KATY MAGAZINE NEWS
May 1, 2023
By Natalie Cook Clark
Katy families don’t need to jet set off to exotic destinations for some beach time fun. Load up the car for a day trip or enjoy a needed getaway with a historic hotel, Airnb, or bed & breakfast. These beaches await to satisfy your vacation craving this summer!
Photo courtesy of TourTexas.com
A Variety to Choose From
Katy families have their pick of a variety of beaches! From a quick day trip to a more leisurely weekend escape, all of these destinations offer Katy families something different and exciting to love. A perfect summer trip close to home.
All destinations are listed nearest to furthest. Click on links for maps.
Sylvan Beach Park
56 miles (1 hour from Katy)
Close to Home
Sylvan Beach Park is in Harris County, one of the counties that Katy residents reside in.
Closer Than You Think
Many Katy families don’t realize how close they are to a fun beach getaway the entire family can enjoy! For many Katy residents, going to Sylvan Beach means never leaving Harris County. The 32-acre park is nestled along the Galveston Bay coast in La Porte.
The park is known for clean, seaweed-free beaches with a nice playground and picnic tables perfect for families and groups.
Long, wooden piers are perfect for fishing and food can be bought $4.
No need for an overnight bag. Grab your beach towels, pack a picnic basket, your loved ones, and a sense of adventure to make some knew memories.
80 miles (1 1/2 hours from Katy)
Photo courtesy of TourTexas.com
History and Charm
Galveston seamlessly blends destination history and charm. Katy families or couples can tour buildings (some haunted) built in the 1800s, dine in trendy restaurants or browse eclectic shops. The main attraction, of course, is the 32 miles of soft sands and inviting surf.
Spend the day at Pleasure Pier to enjoy the rides and games of chance for every skill and adventure level. To cool off in the Gulf, head to Stewart Beach. This popular spot for families, has lifeguards, concessions, umbrella rentals and amenities like restrooms and showers.
Visitors can spend the day exploring Galveston’s famous Strand district. The streets are lined with Victorian buildings hosting unique shops, galleries and restaurants. For more adventure, grab bikes and download a map to discover the Galveston Tree Sculptures carved from trees that were destroyed by Hurricane Ike.
85 miles (1 1/2 hours from Katy)
Katy families love the close proximity of Surfside Beach, a cozy shore town just two hours away. With four miles of beautiful coastline, this coastal getaway is ideal for all age groups. Relax on the shore, or head into the water to surf or kayak.
More than 200 Species of Birds
Many visitors choose Surfside Beach for fishing opportunities, from the shore or jetty. For more adventure, charter a deep-sea fishing boat, or try your luck at the Crabbing Pier located across from Stahlman Park. Bird watching enthusiasts can look for more than 200 species, including roseate spoonbills and sandhill cranes.
Surfside Beach features lots of shops and a variety of restaurants, showcasing live local music at night. Visitors can also choose from hotels and rental houses to beach-side RV parks to enjoy their close-to-home vacation.
Crystal Beach/Bolivar Peninsula
110 miles (2 hours from Katy)
Photo courtesy of TourTexas.com
Don't Miss the Dolphins
Bolivar Peninsula has emerged from the devastation of Hurricane Ike to feature miles of clean beaches and beautiful, colorful homes on raised on stilts. The quiet shore town can be reached via highway from Winnie, or via ferry from Galveston. Bonus dolphin sightings from the ferry!
Visitors to Crystal Beach can stay in an RV park or rent a house with all of the comforts of home. New stores and restaurants have opened in the past couple of years providing vacationers with more options. The kids will love the miniature golf and water slides, or spending hours playing on the beach.
For great fishing, cast your line at Crystal Beach's Rollover Pass. The two-hundred-foot-wide channel constructed in 1956, joins the Gulf of Mexico and Galveston Bay. The channel allows fish to swim from the Gulf to the Bay and vice-versa with the changing tides, providing an awesome fishing experience.
200 miles (3 1/2 hours from Katy)
Photo courtesy: Omni Hotels
A Vacation for Everyone
Corpus Christi promises a vacation to please everyone. Nestled in its namesake bay, Corpus Christi is protected by the natural barriers created by Padre and Mustang islands. This well-developed southern Texas shore town offers beach front hotels with wonderful amenities, as well as private homes to rent.
On the water, visitors can enjoy water or wind sports at the beaches, or go boating, fishing or biking. Inland, there's no shortage of great restaurants and shops and enough rainy day activities if bad weather rolls in to town.
To escape the Texas heat, take the family to the USS Lexington WWII aircraft carrier that houses a naval aviation museum, or explore the Corpus Christi Museum of Science & History. The Art Museum of South Texas also has wonderful permanent and featured exhibitions and special programs.
210 miles (3 hours 45 minutes from Katy)
Antiques and Wildlife
Visitors to Port Aransas consider its beaches among the finest in the Lone Star State. With miles of coastline, Port A welcomes beachgoers to spend the day looking for shells, riding boogie boards, or relaxing with a good book. The town’s great shops, from antiques to souvenirs, and restaurants provide so much more to do there.
Mustang Island State Park in Port Aransas boasts five miles of pet-friendly shoreline and campsites - either drive right on the sand, or reserve campsites protected by the dunes that include water and electricity. Grills and picnic tables are also available. Spend the day counting the 400 different species of birds or take a quiet paddling-trail excursion to discover all the wildlife teeming along the shores.
For a quiet retreat, ferry over to San Jose Island where the 21 miles of unspoiled coastline aren’t very busy. You can expect to find great seashells, so bring a bag or bucket for your treasures! Pack food and drinks too, because there aren’t any stores on San Jose Island.
South Padre Island
354 miles (about 6 hours from Katy)
The farthest of all the beach getaways listed here, but deserves a mention is South Padre Island.If you can spend at least a few days and are willing to drive the distance, South Padre Island is worth it and has 70 miles of dunes and prairies and is home to 380 bird species, and endangered Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles. At the harbor front Texas State Aquarium, guests can see the shark exhibit, check out the touch pools, and aquatic nursery. The water is blue and the beaches are beautiful.
A true beachgoer's paradise, South Padre Island has plenty of activities for families including pirate ship excursions, fishing charters, jet ski rentals, and dolphin spotting to name a few.