Fun, Sun, and Sand at Galveston Island

For a seaside getaway, head to the Texas shoreline for some of the prettiest beaches along the Gulf coast. In particular, Galveston, with its 30-plus miles of shoreline, is a excellent place to go because of the selection of things to do. There are several beaches that accommodate various activities and age groups, so whether you're heading out with a group of buddies or the family, Galveston has something to offer.

The main beach on Galveston Island is a great day visit. The beaches are clean, quiet and vast, so they can maintain a lot of tourists without feeling crowded. If you go to this beach, there are a handful of details you should know. First of all, no one can stay on the beach overnight. Campfires and alcohol are not allowed. Pets must be on a leash. Walking on sand dunes is strictly not allowed. Security guards are scattered around the area looking for lawbreakers.

Although this may seem like a lot of rules, they are in place to make this beach a quiet, relaxing day at the water and not a party-laden, litter-strewn college spring break setting. For those who come to the beach to read a book, get some sun, and take a rejuvenating dip in the water, this is the place to head to.

If you must drink alcohol while you're on a beach, then head over to the east end of Galveston Island to East Beach. This is the largest beach by area in Texas, and set up with the party crowd in mind. There is a bar right on the beach, you can lease umbrellas for shade and there’s a volleyball court set up in the summer months. There are also fresh-water showers so you can wash the salt off your body before heading back.

For the family with smaller children, Steward Beach is your vacation spot. It is set up similar to East Beach but with a kids play area and no bars. Drinking is not allowed on this beach. Parking and entry to this beach is free as well. Keep in mind, though, that there are no public restrooms here, so prepare accordingly. If you want sand and sun in a kid's environment, this is the beach for you.

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