The Katy Family's Guide to Top Texas Beaches


By Jennifer Miko

If your ideal outdoor family getaway criteria includes salty air, waves and seashells, head toward the Gulf of Mexico - close enough to enjoy, but far enough away to be an escape. Book a house, condo, hotel or reserve a spot at one of the area campgrounds. Here are some of the favorite beach destinations preferred by Katy families.


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.

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.


354 miles (about 6 hours from Katy)

The farthest of all the beach getaways listed here, South Padre Island is worth the drive if you can spend at least a few days. Padre Island 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.


80 miles (1 1/2 hours from Katy)

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Galveston seamlessly blends a shore destination with historic charm. Located just a short drive from Katy, families or couples can tour buildings (some haunted) built in the 1800s, dine in trendy restaurants or browse eclectic shops. Of course, you can’t visit Galveston without enjoying the 32 miles of soft sands and inviting surf.

Galveston island welcomes visitors to 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