Surfside Beach Texas is a good alternative to Galveston Island. You get the same beach and water, but the community is smaller.
Surfside Beach is much much smaller than Galveston, with a population in the hundreds. There are a few restaurants, hotels/houses, Jetty Park and a long beach.
At the beach, you can park for free and walk in, or buy the season pass and drive on.
Drive On Beach vs Walk On Beach:
On our last trip, we were going to drive on (like we do at our favorite West Beach), but at the main entrance (at the end of 332) the gate attended suggested a minivan go to another entrance with packed sand. (So check on the sand before you drive on!)
This was a very good tip for two reasons. First, when we parked and walked on, we saw giant trucks getting stuck in the soft sand. Second, on the car side of the beach, vehicles were avoiding the soft sand and driving on the wet sand... which is where people were playing in the water... which looked really dangerous.
Fortunately we had walked on and were on the no-car side of the beach. Here we could play in the sand and splash in the water with no issue at all. Also, there was plenty of space right at the entrance, so we did not have to haul our stuff very far.
On most days when the sand is packed, the cars stay in the car lane and it’s no big deal. So, take a look before you decide where to set up for the day.
Amenities at Surfside Beach:
Some things to note... I did not see restrooms or changing rooms. At the entrance, there was a shower head and also a porta-potty. (Also, over at Jetty Park, by the water, there is a restroom.)
Also, since my kids and I are Buc-ee’s fanatics, let me tell you about those. Between downtown Houston and Surfside, there are several Buc-ee’s. I don’t think any are as big as our favorite Texas City stop.... but the one in Surfside Beach Texas is really really small and was really really crowded. If you are obsessed with Buc-ee’s, stop in Lake Jackson instead. And if you think it’s crazy to be obsessed with a gas station, just pretend like I didn’t write this paragraph.
Surfside was a fun twist to our beach trips. It’s especially good if you are also stopping by Sea Center Texas or driving along the beautiful Bluewater Highway (connecting Surfside and Galveston).
Staying in Surfside:
If you want to stay over night in Surfside, check out ROCK HOUSE. It’s a family friendly, veteran owned and operated, beach house rental available on AirBNB and VRBO.
Where is Surfside Beach Texas:
Address: Surfside, Texas 77541
If you are looking for more beaches near Houston, go HERE!