Getting the Most out of Life

One of the Best Beach Towns You’ve Never Heard Of: Surfside Beach, Texas

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Who’s ready for some fun in the sun?

Though many of the country’s best beach towns may come to mind—Fort Lauderdale, San Diego, and Myrtle Beach, for instance—what if you’re looking for something a little more off the beaten path, where you won’t be fighting for a space on the sand?

Think Texas. The Lone Star State may be famous for its barbecue and rodeos, but it offers 367 miles of coastline along the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, too. While Texas’s best-known beach towns include Galveston and South Padre Island, this massive state is home to several hidden gems.

One of our favorites is Surfside Beach, also known simply as Surfside.

Introducing One of Texas’s Best Beach Towns

Why do we like Surfside so much?

First off, it’s convenient for a quick getaway—the town is located a little over an hour from Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport, ranked by the Federal Aviation Administration as the 12th busiest airport in North America. Since Houston is a hub for United Airlines, you should be able to get inexpensive flights there from many parts of the country.

Surfside is less popular than its northerly neighbor Galveston, which means it’s also less dirty and crowded. In fact, this quaint town’s population is less than 500 people.

There are other perks. Cars are permitted on part of the beach, so it’s a cinch to set up camp for the day. You’ll have quick access to music, your cooler, and a change of clothes. You can drink alcohol (except on Sunday mornings). Just don’t bring any glass bottles. Best of all? Surfside allows campfires, which isn’t the case on many Texas beaches.

What to Do in Surfside

Besides sunbathing and swimming, what activities can travelers enjoy? Here are some ideas.

  • Surfing With a name like Surfside, you’d assume this town has surfing—and you’d be right. Its deep waters and long jetties make for some of the most consistent surf in northern Texas. Don’t have a surfboard? Rentals are cheap: You can get a board from Bingos Surf Shop for $35 a day.
  • Fishing Want to catch your own dinner? Depending on the season, you might be able to reel in red snapper, bull redfish, grouper, tuna, or kingfish. The aptly named Surfside Beach Charters charges $550 for a half day of fishing.
  • Kayaking Paddling is the perfect way to view the coastline and get a fantastic upper-body workout. At Beachfront RV Park & Resort, two-hour kayak rentals cost $30 for one person or $45 for two.
  • Horseback Riding Here with your honey? There’s nothing more romantic than a horseback ride on the beach. Try Beach Bum Horse Rides, which charges $120 per hour for two riders.
  • Jet Skiing If you’ve ever wanted to see a dolphin from a Jet Ski, now’s your chance. Surfside Beach Resort Services offers guided dolphin tours for $140 for two people per ski, or Jet Ski rentals for $130 per hour.
  • Eating and Drinking Because of Surfside’s small size, you won’t find as much food and drink variety here as you would in more popular beach towns. Still, there are some solid options, including burgers and beer at the local dive Jetty Shack and $2 wine at Kitty’s Purple Cow.

Does all this talk of summer fun have you throwing your sunscreen and towel in a bag? Take a look at Surfside; it just might become your favorite new beach town.