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Galveston Beach Information

Find the right Galveston Beach!

Galveston Island has beaches for over 30 miles with plenty of sand, sea, and fun. But each Galveston Beach area can have different rules and many are designed for different activities and even different types of people. There are some common rules that apply to any Galveston Beach area unless otherwise stated.

Before going to any Galveston Beach area, you might want to take a quick look at our Galveston Beach Safety Tips page. Most beaches are safe and present little threat but some basic precautions can keep the possibilities to a minimum. Better safe than sorry.

Galveston Beach Weather

It's also a very good idea to keep an eye on the weather when you're on the beach. Storms develop very quickly in the Gulf of Mexico so pay attention. Here's the current weather for Galveston Beach:

These rules below apply to all Galveston Beaches and are designed to keep everyone safe and prevent any problems.

  • No overnight camping

  • No open fires

  • No glass containers

  • No alcohol except East Beach

  • Pets must be on leashes

  • No walking on dunes

  • No four wheelers

  • No diving into water

Galveston does have an organization called the Beach Patrol that ensures  these rules are followed and are highly visible everywhere on the Galveston beach areas.

If you haven't been down to Galveston lately, last November (2015) the city expanded the beach area on the Seawall from 61st street west to around 75th street. They joined with the Park Board and the Army Corps of Engineers to use the sand dredged from the Galveston Ship Channel. They had hoped to go all the way to 81st but only ended up with enough sand to make it to 75th street.

 

People were on it the day they removed the barriers and equipment so I guess it's a hit with the visitors. Check it out, it's a lot less crowded than the east side of 61st.
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Another good rule to follow is not to swim within 100 feet of any jetties or piers and never swim in the ship channel. Some areas do have lifeguards but many don’t. Never underestimate the power of the surf, even a small 2-foot wave can cause you problems and this is especially true for young children.

According to a recent Houston Chronicle web posting we are about to get some high style bathrooms on the Seawall in Galveston. No idea about exact location (there will be five) but they will be hard to miss from the photo below.

 

The article stated that the new bathrooms will be solar powered and also provide outside showers and hand washing stations. The bathrooms are called Protland Loos, developed by Portland, Ore and have open tops and bottoms for monitoring. The project should be completed within the next year.

So keep your eye out, they may come in handy. They just had a Groundbreaking Ceremony for the bathrooms and also 33 new Benches along the Seawall. And they are adding a new Seawall Bus line with 29 stops along the east side of 61st Street. The new buses will expand with the city transit system to create an easy way for people to get from the Strand and downtown area to anywhere on east beach areas. The whole package is slated to be completed by end of 2016. So watch out for construction along the Seawall this Summer.

And don't forget that the Street Trolleys will finally make their return in 2017. Everyone always seemed to enjoy riding the Street Trolleys, kind of like in San Francisco.

You should know that there is an Open Container Law in Texas that is enforced with gusto along the SeaWall and beach areas. This is an automatic $200 fine plus court costs. Any open container that has any alcoholic beverage (even a broken seal) in a moving or parked vehicle can result in a ticket. So be very careful about when you open any alcoholic beverage while in your vehicle.

Galveston is an island but most of the popular beaches stretch from end to end, on the southern side of the island. Here's a map and list of the Galveston Texas beaches from east to west is as follows:

Galveston Beach Map

East Beach - Galveston

East Beach

(Also called R.A. Apffel Park)

East Beach is the largest beach in Texas and is located on the far eastern side of Galveston Island. If you drive east on Seawall Blvd until it ends, then take a right on Boddeker Road and

follow it to the end (less than a mile) you will be at East Beach. East Beach is unique since you can buy alcohol and drinking is allowed. There are also chairs and umbrellas to rent, bathrooms and showers, snacks and drinks, souvenirs, and an outside bar. There are volleyball tournaments, live music, bikini contests, and other events all summer long. It’s loud, rowdy, and definitely for the party crowd. It’s open from 9:00 am till 5:00 pm on weekdays and till 7:00 pm on weekends during the summer season. Admission is $8 per car.

There is parking space for about 7,000 cars and it gets full at the height of the summer season, especially on big holiday weekends. So come early to get a good spot.

Beware, you are not allowed to take your own beach umbrella, chairs, etc except for one small area. They rent umbrellas and chair sets for $35 and more. You also cannot leave and come back without paying for parking again so make sure you have everything you need when you go in the first time. East Beach in Galveston is the most popular so get there early to get a good spot.

Stewart Beach

Stewart Beach is located at Seawall Blvd and 6th Street.

Stewart Beach - Galveston

Stewart Beach offers all that East Beach does except alcohol and also has a children’s playground. It’s much more laid back and family oriented. Same cost, $8 per car, and same operating hours. They do have Community Rooms for rent for company parties, family events, wedding receptions, and etc. You can call 409-797-5182 for more information on rentals and availability.

Seawall Beaches – 16th Street to 61st Street

There is public access from all along the Seawall Blvd and free parking is available. There are no facilities, bathrooms, showers, or anything. Just miles of open beach that many people like to walk along or sunbathe. Great for a quick stop to look at the ocean and waves. There are steps every so often for access from the street level down to the beach.

The area directly west of the city offers three smaller beach areas that are open daily from March to Labor Day and on the weekends in September. These Galveston Beach areas are popular and have less people to deal with and some great features.

Sea Gull Shores Beach Pocket 1

This is located at the 71/2 mile Road along FM 3005 (Seawall Blvd turns into FM 3005 / San Luis Pass Road). This area was still being worked on from the ravages of Hurricane Ike and may or may not be fully open until April. So there may be facilities like a pavilion, restrooms, and parking when it does open again. But check before entering.

Sand Castle Beach Pocket Park 2

Sand Castle Beach is located at the 9 mile Road along FM 3005 (San Luis Pass Rd, Frank Carmona Pocket Park 2) and includes a public beach pavilion, an educational wetlands preserve, beach access points, and public & private parking.

Both Beach Pocket 1 & 2

Both parks includes an educational wetlands preserves, a children's playground, beach access points and public parking. Amenities include outdoor rinse-off showers as well as umbrella and chair rentals.

Pocket Park Admission (CASH ONLY): 

$8 per car
$16 per bus/RV
Hours of Operation:

March through Labor Day:

Weekdays 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 
Weekends 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
September: Weekends 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
October through February: Closed

Park Rules:

Glass prohibited 
Pets Permitted on Leashes
Clean Up After Your Pets
Camping Prohibited 12am-5am
Open Fires Prohibited (BBQ pits allowed)
Stay Off Dunes

Sea Shell Beach Pocket Park 3

Sea Shell Beach is located just west of the 13 mile Road along FM 3005 /San Luis Pass Rd and offers 10 acres of beaches, a beach pavilion (may or may note be open in season), but no bathrooms right now. Still get to pay the $8.00 so Pocket Beaches 1 & 2 are definitely a better deal right now.

Galveston State Park

Right after Pirate’s Beach subdivision and 13 Mile Road is Galveston State Park. The park was created in 1975 and has over 2,000 acres of space. Entrance Fee is $5 per day, per persons 13 and older and camping is available. A maximum of 8 people and 14 days per campsite (out of 28 day period) and there are RV hookups also. Besides admission there are $15 to $25 campsite fees depending on the facilities. The State Park is open 7 days a week all year. 

Far West End Beaches

Beach Access Signs After Seawall Blvd splits and the seawall ends, there are many beach access points that go all the way to the end of the island. I've never measured the distance between them but it seems like in many places they are only about a mile apart so there are quite a few. These free beach areas are clearly marked with blue signs that have Beach Access written in white letters. All of these areas are public but have no facilities or lifeguards.

Well, there you go, that sums up the Galveston Beach areas from one end of Galveston to the other. There is something for just about every kind of beach lover. The busiest times on all the Galveston Beach areas are May through September. But some of the best times to go are when the crowds aren’t around in early spring or late fall. And the weather is often mild all through he winter months too.
 
 

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