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U.S. News Best Vacations Badge

Best Beaches in Texas

U.S. News Best Vacations Badge

With nearly 500 miles of coastline along the Gulf of Mexico's teal and emerald water, Texas is home to plenty of beach vacation options. U.S. News considered sights, beach quality and amenities, in addition to travel and expert insight, to determine the Best Beaches in Texas. Got a favorite? Vote for it below to help influence next year's ranking.

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#1 South Padre Island

#1 in Best Beaches in Texas

Once famous as a premier spring break destination, South Padre Island has not only blossomed into a family-friendly spot but is now also widely considered one of the best beaches in Texas. The area's wide, sandy beaches, affordable accommodations and views of the Gulf of Mexico attract travelers year after year. Other fun activities here include Schlitterbahn Waterpark and Sea Turtle Inc., a rehabilitation center for sea turtles. Read More »

South Padre Island Morning View 14 photos
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#2 Boca Chica

#2 in Best Beaches in Texas

Located just across the Rio Grande from Mexico, Boca Chica is a serene and laid-back Texas beach destination. Boca Chica may lack the bells and whistles of other beach towns but it offers ample opportunities for recreation, including fishing, swimming, surfing and snorkeling – you'll just have to bring your own equipment. Boca Chica is also the perfect spot to set up with a beach chair and read a good book or admire the sea.

Boca Chica
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#3 Padre Island National Seashore

#3 in Best Beaches in Texas

Situated about 30 miles southeast of Corpus Christi, Padre Island National Seashore stretches across 70 miles of beaches, dunes and tidal flats. Visitors can camp, kayak, windsurf and swim at this beach. The soft and wide sandy shoreline – the longest stretch of undeveloped barrier island in the world – is ideal for long walks and the park rangers coordinate releases of rescued and rehabilitated sea turtles.

Padre Island National Seashore
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#4 Mustang Island

#4 in Best Beaches in Texas

A barrier island just east of Corpus Christi, Mustang Island is a popular beach destination for families and active travelers. Surfing and camping are popular things to do at this beach, and there's a "paddling trail" (a series of shallow-water canals) for those looking to kayak, canoe or paddleboard. Travelers will enjoy stretching out on the beach and watching for turtles, dolphins and birds.

Mustang Island
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#5 Rockport Beach

#5 in Best Beaches in Texas

Rockport Beach overlooks Aransas Bay in southern Texas and is home to picnic sites, volleyball courts, a pier that's a hot fishing spot and a crescent-shaped sandy beach. Travelers can go for a stroll along the promenade that backs the sands or set up chairs for relaxing and sunbathing on the beach, which has been lauded for its overall cleanliness.

Rockport Beach
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San Jose Island

San Jose Island

San Jose Island

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Crystal Beach

Crystal Beach

Crystal Beach

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Galveston

Galveston Beach

Galveston

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Port Aransas

Port Aransas

Port Aransas

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