninsula in Galveston County with a history of its own. Colorful shoreline homes speckle the 25 miles of sandy beaches, where you can choose from activities like fishing, lounging, surfing or swimming without the crowds of larger-scale beaches. Visit the historic Point Bolivar Lighthouse (419 Everett Lane, Port Bolivar) originally built in 1872, made black by over 150 years of strong coastal winds. Look out over the gulf from atop the remains of a bunker that was once a part of Fort Travis (900 State Highway 87, Port Bolivar) or take a break on the lawn for a beachside picnic. Your first meal after a long day on the beach should be an entire experience, so make it even better and get a table at one of the lively marina-style restaurants such as HardHeads Icehouse & Grill (1035 Highway 87) on the Bolivar Peninsula, accompanied by free, live music.
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Crystal Beach is a clear easy choice when it comes to Texas beaches.
Eva Raggio
Galveston hasn’t always been known for having the prettiest beaches, but they've been greatly cleaned up and there are plenty of fun activities that capitalize on its location. Take a four-hour kayaking trip through Galveston Island State Park (14901 FM 3005) with Artist Boat, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to emphasize the importance of preserving the Texas coast. As if the views weren’t enough, they also offer a watercoloring lesson. Moody Gardens (1 Hope Blvd.), a hotel with many attractions, also has three pyramids across the property with a wildlife exhibition where you can learn about and interact with fauna from different ecosystems. Book a room at San Luis Resort (5222 Seawall Blvd.) with beach views from all sides and angles, as their pools, private hot tub and rooms offer constant reminders that Galveston is actually quite beautiful. If your time is limited, make it a priority to visit Pleasure Pier (2501 Seawall Blvd.), which combines the beautiful beaches with the thrills of an amusement park.
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Galveston offers much more than a nice day at the beach.
Jessica Serna
Corpus Christi
Corpus Christi is a well-known beach town that Texas tourists and natives flock to every summer. If you’re in the mood for a road trip and you don’t mind the crowds, Corpus is the perfect place to satisfy your inner beach bum. The hometown of late Tejano singer Selena Quintanilla, it’s home to a small museum put together by her family in her honor, full of her personal items and stories from her life (5410 Leopard St.). If you're lucky, you'll get to meet her father, Abraham, who works from the museum's office. If you’re wanting to avoid the crowds along Corpus Christi’s beaches, Lively Beach (138 Zahn Road) is a secluded, beachside hotel surrounded by native wildlife, with a private boardwalk that goes right down to the water. Make its two roof-top decks an evening destination for limitless views of Corpus and its beaches. In the mood for some adventure? Book a lesson with Worldwinds Windsurfing (Padre Island National Seashore Bird Island Basin Road), one of the best windsurfing schools in the world in one of the most renowned cities for the sport in the country. It may just become your new favorite hobby.
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Corpus Christi is worth every bit of the road trip from DFW.
Jessica Serna
Belton is a moderately populated place with a small town feel, and although Belton Lake (3110 FM 2271) isn’t technically a beach, its sandy shores and beautiful blue water won’t disappoint if you’re looking for a beach getaway without a long trip to the coast — it's just a 2.5-hour or so drive south from Dallas. You can rent boats, paddle boards and kayaks from Frank’s Marina (3260 Lake Park Road), and on the south side of Belton Lake you can windsurf, kite surf or launch your boat at Temples Lake Park (14190 FM 2305). There’s even a playground on site. You’ll also forget where you’re at because the waters look limitless from the shore. It's the true definition of a space to lose yourself in nature.
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Belton isn't technically a beach, but it has a sandy shore.
Jessica Serna